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How Design Shanghai 2017 inspired global interior trends

Design Shanghai 2017 earlier this year saw the hot new interior trends coming out of China alongside master designers from the wider world. Leading Chinese design brands such as: Frank Chou Design Studio, Haostyle and MATSU took their place alongside established western design brands including: Cole & Son, Swarovski and DuPont Corian; while emerging and established artists showcased interactive installations and design work to delight and inspire.

Design Shanghai 2017
Design Shanghai 2017

The annual event attracts more than 46,000 visitors from 70 countries and showcases designers and architects from across Asia and the west; as such, has earned its place alongside the established global design events. Design Shanghai serves as a design exchange with Chinese designers influencing the wider world while global designers use it as an opportunity to influence the Chinese market.

Property developers, hotel groups, buyers, retailers, designers and design media flock to explore the furniture and home essentials on offer as well as see how interior themes can be brought to life. Within months of the expo, London had started to see its themes appearing in residential apartments. For landlords, the design themes are an opportunity to incorporate significant elements into their properties to attract the interest of discerning professional tenants.

Stephen Walter
Stephen Walter collaboration

The trick is to effortlessly work those trends into interior schemes. This year’s focus was on the innate beauty of the materials and modular or angular designs that are particularly useful for small spaces. Newmor presented its newest designer collaboration with artist Stephen Walter for example that showcased the beauty of the wood grain and the simplicity of repetition. Polished concrete floors bring a conflicting, yet appealing, idea of industrial luxury – something that London saw as a huge trend in the following months; floors, work surfaces and table tops all appeared in polished concrete to great effect. For a landlord, this use of the material is also robust and durable, proving great value for money in a rental property.

Installations such as ‘Fine Distance’ focused on: “the large surface of neutral colours, marble textures and pleating bringing detailed beauty into products”. For landlords the trend translates to nude, neutral walls, more polished concrete, marble used so that the beauty of its grain can be fully appreciated and pleated or finely folded fabric and paper details on accessories such as lampshades.

Cornerstone’s commission from Producks design studio looked at how products could be adapted to different cultural settings such as this Chinese inspired screen or room divider. Again the beauty of the marble is set off by the simplicity of the shapes. For a landlord, marble is a durable and beautiful material, it offers tenants a high quality finish that raises both the standard and desirability of the property.

Frank Chou Design
Frank Chou Design

Finally, sleek and stunning modular furniture such as Frank Chou Design Studio’s exhibits are small-space must-haves for city living. With more people sacrificing space for location, landlords are looking for clever ways to ensure that smaller properties are still aspirational, sophisticated modular furniture is key to attracting high-end professional tenants.

Design Shanghai is only in its fourth year but its influence on global interior design is significant. Within months, the style and furnishing concepts were in evidence in London interiors making a bold statement in rental and residential properties.

For further advice on how to make the most of your London property investment, why not book a London property seminar today? Our directors will visiting Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia during our Director Trip in July and are available for private consultations at the link above.


About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents.  With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 19 prominently located branches and 8 international offices.