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Inside London's WOW!house 2024


7th June 2024

Despite only being in its third year, WOW!house at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour has already established itself as a highlight in the design calendar. Featuring 19 rooms and outdoor spaces created by over 20 designers, the 2024 edition of WOW!house is an exciting and eclectic showhouse in which no two rooms are the same.

WOW!house opened to the public on June 4th, only two weeks after Clerkenwell Design Week and a month after Milan Design Week; unsurprisingly, many of the trends we spotted both shows were evident throughout the WOW!house rooms, alongside other new and unexpected motifs.

Maximal layered interiors

In the Zoffany entrance hall, designer Benedict Foley welcomes visitors with a space that packs a punch: inspired by the opulent design of 19th century Italian ballrooms, the vivid entrance features matching bold Zoffany fabric on the walls and sofas to create an encompassing maximalist scheme, accented by a bespoke wool carpet and other pieces upholstered in Zoffany’s archive fabrics. Maximalism and layering are taken to the next level in the Watts 1874 room by Alidad, where archive tapestry, printed velvet and other luxurious fabrics cover the space from sofa cushions to wallcoverings, creating a space that feels opulent and welcoming.

In contrast, and part of the fun of WOW!house, the third room by Dedar for Fosbury Architecture juxtaposes the maximalist approach of Foley and Alidad’s designs with an unexpectedly bright space. With a mirrored wall that makes it feel expansive and prominently upholstered in monochrome Dedar fabric, the space feels almost reminiscent of the depiction of heaven in Bruce Almighty. Balanced by a bold green carpet and desk accessories including laptops, lamps, and even a slice of pizza upholstered in yellow Dedar fabrics, the space might be minimal but is still vibrant and intriguing.

Inspiration from East Asia

In line with other designers’ maximal approach, many of the WOW!house rooms took equal inspiration from vintage and contemporary design – from the Tissus D’Helene drawing room by Guy Goodfellow decorated with an eclectic mix of contemporary art alongside vintage fabrics and antiques, to the House of Rohl primary bathroom by Michaelis Boyd, who created a bathroom sanctuary with modern checkerboard tiles accented by vintage-inspired ‘Georgian’ House of Rohl brassware.

But one of the most popular sources of inspiration came from East Asia: upon stepping into the Jamb London master bedroom, visitors are immediately welcomed by an exquisite antique black lacquer Chinese Coromandel cabinet, while on the opposite end of the room sits a beautiful antique Japanese rice paper screen. In a tranquil study by Anahita Rigby, the London designer known for creating considered and beautifully layered interiors, the space is infused with Japanese-inspired details, including a Japanese shoji paper screen, quaint figurines and books from Japan House London, alongside a thoughtfully curated assortment of antiques sourced from Japan House London and Georgian Antiques. In the dining space by Suzy Hoodless, the bespoke wallpaper by Adam Ellis feels reminiscent of vintage Japanese artwork, and is wrapped on all four walls to create an enchanting and serene space.

1970s retro

A trend we spotted extensively at both Milan and Clerkenwell Design Weeks, Sophie Ashby’s sitting room for United In Design is a retro 1970s-inspired haven. Prioritising comfort and warmth, orange and mustard hues are complemented by pastel blues and greens, as well as bolder accents including a rich purple wall upholstered in Dedar’s ‘Amoir Libre Wall’ fabric. Fun patterns are introduced through chairs upholstered in Studio Ashby fabrics, on ruffle cushions by Paboy Bojand and Sister x Yarn Collective, and the Priya rug by Priya Ahluwalia x Shame Studios, which creates a playful focal point.

Other highlights

Within WOW!house’s diverse mix of spaces and styles, other highlights include a the bold blue Rug Company dining room by Ken Fulk, and a vibrant kitchen by Martin Moore and Studio Vero, a sophisticated space that feels contemporary thanks to state of the art Gaggenau appliances, but with luxurious green marble worktops, stools upholstered in 15th-century inspired ‘Backgammon’ fabric in ‘autumn haze’ from George Spencer Designs, and a vintage chandelier from 1stDibs that inject the space with vintage design for a timeless appeal. Keeping the Challengers-inspired tennis-core trend alive, the McKinnon and Harris Courtyard by Katharine Pooley is a fun, Wimbledon-esque space complete with an elegant umpire’s chair and vintage tennis rackets.

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