The Insider: How to navigate the London Design Festival

Kate Burt
Monday 10 October 2011 16:00
Gothic Chairs by Studio Job, £249
Gothic Chairs by Studio Job, £249

London's annual Design Festival (LDF) is a sprawling affair: 200-plus events, from exhibitions to shopping, across multiple locations from 17 to 25 September. As the event descends on the capital again this month, where to start?

The knowledge

Creativity champion It's Nice That publishes a Design Festival special, available from 17 September at Read, too, from Katie Treggiden, an official LDF blogger last year, who has just posted her 2011 guide.

Do your own thing

"Don't be distracted by what others are doing," advises Treggiden. "It's easy to feel that you're missing out on something, but so much is going on that it's unavoidable."

Postcode lottery

"Do east London one day and west/central another," suggests Jimmy MacDonald, director of Tent Exhibitions (, an LDF event heavy on "younger, edgier and less-expensive" designers. "Tent [East] provides a chance to pick up a designer piece before it hits the high street."

These old things? Of those involved, Re-Loved Lounge (African/Caribbean-inspired upcycling) looks as though it should be inspiring ( while will turn waste into swish homewares in King's Cross.

Plan, plan, plan

Use's interactive calendar to cut a swathe through it all and get to where you want to go fast.

Get lost Alternatively, you could just wander around each design district (Covent Garden, Clerkenwell, Fitzrovia, Shoreditch and Brompton), which might just be the best way to spot a hidden gem. "Keep your eyes open," says Treggiden. "There are always things that didn't make it into the guide."

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at

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