Last month a brand new interiors show made its debut at London Olympia. From the 17 – 20 June, House was held at the prestigious venue, alongside both The Spirit of Summer Fair and the Olympia International Fine Art and Antiques Fair. Organised by Clarion Events, House is an interiors show aimed at high-net-worth homeowners.
Event director Stuart Hunter explains that “there was […] a clear gap in the market for an event that focuses purely on quality design and style for the home.” Visitor numbers suggest Hunter is correct; the three events attracted 19,000 visitors over four days.
An ideal Victorian venue
The beautiful Victorian, barrel-vaulted room at Olympia provided the ideal space for an event that focused on quality design and inspiring interiors. A range of stylish eateries and bars, including a Louis Roederer Champagne Bar, set the tone for a sophisticated show. Royal caterers, Mosimann’s, also hosted a Summer Restaurant
The focal point of the exhibition was a show house, curated by April Russell interiors. This iconic designer has offices in both London and New York. The replica of a beautiful Georgian house displayed a range of interiors to intrigue and inspire visitors, featuring both internal and external garden spaces. The house also showcased a range of products that were on display at the event, allowing visitors to envisage how they could work these items into their own designed spaces.
The House Theatre was another highlight, featuring appearances from leading industry professionals. These included influential interior designer Nina Campbell, Farrow & Ball’s Colour Consultant and the Editor of House & Garden magazine.
British artist and designer Anna Jacobs also ran an ‘upcycling’ workshop, talking the audience through her creative process and offering the much inspiration for a range of looks, from shabby chic to sleek urban. A popular highlight was an expert panel who came together to debate the artistry of interiors.
This panel, including interior designers, art directors, framers and fine art conservators held an animated and illuminating discussion about artwork in the home, considering where a potential buyer should start their search and how they might go about selecting the perfect piece.
Exhibitors: Classic companies and innovative designers
The show featured over 70 exhibitors, representing everything from furniture, paints, and antiques to kitchenware, fine art and garden design. These ranged from the more well-established companies, including the fashionable paint manufacturer Farrow & Ball and the classic Aga range cooker company. However, it was not just classic favourites on display. Exhibitors also included more up and coming design companies such as KHIS, manufacturers of beautiful hand-made wooden bathtubs and Joined + Jointed, a collective of contemporary furniture designers and artisans, who displayed a selection of their original and exclusive pieces.
House was a great success. It is Clarion’s second new event to launch at Olympia this year; in January they hosted Craft; a contemporary craft and design show. Reflecting on House, event Director Hunter said: “We’ve been very pleased with the reception it has got; a lot of good business has been done and visitors are clearly enjoying themselves”.
Graham Doyle is the director of Pilgrim Payne & Co, who are officially recognised as a supplier to the HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales. Graham has developed an excellent reputation as a specialist cleaner of soft furnishings.