What’s the secret of Howe’s interior design recipe?

Have you noticed how the idea of a ‘soiree‘ or ‘salon‘ has been emerging as a way of bringing together like-minded people in the worlds of art and interiors? Talks by specialists, dinners with gorgeous ‘grammable’ tablescapes all put together with small groups of people who are, of course, networking – albeit in a much more subtle way. I have to say I didn’t hesitate when PR Georgie Pridden invited me along to meet a group of extremely interesting guests for a Midsummer Night’s supper in June. As a special one-off for Georgie, the venue for the evening was Howe’s achingly stylish showroom in London.

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Best in Show at the House and Garden Festival 2018 London

London is packed with inspirational art and interior design exhibitions at this time of year.  You really have to put on your jogging shoes to keep up with them all but there are a few I really don’t like to miss and The House and Garden Festival  (incorporating The Art & Antiques Fair) is one of them. This year’s show didn’t disappoint. It was full of bright summery colour and design – much of the best was from a few ‘stylish hunter gatherers’ who make it their business to bring international style to our shores.  Here’s my choice of Best in Show: Continue reading “Best in Show at the House and Garden Festival 2018 London”

New – White Vintage interiors shop!

Calling all home owners/renters, interior designers, art directors, stylists, set decorators and window dressers! Welcome to my new online interiors shop. If you are looking for a gift or unusual interiors accent piece for your home, interior design scheme or set, White Vintage is a one-stop shop. The stock will be a carefully curated mix of vintage/antique but there will also be a few new pieces too.

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Charlotte Gaisford British fabric and wallpaper designer

These are exciting times for small businesses because with the advent of Instagram, many people can now control their own advertising/marketing campaigns (on an hour by hour basis if they so wish!) as well as use it as a selling platform for their fledgling lifestyle brands. One such person who is not only an inspiring new fabric and wallpaper designer but extremely adept at social media and new marketing ideas is Northumberland designer Charlotte Gaisford.

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Fornasetti exhibition – Rome

A recent visit to Rome was a last-minute decision and a treat which sent me into Instagram overdrive (many apologies!) with snaps of frescos, classical architecture and palazzos. With no time for planning, you can imagine my intense delight when we got there to find a retrospective exhibition of Fornasetti design on at the 15th Century Palazzo AltempsSo – lovely readers – because there were no photographic restrictions, I am excited to be able to share with you a tailor-made blog tour of the exhibition …

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Art for Living exhibition at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler

The art world has seen some eye-wateringly expensive pieces being sold at auction recently but Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler’s current Art for Living exhibition (6 – 21 December 2017) at their Pimlico Road showroom is exciting for two reasons. Firstly, the selling exhibition shows how to use contemporary art in room sets with both antique and contemporary furniture and secondly, the prices are in the more affordable region of (£1,500 – £15,000) – think high street sofa to budget kitchen.

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Interview: BBC1’s Howards End set decorator, Tanya Bowd

Sunday night rituals in the winter for me entail putting the fire on and settling in to watch the season’s best period drama. I was so excited and, if I am honest, a little worried that I would be disappointed with the current BBC 1 TV serialisation of Howards End. Continue reading “Interview: BBC1’s Howards End set decorator, Tanya Bowd”

Creating ski chalet chic with bobbin furniture

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Where has bobbin furniture been all my life?! Although it has been creeping up on my ‘interiors awareness radar’ for a while, it isn’t a style of furniture which has been much celebrated or talked about in recent times. Maybe it doesn’t appeal to everyone and has been regarded as ‘country’ furniture – not worthy of merit. I suspect that it has also been one of the many forgotten about but actually rather gorgeous chair designs (mainly dark wood) which languish in antique shops up and down the country.

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Styling with antiques

If you are one of the dedicated Instagram followers of Gear Antiques (IG @gearantiques), you won’t need me to tell you that the King is alive and er … barking on Lillie Road in Fulham. Elvis has not only been entertaining clients with his gregarious stage presence but he is also proving to be Gear Antiques’ secret weapon, when it comes to marketing. His patch – more regal in style than rock and roll –  is an antiques shop run by his owner Marc on Lillie Road in South West London. If miniature schnauzer Elvis isn’t posted in an Instagram photo by Marc – either sitting on a Jacobean chair on the pavement outside the shop or mannequin style in the window – there follows an outcry from IG followers asking ‘where’s Elvis?!’ So you see, he does live on … just in Schnauzer form …

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Petersham Nurseries: Midsummer styling ideas

If you want to experience a cross between a magical midsummer night’s dream whilst entering the secret walled garden of a genteel country house (one whose Victorian glass house has charmingly ‘seen better days’)  – then Richmond’s Petersham Nurseries is the place for you!

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