Spring Fair 2012

It felt like we’d only just been to Birmingham NEC for Interiors UK, when we found ourselves back there for Spring Fair­ International, the biggest UK retail trade show. Over 3,000 exhibiters displayed their products throughout 20 halls across 13 different sectors including kitchen, dining and housewares, art and framing, floral supplies and gadgets.

The Spring Fair is a valuable resource for sourcing those all important decorative accessories such as; artwork, vases, artificial flowers, sculptures, table ware and kitchen and bathroom gadgets. The new phone App made navigating the show easy and enjoyable despite it’s rather overwhelming size and layout.

Traders were varied, however we noticed four significant trends dominating the show:

1. Reproduction vintage, rustic and Industrial.

These styles are still very popular indicating that a certain demographic continues to gravitate to products which evoke feelings of familiarity, security and optimistic nostalgia. Coach house, The Libra Company (pictured) and India Jane are prolific distributors of this type of furniture and homewares.

2. Minimal / functional.
There were many ingenious products with a pure, calm, understated appearance. Pale woods or cork, combined with white painted wood, glass or porcelain were a key trend. This is a beautiful, tranquil, organised style that is becoming very popular. Memorable products were:

Shuki bottle and cups from Aarevalo.
shuki cup

Rig TIg storage from Stelton.

Tondo and Uno glass range from LSA International.
G934-31-301 UNO-CARAFE-CLR-PD
table-basse-orbit-40cm-leitmotiv (1)

Vixen coat stand and Orbit stool and Cast lamp from Leitmotiv, distributed by Present Time.

3. Mid century modern.

The playful forms, colours, patterns and materials form the post war era feel as refreshing, relevant and attractive as ever. As we hopefully edge towards more enjoyable social and financial times we may again use products designed to rejuvenate and inspire happier, healthier living.

Great examples included:

The Acapulco Chair by Carlos Ocho from Ok Design.
Kulinara table ware from Stelton.
Bird Family from Northlight (Superliving Range).

Festival tableware from Magpie.

4. Fresh and funky.

Innovative, avant-garde accessories and gadgets in bright primary colours were attracting a lot of attention from trend seeking buyers. This suggests that a whole new generation of functional, vibrant and intelligent designers and manufacturers is evolving, somewhat reminiscent of the energy, humour and confidence seen in 1980’s product design.

Amongst the many, many great examples were:

Birdie paper knife and Pitacoro magnets from Aarevalo.

Post by James Pilling, Practice Manager at NDA Private Clients

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