Jenny writes…. Setting the stage for Christmas at our London showroom!

Jenny Blanc Blog - London Showroom Christmas Window 2015

Above: This year’s Christmas window at the Jenny Blanc London showroom.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc Picture

Jenny Blanc

The Jenny Blanc Christmas window display is highly anticipated by both our neighbours on Teddington High Street and our customers alike! With the days getting darker and the temperature plummeting it’s no surprise that thoughts turn towards twinkling lights, sumptuous fabrics, festive decorations and the heart-warming prospect of Christmas. It took a week of hard work to completely transform our window for this year’s display – from hanging fresh wallpaper and curtains to installing thousands of fairy lights it’s a big job but really the hard work (for me at least!) begins much earlier in the year.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Crystal Chandelier and Embroidered Curtains with Tassel Tie Back

Above left: A stunning crystal bud chandelier. Above right: Gorgeous embroidered curtains in silver with a plum and silver ombre tassel tie back.

Creating something new and original for the Christmas window display takes a good deal of planning and it was back in the spring that I began to look for inspiration. Whether I was visiting design exhibitions throughout the world, spending time in Barbados or pouring over the new seasons fabrics and wallpapers there was one colour in particular that really spoke to me and as the year went on and new fabrics began to arrive, this shade caught my eye again and again. I therefore decided to make this beautiful shade of plum the focus of this year’s display, using it as the basis for a decadent dining table scheme!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Antique Mirror and Silver Cherubs with Urn

Above left: An eglomise, antique effect mirror. Above right: Two cherubs carry a silver urn perfect for a floral centrepiece.

As the year progressed and autumn turned to winter, I began to bring together various threads of inspiration by creating mood boards to help me finalise the colours, textures and key elements of the window. Once complete, my team scoured the globe to find just the right fabrics, wall coverings, furniture and accessories to create an eye catching display.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jennys Scheme Board for Showroom Window Display

Above: Jenny’s scheme board for this year’s window display.

This year’s window features a luxurious dining table covered with a satin tablecloth in a beautifully rich berry colour. The Jenny Blanc ‘Henry’ dining chair is one of my exclusive designs and has been upholstered in Matthew Williamson’s ‘Miramar’ fabric in ivory – a gorgeous, iridescent fabric which reflects the light wonderfully and is trimmed with a berry coloured velvet to compliment the rest of the colour scheme. A stunning eglomise mirror hangs behind the table, reflecting the thousands of fairy lights surrounding our window. I chose a metallic wallpaper which is just the right shade of silver to complement the antique effect mirror and the look is completed with an absolutely beautiful contemporary crystal chandelier.

David, our Creative Display Consultant, oversees the installation of the window and uses his flair and expertise to really bring the scene to life by dressing it with some of the beautiful accessories from our showroom. This year’s window is full of goodies and gifts at all price ranges – scented candles, coloured champagne flutes, jewellery boxes and snow globes are just some of the tempting treats on display! There is plenty of inspiration for Christmas decoration too with glittering gold branches and delicate glass angels.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Showroom Director Chrissie with Display Consultant David Dressing the Window

Showroom Director Chrissie Marshall and Creative Display Consultant David Bailey collaborate over the dressing of the window.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Chrissie with David Overseeing the Window Display and Handyman Harry at Work

Above left: Chrissie and David oversee the installation of the dining table. Above right: Handyman Harry at work.

Already passers-by are stopping in the street to photograph the window so it’s lovely to see all our hard work paying off! This Thursday 26th November is the annual ‘Teddington Lights Up’ event which is a wonderful opportunity to see the Mayor of Teddington, Martin Seymour, switching on the Christmas lights alongside Harlequins rugby team captain Danny Care. The showroom will be staying open until 9pm especially so do pay us a visit! Smart shoppers can beat the crowd by taking advantage of our ‘click and collect’ service via our Trouva boutique!

Jenny Blanc Blog - London Showroom Front Christmas Window 2015

Jenny writes… Making an entrance with beautiful door furniture continued!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Polished Hoop Door Knocker

Polished nickel hoop door knocker by Willow and Stone.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc Picture

Jenny Blanc

Two weeks ago I shared some thoughts on front door furniture and the difference that choosing the right pieces can make, along with a few of my favourite styles of door knocker in brass. Today I’m aiming to inspire with some more options featuring silver finishes such as white bronze, pewter and polished chrome!

Before we delve into those however, I wanted to show you just how effective it can sometimes be to restore existing door furniture. Perhaps you’ve got so used to your front door knocker that you hardly notice it anymore but if it’s covered in layer upon layer of paint or seems to be tarnished beyond all repair, it could be well worth taking a look at what’s underneath as you may be in for a surprise! In some cases it could even be the house’s original knocker which will not only suit the style of front door perfectly but is an important part of the history of the house and well worth preserving.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Antique Lion Door Knocker Before and After Picture

Above left: Our client’s original iron door knocker covered in black paint on a standard, white front door. Above right: The restored door knocker with a gunmetal grey finish against the new door painted in ‘Bordeaux’ by Zoffany.

The antique lion knocker pictured above is made from solid iron and was refurbished as part of a recent design project. The image on the left shows the knocker in its original state – layers of black gloss paint built up over the years had completely obscured the detail. On the right we have the restored knocker after the paint had been stripped away – revealing intricate detail and superb craftsmanship. We finished the knocker in gunmetal grey which, along with the beautiful deep damson colour of the front door, looked magnificent and brought a twist of the contemporary to the otherwise very traditional entrance to this impressive old house!

For a more contemporary look, door furniture with a silver finish can be very effective. The four knockers pictured below are just the tip of the iceberg but I hope will give you some idea of the variety of effects that can be achieved. Whether it’s the flawless finish of polished chrome or the beautiful patina of white bronze, there really is something for everyone.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Selection of Door Knockers

Above from left to right: Square knocker in white bronze, light patina by Rocky Mountain Hardware. Pear shaped knocker with twist in pewter. Hoop knocker in white bronze, medium patina by Rocky Mountain Hardware. Scroll knocker in polished chrome by Beardmore.

When it comes to front doors there is so much to consider – especially when you throw colour into the mix! The colour of a front door can completely change the look and feel of the hardware –  I’m looking forward to sharing some of my favourite paint colours soon which I hope will provide food for thought!

Jenny writes… A five star award for Jenny Blanc Interiors!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Five Star Best Interior Design Barbados

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc Picture

Jenny Blanc

I’m so thrilled to announce that Jenny Blanc interiors have been presented with a 5 – Star award for the interior design of a beautiful family residence in Apes Hill, Barbados at this year’s International Property Awards held at the Hilton Hotel Barbados on Friday 23rd October!
This was one of my favourite projects to date and it was an absolute pleasure to work with our clients to create this very special family home. From the very first meeting our client’s dreams were for a house full of light with a feeling of Caribbean elegance and tropical influences. To meet their aspirations, Design Director Sue Thomas-Richardson and I designed living areas each with its own character but which flowed one into the other linked by a harmonious colour palette of cool subtle tones with punches of colour.
You can view more images of the award winning property on our website here!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Guest Bedroom Neutral Scheme with Coral Accents

Above: Coral accents compliment the soft neutral scheme of this guest bedroom perfectly.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Perfect Outdoor Entertaining with Several Areas

Above: The property features several areas perfect for outdoor entertaining.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Gazebo Featuring Jenny Blancs Bespoke Dining Table and Coral Stone Console

Above: The gazebo forms part of the outdoor dining area and features a Jenny Blanc bespoke dining table to easily accommodate 14 guests and a bespoke coral stone console.

As highest scoring 5 star winners, we have now been nominated for the title of ‘Best in the Americas and the Caribbean’ before the ultimate ‘World’s Best’ awards are presented at an awards ceremony at the Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, London on 7th December 2015.

Jenny writes…  Making an entrance with beautiful door furniture

Jenny Blanc Blog - Beautiful Door Furniture

Above: Jenny at the door of her charming cottage with traditional, wrought iron door furniture.

When it comes to interiors I believe that it’s the little things that help elevate ones home above the every day and into something really special. Choosing the right fittings and knobs for doors is a detail  often overlooked but these finishing touches can turn an existing door or piece of furniture into something wonderful. Here are my thoughts on front door knockers – which say more about the home inside than you might think! I have also included a few of my personal favourites which I hope will inspire.

Consider this: the front door is the first port of call for visitors to your home and it’s style, colour and door fixtures will immediately paint a picture of what’s going on inside. A door knocker creates a wonderful, tactile connection between a visitor and your home and the style of knocker chosen can really set the tone and create the right first impression!

For a rustic front door in a country side setting you can’t go wrong with wrought iron. Animal shaped knockers such as dogs or foxes look very much at home as do beautiful, traditional Suffolk latches. For a smart city abode with a front door in the Georgian style, a lion head door knocker in polished brass is a popular choice and indeed, take a walk around any part of London and you’re sure to see these proud beasts guarding many an entrance! Of course, most styles of knocker are also available in a chrome finish which is perfect for a more contemporary look.

Here are a few of my favourite styles, all cast in solid brass. Brass is a beautiful metal with an inviting glow and a lovely resonance. Cared for properly, a brass door knocker will last well over a century. My tip for taking care of a brass door knocker is to give it a good rub down once a week with salt and lemon juice to keep it looking its best!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Reproduction Door Knockers

Pictured above from left to right: fox head, Georgian lion and Grecian urn reproduction knockers all by by Armac Martin. Roman goddess antique door knocker by Silbury Antiques.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Antique Door Knockers

Pictured above: From left to right: Antique loop, scroll and doctors door knockers are perfect for Victorian properties. All available from In Brass.

Whilst a brass knocker is a very popular choice which suits traditional front doors perfectly it is by no means the only option – I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on some more contemporary finishes soon which I hope you will find inspiring!

My most inspirational find at Decorex 2015

Jenny Blanc Blog - Decorex Floral Archway 2015

Left to right: Showroom Director Chrissie Marshall, Abigail Heanley and Jenny Blanc at the entrance to Decorex 2015. Floral archway by Hattie Fox of That Flower Shop.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc Picture

Jenny Blanc

Decorex is the highly anticipated trade show for luxury design which kicks off London Design Week each September and attracts interior design professionals from all over the world. As a designer, I attend each year to source new suppliers for our design projects and to view the latest collections from some of the world’s finest fabric houses, furniture manufacturers and accessories designers. Anyone who has visited our London showroom will know that we have shelves of fabric sample books and a library of catalogues at our fingertips but when it comes to experiencing the latest collections first hand, nothing beats Decorex. It gives me the opportunity to see and feel the fabrics and furnishings on a much larger scale and is a huge source of inspiration. It is a date in the diary that we all look forward to and this year I was accompanied by showroom director Chrissie Marshall and our former Senior Designer, Abigail Heanley. We had a marvellous day discovering a beautiful velvet fabric which moved like liquid metal, wonderful table lamps with hand blown glass bases and, of course, catching up with old friends in the industry. For me though there was one standout piece which really stole the show this year – the moment I clapped eyes on this eglomise screen (pictured below) it was love at first sight!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Eglomise Screen

Above: Jenny’s favourite find at Decorex this year was this stunning eglomise screen.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Eglomise Panels

Above: Details from two of the eglomise panels featuring parakeets and monkeys in beautiful shades of pale blue, green, burnt orange and bronze.

Verre eglomise or ‘gilded glass’ is a process dating back to pre-roman times whereby gold or silver leaf is applied to the reverse side of glass. The gilding can then be etched away or painted on in reverse to create stunning designs which really come to life when lit properly. I love everything about this gorgeous screen from the subtle use of colours – including delicate pale blues, greens and burnt orange, to the subject matter itself! These tropical birds and monkeys would look simply perfect in one of the grand plantation houses in Barbados. The attention to detail is breath-taking – I love the way each panel is so different but includes the same elements. In each panel, a pair of animals sits within a frame – in some cases an intricate window and in others the local flora is brought into the design. Beyond, clouds and mountains create depth whilst keeping the overall feeling light and airy. This stunning screen is a one off and retails at around £60,000 – for those with the right property it would be a wonderful investment and a beautiful addition to the home!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Folding Screen

Above: The four panel folding screen features intricately detailed scenes of tropical wildlife.

Discovering this screen at Decorex recalled one of my earliest childhood memories: staying at my Grandmother’s house as a little girl of about 5 or 6 years old. My grandmother had the most wonderful sense of style and I’m sure it’s her which inspired my love of interiors! She had a beautiful bedroom in her house in the countryside and when I came to stay, she would set up my bed in a cosy corner, separated from the rest of the room by a folding screen. I can still remember that screen now – an antique from the 1920’s with silk panels painted with peonies and other English garden flowers in beautiful shades of pink and green. I thought it was just the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and would gaze at the intricately painted scenery before drifting off to sleep. Having my own little space, sheltered from the rest of the room but still within ear shot of my grandmother made me feel so secure and really showed me how empowering and comforting a well designed living space can be.

Much later, when I came to help my son Sebastien Blanc design his first bachelor pad, he had one room in which to work, dine and relax in front of the television. As an acting coach and theatre director his workspace is incredibly important to him so there was no question that we needed to find space to accommodate all his books and paperwork, not to mention scripts and notebooks! By using a screen we partitioned off the living room, thereby concealing the inner workings of his office in a way that was both decorative and practical.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Four Panel Screen

Contemporary four panel screen in painted ash.

If you’re considering introducing a screen into your living space it’s worth bearing in mind that they can be used in a number of different ways. A solid screen covered in either fabric, wallpaper or other opaque material can be used to shield weak areas of a room from view (such as a home office or kitchenette). Placed in front of a large window, an opaque screen will offer privacy whilst still allowing the light to spill over the top.

Screens featuring translucent panels of sheer fabric, glass or an intricately carved trellis like the one pictured above are well suited to open plan living as they help to shape the space and define certain areas whilst allowing light to flow freely. A mirrored screen serves both functions as it acts as a solid screen whilst bouncing light back into the room. These beautiful, rustic wooden room dividers pictured below are really unique and are a wonderful way to bring the outdoors in. Because the structure of the wooden branches is fairly loose and organic they can help shape a room without dominating and are particularly well suited to commercial properties.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Room Dividers

Left: Room divider in white painted mahogany. Right: Room divider made from natural wood branches.

Of course a screen can also be purely decorative and a wonderful way to introduce a piece of art into your home! An antique screen like the one belonging to my Grandmother would complement a traditional scheme perfectly but would also work in a contemporary setting where it would provide contrast and an extra layer of interest. Modern screens like the one pictured below (made by furniture designer Julian Chichester) look fantastic as part of a minimalist setting, where the beauty of the materials is really able to shine.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Vellum Screen

Above: A contemporary screen in grey polished vellum by Julian Chichester.

These hand painted, sheer silk panels by luxury French design house de Gournay (pictured below) were another fantastic find at this year’s Decorex. A curtain of sheer fabric like this is a wonderful alternative to the traditional folding screen and is especially suited to life in the tropics where Island breezes would really show off the fluidity of this beautiful material. Weighting the curtain at the bottom edge would provide just the right amount of stability whilst still allowing for movement.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Silk Panels

Above: Hand painted sheer silk panels by de Gournay at Decorex this year.

Above: Blossom branches and pink peonies feature in this chinoiserie design hand painted onto silk by de Gournay.

Above: Blossom branches and pink peonies feature in this chinoiserie design hand painted onto silk by de Gournay.

The beautiful blossom branches and overblown pink peonies (pictured above) would look gorgeous as part of a feminine scheme. I love the way that the white paint used on the very tips of the petals is ever so slightly more opaque, giving the flowers a real sense of depth. The two sheer curtain pictured below are also by de Gournay and show how changing the colourway can produce very different effects. On the left, a sheer curtain in canary yellow and blue softens what is otherwise a very stark space. On the right hand side a panel of sheer black silk leads the eye into a sophisticated study. Shades of red in the flowers and lamp shades complete the curtains colour palette perfectly.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Sheer Silk Panels

Above: Hand painted sheer silk panels by de Gournay can be used to divide a space whilst still allowing light to flow freely through the room.

Screens come in so many shapes and sizes there really is one to fit every occasion. For more inspirational screens and room dividers head over to my Pinterest board and let me know which is your favourite!

Jenny Blanc in The English Home magazine…

Jenny Blanc Blog - English Home Magazine

The September issue of The English Home magazine, featuring Jenny’s ‘Little Black Book’ column.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc Picture

Jenny Blanc

Those already familiar with The English Home magazine may have spotted Jenny Blanc in the June, September and October issues recently! The English Home is a monthly publication which delivers just the right blend of inspiration, practical advice and escapism for those seeking that quintessential English look. In the September issue I have shared some of my insights into interior design and the secrets of a luxurious lifestyle in the regular ‘Little Black Book’ feature! Settle down with a cup of tea and find out what’s on my radar for the coming season including my favourite locations for happy antiques hunting in London, where I go to feel inspired when I’m in Paris and the part of my home that I’m getting ready to re-design!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Little Black Book

Above: Jenny’s ‘Little Black Book’ column for The English Home magazine.

Period furniture design
I love Georgian furniture and my home is full of antiques. Part of the pleasure of antiques comes from searching out just the right piece. Happy hunting grounds are Kempton Park Antiques Market and Guinevere on the Kings Road.

Sources of inspiration
I love Paris and especially the basilica of Sacre Coeur. Its exotic architecture and pristine white stone dominate the skyline of Montmartre and you get a spectacular panoramic view of the city of Paris from the top of the dome.

Jenny Blanc Blog - The Basilica of Sacre Coeur

The basilica of Sacre Coeur – climb to the top of the tower for the best views of Paris!

Beautiful things are to be used
I have a set of beautiful and delicate etched champagne coupes; antique pieces from the 1920’s. I use them every time I open a bottle of champagne. My philosophy is that if you have beautiful things, you should use them and not put them away in a cupboard.

Refreshing my own home
I am currently re-designing my study in the annex in the garden. I use it as a quiet place for writing and to catch up with friends with my gorgeous golden retriever, Mr Darcy, sitting at my feet. My office needs to be ergonomically functional with everything I need close to hand, peaceful and beautifully designed so that it is relaxing to work there. Colour and elegant furniture play a great part in achieving these requirements.

Jenny Blanc Blog - October Advertisment

Above: Jenny Blanc in the October issue of The English Home magazine.

The October issue of The English Home magazine (pictured above) features the master bedroom from one of my very favourite projects in Barbados. The soothing duck egg blue tones used throughout this room help create a really calming environment. The love seat at the end of the grand, four poster bed is the perfect spot for breakfast while the sumptuous rug underfoot gives the whole room a feeling of luxury! A dash of colour in the form of local art brings the scheme to life.

Jenny Blanc Blog - June Advertisment

Above: Jenny Blanc in the June issue of The English Home magazine.

The June issue of The English Home magazine (pictured above) features a wonderful reading nook I designed for a traditional English guest bedroom. I just love the sumptuous toile de jouy curtains and red striped armchair together – two contrasting prints that harmonise perfectly because of their uniform colour palette. Details like the antique red and white china bowl planted with fresh spring flowers add character and charm to the overall scheme.