When I started this business with my Showroom Director Chrissie Marshall in 1995 I couldn’t have anticipated that our West London showroom could have expanded to the level of an award-winning, international interior design company. It is something that gives me an immense feeling of pride. Nevertheless, the original premise of the business was to provide wonderful and unique soft furnishings, fabrics, home accessories and gifts. Over the years we have made close connections with all of the most exclusive and luxurious brands, compiling an extensive samples library, and access to the latest furniture, lighting, fabrics, wallpapers, flooring, mirrors and artwork collections, as well as superior curtain, cushion and blind treatments and upholstery. But, I still believe that everybody should be able to have something beautiful, even if their budget does not extend to a full design project.
Therefore, in the care of Chrissie in London, and my daughter Emma Blanc, the Caribbean Director in Barbados, we created Just Rooms. Chrissie and Emma provide fantastic expertise on all of the above, whether you need a few accessories to personalise a room, to creating a whole new dining room, living room or bedroom and everything in between. So this week, I thought I’d show a few rooms that we have transformed in the hope that you will be inspired, and also to provide you with some design food for thought…
This week Caribbean Director, Emma Blanc, speaks about the special connection that Jenny Blanc has with The Barbados Sea Turtle Project and the wonderful products that we have had specially commissioned in the name of this crucial cause…
Having lived on the beach for the last 5 years I have had the privilege and pleasure of witnessing the nesting and hatching of many of the now critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles of Barbados, even having to rescue over 100 hatchlings from the pool in front on our building as they mistook the lights for the moon.
Sadly they have become endangered due to over-harvesting by man, primarily for the illegal trade of the shell but also for their meat & eggs. The population recovery is an extremely slow process and even their nesting beaches are under threat from irresponsible beach front developments which can result in their nests being washed away.
Thankfully, The Barbados Sea Turtle Project offers sound advice to our visitors and residents on how to interact with the nesting and hatching process and what you should and should not do if you are fortunate enough to be in the right place. The project has a special hotline to call as soon as you see activity on the beach, and The Barbados Sea Turtle Project website is www.barbadosseaturtles.org
Jenny Blanc has therefore pledged its support to The Barbados Sea Turtle Project, and we are donating 5% from the sale of each turtle item we have at the Barbados Showroom from coasters to cushions to our very own Limited Edition Turtle Sculptures.
If you want to see the Turtles for yourself they nest on all beaches of the south and west coast of the island. However, due to concerns about safety, The Sea Turtle project usually recommends the South Coast Boardwalk as the best place for observing sea turtles.
Barbados is extremely important for these lovely creatures having the second largest Hawksbill nesting population in the wider Caribbean, about 500 a year! Most other islands have populations of less than 200 a year down to a miniscule 2 -5 per year.
As tempting as it may be to try and get close, it takes a mother over an hour to lay her eggs. So, she needs to be left to do this in as much peace as possible. The same goes for the hatching process, if you see them emerge at night and they are moving towards the sea, let them go!
These wood carving branches below are formed from a naturally occurring, mushroom-like growth that embeds itself into the bark of a White Cedar or Chinaberry tree. The growths are so hard and dense that they don’t decay when the tree is dead and rots away leaving them to be picked up and the used as a beautiful base for our Swimming Turtles, crafted by talented artisans.
The majority of team at The Barbados Sea Turtle Project are all volunteers and it is seriously underfunded, which is why we would like you to help us help them and at the same time enhance your home with something lovely from our Turtle collection at the Barbados showroom in St James.
Maco Magazine was the first of its kind as a high-end glossy magazine dedicated to Caribbean lifestyle and architecture throughout the Windward Islands and retailed internationally including Barnes & Noble and Borders. We featured in a two-page spread in the January 2015 edition, which details the fantastic range of services that are on offer in our showroom in St. James, Barbados, built on 12 years of expert knowledge and experience, from our complete interior design service to advice on accessorising. This issue featured a sensational front cover, with a lush, tropical scene that simply invited you to delve in. We hope you enjoy it…
International interior design company, Jenny Blanc, has built up an impressive portfolio of homes and apartments in the Caribbean over the past 12 years. Their head office, beautiful lifestyle showroom and design studio, based in West London, are ideally located for UK-based clients with homes abroad or in Britain to attend design meetings and concept presentations. The company’s talented designers have developed indispensable local knowledge and specialist expertise on the best furnishings for tropical living in terms of style, quality and durability. The calibre of their work has been acknowledged with three International Property Awards for projects in the Caribbean and in 2012 the company won World’s Best Interior Design for a private residence in the UK.
In December 2011, Jenny Blanc launched their hugely successful and popular showroom in Barbados which works in close synergy with the design office and showroom in London and serves as a linchpin in the Caribbean for the interior design service offering an unsurpassed selection of the most beautiful, original products for the home. Three years on the showroom goes from strength to strength as a wonderful design resource throughout the islands and is a magnet for international home owners.
The experienced and knowledgeable showroom staff are always on hand to give a friendly and efficient service and with professional help and advice to customers. Both showrooms offer an extensive range of stunning and carefully sourced products and services:
Homes Accessories: Tabletop: special occasion tableware, glasses, coasters, table mats, table cloths and napkins. Living: an extensive library of the beautiful fabrics and soft furnishings, furniture, rugs, cushions, objets, sculptures and original artwork for walls. Lighting: standard lamps, table lamps, chandeliers, candles and storm lanterns. Outdoor: beach towels, beach bags, picnic and outdoor dining ware.
The showroom also offers an accessorising service visiting your home to add those extra finishing touches such as cushions, objets, lamps, mirrors and artwork.
Home Furnishing Service: If you are looking to furnish your home yourself you can benefit from the experience and advice of the professional team to help you select the most suitable pieces, whether it be for a whole house in private use or for the more practical and durable items for holiday rentals; even if just to furnish one room. Many items are available from stock or you can enjoy beautiful furniture designed by the company and made locally in Barbados. There is also an extensive library of catalogues from the best international suppliers from which to make your selection. Our team will then manage the ordering and shipping of your purchases from door to door.
Outdoor Furniture Ranges: The company prides itself on representing many of the finest collections of outdoor furniture and the experienced showroom staff will be only too pleased to advise on the best and most suitable pieces for you. All ranges can be purchased through both showrooms with many examples available to view.
Cane-Line * Vincent Sheppard * Oxleys * Sika Design * Ego Paris * * Janus et Cie * TUUCI
Beautiful Gifts: You will find a unique range of exquisite gifts for those special occasions all beautifully gift wrapped just for you.
The company sources products from all over the world offering only the best, most stylish items which can be shipped anywhere in the Caribbean and beyond.
Ever since I created Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons with my ex-husband Raymond Blanc I’ve had a passion for dressing dining tables, it has become one of my favourite design elements when completing any commission. I cannot emphasise enough how important a stunning table is for creating a sense of occasion. Of course it is well known that French and Italian families gather together around the dining table, taking their time to enjoy a meal and the company – more so than the British – and with that goes the cooking and the table presentation. It comes as no surprise therefore that the most beautiful and practical table top ware is made in France and Italy, from tablecloths and mats, to china and glasses. When we opened Le Manoir I dressed tables with pink tablecloths, little individual antique silver milk jugs filled with pink tea roses, and a very pretty lamp on each table, the effect was delightful!
It is disappointing that beautiful linens, china and table-top items in my West London Showroom are rarely purchased. However, we are asked for plastic wipe clean mats, which do have their place of course. Actually, we have some fun new ones coming in soon, as well as a range of our own designs.
My passion for table top designs is now being fulfilled! With the opening of our second showroom in Barbados, I quickly recognised the demand for unusual, exotic, and simply beautiful table accessories as well as the more practical and everyday. I get so much pleasure from travelling and sourcing new and exciting items, knowing they are in such demand and appreciated for the Caribbean lifestyle. The abundance of the Caribbean’s colourful nature from tropical flowers to natural materials such as shells and coral provide a wealth of resources for table decoration. Using flowers and candles are a must of course, and flowers can be wild, from the countryside or just from your garden. They don’t have to be costly.
My Design Director, Sue Thomas-Richardson has just come back from a trip to Barbados working in our showroom and on design projects. During her visit she went for lunch with a friend, John Chandler, at Lancaster Great House for one of their famous Bajan Buffets – you may have seen the blog about the launch of John’s fabulous book, Hotel Barbados, at Lancaster Great House in November. The magnificent table setting above has inspired me to write my blog this week on the many unique, fantastic ways that table settings in the Caribbean can totally bring a room to life and create a memorable special occasion. The Dining Room at colonial style Lancaster Great House was transformed into a vivid cornucopia of luscious tropical flowers in contrasting pinks and purples, making the brunch a truly splendid event.
This sophisticated Caribbean dining table uses the natural greens of tropical plants, as well as a fabric embossed with velvet flowers. The two large hurricanes on bold, iron stands are fantastic centrepieces, decorated with shells and coral, which is picked up in the napkin rings. Special glassware – the featured glasses engraved with palm trees, matching the tropical surroundings – is a very easy way of making a meal special (available in our Showrooms).
The delicate red and yellow flowers in this centrepiece set off the green and orange table scheme and compliment the chargers, hand-painted with tropical fruits and leaves. Like the coral napkin rings above, these beaded, leaf napkin rings, add a subtle touch of frivolity and sparkle to the table. Due to the tropical climate it is very important to use resilient fabrics in the Caribbean. This gorgeous fabric by Perennials called Vintage Stripe in Mandarin is just right. ‘Perennial’ means persistent and enduring and this fabric can be used indoors and outdoors, so is just right for enhancing a Caribbean dining table. The green placemats (used above and below) also look so sophisticated with silver:
The subtle tones of the chairs covered in fabric embroidered with a pineapple, are complimented by the stunning Hillaby dining table by Jenny Blanc (made to order). The wreath of flowers, as a simple centrepiece, totally lifts the finish of the setting, picking out the pink embroidery in the napkins and the pink shells on the napkin rings.
Lighting is so important for creating a romantic ambience. Hurricanes always look fabulous on a tropical table and, paired with the flower arrangement, this trio creates a gentle glow over evening dining.
In this light and elegant outdoor terrace, the white and aqua scheme is mirrored in the chargers and bowls on the table. We used Coral Bay Pool by Kravet on the cushions, in a contemporary twist on a classic coral print. The white flowers surrounding a large candle on the table mirror the stunning floral chandelier. The table setting, with chargers and bowls in a sea-life design, completes the sophistication of this wonderful outdoor dining experience.
The plates, chargers and bowls used in the place settings above are all available in the Jenny Blanc Showrooms
Mirrors! I could talk about mirrors endlessly. In fact they are probably my favourite decorative item because they are so versatile. I can’t help myself, I just adore them. There are so many in my house I have now run out of space to hang them!
Although every detail of designing is important, mirrors and lighting are two of the most crucial elements. If the balance of lighting, reflection and the positioning of mirrors is not right, the rest of what you have achieved will not look its best. Moreover mirrors are not just beautiful objets for decoration. Properly placed they can significantly alter the feeling and proportions of a room, add light or create a focal point. There is no room in a house which cannot be improved with the addition of a mirror.
Given the opportunity, my preference is for antique mirrors. However there are many wonderful unique mirrors in our Jenny Blanc Collection designed by my Design Director, Sue Thomas-Richardson, which use shells, white coral and quartz as well as mother of pearl, bamboo, and mahogany. Our Caribbean clientele particularly love these and they look wonderful in houses in hot climates.
I plan to talk about the importance of lighting in a couple of weeks’ time, so watch this space! In fact, following this blog I will be regularly tweeting design ideas including the amazing ways in which mirrors can be used. So, please follow me on twitter and add me on Facebook – I simply can’t cover it all in one blog!
This stylish mirror made of black and mother of pearl shells is entirely contemporary in style. Getting the right height parallel to the console below is absolutely crucial. The antiqued, mirrored surface and base of the console compliment the mirror above and tie in with the black and silver scheme. This mirror could also be hung portrait to accommodate a high ceiling, or as a lean-to floor mirror.
This mirror with its contemporary ‘mondrianesque’ construction has antiqued silvering. With the shattered reflections it works brilliantly as a wall panel or as a piece of art in itself. I would place it either side of a bed to create a dramatic effect in a bedroom.
Mirrored furniture such as this drinks cabinet and side table are wonderful ways of creating light and reflecting the space in the living room of this London townhouse. The colour scheme in tones of grey is complimented by the sparkle of the mirrors.
We mirrored a whole wall in this wonderful dining room using tinted glass and studs. It creates the illusion of a far bigger room and adds interest with reflections of the candlelight, table settings, lighting and flowers. The finished effect is sumptuous and gorgeous, pure theatre! When you install a mirrored wall it does not preclude you from installing another individual mirror as a statement piece. We did in this dining room to maximum effect and the light reflecting back and forth between to two mirrors is electric.
Mirrors also need to be functional and will work in any environment. The variety of colours, materials and sizes is endless and is only limited by one’s imagination. Any wood can be used. Here, it is washed, pickled pine. Simple, pencil-thin, double wooden frames painted and inset with printed linen borders or weaves are great for cloakrooms and bedrooms. In a modern bedroom in Barbados I used a very large mirror. The effect was practical, but it was also stunning!
Antique Mirrors – my favourite!
Antique mirrors create instant style and sophistication. In a dining room setting I fitted a pair of stunning antique candle wall sconces onto distressed mirrored panels. I have to tell you everyone’s nerves were on edge as our brilliant fitter drilled into the mirrored panels to fit them. Unbelievably, nothing cracked! Reflected in the mirror, when lit, these sconces look like chandeliers and create a flickering glow that throws light around the room – just an amazing effect.
This elegant triptych mirror painted to compliment the cream and aqua scheme creates a lovely centrepiece and adds to the femininity of this delightful antique painted dressing table.
Good design involves thinking outside the box. When you have a fabulous bathroom, contemporary or traditional, why not install a stunning, oversized antique mirror? It serves both a practical purpose and can be a fabulous statement piece.
Shells are a naturally exuberant source of decoration. This ornate piece with white coral, pearlised shells and quartz is a Jenny Blanc exclusive design. Here is has been used as a focal feature in a small powder room, but it would look stunning anywhere in your home. Shell mirrors look fabulous wherever you are in the world, in whatever setting, but are particularly effective in bathrooms and cloakrooms.
I love to use of shells frames on mirrors and we recently received these new shell mirrors, hand made by a French artisan. The mussel mirror on the far right of the above image is available from the UK showroom, the rest are in Barbados!
Ins and Outs 2015 has arrived. Jenny Blanc has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the magazine, and indeed were the first company to sign up for their Interior Design section many years ago. Ins and Outs are also a franchisor for the popular travel web site “My Destination.com” which is a wonderful source of online information for the traveller.
The theme for this year’s issue is the great influence the sea plays in everyday life in Barbados. Jenny Blanc’s piece this year is all about how our interiors reflect the maritime climate of the island, and how the marine life itself inspires our work…
You are never more than 12 miles away from the sea in Barbados. It influences the climate, the way of life and leisure while attracting the many visitors which make it one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. For the Jenny Blanc team, the sea is an endless source of inspiration and design intelligence when creating homes for clients in Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean.
Barbados is surrounded by coral reefs and the island itself is composed of fossilized coral limestone. An important indigenous resource, the stone is white, light and porous, slow to heat and quick to cool making it a natural insulator against tropical weather. Many of the oldest houses in Barbados are built of coralstone and newly built homes use coralstone dust and white cement render on the interior and exterior faces of walls. It can also be carved and Jenny Blanc has designed beautiful architectural features, sconces, consoles and fabulous bases for coffee and dining tables in this versatile material.
Jenny Blanc has been designing interiors in Barbados for over 12 years and has acquired hands-on, practical knowledge of the best, most stylish furnishings for homes by the sea. The moisture, salt, heat, wet bathing suits and suntan oil are all tough on furniture and fittings and the designers will only specify those items they know will withstand these rigours and retain their quality. Fabrics and soft furnishings chosen are practical and washable without compromising the look. The company offers a wide range of outdoor furniture suitable for a tropical maritime climate many examples of which can be viewed in their Barbados showroom.
Jenny Blanc has selected an outstanding product range which is available from both the Barbados and London showrooms. Both practical and beautiful, these extend from matchless fabrics and furniture, marine-grade stainless steel storm lanterns, exquisite marine-inspired art and accessories adding those finishing touches, to soft, luxurious beach towels in tropical colours and stylish tableware for outdoor dining.
John Chandler is a great friend of the company and a much loved figure in Barbados. John and his wife Rain, established a wonderful reputation for their absolutely fabulous Sunday Buffet Lunches and private functions at Fisherpond House, which was voted Michael Winner’s ‘Best Personal Restaurant Experience’. Prior to this, John was the Owner and general Manager of The Ocean View Hotel which was one of the Grand Old Dames of Barbados hotels, host to a glittering array of prestigious and glamorous clientele, Norman Parkinson, Brian Ferry and David Linley to mention a few. It was often used as a stop over by the residents and visitors on their way to Mustique.
Jenny and Emma Blanc were thrilled to attend the launch of John’s sensational new book Hotel Barbados: My Life of Discretion at the Ocean View, in the presence of Sir Cliff Richard, who has written the forward to the book.
The launch was held at Lancaster Great House, a beautiful plantation house which John and Rain have recently bought and refurbished. Much to the delight of their many patrons, they are scheduled, once again, to open their doors for the continuance of their famous Sunday Buffet lunches, wonderfully lavish functions and private dinner parties.
The hospitality of John and Rain in their new home, Lancaster Great House, will of course reflect the traditions of the lavish and grand entertaining that would have played a big part in the history of this lovely plantation house.
You may have noticed our posts on Facebook and twitter. Jenny Blanc was so excited to be involved in the launch and we were delighted to host a book signing at our gorgeous Showroom in Sunset Crest, Barbados on Friday 12th December 2014, where glasses of celebratory champagne and delicious mince pies were enjoyed by many of our friends and regular clients who were invited to attend .
Hotel Barbados is on sale now in our Barbados Showroom, BDS$85.00 and will arrive in our London Showroom in the New Year.
Tyra Woodroffe came to Jenny Blanc six months ago winning our first scholarship to be awarded to a student on the 1-year Interior Design Certificate programme created by Jenny Blanc and offered to the design students of the Barbados Community College. And the prize ? To be flown to London all expenses paid including accommodation and remuneration to work for the first 6 months within the London design practice alongside our talented team.And, to get a good overall grounding and experience of the realities of working within Interior design which as you can see includes site visits! As Jenny Blanc also has two very beautiful design showrooms both here in London and Barbados, Tyra also spent time within the showroom gaining valuable knowledge about how to run a high end store. During her time she also attended Richmond upon Thames College to study AutoCAD Level 2 and to gain a City & Guilds Certification. She gained a 2nd place !
At the end of this life-enhancing experience for Tyra and everyone at Jenny Blanc, we asked Tyra to write a blog post about the key points she will take with her back to Barbados about interior design.
So in her words …….
Understand Your Client and The Brief – It’s vital to the success of the final outcome of any design that you understand what the client’s likes and dislikes are and combine that with their expectations for the design. Taking into consideration the budget and the aesthetic they are aspiring to, you can begin to piece together a scheme.
The Importance of Space Planning – Many people are unsure of how to maximise the functionality and enjoyment of spaces because they’re unable to visualise how furniture will come together in a space. Making use of space properly so there is enough room to move around comfortably and carry out tasks is essential. Therefore placement of furniture should be done carefully and to create a comfortable flow. Once these decisions have been made, then electrics and plumbing etc can be suitably positioned.
Scale and Proportion Meets All Aspects of Design – Although some furniture may go with the particular style you are aiming for, if the size is not in proportion with other elements in the scheme, the room can look lopsided or out of balance. Similar guidelines apply to prints in fabric or amounts of colour and texture.
Colour, Texture and Lighting – In my eyes, the three ways in which design begins to come alive and exist as more than mere pieces in space are when choices are made involving applications of colour, texture and light. At Jenny Blanc the attention to detail where fabric is concerned is remarkable and it’s the main way of introducing colour and texture. So making sure the right type of fabric is chosen for the right use like something with more substance and strength for upholstery and high traffic areas whilst also maintaining an appeal from a tactile standpoint so it feels lovely to the touch. And, of course, without light we can’t perceive colour, so it’s crucial to make sure the placement and intensity of light fixtures is well thought through.
The Ability To Be Flexible – Like all other things the world of design can never be completely perfect. What a good designer will understand is how to adapt to changing situations like a customer changing their mind or a finish being out of stock or damaged etc and still have the job pulled off to deadline and looking beautiful.
Professionalism – The design side apart, in order for your business to be taken seriously a high level of professionalism should be maintained both between client and designers and also among all members of a design team. Without this standard clients will not be drawn to work with you despite the end product.
And finally, as a young adult newly entering the world of work, I never dreamt it would be as it has – I’ve been so fortunate to enjoy this experience over the past six months. Unsurprisingly, I am eagerly awaiting the Barbadian sunshine at home, but also looking forward to new and exciting challenges on the Caribbean side of Jenny Blanc. My time spent here has been an invaluable part of my growth process and the start of, hopefully, a long and rewarding career designing spaces to inspire. Tyra Woodroffe Assistant Interior Designer
And the next stage of her scholarship …..
Tyra is back on home ground as we post this blog. After catching up with friends and family and having a restful Christmas basking in sunshine, she will join the Barbados showroom team for a further six months training on the other side of the design and retail business that is Jenny Blanc. This will include working alongside Emma Blanc, Jenny’s daughter, who runs the Barbados Showroom. Tyra’s training there will be based on new design enquiries, assisting clients to choose beautiful and practical accessories for homes Jenny Blanc may have just completed, or clients visiting us for the first time to add to their existing homes or a refurnish. This involves working on the retail side of the business and, very importantly, learning all the details and marketing of our outdoor furniture ranges which are so important within The Caribbean- the majority of life is spent outside in hot climates. As well as using her new skills in AutoCad, Tyra will assist our Design Director, Sue Thomas-Richardson, whilst she is overseeing design projects which Jenny Blanc is currently working on in Barbados and other Islands. Say hello to Tyra from us if you meet her there!
Christmas in the Caribbean is a slightly different affair to chestnuts roasting on an open fire and steaming cups of mulled wine. However, the fresh colours and characteristic Caribbean fruits, flowers and fauna can be carried into the holiday season with a touch of magic and sparkle. During her winter visit to Barbados, Jenny has designed some spectacular decorations using the just-arrived accessories in the showroom…
This beautiful silver stand arranged with mini hurricanes and twinkling tea-lights acts as a fantastic centrepiece, presenting a new twist on the traditional Caribbean Christmas table. Green and silver is exactly the kind of colour combination that retains the fresh Caribbean colour palette whilst introducing a festive theme. Glittering wreaths and branches interwoven with abundant flower arrangements add the necessary sparkle for Christmas decoration in the Caribbean.
This shade of orange is timelessly chic, which immediately says Christmas when paired with pearls, golds and again a touch of silver. Pairing the traditional such as this glass christmas tree with this unique gold-painted pineapple and pearlised shell charger and bowl, blends festive decoration with Caribbean style.
Touches of celebratory red on a background of glass, again, featuring a shell design is a characteristic reminder of Christmas. Filling a vase with potpourri, cascading glittering branches and surrounding with a more contemporary silver wreath creates a rich and original centrepiece.
Simply fill large hurricanes with frosted pine cones and pine fronds to immediately update a classic for the festive season, and place around any living space. Surrounding the base with a silver wreath adds a glamorous finishing touch.
The eagerly awaited Autumn issue of Living Barbados is popping up in cafes and lobbies all over the island as we post this blog. It is the magazine to watch for what’s happening in interiors in Barbados. For their November issue, the magazine has featured the Bespoke designs Jenny Blanc has developed on the island with an article Island Made Furniture Collection.
As with any design project using indigenous materials is the most conducive way to create a synergy between architecture, furniture and accessorising. We have tapped into the expertise on Barbados, much of it carried out by generations of craftsmen working with materials sourced locally.
Metalwork has developed over the years to create a decorative detail which allows light and air to filter through the room whilst at the same time creating a stunning detail and as an alternative to the standard security grills. These leaf panels, appearing to float in window apertures, were inspired by the philadendron which romps away on the island. These designs are also adapted for use on decorative stair rails.
The Hillaby table seen here in the Barbados showroom is a fabulous example of wrought iron designed in our studios. The iron is powder coated to make it durable enough to be used on a verandah withstanding the onslaught of tropical weather. The imported marble top gives it a classic/contemporary edge. Alternatively this table is produced with a beautiful wooden top.
Wood has been carved for centuries on the island. This stunning mahogany bed, has all the hallmark design features which defines a Barbadian four poster, yet has been brought right up to date by the design team with the fine proportions and detailing.
This headboard with its impressive height to give a large king size bed presence, defines traditional style for today. The caning which allows air to circulate is still done by the skills of the blind workshop on the island. The distressed chalky white finish has been chosen to fit in with the light, fresh beachy look clients aspire to.
A colonial style sofa with the distinctive caning feature has been given a scratched pickle finish for a more distressed look. The colours and finishes are the detail which makes each piece bespoke.
For more about our bespoke work, be one of the first to see and read the Living Barbados feature Click Here
With winter just around the corner, its time to cosy up in bed with a good book in a wonderfully cocooning sanctuary. Bed design is taking its lead from the days of Elizabeth I when four-poster beds were designed with thick curtains which could be drawn to keep out the chilly winds which swept through large baronial residences and palaces. Luckily, central heating sorted out the problem, but clients still love this decadent, imposing style for bedrooms.
Today’s designs are wonderfully elegant like this stunning version installed recently in a client’s home. It’s the perfect foil for the heat of the Caribbean, although this Jenny Blanc design would fit seamlessly into any hemisphere. And with history repeating itself ( the British took out their very English cabinetwork to Barbados centuries ago), Jenny Blanc is now shipping this four-poster design back to England for clients.
With an altogether different look this four-poster creates a dreamy retreat from the heat of the day. The sheers fall softly to the floor letting the cool breezes filter through the cotton voile.It’s everybody’s idea of a dream bedroom. Striking colours punctuate the cool white scheme.
Contemporary looks are just as achievable with this wrought iron bed which acts as a sleek framework for billowy sheers.
Jenny has always loved coronets and her own guest bedroom is home to an imposing antique French design. She’s chosen a hand blocked linen chintz Donovan’s Chinese Lady from Jean Monro for the coronet drapes, setting off the gilded coronet beautifully. It’s not a surprise to see Jenny’s trademark cushions and fur throws completing the look. And talking of fur throws, the new collection of fur for Christmas has just arrived in the London showroom. Come and cuddle up on a sofa or two!
The Barbados showroom is very busy preparing for the new season ahead. The run up to Christmas is a key time on the island with homeowners arriving each week to enjoy winter sun and Christmas in a very different climate from back home.
The sun, sea and climate are guaranteed and whilst this is wonderful from a holiday point of view, the furniture on the island has to cope with these extremes from one season to the next. Many homeowners need to refresh their verandah look every few years – it’s an important area as so much socialising goes on in verandahs and terraces!
We’ve been working on design projects in the Caribbean for over 12 years now and have road tested the best furniture. Vincent Sheppard is one of our top five and at Maison Objet show in Paris each season we touch base with the company to see the new designs.
One of our favourite’s at the show this September is the Loop Lounge Chair. It’s light to handle and to move around which has its advantages as furniture can be moved in line with the sun. The design gives a light and airy look to a verandah and is also unbelievably comfortable- air can circulate through the tautly strung construction. They’ve designed a footrest and coffee table to go with which are simple with a modern edge. This is a new departure for Vincent Sheppard as their collection emanates from the Lloyd Loom style of furniture design. Our clients love this look too in the Caribbean as it suits every type of property from a traditional plantation house to a contemporary condo.
We carry examples of our verandah furniture ranges in the Barbados showroom so clients can try out styles and also understand the quality of each brand. The showroom team in Barbados see what people go for at first hand, so we asked them to pinpoint what clients look for. Emma Blanc, Caribbean Director, explains-
Most importantly, Vincent Sheppard has the durability for the harsh weather conditions we have here in Barbados. We recently visited a client’s property in Port St.Charles which is right on the ocean and exposed to intense weather. It was amazing to see their Vincent Sheppard furniture which we supplied at least 5-6 years ago still in great condition. Also, the Lloyd loom weave is elegant in comparison with other woven furniture we see here on the island. One of our favourite pieces in the entire collection is the ‘Butterfly lounge chair’, the most comfortable chair ever. We recently placed a pair in a client’s guest room. I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved them over to their master bedroom as they have found them so comfortable . And, from a design point of view, the range of colours pair so easily with other furniture and work so well with fabric’s Jenny Blanc loves to use for Caribbean projects.
The London showroom have also used this brand for years, finding it the perfect solution for clients looking for sophisticated furniture for conservatories.Vincent Sheppard also works beautifully in large living areas combining a kitchen with family living space. It’s got everything we are looking for in a brand – style, quality and timeless appeal.
visit the showrooms in London and Barbados. It was so good to meet Amanda Redman MBE. Of course praise for her exceptional part in New Tricks came up in conversation as she chatted away to us on our very own Jenny Blanc Collection casting couch.
Laid-back Lifestyle Clients wanting to create their tropical paradise in the Caribbean have a set of criteria based on holidaying in the many varied islands from Mustique, Barbados, The Grenadines and Turks & Caicos- this is to name just a few of the islands all with their own version of tropical paradise. It’s a very different place from home with chilling out and relaxing at the very top of the wish list. Over the last week or so we’ve been reporting on the design influences from Maison & Objet in Paris, and how sophisticated recycling is influencing architecture, decoration, furniture and accessories for interiors. Interpreting this look for the Caribbean creates a style the design team love to achieve for clients with indigenous materials and vegetation playing an important part – it’s a look which also translates beautifully for a peaceful Mallorca retreat or a rural mountain getaway-from-it-all in the South of France. Palm leaves form canopies of shade with furniture hewn from local woods. Colours reflect the water’s edge and the morning sky and atmosphere is created with mood lighting. These pictures tell a strong design story which the design team believe is so in keeping with relaxed living- it’s so easy to imagine being there and living the dream.
Jenny Blanc has developed a unique relationship with artisans in Barbados marrying their artistry with the stunning design effects which can be produced using coral stone. The island is geologically formed largely of coral stone. It is a limestone with an almost pure white appearance and has been used as a building material for over a 100 years although today there is just one inland quarry remaining. It’s surface texture and composition make it an ideal material for sculpture and it is also used as an exterior and interior screed for buildings.Take a trip around the island and it is the coral stone along with the lush, colourful vegetation which creates a very unique look for Barbados. And, it’s a striking look discerning clients want to replicate in both classic and contemporary island homes.
The process of creating a coral stone design starts as a series of drawings from the design department in London. Next the artisans find the appropriate piece of quarried coral stone. It varies in texture and density, so each piece is checked with the design department before the artisans even pick up a chisel. As each layer of the design is completed, images are sent back to the design department to make sure the design fits the brief.
This sea horse inspired table is one of the latest Jenny Blanc designs.The coral stone base was completed first and is finished with a pickled ash tabletop. This is a temporary measure as a very unique piece of marble, some three metres long and one and a half metres wide is being flown in ready for Christmas entertaining.
This elegant plinth in coral stone becomes as one with the ornate gold mirror placed above it and was designed to give a hallway of a home in Polo Ridge a more imposing feel.
Taking inspiration from the fruits on the island, this pineapple inspired console table intricately worked in coral stone was created off site and then installed with a very professional hand to suggest it is at one with the property.
A stunning approach to designing in coral stone from the Jenny Blanc Design team. The Barbadian monkey has been intricately crafted into this large expanse of coral stone for a dramatic approach to hallway decoration. Set off with concealed lighting, this inspired design is totally unique.
One lucky Barbadian student will be off to England in July to take up a one-year scholarship, awarded to the Barbados Community College by London-based international designers Jenny Blanc Interiors.
Tyra Woodroffe, an 18 year-old graduate of the BCC’s design programme, emerged the first student to be awarded the Jenny Blanc Design Scholarship when students and tutors came together for the formal presentation on Friday at the Jenny Blanc showroom at Holetown, St. James.
Emma Blanc, the Caribbean Director for Jenny Blanc, made the presentation to the former Queen’s College student , who at one time wanted to be a dentist, and reported that Woodroffe’s project won the highest acclaim and the all-expenses-paid scholarship.
“I’m really happy and really thankful to Jenny Blanc and my tutors. The project ticked off something in me and I am thrilled to know that I will have the opportunity to work in London with such a recognised international design company,” said Woodroffe.
Through the partnership with the BCC, students enrolled in the 2014 Certificate in Interior Design programme were required to design a four-bedroom luxury home – complete with furniture, fabrics, lighting and functional spaces – for a family who chose Barbados as a destination holiday.
This project , together with the course work of the students, was then assessed and reviewed by Jenny Blanc Design Director , Sue Thomas-Richardson , and BCC tutors , Lisa Rudder and Stephen Jackman, before the most deserving student was determined.
“The projects were all great and creative and not much separated the top two. Tyra got the nod with a confident presentation which underscored the good use of space and location. Her use of colours and textures also effectively linked with the theme,” said Thomas-Richardson.
Caribbean Director Emma Blanc, the daughter of renowned British designer Jenny Blanc, said the company has been designing homes in Barbados for over 11 years and was committed to giving back to the community and to assisting young designers on the island.
The scholarship, she said, is a youth development partnership with the BCC and designed for students under 25 years of age to enhance their education and exposure . The recipient will spend six months in London and 6 months in Barbados and enroll in a UK-based college course in design .
Among the courses to be undertaken are computer courses in AutoCAD drawing, Photoshop and 3-D , while the lucky student will also gain hands-on business experience with training in both the Jenny Blanc UK and Barbados showrooms.
Senior Tutor in the Fine Arts Division of the Barbados Community College, Bernadine Scott-Boyce praised Jenny Blanc Interiors for creating the scholarship programme and the opportunity for exposure for young BCC students.
This, she said, will be an incentive to encourage students to aim higher and work harder.
Well done to the six students at the Barbados Community College who took part in the Jenny Blanc Design Scholarship and who made their presentations before a panel of judges on 13th May, 2014.
The challenge was to create designs for a 2-level, 4 bedroom property with a wrap-around veranda on the first floor which is to be used as a holiday home by a family with three children and their guests. The students’ presentations had to show scale plans, hand-sketched visuals, axonometric drawings, colour schemes and their selection of furniture, lighting, soft furnishings and accessories taking into account the client’s specific requests and colour preferences.
All the students made their final presentations before their tutors and a Jenny Blanc Director explaining their design concept for the property as a whole and the reasoning behind their designs for each specific area.
Tarika Brookes The house is surrounded by a golf course and the beautiful trees and plants of Barbados. Tarika wanted the house to have the feeling of a “Tropical Getaway” with each room incorporating different aspects of this theme using a vibrant selection of colours. The living area is designed for relaxation and entertainment with an unusual sofa incorporating a removable table and pouffes, a stand for gaming devices and a television which descends from the ceiling. She used interesting artistic features to enhance her schemes.
Kalanthe created spaces of sophisticated relaxation through her use of the main living areas. These were complimented with cool colour schemes and contemporary furniture.
Jalisa established specific concepts relating to the theme of each areas with strong colours, individual indulgences and a good sense of texture applied to surfaces.
Charlene was inspired by the dramatic and colourful sunsets in Barbados for her designs, transforming this home into a personal sunset and making holidays in Barbados hassle-free and enjoyable. She introduced a combination of functionality, comfort and luxury with her selection of furniture, accessories and lighting.
Immanuel took a nautical theme for his design for this holiday home. He used a colour scheme of blues and whites with occasional highlights of red, orange and yellow. He created a bold impact with the impressive introduction of modern glass art, dramatic lighting and accessories inspired by the sea and nautical instruments. In an unusual twist the kitchen is open to the terrace.
Tyra’s design concept follows a modern aesthetic with beachy, Caribbean touches using natural and local materials. Motifs and colour schemes are drawn from Barbadian outdoor scenery; sea creatures and the flora and fauna of the island. Blue, the colour of the ocean and tropical skies, is the linking colour connecting the interiors and the open floorplan is designed to allow a flow of energy throughout the spaces. Clean modern lines and materials juxtapose features inspired by nature.
The winner of the 2014 Jenny Blanc Scholarship will be announced in the Jenny Blanc Design Showroom in Barbados on Friday 20th June, 2014 at 12 noon.
Michael Jackson is considered to be one of the world’s leading wildlife artists. Since he first exhibited he has had many sellout exhibitions in the UK, USA, Barbados and Bermuda.
His quest for inspiration has led him to travel extensively, each country offering something different and providing exciting new opportunities. A committed conservationist who has seen and painted exceptional species such as the highly endangered Bengal tiger and the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, he has been involved in fund raising for different charities such as Care For The Wild International, David Sheperd Conservation Foundation, The Sandy Lane Children’s Trust and Flora and Fauna International.
Following his recent exhibition in Barbados, three of his beautiful original artworks are currently hanging at the Jenny Blanc showroom in Barbados.
He says, “It is all of these amazing and privileged experiences that have influenced and inspired my work. I am always pushing my artistic abilities in exciting, new directions. By exploring innovative and relevant ideas I hope to achieve and expand this evolution and keep my work at the forefront of contemporary art today.”
Amongst the species of wildlife that can be seen in Barbados, there are two much-loved animals; the Green Monkey and the Hawksbill Sea Turtle.
About 350 years ago the Green Monkey arrived in Barbados from Senegal and the Gambia. As a result of environmental differences and evolution, the Barbados monkeys differ from their ancestors. They can be seen all over the island wherever there is natural vegetation and woodland. The infant monkeys often appear blue in colour but as they mature they develop a thick fur which is brownish-grey with specks of yellow and olive green which in some lights looks green.
The critically endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle is distinguished from other sea turtles by its sharp, curving beak and serrated edge to its shell margins. They are believed to only start breed when they are 20+ years old and Barbados is currently home to the second-largest Hawksbill turtle nesting population in the Wider Caribbean, with up to 500 females nesting per year. Barbados has an active monitoring and conservation programme to protect the nesting female and hatchlings.
During one of her many trips to research new product and skilled craftspeople, Jenny met a couple of hugely talented sculptors of animals. Together they have developed a series of limited edition sculptures of Green Monkeys and Hawksbill Sea Turtles for the Barbados showroom. Modelled in ceramics, they are fired using the ancient and difficult Japanese Raku technique which is mainly black and white with a touch of colour and results attractive textures and crackling of the glaze.
Early in December 2013, the first batch of the large monkeys and their babies were installed in the showroom window in Barbados together with a large Sea Turtle. Each monkey or turtle is individually sculpted and has its own character. They were in the window for a couple of days and the whole stock sold immediately. A second edition of monkey sculptures was delivered in January and all the baby monkeys sold in a week.
with these beautiful glass coasters and place mats featuring leopards. Supplied as sets in a luxury gift box they make the most fabulous gift.
Available from Jenny Blanc’s showrooms in both Teddington and Barbados.
Set of 6 coasters £59.95
Set of 4 placemats £135.00
Set of 6 placements £202.50