Tent London 2011 Review: Best Surface Design

Lovely surface design on various applications: fab wallpaper from Flavor Paper and Kate Usher, textiles from Bluebellgray and a surprise appearance from Danish designer Lisa Grue, who I last met in Copenhagen!

Written by Amelia Gregory

Kate Usher wallpaper
Wallpaper by Kate Usher Studio.

The printed textile designer in me will always be a sucker for great decorative surface design. Here’s some fabulous stuff that I found at Tent London this year.

Kate Usher Meerkat wallpaper
At the Designed and Made stand I was immediately drawn to Kate Usher‘s marvellous wallpaper designs with names such as Sharkbait and Hang About. She has set out with an admirable mission to shake up the tired old cliches that appear on most children’s bedroom decor, so expect bold designs, all printed to order on FSC approved base papers… and with the possibility to add a bespoke Swarovski crystal topping. Wow-wee.

Tent London 2012 review -kate usher and sarah blood
Also at Designed and Made I liked the neon Duck lights by Sarah Blood which offer a fun updated version of this kitsch classic.

Tent London 2012 review -flavor paper
Tent London 2012 review -flavor paper
Tent London 2012 review -flavor paper
Brookyln’s Flavor Paper had flown to the UK to showcase their unique wares. What fun! I particularly loved their hot air balloon display and given their provocative name I couldn’t help asking if any of their designs were actually scratch ‘n’ sniff – to my delight I discovered that indeed the cherries were. All their designs are created to buyer specifications, either digitally or via traditional screenprinting.

Tent London 2012 review -bluebellgray
Digital printing was used to great effect by Scottish designer Fi Douglas of Bluebellgray, retaining the feel of pretty hand painted floral watercolour textiles.

Tent London 2012 review -happy happy bows
I am not sure which section these Happy Happy oversized bows fit into since they are essentially an entirely useless bit of decor. Made by RCA trained designer Stephen Johnson, these kitsch creations are intended to bring a bit of happiness into the world.

Tent London 2012 review -3form tiles
Tent London 2012 review -3form tiles
Gorgeous (but very expensive) irridescent sculpted bespoke tiles were on display from 3Form solutions.

Tent London 2012 review -Lisa Grue avantgarden
And then I chanced upon Lisa Grue, who I last met in Copenhagen a year ago. She was taking in part in Tent London with a group of artist/designers working in multiple disciplines under the name avantGarden.

Tent London 2012 review -Lisa Grue avantgarden
Tent London 2012 review -Lisa Grue avantgarden
Tent London 2012 review -Lisa Grue avantgarden
Titled Beautiful Mortality, all of avantGarden‘s work was inspired by the beauty of life, death and decay and all the designs were rendered in a limited colourway of cream and browns – quite a departure from Lisa’s usual colourful work. I loved her moth and fox designs and her huge hand-appliqued wall hanging.

Tent London 2012 review -Meyer-Lavigne
Tent London 2012 review -Meyer-Lavigne
Bulbous painted ceramic plant pots from Meyer-Lavigne were also particularly wonderful.

Tent London 2012 review -Louise Gaarmann
Louise Gaarmann presented some tactile ceramics in imaginative combinations of shapes. Together with textile designer Tina Ratzer she had created Mr.Craftsman, a huge tribal coat in pure wool accessorised with hanging ceramic talismans.

Our Man_ratzermeetsgaarmann mr craftsman
Don’t forget to take a peek at my pick of this years furniture design too.

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