Better late than never, last month I visited the Independent Interiors Show – an understated event in Manchester to showcase what the North had to offer in the ways of home interiors.
I’ve not visited anything like this before. Sure, I’ve been to trade shows through previous jobs, and I did visit the Northern Home Show with Joe earlier this year, which was a large-scale event, with big brand names exhibiting and salesmen ready to offer you 10% if you order on the day. You know the sort.
This event was different. Firstly, I took my sister along instead of Joe. Secondly, the focus was more on independent businesses, in it because they had a passion for the industry. The event was held at 2022NQ in Manchester’s Northern Quarter which I adore, and it was a lovely afternoon wandering round, getting idea, chatting to the interior designers and even meeting some other interiors bloggers.
Here were some of my favourite finds from the day:
Flitty Bird had this gorgeous stall made with old rustic looking wooden crates, alongside cutesy crockery and teapots. I loved how they had what Joe would describe as “bits and bobs” on sale, including quirky and unusual fixtures and knobs, which particularly caught my eye as I’m looking to take on some of my first furniture reclamation project on soon. Watch this space…
Jorga Wilkinson Design was so bright and interesting with home materials made with unusual and retro fabrics. So often I am looking for plain old patterned furniture so that it just blends in with the background, but when I want something different, I like it to be bright and unique. And you know what, it’s not often enough that items such as lampshades are made a special feature in a room. This lobster lamp which you can see below was one of my favorite finds of the day and fits perfectly alongside the clean bedroom furniture I picture in my mind for our spare bedroom, when we get around to decorating it. I’ll see if I can persuade Joe that we need to get this lamp.
What might look like a bit of a doodle below, was actually a wire sculpture from Helaina Sharpley, and whilst my abysmal cameraphone images don’t even slightly do the exhibition justice, I think these teacup designs would look so adorable in any rustic kitchen hanging on a distressed white cabinet. Too cute.
Liz Foster Design was actually the only name I had heard of before thanks to these ‘The North’ cushions which I’ve longed for since I first saw them online months ago. I like that they’re pretty, good quality and feel nice, yet have a bit of personality in them.
Sadly, there were loads more which I didn’t catch the name of or didn’t have chance to take a picture. I just loved everything. There were demonstrations of paints and potteries for those who are a bit more hands on and want to create something amazing for themselves, and there were plenty of memorable ‘finishing touches’ pieces which I’d love to one day get my hands on – such as an artpiece from Manchester Mosaics, something I’ve always considered as a Mancunian design thanks to the art dotted around the city, including the mosaics on the likes of Affleck’s Palace.
Inspirit also caught my eye, as I watched the designer dig through crates and crates of industrial metal pieces, clearly thrown out by others, but to her they were recycled and reborn as bespoke furniture. I particularly loved her reclaimed wooden mirrors made from a grey oak I believe, and her candlestick holders constructed from metal piping. I wish I had her vision to find something amazing in what was once a heap of junk.
I seriously enjoyed the day and whilst I haven’t mentioned everyone that caught my eye, it’ll just give me more reason to go back next year, which if I’m right, is already being planned. If you’re ‘oop North’ as we say, you should give it a go. I’ll be there for sure.