Making an entrance at Wow House

Zoffany and Benedict Foley present the exemplary entrance hall for WOW!house

Staged as the ultimate showhouse at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, WOW!house is an opportunity for designers and brands to immerse visitors in a journey. Each space is unique in its concept, beguiling and alluring, employing all the design senses for the most decadent experience. That is why Zoffany turned to Benedict when creating the entrance hall space. 

What has been revealed is a dramatic display of Zoffany’s craft and provenance, woven into a narrative inspired by Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard. With a keen eye for innovation and a deep appreciation for tradition, Benedict Foley’s work offers a fresh perspective on heritage design that sharply examines sustainability through the lens of luxury. 

Benedict says, “This room places Zoffany’s product front and centre, highlighting its contributions to UK manufacturing while celebrating the craftsmanship of the fabric mills. With a focus on material integrity and historical research, my work draws inspiration from various visual arts references, weaving them together with a touch of humour. My work is detailed and source based but ultimately it’s about the viewer’s enjoyment!”

With designs discovered at Temple Newsam, the great early 16th century treasure house in West Yorkshire, the fabrics featured at WOW!house celebrate these design origins and the exemplary weaving craft of the historic mills in which they were woven. Harnessing original production techniques, these fabrics have been woven in natural fibres. Benedict has taken this historical pedigree and run with it, creating a space that roots deep in the Country House tradition. Benedict adds, “We are complementing this with a custom carpet made of British wool created for our entrance hall with one of the last highly skilled weavers of loop pile carpet in the UK, just a stone’s throw from Temple Newsam. The work we have put into creating this room builds on the work of all those craftspeople whose hands have already been part of this story for centuries.” 

Referencing Visconti’s Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), which dances in decadence on the grandest scale, Benedict has taken cues from the masterpiece film for an interior space that seeks to welcome and surprise. Visitors are entranced by the exquisite fabrics from the Suffolk Damask collection, the painted ceiling in the vivacious tangerine tones of Koi Carp, and the smokey hue of Long Gallery Brocade in Quartz Grey welcomes them to sit and marvel at the richness of the walls, enveloped in shades of Tiger’s Eye and Venetian Red.

This unique conceptual design scheme reveals a new facet to these age-old, revered designs. “I hope the entrance hall transports visitors… Imagine whirling around a palazzo ballroom in Risorgimento Italy—preferably with Alain Delon. What’s not to love?”

Following WOW!house, the space will be deconstructed, with these exquisite fabrics bound for a new purpose at a special exhibit in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST). Repurposed and reinterpreted by a new series of craftspeople, the fabrics, taken from the entrance hall, will be unveiled again in a new guise at the Second Life Exhibition this autumn.

WOW!house 2024

WOW!house is the ultimate showhouse presented by Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.

Design Centre
Chelsea Harbour
Lots Road
London SW10 0XE

4th June – 4th July 2024

posted on 30 May 2024 in Interiors

©2024 Sanderson Design Group, All Rights Reserved.