CDW 2019: Top Interior Design Trends

After a whirlwind Clerkenwell Design Week that saw two of our clients offer a jam-packed schedule of activity to visitors over the three-day event, we’ve had time to reflect on our experience.  

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the internationally renowned design festival was bigger and busier than ever before. And though our clients’ events kept our team busy, we managed to find the time for a quick whip-round to soak up some inspiration.

With so much creativity on offer, we were hard-pressed to pick out our favourite exhibitors – though some key themes truly stood out. So, without further ado, here are our trend highlights:


With sustainability increasingly a priority for design briefs, it’s perhaps no surprise that exhibitors opted to showcase their green credentials at CDW.

From reborn materials to innovative uses for pre-loved items, brands were as focused on their environmental conscience as they were their creativity.

The BottleHouse™ installation by small & WSP Design Studio caught the attention of passers-by with its glistening structure made from discarded plastic bottles – a feat of impressive architectural engineering. Offering a shelter for those that seek it, the installation provided a fun and functional solution to issues surrounding plastic waste and homelessness.

BottleHouse at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

Health & Wellbeing

As well as being concerned with the protection of the planet, some brands focused their attention on the many ways that the planet positively impacts people.

Leading flooring manufacturer, Tarkett, transformed its showroom into a celebration of ‘The Great Indoors’. With a programme of activity ranging from art therapy workshops, to smoothie bikes and a botanical cocktail evening complete with terrarium making, guests were fully immersed in the benefits of bringing elements of the outdoors in.

The festival also saw the launch of Tarkett’s UK-focused research report Rethinking Workplace, which explores the wants and needs of office workers from a health and wellbeing perspective. Tarkett invited leading authorities to discuss the findings, including Evelien Reich (Editor, Elle Decor NL) and Julian Ellerby (Strategy Director, FranklinTill).

Terrarium making at Tarkett

Muted Tones

Taking inspiration from the natural colour palette of the world around us, minimalism for maximum impact was top of the agenda for many brands at CDW.

Used in conjunction with delicate sculpting, Hermine Doublon produced subtle yet nevertheless beautiful objects that appeared to have come straight from the earth.

Pluck London, on the other hand, combined a pared back palette with darker marbling to create attention-grabbing kitchen surfaces. Juxtaposed against yellow cabinetry that popped against the understated worktops, a bold yet balanced aesthetic was achieved.

Pluck London surfaces at CDW 2019


A trend that has continued to garner interest over the past 18-months, designers now expect to be able to provide personalised solutions to their clients easily and affordably. This is especially true of the workplace sector – Tarkett’s Rethinking Workplace highlighted the need for greater customisation in offices – and it’s rapidly spreading across other sectors, as demonstrated at CDW.

Over in Design Fields, Roger Lewis responded directly to this market need with its industry-leading app, The Customizer. Allowing designers to apply their creativity to the online tool, unique patterns can be printed onto the finest fabric before being hand-upholstered by the skilled team to their classic Sintra chair.

Kicking off the launch by inviting three pilot companies: HASSELL Studio, Peldon Rose and Tribe Furniture to trial the app and create their own designs, it was the HASSELL team that reigned supreme in The Customizer Challenge. Their creation The Blueprint combined Bauhaus elements with a bold colour palette, catching the eyes of passersby.

Roger Lewis stand at CDW 2019


The trend that keeps on giving, geometrics have been a firm interior favourite for some time now. Whether paired with an understated colour palette, or enhanced with bold, brash brights, it’s a sure-fire win for attracting visitors to a stand thanks to the sheer Instagram-ability of the multi-sided shapes.

Pairing this with the current workplace personalisation theme, Intarc Design showcased its engaging storage solution. Comprising a honey-comb structure with removable stools, boxes and shelving, each client can completely adapt the unit to suit their unique needs.

Intarc Design at CDW 2019

With the show’s doors closed for another year, we expect to see these trends filter through the commercial interiors industries over the next 12-months, and beyond. If there are any trends you spotted that we have missed then please drop us a line on social media!

If you exhibited at CDW and are not sure how to continue your product’s narrative now the festival has come to an end, check out our guide on how to convert in-show engagement into commercial success: Conversations After Clerkenwell.

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