Review: Drawing the outside in at Decorex

Last week the BCFA and Design Insider team visited Decorex – an exhibition for designers wanting to explore the latest trends and contemporary styles in their industries. Decorex was hosted once again at Syon Park, from the 16th to the 19th September.

As the centrepiece of London Design Festival, Decorex showcase the finest furniture, lighting, textiles, craft and accessories from emerging and established names alike. We will be exploring the overall feel of the exhibition, as well as the effort and trends ingrained in the exhibits.

When you first enter Decorex, you are greeted with three magnificent podiums that give you a glimpse into the artistic depth and shapes you will soon witness upon entering the main area.


Once you have entered the main event, post scanning of your pass, you are already greeted with a bar area teaming with life. With botanical patterned lampshades, flowers and even a peacock (not real, I am afraid), the central bar catches the eye of all who rest there.

Even from just looking at the podiums from outside the entrance and the bar area (designed by none other than Lambart & Browne), you start to see a theme arising – that of botany: literal plants are on the stand, scaled up cactus and leaf-like patterns.


Literal representations of Botany

DesignInsiderDecorexReviewBotanyAfter wandering around the whole of the event space, taking one step back, then taking a more detailed look around, more and more stands start to catch your attention.

We found BCFA members also enjoyed this theme, having plants within their stands – both Kai and Decca had larger instalments, whilst others chose smaller plants such as ILiv, Hypnos, and Lasvit.

Other exhibitionists joined in with literal representations of the botanical theme.

Why not browse some of our favourite exhibitions with plants?

Scale Representations of Botany

SONY DSCWhen exploring the vast growth of stands scattered around the large hall, you may have seen some with larger depictions of wildlife and plants than what they should be – like the larger cactus in the foyer, for example.

Design Insider saw an immersive stand curated by luxury interior designer Designed By Woulfe, with draping leaves and overgrowth trying to hide the animals lurking behind, as well as their stunning tiger print chair – this was certainly a stand to view at Decorex this year.

We were certainly impressed by the commitment and detail each exhibit put forward to present both their brand and products.

We found one designer, Anna Glover, who had a large representation of a beetle – at least, we hope it was!


Pattern representation of Botany


The main medium of presenting the botanical theme was through patterns, as we found many spaces exhibited wallcoverings and furnishings displaying flowers and other patterns. We of course could not mention botanical and patterns without mentioning BCFA member Timorous Beasties, who’s designs heavily feature the botanical theme.

ILiv also presented beautiful botanic embellishing on their fabrics, with leaf patterns spreading like wildfire over many of their works.

Most stalls managed to keep to this theme, why not view the rest of our images? Did these exhibits inspire your project?


Throughout Decorex, dispersed within the awe-inspiring stands, sits many cubicles that give you information in regards to how designs are made. There were three processes we believed to be of most importance when venturing around the stands.

The first was leather cutting – London-based designer Genevieve Bennett gave a beautiful example of this:


The second process was the use of pressing. For example, BCFA member Lincrusta still uses original rollers to create some of their wallcoverings – they had a space between the aisles which was an optimum position to be whilst they were creating pressings of their wallcoverings:


Lastly, there were examples of etching botany on to products. One decorative artist from Pigmentti explained the process of etching detailed flowers in to many layers of gold, which could take days to create:


We could not end the processing section or even this article without mentioning Glithero, who are a British and Dutch designer who met and studied at the Royal College of Art. They create their black and white toned images by exposing the prepared vase to a spectrum of light that develops the silver salts in the vase, creating a permanent photogram. The lasting image reveals the detailed fabric and delicacy of each specimen in contrast with a background of deep satin black. They showed us an example of their vases photographed with seaweed:


Should anyone ask the BCFA and Design Insider team how we felt the day went in three words, it would be – botanic, beautiful and bold!

Have you added any botany in to your projects or designs? Please comment below and show us!