Wow Factor

Words by
Jemma Sissons

21st April 2022

The inaugural WOW!house event at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour showcases world-class interior design. 


If your passion is interior design, or if you have a new project on the horizon, then WOW!house at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is a must-visit this summer. The specially commissioned showhouse will put a spotlight on the imaginative brilliance of some of the world’s leading designers as they individually create interior and exterior spaces that will amaze and inspire. It is a unique opportunity to see the work of internationally acclaimed designers and leading decoration brands first-hand. WOW!house will be imagined within a 400-sq-m showhouse constructed below the sweeping atrium of the Design Avenue. 

Participating brands at the time we went to press include Colefax and Fowler, Julian Chichester, Pierre Frey, GP & J Baker, Schumacher, de Le Cuona, Tissus d’Hélène, House of Rohl, Paolo Moschino and Morris & Co at Sanderson Design Group. Designers from Rita Konig to Campbell-Rey are also on board.


“The inspiring room schemes will unlock imaginations and encourage people to think outside the box, take chances and really consider what would spark joy in their own homes,” says Design Centre CEO Claire German. The talented conceptual sound artist Peter Adjaye will create a soundscape for the visitor journey through the WOW!house, while scent and touch will also play integral roles.

“It was a unique opportunity for the Colefax group to work together,” says Emma Burns, managing director of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. The Colefax and Fowler room will bring together a warm spectrum of pieces, from Rivoli cotton velvet for the walls to Atmosphere weave curtains. “Expect timeless elegance with a twist: bold, dark wall colours to give depth, traditional upholstery for maximum comfort, antique pieces for a layered feel,” says Burns.


Look forward to GP & J Baker’s collaboration with renowned designer Rita Konig, who is creating a “morning room” permeated with her relaxed signature motifs. “GP & J Baker’s Ferns chintz is a lifelong favourite of mine, and the version we will use is a new interpretation of this archive design as a wonderful embroidery,” says Konig: “It is great fun to be let loose in this way and I can’t wait to see the results.”

One of the most exciting unions is American design house Schumacher and zeitgeist duo Campbell-Rey. They describe their style as “joyful, accomplished, and elegant”, so expect big and bold. “The WOW!house initiative was something I had always wanted to create, particularly once our Design Avenue space was finalised,” explains German: “Our designers will have creative freedom, and we know we can expect a diversity of styles. This is a chance for them to design to their own brief, rather than to a client one, so it really is a clear canvas for brilliance.”


For German, WOW!house is part of a desire to “pioneer a sense of wonder, and to amaze and inspire by showing the world what achievements can be made when our talented industry comes together in such an ambitious and exceptional way.”


Ticket holders can make a day of visiting Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, which offers restaurants, including a new Social Pantry eatery, and underground and accessible parking.

A proportion of revenue from WOW!house Early Bird special tickets, £20, will be contributed to the Design Centre’s chosen charity, Centrepoint, the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity. Committed to ending youth homelessness by 2037, Centrepoint provides homeless young people with accommodation, health support and life skills to get them back into education, training, and employment.

Book your tickets at this link: