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.

June 15th, 2014

Trimmings, two-tone and giving soft furnishings the edge!

Mention “trimmings” and many people will look at you in horror, remembering the 1980s and over-elaborate furnishings, swags/tails and tassles. Since then many companies have spotted gaps in the market for producing trims that have a design edge, which means that those who would not normally consider trimmings or tassles because of their “stuffy and traditional” image are attracted by this contemporary twist.

Here are some of my favourite suppliers of contemporary and traditional trims…

Trimmings and tassels etc

“Two-tone” is also enjoying a renaissance and adding a trim or contrast fabric as a leading edge is a great way of making largely plain curtains or blinds more interesting or tying in other colours of the room. Here are some examples of how they can be used to literally transform otherwise plain curtains/blinds/cushions and whatever else you wish to apply them to!

Trimmings and tassels etc2

January 1st, 2014

My Top 5 “Interior Design Titles” for 2014 – reading list for a rainy New Year’s day

Was your annual New Year’s Day walk scuppered by mud and rain? If ever there was weather to inspire us to pay more attention to the world indoors, it’s this. I’ve put together a design reading list for a rainy day. Now is the season to curl up on the sofa and start planning your spring renovations.

First on my list for you is…

1)A Living Space” by Kit Kemp – Santa kindly delivered me a copy and it has not disappointed. I first came across Kit Kemp several years ago at a “Homes and Gardens” lecture and can’t resist popping into the hotels (whenever in London with a spare moment) that she has designed for the Firmdale Group co-owned with her husband. Kit was also responsible for the design of the entrance to Decorex this year.

If you are looking to experiment with colour, scale and pattern, but are maybe nervous of making an expensive mistake, this is a must read.  Her signature style also mixes contemporary elements with antiques and junk-shop finds, luxurious fabrics with printed wallpapers and hand finished detailing with collections of simple objects that create impact. “She avoids taking design too seriously”. The images below will give you a flavour of what to expect.

"A Living Space" by Kit Kemp

“A Living Space” by Kit Kemp

One of the drawing rooms in the Soho Hotel by Kit Kemp

One of the drawing rooms in The Soho Hotel by Kit Kemp

2) “Inspired Interiors” by Suzanne Kasler

It is probably fair to say that Suzanne Kasler is less well known in the UK, but I refer to her work over and over again for inspiration with “trimmings”, “dressmakers details” and the way she works with paint – I have only seen her use wallpaper once!

"Inspired Interiors" by Suzanne Kasler

“Inspired Interiors” by Suzanne Kasler

Use of trimmings and dress-makers details by Suzanne Kasler

Use of trimmings and dress-makers details by Suzanne Kasler

3) “Design & The Deocrative Arts” – Georgian Britain – one of the V&A Publications

For anyone looking to renovate a period property (preferably Georgian!) this is a great read as are many of the others in the series… and for any KLC students out there, about to embark on their History of Style thesis, it’s invaluable.

Design and the Decorative Arts -  Georgian Britain, part of the V&A series

Design & The Decorative Arts – Georgian Britain, part of the V&A series

4) “The Iconic Interior” by Dominic Bradbury

This is a mine of both inspiration and information- it features 100 of the world’s “most influential spaces” frequently by artists, designers, architects and fashion personalities etc… Every conceivable style is represented and for me it’s a great reference if you are looking to stay true to a certain style or genre. It also proves that established taste and genuine creativity can stand the test of time. Here are a couple of my favourites; the Coco Chanel appartment in Paris and the Fornasetti Residence.

The Iconic Interior by Dominic Bradbury

The “Iconic Interior” by Dominic Bradbury

Coco Chanel Apartment / Paris, C. 1920

Coco Chanel Apartment / Paris, C. 1920

Fornasetti Residence as shown in the "Iconic Interior" by Dominic

Fornasetti Residence as shown in the “Iconic Interior” by Dominic Bradbury

5) Finally, last but not least, I shall be adding the 25 year celebratory edition of “Elle Decoration” to my library. I’m sure I’ll still be reading this in 25 year’s time and loved the feature on some of the editorial team’s favourite stories from the archives.

"Elle Decoratio"Elle Decoration" 25 years collectors edition

“Elle Decoration” 25 years collectors edition


"Elle Decoration" 25 years collectors edition - a selection of features from the archives - this one depicting the trend for Chinoiserie in June 1997

“Elle Decoration” 25 years collector’s edition – a selection of features from the archives – this one depicting the trend for Chinoiserie in June 1997

March 21st, 2013

Top 5 trends at London Design Week

The link between the new season fashion collections and trends in interior design is especially strong this spring. Whilst enjoying some retail therapy last weekend I couldn’t help noticing the return to brights and patterns (and I mean very bright and very patterned!) across the high street. I had a similar feeling yesterday at London Design Week in Chelsea Harbour.


Hot pinks, jade greens, bright cobalt blues are featuring strongly in many of the showrooms and pattern wise anything goes at the moment…

The new Manuel Canovas  range, with an exotic/Chinese influence is one eye catching example.

Manuel Canovas voyage en Chine

Voyage en Chine fabric by Manuel Canovas



The trend for brights isn’t just limited to fabrics.  As I  entered the Roger Oates showroom,  a new brightly striped “Masai” range of stair runners has been added to the New Hadley selection of vibrant Mandarin and Rose colour ways.

Roger Oates Masai Madder runner

Roger Oates Masai Madder runner

Roger Oates New Hadley Runner mandarin

Roger Oates New Hadley runner in “Mandarin”

… and prepare to be amazed at the range of brights now available in leather at the Edelman showroom. This is their colourful suede curtain:

Edelman leather colourful suede curtain

Edelman leather colourful suede curtain


Wow factor and fun for wallpapers

I’ve always found it hard to resist a statement wallpaper, maybe for a downstairs cloakroom or a study, one that makes you laugh or piques your interest at a friends’ house or in a boutique hotel….

My two favourites this season are “Penguin Library” by Osborne & Little and the new Fornasetti II range at Cole & Son – great for book lovers, cycling enthusiasts or anyone with a sense of fun!

Osborne and Little Penguin Library

“Penguin Library” by Osborne & Little


Cole and Son Fornasetti collection

Cole and Son new Fornasetti II collection


Trimmings are back?

Again, reflecting the current popularity for lace, beads etc. among the big fashion labels, trimmings are enjoying a comeback. For adding some dressmakers detail, the new Samuel and Sons showroom (their first in London) is well worth a visit. Try this as a border on a roman blind or some full length curtains.


Samuel and Sons Greek Fret border trimming for blinds and curtains

Greek Fret border from the Corinthia collection


New neutrals, Italian Style!

And for those who are finding the brights and patterns all a bit too much,  many of the leading brands have updated their neutral collections reflecting the catwalk trends for embroidery and lace. One of my all time favourite collections has to be the C&C Milano range in the Lewis & Wood showroom. True to form they have just added several new designs such as this beautifully embroidered linen…


C&C milano coco embroidered linen trends in interior design

New “Coco” range from C&C Milano


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