I am rather tickled by a phrase that has emerged from the U.S. to describe the return of Old School or English Decorating. It is a favourite blog topic and one that is currently experiencing a renaissance of interest on both sides of the Atlantic. Thanks to Emma Bazilian in her September 2019 piece for US House Beautiful magazine (a much preppier version of Hearst’s UK edition), Grandmillennial style has been coined.
Take the formula of an out of town supermarket, add a few ingredients from IKEA, the precise display skills of a west London prop house and finally a sprinkling of sports store Decathlon to discover the recipe behind Oxfam’s new superstore design. The blog takes a tour of this new sustainable and charitable department store concept to find out what might make us all want to shop there.
I was about to post another story on the blog when this ‘jewel’ caught my eye. The front page was instantly put on hold and the blog cogs screeched to a halt. It was obvious that Emily Gore’s new bespoke jewellery box company Woodbury and Co should be the front page story.
Adopting sustainable interior decorating ideas really doesn’t mean that ‘style’ has to exit stage left! Quite the contrary. I believe a new sustainable approach based on a few old school values means that interior style is having a healthy rejig. With a little inspiration from the past, here are a few sustainable interior decorating ideas with a focus on some inspiring companies who are not only making changes about how they do things but who are sharing it quite vocally too.
Ever since it lost out to ‘blond’ wood in the early 90s trend for Minimalism, interior stylists, journalists and antique dealers have been proclaiming that ‘brown’ (antique furniture) is back. I know, because I have been one of them. For interior designers, who don’t tend to pay huge amounts of attention to trends, the notion that it ever went away is frankly considered a bit of a nonsense.
Textile design is as much about storytelling as it is about design for me. The storytelling is important because I want to know how the design came about and from whom. When it comes to the plot, the quirkier, the better. Especially when the protagonist has not only worked as a set decorator in the world of film, for at least two of Britain’s most treasured interior brands, but whose debut fabric and wallpaper designs for Lewis & Wood are currently lining the walls of an interior designed shipping container in the Cumbrian Hills.
Watlington is a small Oxfordshire market town that is blessed with that rare species – a thriving independent high street. Nestled amongst farmland at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, it has ‘a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker’. The butcher is called Tom, the 14-year-old baker (as featured in The Sunday Times) regularly creates queues halfway up the street for her pop-up bread sales, while the candlestick maker has show-stopping designer lighting. Oh, and the town is also about to launch its first Art Week.
As the film adaptation of Jennie Rooney’s novel Red Joan (directed by Trevor Nunn) opens across the UK this weekend, the blog has an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour with talented set decorator Tanya Bowd. The blog gets the low-down on the locations, where the film props were sourced and how the set team did a crash course in nuclear physics. All in a day’s work for Tanya who has worked her magic on many top film and TV series including The Crimson Field, Victoria, Howards End and more recently for The New Pope starring Jude Law.
I am no Mary Berry but if there is even a hint of an excuse to bake a C-A-K-E, then the oven is on and the cake tins are lined before a single egg has been cracked. Not only is it another styling opportunity but you can eat the props when the photographic shoot is done. When Berkshire Life magazine came to photograph our house to do a story on Styling Box (my new affordable interior design service) for their April 2019 issue, it seemed the perfect time to indulge in a bit of Easter baking and share with you some interior styling ideas that aren’t just for Easter…
Whilst the cost of high street rents is changing the way vintage and antique furniture is bought and sold in the UK, it turns out that Madrid is a city with a thriving retail secondhand scene. Last weekend, with just over 48 hours to spend in Spain’s capital, I came across the El Rastro street market (La Latino metro) with more vintage and antique shops than even I could speed-prop my way around! Here’s a few that caught my eye along the way…