The Autumn Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair will take place in Battersea Park from October 22 to 25, the organisers of the event have announced.
More than 140 leading specialist dealers in British and European design, decorative and fine antiques and art will gather at London Evolution, the airy double-height marquee in leafy Battersea Park. They will present an exceptional selection of stock, ranging in date from the 17th century to the 1970s. The Fair is a popular shopping destination for interior decorators, collectors and design cognoscenti looking for unusual and beautiful furniture, lighting, mirrors, accessories, textiles and works of art, at approachable prices.
“As it has been for many in the creative industries, lockdown was tough for the art and antiques trade. We are so glad we’ll be able to offer the first major retail platform in nearly seven months for dealers, all of whom run small independent businesses,” said Jane Juran, Organiser. “We know our exhibitors have been busy searching for exciting new stock to share with their interiors clients and regular private buyers, and there will plenty of affordable accessories and art for our younger visitors, who love to discover out of the ordinary objects at the Fair to take home.”
Darren Hudson, fellow fair organiser, said: “For 35 years, the Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair has been a crucial date in the calendar of antiques dealers, and is now the most important event in the UK for the business end of the trade. Our team is working extremely hard to ensure a safe and happy event for all.”
The event will also be filmed to offer a virtual online Fair, walking the aisles and making accessible to view every stand from the comfort of home or office. Favourite stands can be accessed directly from an interactive floorplan, so regular customers unable to attend can browse and buy direct from the dealer. The Organisers are also launching a Personal Shopping Service for trade customers, working with experienced agents accustomed to handling shipping and export, and an in-house service (which carries a pre-payable booking fee) for UK customers unable to attend in person.
The organisers have highlighted a range of interior trends that will be displayed at the Autumn Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair.
Homely cottage style – the latest aesthetic buzz during lockdown revolved around cosy cottage style (referred to in the US as “cottagecore”), associated with a simpler, hearth and home-focused life: get the look with pretty printed vintage fabrics in florals and indigo hues, and relaxed antique French linens for dining room and bedroom; pottery flower vases, traditional decorated jugs and coloured glass; creamware ceramics for the kitchen, and copper pots and pans; vintage cake-stands, silver tea pots and Staffordshire platters; decorative rugs, and cosy cottage armchairs; antique milking stools and rope seats (perfect small side-tables); rush-bottomed ladder-backs or the welcome embrace of woven Orkney chairs; vintage churns and washing dollies (great as planters).
Brown is definitely back – traditional, beautifully-crafted antique furniture in woods such as walnut, mahogany and cherry has made a strong come-back. It is a perfect foil to colour and pattern – and perhaps has comforting associations with a grand-parents’ house. Chests of drawers provide generous storage; consoles and centre tables have made a revival (the scent of beeswax and lavender polish…), as well as practical Pembroke and sofa tables (perfect for side-lamps and a drink, displaying a vase of flowers or burgeoning book collections). Prices are often pleasantly surprising compared to contemporary designer furnishings.
Classic country house – many crave the reassurance of old-fashioned ease and remembrances of times past. At The Decorative Fair find china in Willow Pattern or sprigged florals displayed on dresser shelves; French confit jars, stoneware pots and hand-carved burrwood bowls; generous upholstery covered in chintz, and wing-back chairs by the fire; proper wooden dining chairs; the faded grandeur of tapestry footstools and ottomans; whatnots and wall shelves; portraits and country paintings; scrubbed kitchen tables and antique brass candlesticks; vintage florist buckets and Sussex trugs for the flower room.
Garden rooms – spending more time at home has increased demand for a space that brings in the feeling of outdoors. Rattan and wicker furniture is as popular as ever, and vintage examples prove hugely cost-effective compared to newly-handmade pieces, which tend to replicate classic designs in any case. A traditional French patisserie table (scrolled iron base, cool marble top) makes a perfect display area for greenery and herbarium. Or seek out metal étagères and antique bakery shelving to house trailing plants and geraniums. Vintage garden artefacts such as old pottery planters, painted metal urns and cloches, and well-worn wooden implements hung on the wall augment the look.
Garden love – for anyone blessed enough to have a garden, balcony or courtyard, outside space is more precious than ever, and deserving of decorative attention: a piece of statuary, a vintage fountain, a stone animal sculpture or a garden mirror made from re-purposed antique window frame to bring light and added perspective. Ornamental urns, planters and troughs are always found at the Fair, along with garden furniture and a multitude of unusual outdoor decoration.