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On the Pulse of gorgeous mid-season product trends

Anyone with an interest in discovering hot new design talent, future trends and retail inspiration should be making a beeline for Pulse, which next takes place on May 13 – 18 at London’s Olympia.

This fabulous boutique exhibition, organised by Clarion Events, works with world-class trend agency – Unique Style Platform – to help forecast the trends that will be shaping retail in the seasons ahead, selecting from a show floor that is always rich in exclusive emerging designers and new and unusual products.

Pictured above are lovingly hand-crafted Spice Spoons by South African artisan, Ebonymoon, which also offers copper straws, the perfect alternative to plastic.

Pictured above is the leather embossed Abstract Samosa Purse collection, handmade in Scotland by Ark Colour Design in a rainbow of colour.

For this year’s show Unique Style Platform has pinpointed four easily translatable macro trends, with something to suit the style of most gift and home retailers, from the fun and kitsch to the atmospheric and ethereal via timeless luxury and rustic crafts. The trends are: Candied, The Library, Crafted and Inner Balance.

Candied is multi-sensory, sickly sweet, hyper real, unsettling and kitsch. Dripping, melted surfaces combine with iridescent shine to form a strange and subversive, yet hyper-feminine mood. Candy colours and ice cream pastels clash, creating a sweetly sinister palette. Bubblegum and pale pink combine with mango, lemonade and a soft coral, while bright magenta, cyan, vibrant violet and fresh spearmint provide a bright pop.

There is a lot of kitsch product around that fits the Candied trend but these fabulous Alphabet Eye Masks by talented designer, Jessica Russell Flint, take the idea to a new level. We also love this cool, eco-friendly glitter by Disco Dust London – life is complete!

The Library trend is intellectual, eclectic, enriching, timeless and thoughtful with a luxurious mood, blending the past with the present and combining fine art with a retro 1970s feel. Supple leathers and rich interior fabrics inspire tones of warm cinnamon and chocolate brown, contrasting with deep violet and a saturated amparo blue. A greyed off duckegg provides a neutral base, while vibrant coral and canary yellow add a bold pop. These cute, geometric trinket dishes by Rosa Pietsch are calling to our inner librarian.

This wonderful Crane Desk Lamp by Animaro (pictured below) the would also look good in The Library. This elegant movable lamp, inspired by the shape of the Crane bird extending its neck to catch prey, is handcrafted from solid hardwood and brass. Animaro works with solid woods and precision machined metal. We think this is an instant design classic.

Crafted items are homespun, unfiltered, repurposed, simple and comforting, made of rustic materials with handmade objects and an appreciation for heritage and sustainability. Vintage and time-worn mid-tones, dominated by a dusty heather, are contrasted with a rich plum and deep chestnut. Warm cream and mint work as neutrals, while berry adds a pop of brightness.

With eco-issues high on the agenda, The Beeswax Co. hits the sustainable spot with reusable waxed food wraps and other lovely, homespun items that are great for the environment.

Keeping with the buzz is The Artisan Bee Co (pictured below), whose copper resin tealights are made with hand dried flower petals suspended in eco resin with copper metallic flakes which add a warm glow to any room when lit. The copper holder is made from recycled plumbing materials and holds a standard tea light.

All  The Artisan Bee Co items – many of them eco-friendly and vegan – are handmade in their London studio.

Inner Balance is based on spiritual, mystical, transcendental and celestial themes, where dream-like landscapes and ethereal, elemental surfaces inform an otherworldly mood that is both serene and uplifting. Crystals and gemstones inspire shades of amethyst, malachite and rose quartz, while muted lime, melon and antique white add freshness to the palette. Semi-precious stones and crystals influence fashion, jewellery and homeware, inspiring elemental surfaces and materials. The night sky informs decoration, with pattern and motifs referencing celestial bodies and the power of astrology.

These gorgeous bee-design earrings (above) by White Leaf / Last True Angel strike the right inner balance in our book, as do these pretty Marbled Circle Necklaces, the result of a collaboration between Esoteric London and Paperwilds.

Designer jewellery is a strong category for Pulse and many pretty and unusual pieces drew our attention as we scoured the exhibitor list for the latest on-trend products. The Dear Prudence Animalium collection of gold and silver jewellery is based on illustrations by designer Laura Park, who hand makes all her pieces in Hebden Bridge. Also available from this designer are greeting cards and stationery.

Greetings and Stationery in general is another well-represented category at Pulse and it’s hard to select favourites from such a strong selection of publishers.

Pictured here is the Christmas Greenery Collection by Catherine Lewis Design, printed on A6 luxury 300gsm textured card, with gold / copper foil packed with a Kraft envelope. Catherine Lewis Design is a botanical brand founded by Catherine Edwards in 2016 in Cardiff. This range sits well alongside The Library trend whilst perfectly tapping the wider macro trend for all things botanical and green on black, as seen at Paperworld in January.

Equally pretty but very different in style is A Saharan Christmas Collection, pictured above, which offers a very refreshing take on the festive theme with sweet African animals getting involved with decorations.

We also love this colourful and refreshing Spot Notecard collection by Elvira van Vredenburgh Designs.

Pulse is designed for buyers who are searching for the next must-have product and the freshest design talent. It is a show where trends are born and you can discover the next best sellers that will enhance your stores offering. The 2018 edition of Pulse takes place this 13-15 May at Olympia London, make sure you save the date.

 

You can tell we’re bookworms because we are still rooted in The Library. These unusual clocks by Cubic will help make sure we don’t spend too long studying!

 

During your visit to the show make sure you stop by the exclusive presentation from University Arts London (UAL), where the university will present a hand-picked selection of design products, created by 13 of its students and alumni at the show this May. Many have never exhibited at a trade show before, making UAL’s stand the place to discover the names to watch in design. The stand will feature a diverse range of products, from furniture and household products, through to handbags and scarves, prints and stationery. We love the fun, flamboyant designs of House of Hopstock, pictured below.