I have been wanting to visit The Decorative Fair in Battersea for a long time, but have never been able to make the dates until last week. On the way up to town I felt like a small child about to enter a sweet shop and had been told to keep my hands firmly in my pockets! For I was here to see what the rest of the trade were up to and find out what was hot and what was not in the world of decorative antiques.
It was an eye-opener! To see the queue to get in and the chauffeur driven cars and taxis in long lines dropping off the curious and excited buyers. The buzz about the place had started to ripple through the crowd as the doors were opened and after a quick bag search we were off.
Jane’s camera was at the ready to capture the delights that were unfurling. The dealers had certainly kept the best of their stock for this event and the art of display was everywhere creating scenarios that drew you in visually. With decorative antiques, 20th century design classics, and Wunderkammer collector’s items! To you and me the items that are weird and wonderful and one collects to display. Basically all my delights were here rolled into one.
So what’s HOT? Mirrors were a re-occurring theme, but it has to be circular it appears. Less of the ornate frames and more mid 20th century. It’s all about how you use them, not what you look like in them that matters! Mirrors are being used to reflect light or a view. If you want to make a space feel much bigger you need a mirror.
Carrying on with the theme of glass. If your coffee or occasional table isn’t mid century and glass, then you’re not bang on trend. These design classics have seen a huge surge in the last couple of years and they are being snapped up.
It’s less about light and more about sculpture. From Arts and Crafts triffids to 1950’s Cocoa Cabana trees was a re-occurring theme. I have to admit the palm tree look isn’t something I’m going to be trying soon.
My favourite look was the interesting wall art. Collections of humble items were displayed in a creative way. When a painting won’t do a ceramic 19th Century Creamwear vegetable dish drainer will!
Decoy ducks were drawing in the crowds and a display with once humble items such as these 19th Century milliners wooden heads (pictured above), stood head and shoulders above all the rest!
Collections of art looked impressive when framed in the same way and laid out in a grid formation. They look stylish and really pack a punch.
The art of display was everywhere, from the theatrical effects to the simple and stylish. It also goes to show that not all objects have to be expensive. It’s how you work them together, more is more in this case.
Finishing touches also make all the difference and have a real eye for a detail.
What we once perceived as antiques, the dark furniture and the overly ornate and detailed, has really taken a back seat over the last 10 years.
What we once perceived as antiques, the dark furniture and the overly ornate and detailed, has really taken a back seat over the last 10 years. The look now is more eclectic, mixing in modern classics with social history objects. As with clothes, antiques have a fashion. It’s not how you wear them as much as how display them. I’d recommend visiting Battersea Decorative fair. You get a great number of exhibitors all under one roof from around the country, but it’s London with London prices, so go with deep pockets because you pay for the look.