Spring Fair: fair enough?

It was too cold and snowy outside to be classed as a ‘Spring’ event in my books, however this years Spring Fair International held at Birmingham’s NEC was a bright and vibrant affair… a bit like Spring I guess?

If you have never been to the Spring Fair before, it is massive! All 20 of NEC’s halls were filled with vendors from all over the UK showcasing everything from home and garden furnishings to fancy dress costumes and greetings cards. After half an hour of wading through christmas decorations, valentines teddy’s and remote controlled helicopters I finally emerged in the Home interiors section where I found a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere.

At Interiors UK’s I found many traders were a bit ‘on edge’ and more interested in making business deals than chatting about their products, here I found I could chat away happily to people who were really passionate about what they were selling, here’s what I came across during my five-hour hike around the show.

Relatively new outfit This is Limited Edition produce Art prints, accessories, ceramics, cushions and furniture all manufactured in Britain and based on the work of an ever-expanding list of worldwide acclaimed artists and design studios.The variety of styles range from Street Art, Urban Art, Low-Brow, Illustration, digital art and more. As the name suggests each item is produced in limited numbers, so new designs are always coming out.

What I liked most were their hand-made chairs, they just like look so much fun!  Obviously they are not to everyone’s taste, but considering the huge fan base that these artists have and the collectible nature of their work, I think This is Limited Edition is onto a winner. Whilst not that popular in the UK yet, they have sold to lots of american celebrities, so as these pop up more and more in A-list ‘cribs’ I think we’ll be seeing more demand for furniture with this kind of unconventional upholstery.

Walking past Danish firm Au Maison’s stand I was instantly drawn to their collection of fabrics, cushions, curtains and rugs. Their textile designers are able to strike the right balance with their use of colours, prints, patterns and materials, avoiding that often sickly sweet ‘twee” style that seems so prevalent these days.

Readers of my Interiors UK reports will know of my appreciation for bean based floor seating, so I was glad to come across another British bean bag maker, Big Hug, who make a whole range of indoor /outdoor spongy seating options, ranging from the stool like Solo all the way up to the small bed sized Huddle.

Reproduction vintage, rustic and Industrial are still very popular styles, showing that a certain demographic continues to gravitate to products which evoke feelings of familiarity, security and optimistic nostalgia. Coach house, The Libra company and India Jane are prolific distributors of this type of product and all had large stands, but the one that stood out most to me was Libra who’s mid century and industrial furniture collections were quite striking. I got the impression that Libre were employing some bold designers who aren’t afraid to show a bit of grit.

A smaller manufacturer worth checking out is pr home who specialise in contemporary indoor and outdoor furniture. I found their designs stylish and modest. Everything looked so well made and could fit effortlessly fit in with so many settings.

Did anyone else make it to the Spring Fair? What caught your eye? Leave us a comment!

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1 Comment

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One response to “Spring Fair: fair enough?

  1. designcloseup

    Did not make it to the Spring Fair but glad you did as I found your report really informative and useful to me. I had heard about “This is Limited Edition before” and always been a bit of a fan of their art prints, cushions and even luggage. Glad I subscribed to your blog as I am definitely enjoying the contents!

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