Origin Design Show Review (London)

September 30, 2011

London Design Week was nothing short of dazzling this past week – D A Z Z L I N G! I was able to attend Origin, 100% Design and Decorex but also went over to FOCUS/11 at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour to check out what they had going on too. I missed Tent, but that’s okay because there is always next year for that… I must say though that I was honored to have been invited to speak at 100% Design, Decorex, FOCUS and at Anthropologie, too. It was a very busy week for me but the takeaway was that doing it was not only a great courage builder but I was able to make so many new friends and put names with faces from our big online community – which I view as more valuable than anything else. Additionally, each event had loads of interesting design and decorating products, trends, concepts – you name it, that you can’t walk away without finding something to catch your eye or sweep you completely away. For me, out of all of the events, the one that spoke loudest and grabbed my heart was the beautifully curated and presented Origin show at Old Spitalfields Market.

Origin Design Show Review (London)

My loot: An Abigail Brown bird

Origin Design Show Review (London)

My loot: Abigail Brown butterfly brooches

Origin Design Show Review (London)

My loot: A neon pink teacup print and a print on fabric by Rachel Eardley

Origin Design Show Review (London)

My loot: Jo Gordon wool scarf with big pom poms and striped mittens. Yes, I do spot a bright pink theme!

I’ve been wanting to attend for years so to be there for the first time felt like a mini dream come true. I went with my friends Sania and Leslie and we met up with Elisa. Walking around together, each of us making beelines to things that dazzled us, turning over items, holding them up, chatting to the makers… I found it such a “feel good” type of afternoon – the inspired meeting the creators, the makers… I am always interested in what friends are drawn towards. For Leslie it was stripes, wool, hot pink, white ceramics, wool patterned buttons and a hot pink tea cup printed onto a pretty piece of floral cloth. She also loved Abigail Brown’s work.

Origin Design Show Review (London)

Row 1: (L) Sania Pell, Elisa Rathje, Leslie Shewring (R) Claire Brewster, Row 2: (L) Row Pinto (R) Eileen Gatt.

For Sania it was anything gray, natural and tactile. She also seemed to be interested in shots of mustard though she was quite reserved while browsing, I suspected she was lost in her thoughts since a pro stylist like Sania combs such markets for products to mentally bookmark to buy or call in for future work.

Origin Design Show Review (London)

Row 1: (L) Shan Annabelle Valla (R) Sarah Morpeth, Row 2: (L) Sarah Morpeth (R) Ali Nash

After that show I was convinced that I need to return each year to peruse Origin because it was incredibly inspiring to me – but I wouldn’t want to go alone… Being with my friends made it so much nicer. I took some snaps with my iPhone camera of a few makers who caught my eye and thought I’d quickly share them with you. I hope you’ve liked seeing them. Please click on the links to learn more.

Origin Design Show Review (London)

Row 1: (L) Abigail Brown (R) Rachel Eardley, Row 2: (L) Rachel Eardley (R) Origin signage

Origin Design Show Review (London)

Row 1: (L) Esther Coombs (R) Ella Robinson, Row 2: (L) Abigail Brown (R) Abigail Brown, Row 3: (L) Shan Annabelle Valla (R) Shan Annabelle Valla.

Thank you ladies for a lovely afternoon at Origin. Until next year, cheers!

(images: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Lisa September 30, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Your day sounds like a slice of heaven – browsing and sharing with friends is so invigorating. I have to say, I’m with Sania here – lately I’ve been sooo drawn to grays, other neutrals. pales and texture with a capital T.

    That said, I covet your bright, cheery stripey/fair isle woolens – They look great “posed” on the natural linen-y couch.

  • Reply Rebecca September 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Looks like you had a great time! I was lucky enough to visit tent and origin last year, but origin I felt had the best atmosphere, all crafters all together and in Spitalfields too!x

  • Reply Danielle {fresh quince} September 30, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Wish I was back living in London right now. My mom would love it too.

  • Reply Laura September 30, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I really wish I could have made it this year, everything you’ve showcased looks amazing. Will have to make it next year. I’m looking forward to catching up with my friend who went. She’s a jewellery designer so it’ll be interesting to hear what caught her eye too.

  • Reply Britt September 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Oh my gosh! Cutest accents ever! I absolutely love the little bird and butterfly accents. Cute cute little things! I love London for finding treasures like these!

  • Reply Meg Sylvia September 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    So many lovely things..that Abigail Brown bird is just adorable!

  • Reply Kajsa September 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Thank you for spotlighting the Origin fair, very interesting to see how a handmade craft fair looks in London! It looks so inspiring and the products seem to be of such high quality. And I’m loving all that hot pink! I’ve been trying to find neon pink sewing thread, in vain unfortunately.

  • Reply vicki September 30, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Hi Holly! I agree….it’s fun to see what types of things your friends are drawn, too. Usually there’s similarities in what we like but their tastes are different enough from ours to make it interesting. :)

    I love Abigail Brown’s work, too! I interviewed her as one of the artists for my e-course. She’s also super kind and, of course, amazingly talented.

    Hope to see you if and when you come to Seattle for your next book tour…hint, hint. xo!

  • Reply Lucia September 30, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Ohh how many beautiful things! I fell in love with the white vases from Shan Annabelle Valla! I´m affraid I have to pay lot of taxes if I would like to by them and send them by post. I have to think how much it could be but I really like them!!!

  • Reply Hazel Schreiner September 30, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    How absolutely delightful!! I especially love the printed napkins… completely inspired!!

    :) Hazel

  • Reply Allison September 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Lovely finds. I am absolutely blown away by Abigail Brown’s work!

  • Reply sécia September 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Loving the neon pink.


  • Reply melinda September 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Sounds like a great time! I’m so in love now with the bird and butterflies by Abigail Brown, her stuff is adorable!

  • Reply Lisa Graham Art October 1, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Love Abigails birds…wow! Looks like a fun time!

  • Reply Mikala October 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I’d love the book titles/authors from the first photo!

  • Reply Kat October 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Hi holly
    I enjoyed seeing your iPhone pics pop up on instagram while you were there. It’s always special to see you with other bloggers I know like Leslie.
    Its the real and blog worlds coming together :)
    Your day browsing the fair was my idea of bliss. I hope very much to look around one myself in years to come.
    Abigails creations are amazing aren’t they, and the butterflies! You know they are my favourite of course!
    Kat x

  • Reply Minna_Blomsterverkstad October 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Ah. Thank you Holly for this report. It must have been fantastic to see everything irl. How I just love this blogging-world, you get to see so many things you would have missed otherwise. A big thanks! Hugs, Minna :)

  • Reply Laura Di Francesco October 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Everything is sooo inspiring here!
    Wonderful pics….. Thanks a lot for sharing.. <3


  • Reply Abbie October 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Aww!! Thank you so much Holly!… (and to Allison, Vicki and Meg for your lovely comments too)
    It was wonderful to meet you and I was delighted you wanted to take some of my work back home with you. You have such beautiful taste, it’s quite an honour to see my work up here!
    Glad you had such a great trip xx

  • Reply hena tayeb October 2, 2011 at 4:08 am

    There is just so much to love, i don’t even know what to say. The bird and the butterflies are precious.

  • Reply Carol Van Zandt October 2, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Love the bird, inspired me to start a new bird pinterest board!

  • Reply ArticulateArt October 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Love the white hanging decorations!

  • Reply Vanille October 3, 2011 at 1:49 am

    This little bird is such a treat ! I spotted papercuts of Sarah Morpeth too.
    Such an inspiration !

  • Reply La Petite Congolaise October 3, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Hi Holly,
    Great seeing you at Anthropologie – LOVE the book. Thank you for stopping by at the Re-Loved Lounge.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente October 3, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Oh my goodness….SO much goodness! I LOVE what you got and the bright pink running through it all. I adore A. Brown’s work and love that print on the fabric & the sweet tea cup print. Also your adorable mittens and scarf! Yum. I would love to tool around there with you sometime, so much fun! And such lovely ladies accompanying lovely YOU! So glad you had a great time! Thanks for sharing it with us hunnie!

  • Reply Mouse Illustration October 3, 2011 at 4:38 am

    One Word: Jealous! Love the butterfly brooches…..yes please :)

  • Reply fenny setiawan October 3, 2011 at 5:11 am

    I am completely in love with the work of Abigail Brown and will spend time to enjoy her work at the link that you share. I really appreciate your sharing today. Love.

  • Reply BODIE and FOU October 3, 2011 at 8:09 am

    oh wow Origins looks fab! I have to admit, I have never been there and this year with the new catalogue, I miss a lot of design events but I’m hoping to get there next year….assuming it’s once a year right? I’m loving this neon theme….it has been such a wonderful weekend weather like…it’s wonderful to hang onto a few summery themes a bit longer

  • Reply Abbie October 3, 2011 at 11:04 am

    The piece you weren’t sure of the origins of is by Claire Brewster:

  • Reply margarita October 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Origin is possibly one of my fav events in London, i have been going for years and this last one is the first I miss. Thanks for sharing some photos of it, I like abigail work’s very much too, so delicate and magical.

  • Reply Mary Middleton Design October 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Holly It was lovely to meet you again whilst you were in London – at Origin and Decorex. Your talk at Decorex was really great and so informative. I also saw Will, Arianna and co speak there too. The Origin show was gorgeous and I also took plenty of pics of Abigail Brown’s stand……… in fact posted about it just this morning

  • Reply Ito Kish October 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Creativity at its best!

  • Reply jenny+gra October 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Here’s my last workshop about screen printing with children, it was so fun :-)

  • Reply Weekend Project Girl October 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Wow! I am new to your blog, but your week sounded amazing. That is so exciting you were asked to speak for 4 different venues – congratulations!

    I’ve never heard of Origin before – it looks fantastic! Thanks for the pictures and opening a new door for me to explore! I love the hanging paper cut-outs!

  • Reply Angelia October 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Looks like a truly inspirational event. Stripes are the best, love the hot pink and grey.

  • Reply Maaike October 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Hi Holly, what inspiring little treats you all found! Great combinations in color and design.
    And…. I singed up for the e-course you are teaching with Leslie! I am so excited, can hardly wait for it to start on Friday.

    Have a wonderful week,
    love Maaike

  • Reply Itziar October 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Love crafting
    love people who sell their crafts
    i am gonna look for all these crafter you show here!

  • Reply able mabel October 4, 2011 at 12:11 am

    LOVE Abigail Brown’s style!

  • Reply Libby B. October 4, 2011 at 4:44 am

    The bird is too cute! What a talent–all in one place!

  • Reply Tamara October 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I think the uncredited papercut birds (next to the photo of Sania, Elisa and Leslie) are by Claire Brewster.

  • Reply Lella October 5, 2011 at 3:29 am

    I am totally in love with the little paper birdies. Your blog is delightful. :)
    Lella xx

  • Reply Claire Brewster October 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    The unknown photo of the birds is me, Thanks for including it!

    Great post about Origin.

    • Reply decor8 October 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      @Claire – THANK YOU, I’ve just added your link in!

  • Reply Steve October 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I just missed Origin, Im in London now (near Islington) and wanted to see more of this type of crafts… but the exhibitors seem to be from all over the UK, do you know of any galleries or stores of this style in central London? My partner loves decorating our showhomes with this style of art.

    Nice pic’s by the way.
    Thanks in advance.

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