The ultimate design destination for international luxury interior brands
Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s dedication to excellence is impressive to say the least.
With 120 showrooms and over 600 international brands all at one address, you would be hard pressed to find another destination with such a high concentration of the design world’s biggest names which shape the luxury interiors of today.
More than a design resource, it is a thriving platform, both creatively and commercially, for an exceptionally dynamic industry. It is the largest of its kind in Europe and well-established as a premier design destination. With expansion high on the agenda and the development of Design Centre East, there has been a significant influx of new international arrivals to showcase more global talent.
That is why the Chelsea destination is the first port of call for professional interior designers, architects and style-seekers. In fact, it is a measure of the Design Centre’s influence that people fly in from all over the world to see what is on the style radar there. What is on offer is ‘couture for the home’ and with a vast array of international brands, it is matchless when it comes down to choice. Showcasing the highest expressions of creativity, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour brings together not only fabrics and wall coverings, but also furniture, lighting, accessories, kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor living, trimmings, hardware, tiles and carpets.
What you see in the showrooms is just the starting point. The 120 businesses cater not only to those who have a passion for creating their own homes, but for designers who are working on the interiors of famous hotels, bars, restaurants, boutiques and superyachts. Key values of creativity, skilled craftsmanship and technical ability lie at the heart of so much of the offering. Visitors can see beautiful designs with character, complexity and originality, alongside great workmanship and artistry up close. Many showrooms have long-term relationships with designers and the collaborative nature of many projects can lead to some impressive results. Bespoke products are another one of Design Centre’s draws – with countless showrooms creating tailor-made pieces for one-of-a-kind spaces.
Keen to foster creativity and to push artistic boundaries, special projects are commissioned on a regular basis to work in harmony with the Design Centre’s famous architecture. These have included a floral sky of 6,500 blooms by floral artist Rebecca Louise Law and artwork by international fashion illustrator Megan Hess. In fact, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour supports a broad spectrum of creative disciplines across the design agenda. Exhibitions have included Marilyn Monroe: Legacy of a Legend and, for 2016, Art & Interiors, a curated display featuring photography, paintings and sculptures that have inspired 30 leading designers.
The exhibition anticipated a shifting landscape in which boundaries are dissolving and designers are working with an increasingly sophisticated client base who appreciate that art is central to dynamic interiors. It acted perfectly as an opening conversation about the relationship between the two. Ashley Hicks showed Luke Edward Hall’s Wall of Plates, Neisha Crosland displayed a collection of objects painted by 20th-century Russian artists including a cushion cover, a brooch and a piece of fabric, while Douglas Mackie nominated a Sandra Blow.
Every year the Design Centre holds London Design Week and Focus, two highly globalised design shows, which consolidate its role in Britain’s cultural landscape. With a deeply immersive format, visitors can engage with the industry’s top creatives, influencers and big thinkers, exchange ideas at workshops and talks or join curated tours. The Conversations in Design programme has gained momentum too, with renowned names from the international stage eager to share their design knowledge. New initiatives are introduced to offer specialist interest and inspiration, and dedicated events include Superyacht Design Week, which sees international delegates gaining insights from the marine world and beyond.
Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour not only has its pulse firmly on global trends, but it is setting them. With access to the latest new design directions, the style-savvy can get the inside track on the pieces and people making waves via dedicated in-house publications or online via social media that reaches out to a digital audience. With breaking news as well as interviews with the people who are making great design happen, it offers unprecedented access.
What began over 20 years ago as a spectacular building near the River Thames, has grown into much, much more. Today, visitors to Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour are encouraged to spend time in the domes and Design Centre East. As well as visiting the showrooms, they can browse through specialist titles in the bookshop or lunch at the Absolute Taste Design or Dome Cafés.
There is even a tailor-made personal shopping team to guide you through the latest collections, as well as to advise on bespoke options. With their in-depth knowledge they can do all the sourcing and organise international shipping. The final level of luxury is the Design Club, a private members’ club for like-minded people in the design and creative industries. Designed by Rabih Hage, the club is a stylish sanctuary in which to relax and recharge, with a stunning bar and modern menu designed to suit every palate, from a light breakfast and speedy sandwich to a glass of champagne.
Seating nooks and functional workspaces also make it the ideal place to host meetings with clients or brainstorm sessions, and can even serve as a second office. There is a design reference library packed full of the best in design, art and fashion titles, along with an extensive back catalogue of the top interior consumer and industry magazines. It’s no wonder visitors come back again and again. A single visit is rarely enough.
DESIGN CENTRE, CHELSEA HARBOUR CHELSEA HARBOUR, LOTS ROAD, LONDON SW10 OXE +44 (0)20 7725 9166