Focus 2019 interior style notes

No stone was left unturned this week as I dived in and out of showrooms at The Design Centre for Focus 19. I had the pleasure of attending talks from top interior designers, interviewed creative directors and textile company owners discovering along the way that more than just a handful are several generation family owned. I even managed – on neutral territory – an undercover meeting with the Interior Spy.

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London Interiors Show 2019

In its second year, The London Interiors Show (15 – 17 September) at The Chelsea Harbour Hotel offers interiors companies who don’t have a presence at The Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour a very welcome three-day opportunity to present their new collections to press, interior designers and the trade. Complete with camouflage of West London uniform of tea-dress-and-trainers, I have hot footed it around the show to share with you some interior design highlights…

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Watlington Art Week 11 – 19 May 2019

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.

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Madrid’s modern antique style

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…

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Christmas decorations at Castle Howard

Christmas is the time of year that sends interior stylists into overdrive (even though they have often been decorating for Christmas several times over since July). We can’t resist it! However, nothing quite compares to the effort and scale that has gone into decorating Castle Howard in Yorkshire this Christmas. Respect goes to the three weeks of non-stop decorating that completed months of planning by Charlotte Lloyd Webber, Bretta Gereke and their team of 6.  The blog’s Christmas present to you this year is an edited highlights tour of Castle Howard’s celebration of The 12 Days of Christmas.
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How to make a foraged Christmas wreath

What style Christmas wreath will you be choosing for your front door this year? With so many to choose from, it can be a little daunting but I find myself with the foragers on this one …

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Is 80s interior decorating back?

A perfect storm of social and political events took place in the early 1980s that completely changed the way people lived and dressed. It was the era that waved goodbye to Mid Century to 1970s furniture and beckoned in a national love affair with traditional Country House style. Peter York and Ann Barr wrote the Sloane Ranger’s Handbook and Min Hogg was the launch editor in November 1981 of The World of Interiors magazine. Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, Brideshead Revisited was on the telly.
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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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RHS Chelsea Flower Show inspires artist Flora Roberts

If you aren’t one of her followers on Instagram, then there is every chance that you won’t have heard of artist and decorative painter,  Flora Roberts. For fans of surface pattern, Flora is the artist behind many highly successful floral wallpaper and fabric designs for companies such as Lewis & Wood.

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Interior design style for less

Not every interior design/styling job comes with a limitless budget so knowing how to create a look for less can be an important part of a project. There are gems to be found everywhere from supermarket isles to car boots and high street stores. Just because something doesn’t have a high price tag doesn’t mean it lacks design integrity – you have just got to be able to spot it!

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