The start of September always ushers in a raft of emails in my inbox, showcasing the new season collections from some of my favourite design brands.
While I don’t believe anyone needs to be updating their home decor on a yearly – let alone seasonal – basis, I’m always excited to see new lifestyle imagery from the brands whose designs I’m always most drawn to; to gain inspiration for new ways of arranging my home, new colours I might like to incorporate in the form of small trinkets or textiles, and to form an overview for the direction the interior design world as a whole is taking.
In the fourteen (yes, really!) years I have been blogging its been illuminating to see which brands have come and gone, and which have grown and evolved over time. Of course, my own sense of interior style —and my own style in general— have evolved alongside, partly organically as I’ve aged and, partially, inspired by the brands I’ve followed along the way.
So, for me, pouring over the new Autumn Winter catalogues is not about ‘what products I must buy this season‘, but more about seeing how my own tastes and design sensibilities might be developing alongside these brands. Over the past fourteen years there’s been a distinct shift from clean, sparse, minimalism with lots of sharp angles and bright —in some cases, fluorescent— colour pops to more fluid, organic and curvaceous ‘quiet luxury’ designs that feel altogether more grown up. In many ways, it feels as though the design brands I’ve been consistently drawn to have grown up with me, as I departed my late twenties into my thirties and have now arrived firmly in —what I have to accept is— actual adult life in my (very early) forties.
So, enough waffle from me, here are three of my favourites from the recent array of AW23 collections that have landed in my inbox recently all, coincidentally, Danish in design.
Celebrating craftsmanship has been a growing theme over the past decade, in a distinct backlash to overly mass-produced and impersonal design, and for AW23 &Tradition —founded in 2010 to celebrate the Danish legacy of craftmanship and design— have declared that ‘craftsmanship takes centre stage.’
There a lot of newness to digest, and plenty of it is very desirable indeed. Crafted in Portugal using traditional woodworking practices, the Trace display cabinet is the latest collaboration between &Tradition and Copenhagen-based architecture and design studio, Space Copenhagen. “Trace is about creating a piece that is both elegant and understated,” says Signe Bindslev Henriksen and Peter Bundgaard Rützou, founders of Space Copenhagen. “We wanted to design a cabinet that acted as a frame for the items placed within it, rather than drawing attention to itself. The result is a timeless storage cabinet that fits effortlessly into any space.”
Seeing how beautifully styled the Trace cabinet is within &Tradition’s atmospheric AW23 imagery is giving me the urge to completely strip and resyle both the glass-fronted IKEA BILLY bookcase in my lounge, and the IKEA JONAXEL open shelving units in my kitchen. Which is exactly what I’m looking for in new season imagery —inspiration and motivation to see my own home with fresh eyes and be inspired to shake things up a bit.
&Tradition’s new lighting designs are high on my list of desirability for AW23 as well, as the doom and gloom of the new season’s ever-cloudy days always have a detrimental effect on my mental health. I’m always seeking new lighting options for my home that create a soft, gentle and diffused glow, to try and recapture the uplifting effect of summertime’s golden hour.
An ‘exploration of sculptural foundations in light pieces’, the new portable Pivot represents a hybrid product that blurs the lines between object and lamp. The lamp’s geometric shade is positioned at a 45-degree angle to the base, creating a soft diffusion that emulates the warm glow of a modern-day candle. “Pivot is a true hybrid product that transcends the boundary between object and portable light, operating equally in the realms of art and functionality,” says Els Van Hoorebeeck, &Tradition’s Creative and Brand Director. “Each colourway brings a completely different nuance to Pivot’s aesthetic, while the warm glow it exudes will create a comforting atmosphere when placed anywhere from bedroom side tables to living room display cabinets.”
Likewise, the Mist pendants by Copenhagen-based design studio All the Way to Paris, are inspired by the warm, diffused light of morning rays shining through the haze, offering a modern take on the classic globe light silhouette. “We are fascinated by the way light comes through at different times of the day, and with different weather,” say Tanja Vibe and Petra Olsson Gendt, founders of All the Way to Paris. “With Mist, we want to speak to the kind of light that comes through when the air is heavy, a kind of sparkling, diffused light. The series will add depth to a room instead of being too harsh.”
&Tradition have also collaborated with renowned Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon to create Momento: a playful collection of home décor items designed to encourage us to slow down and savour life’s simple pleasures. The collection includes a jug, a candleholder and two vases, each a thoughtful combination of Hayon’s sculptural language and signature colours.
“Momento has something to do with love, it has something to do with this idea of giving yourself a little moment to enjoy,” says Hayon. “When I thought about the elements in the Momento collection, I thought they should be simple pieces that we could use in any situation that means something to us.” It’s a lovely sentiment and one I feel you can apply to pieces you already own; curating your own selection of ‘momentoes’ that bring you joy and choosing to display them front and centre in your home.
The final AW23 line I feel compelled to highlight is &Tradition’s inaugural scent collection, Mnemonic. I always love it when a brand introduces a lifestyle range that feels more accessible to the consumer; an entry-level taster of the brand that encapsulates their ethos and atmosphere. Of course, ~£25 for a hand soap is not affordable for all, but it does make for a luxurious gift for someone who you know adores the brand and, if you’re anything like me, be a vessel that can be refilled time and time again (with whichever handsoap you like) to retain that connection.
A celebration of memory, the Mnemonic collection is introduced through three refined scented products; hand soap, hand lotion, and a soap bar —each grounded in a trio of natural aromas; After the Rain, Into the Moor, and Turning Tide— created by esteemed French Perfumer Antoine Lie. “The experience of memory sits at the heart of the collection, where nature and raw materials are intertwined with a contemporary twist,” explains Els Van Hoorebeeck. “For this first Mnemonic range, we worked with graphic design studio All the Way to Paris to create an honest exploration of the senses based on association and familiarity. We are so excited to be exploring this typology as a company and we cannot wait for people to experience this new facet of &Tradition.”
Ferm Living‘s AW23 collection, named ‘Choreography of Contrasts’, boasts ‘sleek silhouettes set against dark woods; a bold fusion that evokes new expressions’. The interplay of soft and solid forms create a ‘symphony of design’, as raw, unrefined textures contrast with high-gloss polished forms. Ferm Living is definitely the brand I feel has grown-up the most alongside me, and their new imagery for AW23 really captures that sense of newfound sophistication and, for want of a better word, adulthood.
As with &Tradition, there is a sense of celebrating both the craftsmanship and materiality of the new pieces; traditional artisanship harmonised with contemporary design. Clean lines find balance with voluminous contours, and time-honoured classics intertwine with the modern.
As we’ve been seeing more and more over the past few seasons, curvaceous forms dominate the new collection; from furniture through lighting to glassware. While there’s a lot of beauty in the larger, sculptual pieces of furniture, its the smaller décor items —particularly the lighting— in the new season collection that I’m most drawn to; from the organic and asymmetric silhouette of the Kurbis lampshade, which presents a charming twist on the classic rice paper lantern, to the Gry table lamp, named after the Danish word for ‘dawn,’ which radiates a soft and gentle light, reminiscent of sunlight peeking through morning mist —much like the inspiration behind the &Tradition Mist pendants.
The beautiful mouth-blown Host water glasses —particularly in moss green— are the pieces I’m most likely to actually be bringing into my home this season. I love the shape of their stunted silhouette and how elegant the moss green tone is, especially against a draker wood tone (which I don’t actually have in my home.. ha!) The Alas vase also taps into the same moss green glass tone trend, named after the Spanish word for ‘wing’ in reference to the unique ornamental shapes that adorn the sides of the vase. It’s a distinctive sculptural piece that will develop a unique look and feel throughout the day, as it refracts different tones of light from morning through to night.
The one piece I feel inexpicably drawn to in the new collection —because it honestly doesn’t fit my own décor style at all— is the Lager trolley, which draws its inspiration from the raw and industrial aesthetic associated with Brutalism. The brushed matte aluminium finish is totally at odds with my own style, and yet I can see how this sculptural trolley would serve as visually captivating bar cart in a living room far more sophisticated than my own.
A brand from whom I already own several beautiful kitchen items —many of which, it has to be said, are more aesthetic in my kitchen than functional (because they’re just too beautiful to use)— Stelton‘s new AW23 catalogue is full of beautiful updates to existing popular product lines.
An extension of the popular Amphora thermos jug, Stelton have added the new Amphora kettle for AW23, designed by renowned Danish designer, Sebastian Holmbäck. Taking inspiration from ancient Greek clay jars used for storing oil and wine, the bulbous shape of the kettle strikes the perfect balance between heritage and innovation, creating a design that would look stunning on any kitchen countertop.
Inspired by the elegant, functional Art Deco style of the 1920s, the ribbed Pilastro tapas set extends the popular existing Pilastro range, and consists of three bowls and a dish that can be used together or separately, for a number of different things beyond just serving. I can see them looking beautiful lined up on a dressing table, or used to house tealights in the centre of a dining or coffee table, or separately as holders for items of jewellery, scattered about the home (anyone else like to shed themselves of excess jewellery the moment they set foot back in the house?)
Other highlights of the new season collection include the tactile looking Storm salt and pepper mill, made from certified red oak and inspired by the Faroe Islands, where designer Rebecca Uth grew up, and the Pier portable LED lamp, a beautiful reinterpretation of the classic ship’s lamp – hence the name. I’m a big fan of portable lighting solutions that can be moved around the home as needed, especially if they can function outdoors as well as in, and have the option for varying light levels —both of which apply to the Pier lamp!
So, have any of these new pieces I’ve picked out caught your eye?
And which are your favourite brands that you always look forward to seeing new collection imagery from?
Let me know in the comments below!
All imagery © respective brands