I had the great opportunity of visiting the London Design Festival 2016, and travelled the breadth of London in search of inspiring ideas to take me through to the next year.

One of my trips that I was looking forward to was hitting the urban delight of Shoreditch. If you haven’t been yet, this is how I would describe it. 

Photo via The Decorum Shop

An area that has developed in the last few years into an urban cool place with an explosion of independent shops, bars and restaurants. With artists and designers setting up studios there, with the likes of Rob Ryan and Lee Broom, (the lighting extraordinaire), it has a vibrant feel to it. The whole place feels alive whatever time of day you seem to be there.

I arrived at the tube stop High Street and as soon as I hit the street, I was hit by the cleverly designed Box Park. This opened in 2011 and is a unique set of pop-up spaces that has been designed by using stripped refitted shipping containers. It has its own blog and a website, showing you all the cool places to eat, drink, as well as the retail independent shops that delight as you head further into the high street.

I really loved the pop-up shop Decorum, as had an industrial feel to it, had some really lovely interior pieces I would buy. I especially loved the Concrete clock that was £65.00 available on the website too, decorum-shop.co.uk and I loved the totally on trend Marston round Mirror which was £49.00 and would add style to any wall.

Heading down to Lee Broom’s studio, there was a slight queue to get in, but you weren’t waiting very long and it was well worth the visit. I never thought lighting displayed in such a way would lift your soul so much, but it did. Very clever and gave lots of ideas for using groups of lights to create a bigger impact. The effect of ‘Opticality’ was created by using lots of mirrors, reflections and gave so much light and illusion. 

Feeling quite tired, well I had been walking since 9am and was now 5.30pm, I decided I needed a stop off somewhere to just relax. I ventured onto Old Street into the heart of Shoreditch with a cool sign that said Cocktails 2 for 1. Sounded good to me, as I ventured in I was blown away first of all by the building, then by the interiors, then by the bikes! Yes, I just said BIKES. 

I had ventured into the Bike Shed, a 12’000 square feet, Restaurant, Bar, Cafe, and bike shop covering four renovated railway arches. Completely dedicated to motorbike culture and lifestyle. It has space for 60 bikes to park up while the owners go and chill, be with fellow bikers to have a relaxing time, eat and drink. P.S you don’t need to be a biker to go in there.It started out as a blog in 2011 and had loyal followers, the founder Anthony Dutch Van Someren, or Dutch as everyone calls him, wanted a motorbike club where he could talk about his love of custom motorbikes. It turned into this fab permanent spot in 2015.

This venue has an industrial edge with brickwork and a huge space. The decor is industrial, eclectic and very stylish, just up my street yay! With old beaten up chesterfield sofas dotted about the place and a gallery space for art. It has a relaxed, cool but very inviting feel and I loved being there, can’t wait to go back! 

I had two lovely cocktails and a bowl of olives and sat looking at the stunning custom motorbikes for sale. 

Next stop was a walk down Old Street to capture the Installations, designed by Asif Khan. The idea was to create ways to introduce intercity functional urban spaces. Offering visitors a chance to relax, be inspired. As part of London Design week, 3 installations were created offering different experiences to visitors. 

One would allow people to feel relaxed, interact and connect surrounded by plants. Another would create a peaceful area to inspire visitors to write, work, draw. The last one, the smallest, would be an elevated green room secluded from the outside and offer a peaceful place to gather one’s thoughts.

I loved all of them, but especially loved the elevated room, where on such a busy hectic street outside on a Friday night, was just heavenly and I am sure that wasn’t the cocktails I just had! 

Last stop was the Amathus store, a shop with the biggest collection of whisky, beer, artisan gins, wine, basically anything alcoholic! I love Jameson’s Redbreast Whiskey and they had all of the collection in stock. They also had every whisky my hubby would want me to buy, they gave great recommendations of whisky I hadn’t tried based on what I had said I already liked. Also, there was a huge selection of artisan gins and I had the pleasure of meeting Oscar Dodd from Bimber Distillery in London, who gave me a few tasters of their gin and vodka. I fell in love with the award winning oak aged vodka, definitely one to try. I finished off my evening by having a miniature of Halland’s Flader, a Swedish elderflower liqueur recommended by one of the staff which was a perfect end to a lovely time in Shoreditch. After purchasing a few beers for my hubby, I ventured back to my hotel.

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26 Comments

  1. hannah Wood

    September 25, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Not been to an event like this before sure looks good with all the cool deigns

  2. Sarah Bailey

    September 25, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    I have to admit I’ve not heard of the London Design Festival but it sounds like a really interesting event for those who are into design. I am glad to hear you had a good time.

  3. Ana De- Jesus

    September 25, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    The Bike Shed sounds dope and I love that it was all started by one guy who just wanted a cool bike club. The design festival sounds fab x

  4. Melanie

    September 25, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    The London design festival looks fab so many interesting things to see and also gain inspiration from:)x

  5. five little doves

    September 25, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Oh this sounds like a great event! I love things like this, I am fascinated by design, a whole festival sounds great!

  6. Elizabeth

    September 26, 2017 at 7:06 am

    This looks like a very inspiring event! So many pretty things to look at – and I love those bikes!

  7. Susan R

    September 26, 2017 at 9:27 am

    We chanced upon the Lee Broom Opticality exhibit last year too – I loved it!

  8. Patrick

    September 26, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Home decor sure gone upscale and this is the proof. Amazing stuff here,Louise!

  9. Rhian Westbury

    September 26, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Sounds like you had quite a full on day but the design festival sounds like fun x

  10. Joanna

    September 26, 2017 at 10:42 am

    It looks like you had an amazing day in London discovering many of the pieces installed in different parts on the city. The installations from Old Street looks very impressive!

  11. Laura H

    September 26, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    The Bike Shop sounds really cool and I’d love to visit! I’ve been to a couple of bike cafes before and the decor and vibe is always cool.

  12. Anosa

    September 26, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I am off to Shoredith this Friday and excited to see these places for myself, its awesome being able to attend events

  13. Angela Ricardo Bethea

    September 26, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    London design Festival sounds like a great time to witness awesome artworks from different artists. Though I’d certainly go to the Installations in Old Street to marvel at Asif Khan works.

  14. Leah Lander-Shafik

    September 26, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    I love the idea of this event – if you’re in to design then I guess this would be a little slice of heaven x

  15. Rebecca Smith

    September 26, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Sounds like a lovely event – I hadn’t heard of the London Design Festival before

  16. candice nikeia

    September 26, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    I would love to go to an event like this! Design is so interesting to me!

  17. MELANIE EDJOURIAN

    September 27, 2017 at 9:47 am

    The London design festival sounds really interesting. The bike shed sound great I bet it was a great site too see and interesting to have a look around and enjoy cocktails.

  18. Dannii

    September 27, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I haven’t heard of the design festival before, but having just moved house, I am much more internet in design than I was before.

  19. Baby Isabella

    September 27, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    We’d love to go to this festival, as my mummy has an interest in design being a graphic designer – did they have a 2017 exhibition too? Sounds great x

  20. Helen

    September 27, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    The Bike Shed looks amazing! I haven’t heard of the design festival but it sounds so interesting. I love the concrete clock; I think I would have had to bring that home with me!

  21. Sarah Ann

    September 27, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    I love the sound of the Bike Shed. My other half is a motorbike fanatic so he would love it.

  22. Ali - We Made This Life

    September 28, 2017 at 12:22 am

    I was in Shoreditch this time last week and I completely agree, it is such a cool place. The design festival sounds great.

  23. Lubka Henry

    September 29, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    This was one of my favourite festivals when I used to live in London. Shame I missed it this year, but hopefully next year I can catch it again.

  24. Becca Talbot

    October 4, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I actually went to a free tour in the V&A museum for the London Design Festival – there were some really interesting pieces included, such as the world’s first ever photosynthesis chandelier 🙂 unfortunately it’s no longer running, but I think you would have really enjoyed that, so maybe look out for it next year! x

    1. northerninteriorgirl

      October 7, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      HI Becca

      Yeah I was going to do lots more this year but after my entire running around London last year I got Bronchitis the week after I came back and I had it for 4 months! So I didnt want to push myself this time. I just a small bit but also did it with my family which was fun 🙂 x

  25. Holly

    October 5, 2017 at 10:59 am

    This sounds like such a brilliant event. I love the monochrome look.

    Holly x

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