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Clerkenwell Design Week 2019…30,000 steps, lots of coffee and tons of inspiring furniture

Well, that’s it for another year. Some 30,000 steps, several cups of coffee and hundreds of photos later, here’s our key highlights and themes from #CDW 2019.

This year there were few “stop the front page, this is new” moments. It felt more like an organic extension of themes that have been bubbling for a while, and I guess organic is a pretty apt word for one of the main themes. Biophilia, recycled, welbeing and sustainable were all integral to virtually all of the showrooms we visited. What felt good is that this wasn’t in a “look at us, we’re doing it too” way; it genuinely felt like companies were taking it seriously and using biophilia and recyclability in a really authentic way. Anyway, enough words, pictures are worth thousands of them. So here we go.

One of the standouts was this wonderful meeting table & chair set. A collaboration between environmental organisation Plastic Whale and Vepa Furniture, this is amazingly made out of plastic fished out of the Amsterdam canals. Initiatives are spreading globally, so we could soon have Thames bottles making our furniture. Based on the shapes & lines of a Blue Whale, the chairs resemble the tail, whilst the table has a “blowhole” down the middle allowing access to cables ports & power. Take a look at their website here for some serious inspiration on how one person’s vision has shaped a culture. KI also showed their Postura Plus Chair in Black, which is now 100% made of recycled plastic and all of the range are totally recyclable.

Orn Furniture have launched this slick modular Konnect storage wall with plants and moss panels. And yes. the moss is real and incredibly tactile. We’re seeing more & more how companies want to create “zones” to divide up an open plan space; keeping the look & feel of openness and collaboration but recognising the need for individual space and breakout zones. These units are ideal to help divide a space but not a team. Orn also showed off nicely its new Ikon Chair, upholstered in Panaz’s edgy new recycled fabrics.

Ocee always turn up trumps in their showroom and these biophilic panels are stunning. Again, great to softly divide up working areas and provide acoustic absorption. They continued their green theme with this fabulous Poseur Table with plant space above. Really casual and relaxed.



Good to catch up at  Wycombe 21 who have this gorgeous Bamboo meeting table and stools. 100% sustainable. We don’t often see Bamboo in workplace furniture so this really stood out.








We really noticed a move towards more homelike, softer office interiors. There’s no more horrible a word than “resi-mercial” but this is kind of what it is….office furniture that wouldn’t look out of place at home. Perfect for those “we need an office that doesn’t look like an office” briefs we get. Ocee created this beautiful breakout area that feels like a lounge (as kids, our family home had a “best” room which was for our parents and best occasions. These two sister chairs look fabulous and really create a personable space with oodles of personality. Offecct’s gorgeous carry on stool just makes you want to melt into the workspace, with a similar colour palette to Senator’s beautiful meeting table with a mix of task chairs and stools.

Rigg continued the theme with this powder blue table, with pink edging & oval lime base, and Pledge really landed it with their asymmetric breakout stools and rounded booth. Great soft shapes that still mean business but inject fun into functionality.

Finally it was all about interaction and engagement. Sven’s Happy Rocker Chair can’t fail to bring a smile to your face and is incredibly comfortable. We also loved their V shaped meeting & training table, great for interactive sessions. And Bisley launched their Moving Walls; stunning whiteboard & acoustic panels that are easy to move and lock into place. To finish off they also have write on tables…what a great idea for training or creative sessions.

There was lots more. The new Grafton Chair from KI deserves a feature in its own right, it’s going to be huge. This year CDW felt very much like the furniture that was on offer – mellow, relaxed, inviting and engaging. We loved it and came back totally inspired. If you’d like more information on the furniture featured here, or other ways to create a brilliant and inspiring workspace, I’d love to chat on 01844 299344 or hello@huddlefurniture.co.uk

Made up to get a pic with the iconic Mary Portas!