Join me here in explorations of the places and people who inspire my passion for interiors. I’m always on the hunt for outstanding design, ancient, modern, natural and crafted.

December 11th, 2013

Why I sometimes like sourcing outside London… “Lewes” in Sussex

One occupational hazard for me is always being on the look-out for interesting places to source items for the home! Whilst it is difficult to rival many parts of London for choice, it’s sometimes good to head further afield, particularly if you are looking for something slightly more unusual.

Last month I wrote about a recent visit to the studio and home of the artist Jessica Zoob in Lewes, Sussex (see While I was there I couldn’t help noticing the array of interesting shops along the High Street in Lewes as I drove by and decided to investigate before heading back to Surrey.  I found a great selection of independent interiors shops, many with items at very sensible and non-London prices. There is a good balance between retailers selling more contemporary items and those with a more vintage/country focus. As you head towards the bottom of the high street you are spoiled for choice with antique shops, some better than others, but all worth a good look.  Combine that with a great view of the Sussex countryside from the High Street and it makes both a great alternative to London and a good day out.  Here are the images I took in Lewes, which give you the idea!

High Street, Lewes, Sussex

antique shops in Lewes, Sussex

indpendent  interiors store in Lewes, Sussex

Bookshop in Lewes, Sussex

High Street, Lewes, Sussex

November 14th, 2013

One very inspirational space… the home of artist, Jessica Zoob

I was recently lucky enough to visit the studio and home of the artist Jessica Zoob - Jessica’s paintings are best described as “contemporary impressionism” and are frequently influenced by nature and the surrounding countryside near her home in Lewes, Sussex. I first noticed her work a couple of years ago at Decorex and bought my first piece today!

As well as being a fan of her work,  I was also very taken with Jessica’s home – it has a unique style, one that I wanted to share on the blog today (with kind permission)… as it is one of the most successful “neutral” schemes I have come across in a while.

The secret of the scheme’s success is that the neutral colour palette allows the artwork to really stand out, whilst remaining welcoming and individual. In particular, it strikes that sometimes hard to achieve balance of not trying too hard, yet being a very memorable space which just works.

The one area that really stood out for me was a top floor room, which was previously a “lean-to” on the side of the house over a garage. It’s now a great example of how to turn a smaller space into something quite special, flooded with light and with views of the sky.

Jessica Zoob's home

The light-filled space on the top floor of Jessica’s house – previously a “lean-to”!

Home of artist Jessica Zoob

“Sofa with a view” – you can almost see the “South Downs” over the shutters…

The large wall on the left provides a great space to showcase one of Jessica’s paintings. Oversized is definitely the way to go here as a smaller piece would not have nearly the same impact. (I made a “note to self” as I had visited with the intention of buying a smaller scale piece!).

Another nice detail is the painting technique on the wall, where the colour has been cleverly rubbed back to blend with the canvas. If you look closely at the sofa (top right) you can also see a sneak preview of the soon to be available cushions that Jessica has designed in collaboration with fabric house Romo  The reproduction detail is excellent.

Top floor space in the home of the artist, Jessica Zoob.

The large over-sized painting works as a striking back-drop

And finally, the next few images just pick up on some of the smaller details in the space, in particular the wood carvings, which were done by locally-based Karl Smith of Carved Oak .

Home of artist Jessica Zoob

The carved images and alternate paint colours on the stairs up to the top floor…

Home of artist Jessica Zoob

… and the carving leading down to the ground floor, which used to be a garage! I like the mix of different scale paintings in this area, as effective as the over-sized canvasses when grouped together.

P.S Lewes is also a great destination for sourcing interesting homewares “outside London” at sensible prices, more on that in my next post next month …

Site: Rosen