Trends in interior design and decoration took centre stage in a panel discussion at the LAPADA conference recently.
The four leading designers taking part in the debate all agreed antiques were essential to give character to a room but dealers needed to ‘lighten up’ to make older furniture more accessible to the public.
The discussion, including the designer, curator and author Suzanne Trocmé, the internationally-renowned designer Nina Campbell, Gabby Deeming the decoration editor of House & Garden and Ros Byam Shaw the former features editor of World of Interiors was part of the LAPADA conference at the House of Lords.
It explored current trends in interior design and how art and antiques of different eras could be blended into modern schemes, as well as tips for effective presentation in a retail or fair environment.
Ros Byam Shaw admitted fashion played a role in the current antiques market with the Venetian mirrors and Victorian glass display domes currently giving way to the new trend for the wunderkammer – or a cabinet of curiosities.
There was also a current trend towards darker colours for walls which made a good setting for brown furniture, she added.
When is came display stands at fairs, dealers should opt for fresher, brighter upholstery and avoid the perceived ‘safe option’ of white linen.
The panel also backed the idea of exhibitors mixing their offering at fairs, so one dealer’s antique furniture might be displayed with a contemporary painting from another specialist.