Jenny writes: Decorex 2016

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc Portrait

Jenny Blanc

Decorex is one of my favourite events in the autumn trade show calendar and one that I look forward to with much anticipation. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet with some of my favourite designers and see their new collections first hand – nothing beats touching and feeling a product and as a designer, it’s very important to see fabrics, wallcoverings and furniture on a large scale. There were some stunning offerings this year from some of our longstanding suppliers including Baker & Gray, Tamerisk, Robert Langford and Heathfield & Co. but I was also surprised to discover so many exciting new brands – many of whom we will be welcoming to our West London and Barbados showrooms over the coming weeks!

Today I would like to share a few of the things that caught my eye this year. Below you’ll find stunning fabrics, contemporary lighting to spark the imagination and one or two exciting new products which are the perfect finishing touch to give your home a little lift this autumn and are coming soon to the UK showroom! I hope you enjoy – Jenny

Fabrics and Wallcoverings…

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Jenny Blanc Blog - Fabrics and Wallcoverings pic2Jenny Blanc Blog - Fabrics and Wallcoverings pic3

Lighting…

Jenny Blanc Blog - Lightings pic4

Finishing Touches…

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Barbados Shines at Chelsea Flower Show!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Chelsea Flower Show

The Barbados Horticultural Society’s ‘This Place Barbados’ garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc Picture

Jenny Blanc

Last week London was abuzz with the excitement of the Chelsea Flower Show (widely considered to be the ‘greatest flower show on earth’). I thoroughly enjoyed it this year as always however, today I’m going to be handing the reins over to Design Director Sue Thomas-Richardson who has a very personal connection with one garden in particular. So without further ado – over to Sue!

 

Jenny Blanc Blog - Sue Thomas-Richardson

Sue Thomas-Richardson

‘As a Barbadian born and bred, I was of course delighted that the Barbados Horticultural Society have been awarded a gold medal (their eighteenth in 28 consecutive years) at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. My mother is a long serving member of the BHS and brought the first Barbados exhibit to Chelsea Flower show in 1985. She was heavily involved every year after until her retirement in 2010 at the grand age of 88 so it has a very personal connection for me. Barbados is a very small island but thanks to the dedication of members of the BHS and it’s team of volunteers (both on the island and here in the UK) we can not only have a presence at a world class exhibition such as the Chelsea Flower Show but take home a gold medal – an absolutely incredible achievement!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Ainsley Harriot Entertains Press and Visitors

A Chelsea pensioner (left) and Ainsley Harriott (right), long-time friend of the island of Barbados, entertain press and visitors at the show last Monday.

 The theme for the 2016 exhibit, ‘This Place Barbados’  (in a year when we celebrate 50 years as an Independent Nation) vividly depicts the shape and topography of the island, complete with the country’s 11 Parishes, each one represented by different flowers and foliage, surrounded by several quintessential natural features and attractions. From the vibrant colours of Bridgetown Market and the Oistins fishing village in the south, to the swaying sugar cane and golden rum of St. Lucy in the north, visitors to the exhibit enjoyed a visual trip around Barbados that also magically reveals the magnificent underground splendour of Harrisons Cave and the lush botanical gardens found within the fertile tropical interior, including Orchid World, Andromeda, Flower Forest and Hunte’s Garden.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Flowers and Foliage Display

Perhaps even more impressive than the garden itself though is the work that goes on behind the scenes by the Barbados Horticultural Society and its team of dedicated volunteers to bring this little corner of Barbados to Chelsea. Every bloom and piece of foliage used in the garden was grown on the island before being carefully packed into 72 cases and flown to London, free of charge, by Virgin Atlantic. It is worthy of mention that the judges at Chelsea pay special attention to the condition and quality of the individual blooms and foliage so the Barbados Horticultural Society team deserves further high commendation for successfully growing and acquiring such magnificent floral material at a time when Barbados was suffering drought conditions.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Barbados Horticultural Society Team

One of the significant secondary roles of the BHS exhibit at Chelsea is to promote the importance of tourism to the economy and lifestyle of Barbados, as well as to portray how the amazing beauty of our natural environment is an integral factor in making our island such an attractive place to live or visit. On Monday’s special Celebrity and Media Day, Ainsley Harriott, long term friend of the country, charmed and entertained a steady stream of representatives of the press and media for over two hours. The tremendous BHS success story at the Chelsea Flower Show is a classic example of how Barbadians can achieve truly world-class standards when they work together as a team.’

The stunning photographs of the Barbados Horticultural Society’s ‘This Place Barbados’ garden seen here were taken by award winning flower and garden photographer Derek St Romaine. You can see more of his wonderful work on his website Garden Photo Library

I hope you have enjoyed todays peek at the ‘This Place Barbados’ garden! This year’s show is a particularly special one with Cleve West (who created the garden at our London showroom when we first opened 20 years ago) winning a gold medal for his ‘M&G Garden’. Raymond Blanc providing hospitality and my Son Olivier Blanc assisting with the Tom Smith Plant’s garden (pictured below). The Tom Smith Plant’s garden is a container grown fruit and vegetable garden designed to show what can be grown in a small space and was awarded a silver gilt medal at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. At last year’s Hampton Court Flower Show Oli won a bronze medal for his garden based on the world of Henri Le Worm, a colourful character created by Oli and his business partner, Charlotte Salt, which aims to inspire and educate children about growing, cooking and eating good food. The garden featured wonderful examples of home grown fruit and veg kindly provided by Tom Hare Plants so Oli was very pleased to be able to reciprocate and lend a hand at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. You can read about Oli’s success at last year’s Hampton Court Flower Show here and learn more about Henri Le Worm and his friends by visiting the website at www.henrileworm.com

Jenny Blanc Blog - Selection of The Tom Smith Plants Garden

Above: Rainbow chard, beetroot and lettuce at The Tom Smith Plants Garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower show.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Orange Tree and Leeks at The Tom Smith Plants Garden

Above: An orange tree and leek at The Tom Smith Plants Garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower show.

Did you attend the Chelsea Flower Show this year? Do let me know your highlights!

Dreams do come true… celebrating our 20th Anniversary in style!

Jenny Blanc Blog - 20 Years Floral Arrangement

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc End of Summer

Jenny Blanc

This Wednesday marks 20 years to the day that Chrissie Marshall and I opened the doors to our beautiful showroom here in West London. Help us celebrate and join us for a glass of bubbly at our London or Barbados showrooms for the rest of this month! Enjoy some party nibbles and take 20% off the price of everything in store – our treat to say thank you for all your support over the last 20 years.

When I look at how far we have come I can’t quite believe it! Our vision back then was to be a source of beautiful, original furnishings, accessories and interiors expertise where people could shop in an environment that felt like a home from home.

Jenny Blanc's Beautiful Storefront Teddington

After we opened our Teddington showroom we very quickly found ourselves designing homes for a very loyal, local client base. When those clients outgrew their West London town houses and moved out to the country, they brought us with them to create the perfect family home for this new phase of their lives.

Having Barbadian Design Director Sue Thomas-Richardson on board from the outset proved invaluable as our reputation gradually grew by word of mouth and we started designing tropical holiday homes for our clients in Barbados and other islands. With our Caribbean client base growing and Sue’s unparalleled understanding of the island, it was an easy decision to open our showroom in Barbados – a dream which came true in 2011! My inspiration was always to create the best Interior Design showroom on the island and this is certainly something we have achieved – my daughter Emma Blanc is now firmly rooted on the island and as Caribbean Director, is perfectly placed to run the showroom as well as providing a very personal link for our design clients on the island.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Barbados Showroom

Today, with five International Property Awards under our belt (including the much coveted ‘World’s Best Interior Design, Private Residence’ in 2012), two stunning lifestyle showrooms, an exclusive range of Barbados made furniture as well as our own range of home accessories, I couldn’t be happier – or busier!

The sterling silver monkey bowl pictured above is our own unique design and is one of the pieces I’m the most proud of. Using natural coconut shells, each bowl is hand made by a skilled artisan – stylish, unusual and also versatile, it represents everything we stand for.

Before we dive headfirst into the next 20 years, here’s a little look at some of my favourite moments from the journey so far!

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Jenny writes… A blooming marvellous trip to Top Drawer!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Floral Display from Top Drawer Exhibition

Above: An inspiring floral display at this year’s first Top Drawer exhibition.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc End of Summer

Jenny Blanc

Top Drawer is one of the UKs leading international design exhibitions held twice a year at Kensington Olympia. It brings together brands from all over the world and covers everything from gifts and stationary to home accessories and soft furnishings! It’s an event I always look forward to as it’s a fantastic opportunity to source new products for our UK and Barbados showrooms but it also gives me the chance to get a feel for the latest trends that are going to appeal to our customers during the months to come. Today I would like to share with you a few things which caught my eye during my time at the show!

Jenny Blanc Blog - The Main Hall at Kensington Olympia Top Drawer Exhibition

Above: The main hall at Kensington Olympia, home to some of London’s best exhibitions including Top Drawer.

With thoughts now turning towards the warmer months to come, there is a fresh interest in all things floral! Artificial flowers in particular have become very sophisticated in recent years and some of those on display at Top Drawer looked deceptively like the real thing! One of my favourite companies combined individual stems to create dramatic, downwards sweeping arrangements tumbling out of urns and vases which have been cited as the next big thing by industry trend spotters! Artificial flowers can be very useful particularly at this time of year in the UK when spring is still a long way off. We currently have some fantastic artificial arrangements in both our UK and Barbados showrooms which not only provide an eye catching centrepiece but will save a fortune on buying fresh cut flowers every week! The trick is to combine them with a mixture of real flowers and foliage to create beautiful, long lasting arrangements.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Display of Hydrangeas Peonies and an Urn with a Pink Flamingo

Above: A stunning display of hydrangeas and peonies tumble from an urn whilst a pink flamingo nods to the trend for all things tropical!

Another trend which caught my eye were the fabulous tropical prints which popped up on everything from stationary to purses, trays and even lampshades! Tropical prints are a really fun way to introduce a dash of vibrant colour into your home this Spring but tropical doesn’t have to mean bright – as the gold embossed pineapple note cards pictured below demonstrate!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Tropical Note Cards

Above: These fabulous note cards demonstrate the trend for all things tropical – whether vibrant and bright or something more sophisticated.

If you would like to dip your toe into the water with this trend then a palm leaf print is the perfect place to start – these vibrant green leaves are instantly recognisable and feel natural and fresh whilst giving a nod to the tropical theme. Whether in the UK or abroad, the palm print invitations, cocktail napkins and dinner plates would set the scene for a summer garden party perfectly.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Palm Print Initations Cocktail Napkins and Paper Dinner Plates

Above from left to right: Palm print invitations, cocktail napkins and paper dinner plates.

One very broad trend which I noticed throughout the show was a renewed appreciation for natural forms. Whether it’s a beautiful piece of coral or a gilded clam shell like the one pictured below, everywhere I turned I saw raw materials which were designed to be displayed and admired for their natural beauty alone. Coral objets and shells have always been popular in our Barbados showroom but this trend isn’t limited to the tropics. Wood, horn and minerals such as agate slices adorned everything from place mats to jewellery boxes at the show and make wonderful objet in their own right.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Gilded Clam Shell

Above: A gilded clam shell makes an eye catching centrepiece.

I hope all this talk of spring flowers and tropical colour hasn’t made you too desperate for summer as (in the UK at least) we’ve still got plenty of cold weather to come but I hope I have provided some inspiration for what the rest of the year might hold. We’re currently planning our Spring window and I look forward to sharing that with you later in the year!

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 Blanc writes… The Jenny Blanc experience, delivered to your door with Trouva

Jenny Blanc Blog - Gift Wrapped Christmas Gifts

Special delivery! Jenny Blanc’s luxurious gift wrapping is guaranteed to make anyone’s day.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc Picture

Jenny Blanc

At the Jenny Blanc Showroom in London we are used to welcoming customers who have travelled from far and wide to take advantage of our interior design expertise and shop for those finishing touches which make a home complete. Of course, it’s not always practical or possible for everyone to come and visit us in person which is why I’m so pleased to announce that Jenny Blanc is one of a select group of Boutiques to feature on Trouva – a new luxury shopping website which connects customers to fantastic independent brands across London and Brighton.

‘Trouva’ comes from the word ‘Trouvaille’ meaning ‘A lucky find’ and on the newly launched site you can expect to find wonderful and unique items from homeware to fashion, all in one place. I have really enjoyed the process of selecting items from the Jenny Blanc showrooms in both London and Barbados for our online shop – from popular bestsellers like our Swarovski Clutches to more unusual pieces like this fabulous Lobster Salt and Pepper Cruet (pictured below) there really is something for everyone – including the person who has it all!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Selection of Christmas Gifts at Trouva

Our lobster cruet sits front and centre on a table full of ideas and inspiration for unique Christmas gifts at the Trouva press launch.

The Trouva website is incredibly simple to use – local customers can take advantage of a 1 hour express delivery or free click and collect service, whilst delivery for those further afield starts at just £3.95 and is free for orders over £50. Jenny Blanc customers can enjoy our free gift-wrapping service making our Trouva site the perfect one-stop-shop for truly wonderful and unique gifts.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Limited Edition Cheese Board

Our fantastic limited edition cat and mouse cheese board – the perfect centrepiece for a decadent dinner party. Available from Trouva with free shipping.

Last week, our London Showroom Director Chrissie Cocks and I spent a wonderful afternoon at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch at the Trouva press launch, and enjoyed meeting some of the other boutiques who are also featured on the site. From decadent handmade chocolates by Paxton Chocolate to Mrs. White’s wonderful, natural cleaning products available at Roullier White, it was clear that every boutique featured on the site shares the same values of quality, rarity and unsurpassed customer service.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Showwroom Director Chrissie Cocks Meets-team Member From Roullier White

Showroom Director Chrissie Cocks meets a member of the team behind Dulwich based concept store Roullier White.

Our Trouva site contains everything from gifts for the lady or gentleman in your life, beautiful items for the home to exquisite one off treasures that last a lifetime. We will be adding new items to our Trouva page frequently – especially as we move towards the autumn/winter season and Christmas so to make sure you don’t miss out. Add it to your bookmarks and be sure to drop by often.

For those in need of a little inspiration, here are some of my ideas for wonderful gifts to suit any occasion…

For her…

Jenny Blanc Blog - Lovers Ring Catch and La Dame Aux Camelias Parfume

Lovers ring catch (left) £69.95 and La Dame aux Camelias parfume (right) £95. Both available online at Trouva and in our London Showroom.

This ‘lovers’ ring catch (pictured above, left) is very popular in the London showroom. Picking up on the trend for mixed metals, this 24k gold plate and stainless steel ring catch looks beautiful even when empty. Displayed on a vanity unit or bedside table it’s the perfect place to keep rings and other trinkets safe at the end of the day. What could be more romantic than perfume spritzed from a traditional atomiser? Named after the novel by Alexandre Dumas, La Dame aux Camelias (pictured above, right) with its floral notes is a wonderfully fresh, feminine fragrance that suits everybody.

For him…

Jenny Blanc Blog - Pewter Crocodile Stapler with Silver Double Photo Frame

Pewter crocodile stapler (above left) £95, Silver double photo frame (above right) £65. Both available online at Trouva and in our West London Showroom.

This Pewter Crocodile Stapler (pictured above left) is the perfect accent for a masculine desk and adds just the right amount of whimsy. Our silver double photo frame (pictured above right) is the perfect gift for a special celebration such as an Anniversary or Birthday – personalised with your own photos it makes a unique gift that he’ll treasure for a lifetime.

For the home…

Jenny Blanc Blog - Natural Marble Coasters and Monkey Design Tray

Set of four natural marble coasters (above left) £49.95. Lacquered tray featuring monkey design (above right) was £95 now £75.

I simply love these natural marble coasters (pictured above left) which have a wonderful weight to them and are really unusual. This set is perfect for the wine lovers amongst us! Our lacquered monkey tray (pictured above right) is an elegant design featuring wood and gilt – perfect for serving a decadent breakfast in bed or displayed on a sideboard as a decorative objet. One of my favourite touches is to fill it with beautiful and unusual bottles of liqueurs, gorgeous antique glassware and of course a silver cocktail shaker for the perfect home bar! It’s just the thing for adding a touch of the tropics to your home and best of all, it is currently on sale!

One of the wonderful features of Trouva is that you can add items to your ‘wishlist’ – either as a reminder to yourself or as a not-so-subtle hint to the potential present buyer in your life! What will you add to your wishlist? Do let me know in the comments and of course, happy shopping!
Jenny