THE EXHIBITION

 
 

The International Interior Design Exhibition (iide) comes to Brussels with heritage.  First launched in London by Fleur Rossdale as The British Interior Design Exhibition (BIDE) during the 1980's and 1990's, the event was highly acclaimed as a ground breaking showcase for the design industry.  With 30,000 international visitors to each, the exhibition helped propel interior design into the limelight, receiving worldwide press coverage and an insatiable demographic of private clients, hoteliers, designers and developers.  Fleur says ‘Good design has a vital role to play in our everyday lives.  It can improve how we live and function, be it at home, in the workplace, in education or on holiday.  Interiors set a mood, portraying an identity that should feel enhancing and harmonious.’  Fleur, an active interior designer herself, chose Brussels for the re-launch due to the cultural heritage, not least as founders of the Art

Nouveau movement. 'Decoration is all about bringing together skilled workmanship, colour, texture and fine art to create a melodious interior to enhance our everyday lives', she says.  

Fleur received much fan mail from visitors in the early days, in particular praising how they found a particular design style they related to, previously unknown to them.  

IIDE follows the ethos of past experience.  Showcasing ten Belgium and international designers, presenting their interior design vision to inspire our visitors.

Designers and selected suppliers will be on hand to discuss ideas in an informal atmosphere with all items on display available for sale or to order. 

 

EXHIBITION HISTORY

THE BRITISH INTERIOR DESIGN EXHIBITION

by Fleur Rossdale

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The original British Interior Design Exhibition debuted in London in 1982. In hindsight, the 1980s became known as the 'designer decade,' but in those early years the capital was a very different place. The city was tired and run-down, with slow economic growth and a distinct lack of investment. Public buildings were blackened with pollution and the great regeneration plans that transformed the city's docklands and vanished industry had yet to start. Yet there were green shoots; The iconic interiors publication The World of Interiors made its debut in 1982 into a market starved of design publications and I was excited to establish the BIDE as Europe's first high end interior design exhibition, which welcomed the public. My concept was to invite interior designers to showcase their skilled palate of soft furnishings, lighting, works of art and fine furniture as perfectly balanced settings. The exhibition inspired visitors to either purchase art or decorative pieces, take away ideas or engage the designers directly.  

In today’s highly charged design landscape, it is hard to believe that interior design barely existed as a discipline in the early 1980s. I like to feel that the exhibitions I staged helped change perceptions, visitors realising that working with professionals saved both time and costs.  The enthusiasm for the home environment generated during the time of these London exhibitions reached a wide and highly receptive audience. 

BIDE brought exhibitors multiple projects from private clients, hoteliers, retail stores and developers.  Leading Estate Agents saw the benefit of highly decorated show-flats to sell new-build property at premium prices.

The pioneering mix of design with fine art over the 15 year span of the exhibitions helped fuel the return to the quality of design that had arrived in London from the US with the establishment of Colefax & Fowler in the early 20th Century.  BIDE forged this established relationship between interior designers and fine art, investment and aesthetics going hand in hand.  

The interior design industry began to boom during this new generation era with Great Britain acknowledged for good taste and style. Early exhibitors at BIDE included David Hicks, Mary Fox Linton, Colefax & Fowler and John Pawson, with overseas guests including Parish Hadley from the USA and Garouste & Bonetti from France.  

I am very happy to be staging IIDE in Brussels, a city I have come to love and where I now live.  I hope that local visitors and those from further afield will venture out to IIDE and enjoy the cultural experience of interior design in this great capital city.

 
 
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THOMAS WOODHAM-SMITH: 

Founder of MASTERPIECE, Royal Hospital, Chelsea: 

“Fleur is a legend in the design world.”

ALIDAD: 

Renowned International Designer, London: 

"Fleur is a consummate professional and it was a pleasure to work with someone who clearly loves what she does, and excels at it. I would very much recommend the exhibition to other designers for the wealth of opportunities it presents.'

 

JOHN PAWSON:

Renowned International Minimalist Architect, London:

“I was part of Fleur’s British Interior Design Exhibition in London in the 1980s. The strength of Fleur’s vision defined the event and made participation a real pleasure for me...”

 
 
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