Interiors sourcing at the Decorative Fair and Golborne Road

We are in mid winter here in London. Temperatures plummeted a week or so ago and we barely reach 6 Celsius most days. However I won’t complain as when it’s so cold there is less of the debilitating grey skies and more of blue skies and sunshine which really do elevate the spirits.

Monday 21 January was Blue Monday the most depressing day of the year. What a load of twaddle, isn’t it?! Why would you identify a day as the most depressing? Most of us stuck two fingers up at Blue Monday, smiled and got on with our lives.

January started with a vengeance from a work perspective so I’ve had no time to feel the post Christmas blues. And I have a trip to Sydney to look forward to in a few weeks - family, sun, sand and sea and loads of oysters and Riesling!

Between a lot of client meetings and client work at home, I managed to squeeze in some outings. First up, a day of sourcing for clients started with a visit to the Decorative Fair in Battersea Park with an interiors friend. I enjoy a wander around the stalls as they are all so beautifully styled but everything is eyewateringly expensive!

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Revamping an Edwardian Home used for Bed & Breakfast

CLIENT PROFILE:

Large Edwardian family home in Tooting, South West London, with a well established bed & breakfast Parklands Bed & Breakfast

I was contacted by the client to revamp the guest suites and communal areas with new colour schemes and to restyle each room with different accessories. In most instances I was able to recycle all the accessories in the property. 

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Renovating a Victorian apartment on a tight budget

CLIENT PROFILE:

Single professional male; first home he has owned; South West London two bedroom ground floor Victorian apartment; east facing. 

The client had no furniture when he moved in except a deck chair!  The whole apartment needed to be painted, decorated and filled with furniture and accessories.  His brief was for a stylish and comfortable design as his previous abode had been a real bachelor pad!  And all on a very small budget.

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Choosing colours & finishes for a Victorian flat

CLIENT PROFILE:

30 something professional couple; first home they have owned; South West London first floor two bedroom apartment; south facing; adding a loft conversion to give them a master suite.

The clients initially sought my help with paint colours for the whole flat but I ended up providing a full interior design service for many of the rooms.  

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Transform your kitchen with colour

One of the biggest problems with posting my projects on my website is the fact that the projects are ongoing. My clients are all residential and the projects don't have a start and end date mainly due to budget restrictions or the time it takes to source a particular item(s).   I'm happy to roll with it - dip in and out of the project as and when the client needs me but it makes it difficult to share the finished article with you.  So I've decided that I'll share my projects with you as a work in progress.

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Open house event at mine

Recently my home was opened up to members of the Decor Cafe for an evening event. The DecorCafe Network, of which I am a member, is a collaborative community of those of us whorun our own businesses in the interiors industry and those who just need inspiration and help to decorate their homes. These home tours bring members together to connect, learn and share ideas.  

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Add colour to a grey colour scheme

The trend for grey interiors continues, at least in south west London where I and most of my clients live.  Most paint their interiors in various shades of grey and then wonder what they can do to brighten them up. After all, it's grey outside most of the year in London so why would you want to bring that indoors?!

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Tips for creating a picture wall

Most of my clients and friends are daunted by the task of hanging their artwork so it usually never makes it on to a wall !  

Styling your walls with artwork and mirrors is something that people struggle with because they don't know where to start and when they do start, they usually hang everything too high and don’t group things to give a feeling of cohesiveness (see my separate blog post How to Hang Artwork).   

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Mirror Mirror On The Wall .....

As many of you know, I have a passion for mirrors and my home is full of them. At last count I had 27 and it's only a two bedroom apartment!  

You can't have too many mirrors in the home. Apart from their functional purpose, they are a superb way to bring light into a space, can be used as artwork or generally to enhance the aesthetics of a room.

Here are some of the mirrors in my home and how I've used them.

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Decorex 2016 here we come!

On Tuesday my friend Jane Fitch, also an interior designer, and I made our annual pilgrimage to Decorex at Syon Park. Decorex is internationally renowned for being THE event to discover the very best and most coveted products from 400 exhibitors.  Decorex has been running for 39 years and this is the third year that I have been.

We were not blown away by much this year as it was very much the same exhibitors as last year. However some new blood gave a much needed injection of interest.  I've included below a few newcomers as well as some highlights.

Naomi Paul beautiful crocheted lampshades were a feature in the VIP lounge as well as on their stand. Their ethos is to create beautiful functional textile objects by highly skilled craftsmanship and they certainly have achieve this. The lampshades are simple, stylish and elegant.

Bert and May are another newcomer to Decorex. They are committed to raw materials, natural pigments and fine craftsmanship which they certainly have achieved in their products. They launched a fabric range at Decorex which were beautiful subtle colours and bold geometric designs.

Santorus is another exciting newcomer. Brother and sister, Fabian and Tara have a rich cultural heritage of Indian and Italian parents and their products certainly reflect this. I adore the patterns and colours of their fabrics and wallpapers.

Tom Raffield is a relative newcomer to Decorex.  Their beautiful wooden lighting and furniture are made in a woodland workshop in Cornwall where the company is based. 

Tom Faulkner is not a newcomer to Decorex but I am always interested in visiting their stand and seeing their exquisite handmade furniture.

No visit to Decorex would be complete without a vist to the Ochre stand. I am always in awe of their celestial pebble light!

There is always the obligatory over-the-top glitz and these Murano chandeliers by iDogi were no exception! 

I always look forward to the floral displays on the exhibition stands but they were few and far between this year and very disappointing. The one that stood out for me was on the Sir John Soane Museum stand which was designed by Ben Pentreath and the magnificent display of dahlias was grown and designed by Ben's partner Charlie McCormick.  This stand stood out from all the others for its design and colour.

To finish this whistlestop tour, here are a few more shots that I took.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a few of the highlights of Decorex.  It was a long day as there were over 400 stands to see.  A few glasses of bubbly in the VIP lounge with canapes helped to keep up our energy levels!

Did you go to Decorex this year? What did you think of it and what were your favourites? I would love to hear so do drop me a note.


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Give a piece of furniture a new lease of life

I'm a great one for up-cycling furniture with a lick of paint rather than get rid of it.  I usually paint with Annie Sloan chalk paint as it's so easy to use - no prep required and you can paint it on any surface including on fabric!  However this time I wanted a specific colour which doesn't come in the Annie Sloan range so I opted for Farrow & Ball which had the exact colour.

I'm a huge fan of Farrow & Ball paint and I have used it throughout my home. Most, if not all, my clients have F&B throughout their homes. I particularly like the way F&B split their neutrals into six groups which makes it so much easier for people when trying to choose a neutral colour(s).  In fact I use the six neutral groups as the basis for my colour talks.

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