My visit to Top Drawer 2019 proved quite challenging as I decided to drive to Olympia rather than take the train. My Sat Nav estimated a travel time of 50 minutes and indeed that is how long the journey took. I was so pleased with myself as I navigated my way along the A3 and across the Thames at Hammersmith to my final destination.
It was only on arrival that my bubble burst as it turned out that both car parks were fully booked. All parking had been prepaid and it hadn’t occurred to me that I might not be able to leave my car anywhere!
Fortunately, there was help on hand in the form of a gentleman in a hi-vis jacket. He advised that there would be roadside parking not far from the exhibition venue. With renewed confidence I headed off in the direction in which he pointed and I very quickly managed a nifty bit of parallel parking. I paid my dues (by phone) and headed off to the show.
Top Drawer, a biannual trade exhibition for the home, gift, fashion, craft and hospitality industries is a delight. Showcasing new product lines from around the world it is a must for anyone with half an eye on up-and-coming trends.
As ever my main reason for visiting was to review the Home section which had an abundance of furniture, soft furnishings, accessories and lighting.
By far the most impressive stand was that of Coach House, the UK’s largest trade only supplier of furniture and giftware (according to their website).
Their creative room-sets were the epitome of international glamour with a strong colonial influence.
The luxurious reflective surfaces combined with strong animal imagery were in striking contrast to the surrounding stands.
Palms, rattan, and rich dark wood furniture were reminiscent of a bygone era.
Exquisite ivory coloured velvets and stunning glass orbs set off this black circular dining table whilst the coral coloured lampshade and framed print added an air of the orient.
Pastel coloured linens set against this intensely dark backdrop on the Also Home stand gave me pause for thought. I have ambitions to create a soft pink table setting in my own home and the blush table cloth and napkins were an absolute favourite.
I was also struck by these stoneware table-top items which are one of the main product-lines of Danish interior design company Bunaglow ApS. The combination of shapes, texture, and pattern really appealed.
Venturing upstairs to the The Craft sector I was met with a selection of beautiful handcrafted one-offs. My favourite stand here was that of Peter Lanyon Furniture which exhibited a collection of sustainable furniture made in his workshop in South Devon.
These intricate bronze casts displayed on the Pomarius stand were truly extraordinary. Capturing the intricate details of original organic specimens these ornamental collections were painstakingly beautiful.
Unfortunately, like Cinderella, the clock was ticking and my 2 hour maximum on-street parking slot was about to expire. That said I had had an amazing time and was pleased that a rather dull Tuesday had been brightened by my expedition to the last day of Top Drawer 2019.