I got a lovely email from antique shop Phoenix on Goldborne Rd with pictures of their new stock. I love the colours here, especially those coral-pink drawers and the yellow cupboard. How could these fail to cheer you up on a grey February day? Jess at Phoenix offers furniture painting courses using Annie Sloane paint, she teaches paint effects and also restoration. Weekday courses are £95 or £125 on a Sunday, with a max of 6 people per class - a good way to start Spring?
Tucked away at the top of Portobello Road is Christine Van der Hurd's bijou jewel box of a showroom. I'm ashamed to say this was a long overdue first visit to the place where textile magic happens. The dhurries, rugs and fabrics are piled up on open shelves so the full effect of all the wonderful colour cannot be ignored. It was wonderful to see Christine's collection of vintage textiles sharing the space with her own designs, (I fell in love and came away with a wool blanket with bright pink and turquoise checks, Olivia has fallen for a lamp, enamelled with Christine's signature zig-zag design in sorbet shades.) The materials Christine works with are my idea of luxury; Silk, linen and hemp, using the most beautiful palettes. It takes a massive amount of nurture to see a rug through to completion. Every stage of production has to be closely monitored right down to the weather conditions in India, which effects the speed at which the rugs can woven, I can't even text with cold fingers let alone produce a work of art, which is what they are.
Ensemblier Tara Craig, encourages her clients to invest in good British art and design. She has given this antique chesterfield a new lease of life with a beautiful silk mohair (expensive but very hard wearing) from Bruno Triplet. The backdrop is a softly hand-painted silk 'Random Alpine', from De Gournay, both available through Tara. And finally, no small credit goes to a very British investment, the one and only Bill Batten who takes a very lovely picture. We're having lunch on Friday, how nice!
I feel like I'm forever harping on about my favourite passementerie artist, Jessica Light, who now has an on-line shop here. I've been meaning to commission some pieces from her as jewellery, some of those tassels would make such beautiful brooches - I will get round to it. The bottom two images show some of trims she made for one of my H&G shoots.
I'm not really keen on purple, but a wisteria covered swimming pool goes down very well with me. The beautiful photograph is from Memories of a Lost World. The whole book is amazing. We did an H&G post on it here. Other things of beauty: The amazing Delphinium chintz by Rose Cumming. You have to order it from America. She was a rather eccentric decorator of the 20's and 30's. I believe her hair was violet and she was always one for a costume. So I've read. Chelsea Textiles, sea green lacquer drawers, such a beautiful colour. A black rag rug from Swedish company Vandra. Brand new for Spring - French map wallpapers 'Voyage' by Christian Lacroix for Designers Guild - they come in very pretty colours as well as no-nonsense black and white. Finally, painted metal mesh 'Teophilo' chair by Casamidy - the citrine colour looks great with the purple fabric.
London's Dark Room, is a brilliant shop of sharply edited, graphic and ethnic designs. Not all this is from there - the plates, and Rhonda Drakeford's print (bottom right) are, The bag is by Michelle Mason, the architects lamps are from La Lampe Gras, and the Pallas table is by Konstantin Grcic for Classicon. The shop is a great starting point if you like the feel of sharp angles, zig-zags and bold primary colours.
I discovered this brilliant company yesterday while researching for the HOME show, and quickly ordered a few pieces as Christmas presents - I love the mad cake stands. All designed and made in Poland, the shop is on the Essex Rd in London - they delivered to my house the same day - amazing! Check out the website here - Blue Dot Pottery Tweet
Volga linen have chosen to photograph their new catalogue mainly in black and white, which I would have thought is quite brave? And set it in a cool, bohemian looking English house. The slightly wonky paintings are a nice touch.
These other fantastical images are from the wonderful Bandit Queen, and conjure up magical visions of Indian fairytales - I just love the elephant in the bath.