Painting the town red -on day 4 of London Design Week

The busiest week of the year is now in full swing here in London and the idfx team have been painting the town red (hopefully the new hot colour). Tuesday evening was balmy and beautiful and the perfect start to a week of frantic networking (aka partying). The Alternative Plans soiree lived up to its well-deserved reputation for great hospitality with an oriental theme to the food and drinks. We sipped sparkling sake and gazed lovingly (or should that be covetously?) at the kitchens from Italian brands Modulnova and Strato, both new to the UK and destined to be a must-have addition to the rash of ultra luxury pads that are springing up all over the capital. A single kitchen sat in a perspex jewellery box on the piazza outside the showroom with the river and sunset in the background - sigh. After that it was a quick dash across town for more oriental entertainment, sharing a delicious dinner at China Tang with Kelly Hoppen and the always up-for-it Graham and Brown team, launching Kelly's new collection of papers for the UK's best known wallpaper manufacturer. The collection includes some bold use of colour, including red, especially from a designer whose reputation still seems saddled with the 'beige' tag. Clerkenwell was buzzing with parties on every corner including the new Kohler showroom on Clerkenwell Road and the always striking Kvadrat showroom near Old Street. We don't want to sound too design fixated but we're not all about parties and new products are always guaranteed to get our pulses racing. We were particularly taken with the striking new pieces from US manufacturer Bernhardt from designers Noe Duchaufour-Lawrence, Monika Forster and Scottish newcomer Jephson Robb (great red upholstery!) plus a new collection of very clever door furniture for the Ize brand designed by Terence Woodgate. We don't want to sound too design fixated but we're not all about parties and new products are always guaranteed to get our pulses racing. We were particularly taken with the striking new pieces from US manufacturer Bernhardt from designers Noe Duchaufour-Lawrence, Monika Forster and Scottish newcomer Jephson Robb (great red upholstery!) plus a new collection of very clever door furniture for the Ize brand designed by Terence Woodgate. The handles are the ultimate in simplicity in terms of form and proportion - a refreshing change in the sometimes macho world of door furniture design - but the fun is in the function which allows the round 'knob' to mimic the lever function of a handle. A witty detail which is sure to please design purists. As usual in the London Design Festival there is so much to talk about - we'll be back shortly with more products and more gossip from around town. Kate Burnett, idfx editor

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