down on the south bank

down on the south bank

i love the new selection of paint colours from fired earth which have been designed in collabaration with kevin mccloud (everyone’s favourite design guru!). the zingy new colour palette has been inspired by the 1951 festival of britain which celebrates it’s 60th anniversary this may, with a summer long series of events at the southbank centre.

and fired earth aren’t the only ones introducing new design ranges to co-incide with the anniversary. i love the ‘festival’ wallpaper by mini moderns, which celebrates the enduring influence of the 1951 festival, and features highlights of the exhibition. geometric shapes interplay with abstract representations of the iconic skylon, the dome of discovery and the royal festival hall. its linear forms reflect the modernist architectural vision of structures specially commissioned for the festival including mini modern’s favourites – the transport pavilion and the lion and the unicorn pavilion.

mini modern’s creative directors, keith stephenson and mark hampshire explain: “we’ve been collecting festival of britain memorabilia for over 20 years. the 60th anniversary offered us the perfect opportunity to create a very personal homage to a piece of britain’s design history that has had such a strong creative influence on the mini moderns style”. the wallpaper comes in 10m x 52cm rolls printed with waterbased inks on paper from sustained forests, and is available in three striking colourways.

and of course, you cannot mention mid century design and not think of heal’s, and their nostalgia this season for 1950’s modern design couldn’t be more timely. i absolutely adore their dinky chair upholstered in sanderson’s ‘festival’ fabric, along with their ‘festival’ cushion.

the festival of britain kick-started a new boom period for heal’s, and they participated in 1951 with an exhibition held at their famous mansard gallery on tottenham court road, as well as producing 900  perforated metal chairs – designed by a j milne – which were used on the southbank throughout the celebrations.

to mark this year’s 60th anniversary heal’s will be exhibiting the dinky sofa and armchair upholstered in the sanderson ‘festival’ fabric at the bbc homes & antiques exhibition on the southbank, which opens on april 22nd.


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