WOW!House at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour

Design Insider’s team was thrilled to be invited to attend the preview launch of WOW!House 2023 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. Eighteen rooms of elevated decoration which delivers an incredible celebration of creativity and community, promising to be ‘immersive, aspirational – and above all, FUN!’ The event runs until the 6th July 2023.

WOW!House 2023 Exterior Manuo Mani

The world’s top designers and interior brands have been brought together to offer inspiration and expertise, equally relevant for for residential and hospitality designers. 

Vanessa MacDonald for Melissa Wyndham Drawing Room

Our morning was thoroughly enjoyable, meeting designers, suppliers and exploring new designs, concepts and products.

De Gournay Morning Room by Waldo Works

We’ve brought together our top four highlights:

Diverse Space

As our lifestyles evolve so do our needs from the spaces we live in and spend our time in, there is an ever increasing need for diverse spaces which can be transformed to fit a variety of purposes. Rather than having to replace and redesign, multi use designs allow for spaces to host diverse activities within one space.

The Legend Room, by designers Nicky Haslam and Colette van den Thillart, has no dedicated role but can suit the needs to a variety of activities such as reading, studying, socialising, gaming and dining. The different areas are divided by dwarf walls and free standing-columns, each decorated with pieces of bespoke furniture which have versatile uses. The Mo- Hair walls provide both a warm and comforting feel to the room but also enhance the quality of sound in the room which is a necessity in such a sociable space.

The Legend Room by designers Nicky Haslam and Colette van den Thillart

Nicky Haslam Studio is famed for their high-end designs which capture humour and charm with the ability change with the times and this installation certainly highlighted these points.

Meet the Designers: Nicky Haslam and Colette van den Thillart

Nicky Haslam founded his London-based architectural and design firm Nicky Haslam Studio in the late 1980s. It is one of the most important luxury interior design offices in the UK, known for high-end design, bespoke furnishings and a style that is ever changing with the times, yet always distinguishable for its humour, charm and wit. 

For nearly 15 years Colette van den Thillart served as creative director of Nicky Haslam’s NH Design, before founding her namesake firm in Toronto in 2011. With an eye for modern living, she crafts experiential interiors in Canada and internationally, distinguished through layers of historical reference, touches of wit and personalised allure.

Hand-Made Creations

We had the pleasure of speaking with Lizzie Deshayes Co-Founder of Fromental alongside Tim Butcher, their company collaborates with fellow designers, artists and craftspeople, with a business ethos heavily focused on the love and respect for beauty.

Fromental Courtyard Room by Maddux Creative

Fromental sponsored the Courtyard Room designed by Maddux Creative, the collaboration captured the extraordinary textures, fabrics, patterns and effects produced by Fromental designed to provide a vibrant, free-spirited room which inspires and creates new conversations.

Fromental Courtyard Room by Maddux Creative

Lizzie said they wanted to create talking pieces surrounded by the nature feature of mushrooms, this concept was brought to life through different hand crafted skills which portrayed the look of stone and minerals which is aimed to increase curiosity for those seeing the space. She expressed how enjoyable it was creating these products on site with the team who are also supported by the Royal School of Needle Work.

Maddux Creative are makers of stimulating, multi-sensory interiors, this was clearly displayed in the room through some of the exquisite hand-painted, embroidered and printed wallcoverings and objects by the Fromental team.

Meet the Designers: Maddux Creative

Long-time friends Scott Maddux and Jo Le Gleud founded Maddux Creative in 2011. With complementary design styles and a shared passion for travel, fashion, art, craft and music, they have worked across the globe, with current projects in London, Los Angeles, Easthampton and Geneva.

Jo started her career in fashion as an embroiderer working with designer Koji Tatsuno and for an embroidery studio collaborating on fashion and theatre projects. A shared love of colour and a passion for articulating a story led her to team up with Tennessee native Scott, a visionary interior designer specialising in using form, texture and colour in carefully considered yet beautifully unexpected ways. The studio creates interiors that are multi-layered, stimulating sensory experiences.

Contemporary Design

Martin Hulbert and Jay Grierson founded Martin Hulbert Design in 2010 they have worked on a wide range of projects, blending antiques with contemporary design for private homes, independent hotels and larger commercial projects across the world. Their room The Dining Room provides a space for large groups to socialise and feast together round one table.

Dining room by Martin Hulbert & Jay Greirson, Martin Hulbert Design

“Atmosphere is our starting point- we don’t want anyone to be on their best behaviour!”- Martin Hulbert

Dining room by Martin Hulbert & Jay Greirson, Martin Hulbert Design

The centre piece of the room is a bespoke square dining table which seats 16 guests, the tabletop surface is created from handmade ceramic tiles made in Hackney, London, which piece together an eye catching design. Another key feature of the room is the walls which have been upholstered in sound absorbing fabrics which makes the space ideal for socialising with large groups which this room is designed to host.

Meet the Designers: Martin Hulbert

Martin Hulbert has built a reputation as one of the UK’s leading interior designers, and has worked alongside his long-time collaborator Jay Grierson for 18 years. The ethos of Martin Hulbert Design (MHD) is to treat each project individually, so they fit perfectly within their setting but stand out in a crowd. They challenge convention, blending antiques and contemporary design to create interiors that are comfortable, elegant and ageless with a layer of magic on top.

Inspired by Nature

This Day Room has an instant glow and sense of warmth as you enter, created by the gold and bronze tones featured throughout. 

The room was created by Timothy Mather of Timothy Mather Design and sponsored by British designer Alexander Lamont and colleague Miles de Lang and textiles specialist Lauren Hwang New York.

Day Room by Alexander Lamont & Miles & Lauren Hwang New York, Timothy Mather Design

Lamont is known for his handcrafted collections of furniture, lighting and wall panels which explore organic forms, natural materials and earthy colour palettes to create a sense of serenity and harmony in interior spaces.

Meet the Designers: Timothy Mather

Timothy Mather was born in England and educated in Zimbabwe and Canada. After a successful 10-year career in fashion, he moved into the design industry in the early 1990s, refining his skills as a senior designer for two of Canada’s high-profile design companies before forming his own firm in Toronto in November 2000. Ten years later he moved to London and set up Timothy Mather Design to better serve his international client base.

The firm adheres to the philosophy of seamless integration of architecture and interior design, employing the highest quality materials and furnishings, coupled with inventive interpretations of traditional as well as contemporary detailing and craftsmanship.

This Years WOW!House exhibition certainly does make you go say “wow” as you experience the engaging walk through the 18 inspirational rooms. It pulls together originality, innovation and fine details from a wide range of highly talented designers. The show house is open to all visitors until the 6th July, we highly recommend taking the opportunity to see this unique exhibition. 


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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