How 1980s interiors are being re-discovered by designers too young to remember them first time around

As London Design Week kicks off, we looks at some of the highlights — including our own Giles Kime's look at the interiors of the 1980s.

Swagging, dragging and ruching are all wonderful things, except when they’re thrown together without much thought. That was often the case in the 1980s, with the result that interior design of the period is sometimes overlooked. Yet, increasingly, decoration of that time is offering a deep seam of inspiration for a new generation seeing it in a new light.

It was the era in which the British interior-design industry grew up, with the emergence of designers with a global reputation, notably Nina Campbell, whose high-profile clients and collections made her a household name. In 1981, The World of Interiors was born, offering a showcase of the more inventive denizens of the period, such as David Hicks, John Stefanidis, Geoffrey Bennison, Robert Kime, David Mlinaric and Anouska Hempel, whose house appeared on the cover of the first issue. Despite their different approaches, they all shared the same focus on good proportion, carefully considered colour palettes and styles that were distinctive, not derivative.

It is the inventiveness of that period that is now back in focus. At the forthcoming London Design Week, Country Life’s Executive Editor Giles Kime will ask two interior designers and one architect who are too young to remember the 1980s to describe the inspiration they find in the design of that decade. They are the artist and designer Minnie Kemp, who is currently transforming Bloomsbury Publishing’s London offices and working on a Firmdale Hotel in Tribeca, New York; Isabella Worsley, whose recent projects include Callow Hall, Derbyshire, and The Surprise in Chelsea; and Rupert Cunningham, a director of Ben Pentreath who specialises in private house design, restoration and interior architecture in the Classical tradition.

The Country Life event is at 3pm on March 16; tickets cost £10. There are plenty of other wonderful elements of the week to enjoy as well, as London Design Week 2022 presents a feast of creative inspiration, with new products, eye-catching displays and a full programme of talks and panel discussions.

Recommended videos for you

Highlights include an opportunity to join fashion and textile designer Dame Zandra Rhodes as she discusses Britannia, her new collaboration with silk-weaving house Gainsborough, and Firmdale Hotels’ supremo Kit Kemp on her joyful rug collaboration with Andrew Martin.

Her designer daughter, Minnie Kemp, will be in the Julian Chichester showroom revealing how to emulate a hotel experience in your own home. Interior designers Lucy Hammond Giles from Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, Adam Bray and Nicola Harding will give an insight into their use of pattern and colour to create harmonious yet characterful interiors, in a discussion hosted by House & Garden editor Hatta Byng.

Stone and tile company Artisans of Devizes hosts a panel discussion on trends and sustainability, as upholsterer Micaela Sharp shares her top tips for recovering furniture using Ben Pentreath’s new fabric collection, Cornubia for Morris & Co.

London Design Week, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, Lon- don SW10, runs from March 13–18 (020–7225 9166;