This week we have three beautiful printed fabrics to share – each taken from schemes for tropical homes that we are currently working on. The fabric above is ‘Miami’ by Pierre Frey and is the perfect choice for a traditional and elegant Caribbean property. The exotic flowers and leaves are depicted in vibrant shades of green, orange and violet adding a feeling of tropical heat and vitality. This fabric pairs perfectly with traditional dark mahogany furniture which helps ground the scheme in sophisticated, earthy tones.
‘Salina’ by Manuel Canovas (pictured above) has a much more contemporary feel with painterly fish shown here in shades of blue and purple. Pairing the fabric with woodwork in a pale pine finish adds to the contemporary mood and keeps the whole scheme light and fresh.
‘Barbary Toile’ by Nina Campbell has an undeniably traditional feel but by bringing in more contemporary elements, like white wicker furniture and textured fabrics in the same coral colour, we have created a scheme with depth and interest – perfect for a more transitional property.
All fabrics pictured are suitable for use in tropical climates – for more information or to place an order please call + 44 (0)20 8943 4144.
We have been using Colefax and Fowler’s fabrics, wallpapers and trimmings in our design projects and at the UK showroom since we first opened our doors 20 years ago and they are as popular now as ever before. Today we’re very excited to share our favourite designs from the new ‘classics’ collection which epitomise elegant but relaxed English style. All the fabrics pictured below are available to order from our UK showroom – call us on +44 (0)20 8943 3133 or better still, pop in to see us at 59 High Street, Teddington, London, TW11 8HA and let us show them to you in person and take advantage of the expert advice of our Just Rooms service.
The enduring beauty of these designs, exclusive to Colefax and Fowler, lies in the draughtsmanship of the exquisitely drawn patterns, the quality of the printing and Colefax’s unique colour palette; often offbeat, but always sophisticated, with shades of crushed raspberry, pale greens or faded greyish-blues. The resulting colours are subtle and easy to live with – ideal for contemporary interiors as well as still blending with the style of yesteryear, and encapsulating the restrained elegance forever associated with Colefax and Fowler.
With August and the warmth of summer finally here in the UK it feels like the perfect time to share this light and airy idea for a beautiful breakfast room or conservatory. This pretty scheme is based around four gorgeous fabrics by Jane Churchill who is ever popular at our London showroom. The fabric pictured top right features a graceful, flowing ‘sweet angel’ vine which would look perfect with a natural rope tie back. The printed fabric in the bottom right hand corner (pictured here alongside a beautiful white wooden planter by Capital Garden Products) is the classic ‘Anouska’ design in red and green. Along with contrasting green piping it would make a gorgeous cushion for a window seat or bench – the perfect spot to sip coffee and read the papers!
Simon Oxley is one of our top choices for outdoor furniture – the Rissington pedestal table and chairs pictured bottom right would look fantastic in a soft white or pale cream paint finish. For the seat cushions we have chosen ‘Layla’ by Jane Churchill – a small scale design in green which coordinates perfectly with the other fabrics in the scheme.
The mirror sample pictured top left is an exclusive design by Jenny Blanc and handmade to order by Patrick Ireland. A stunning lantern by Vaughan in a hand painted, soft green finish would bring light to the finished room. Last but not least, I couldn’t resist adding these sweet little espresso cups by Bulgari – they’re the perfect shade of softest pink and green and the last ones currently available at our UK showroom!
Fabrics by Jane Churchill:
Curtains – ‘Delphine’ in pink / green (78% linen, 13% viscose, 9% polyester) £69 per metre.
Window seat main fabric – ‘Anouska’ in red / green (92% cotton, 8% viscose) £59 per metre.
Window seat piping ‘Ava’ in Leaf – £32 per metre.
Chair cushion fabric – ‘layla’ in green (100% cotton) £35 per metre.
Rope tie back £85 each.
Capital Garden Products planter £440 (available in any colour).
Simon Oxley ‘Rissington’ pedestal table £595 and matching chairs £375 each (more sizes and styles available).
Vaughn ‘Thetford’ lantern £1785
Patrick Ireland mirror (100 cm x 80 cm) £1,225 (made to order).
Think about furnishing a room and the chances are a rug won’t be the first thing that springs to mind! In our experience though most rooms will benefit from a beautiful rug – weather it’s perfectly neutral, sitting quietly alongside the other furnishings or discreetly interesting, playing with different textures underfoot. At the other end of the scale a rug can be colourful and bold, acting as a piece of art for the floor. There are practical considerations too of course – a busy passageway will require something very different to a formal sitting room but still needs to look good so the choice of material is crucial. Today we’re excited to introduce you to misha rugs – a new supplier of beautiful mohair rugs which will be coming to our UK showroom soon, as well as a few of our favourite rug designs that are available now.
The beautiful Angora goats pictured above are reared in South Africa and produce a fine mohair yarn. Mohair is a remarkable fibre with exceptional properties – soft and silky, with a lustrous sheen, mohair retains its gloss even with intensive use and is resistant to felting. The curly long hair results in a robust, strong yarn with natural spring. The whiteness of the yarn and high dye absorbency allows fantastic clarity of colour. One of the most durable of yarns, mohair is stain resistant and easily cleaned whilst being naturally flame retardant.
The image above shows just a handful of the 40 colours available – these samples demonstrate the ‘flat weave’ style, made from 100% combed mohair which is hand woven. Available in contemporary bespoke geometric designs, the stunning range of colours make it possible to create a bespoke rug which perfectly matches the other fabrics and furnishings in your room.
The images below show samples from the ‘naturals’ range by Misha Rugs. These are made from 100% uncombed mohair, handwoven in six harmonious muted colours and five subtle two colour blends. Contemporary geometric designs combining different colours are a further option.
Both the flat weave and the uncombed mohair rugs feel luxuriously decadent underfoot and are a great option for bedside rugs. We’re particularly excited about the breadth of beautiful colours that are available in the flatweave range, making them very versatile. We’re looking forward to stocking them at our UK showroom soon!
The Nobilis rug sample pictured above is called ‘Coco’ and has a contemporary look blending wool and viscose with a gold lurex thread which adds a subtle sparkle. Metallic touches in wallpaper and fabric have become more popular in recent years so it’s very exciting to see the addition of metallic to floor coverings also.
The GP&J Baker ‘Kamu’ rug is a new design and already proving to be very popular. The pattern is embossed with an interesting texture, combining iridescent and matt fibres in subtle and neutral colours. The interlocking diamond design has a loose, organic feel, reminiscent of water. Perfect for a light and airy, contemporary living room.
The beautiful rug samples above are by Barbara Barry for Kravet. Made from 100% bamboo silk, they’re perfect for our design projects in Barbados and other climates where wool can be affected by the damp and humid conditions. The rugs are hand loomed giving them a beautiful variegated appearance and just enough interest whilst blending harmoniously into the background.
The summer months are officially upon us with warmer weather and the joy of the summer harvest! During this time Barbados is being rejuvenated after the dry season with the welcomed rains of the wet season. Days very often begin sunny and bright, are punctuated by cooling showers then end with colorfully painted skies at dusk.
All the while an abundance of rich flora is springing forth, such as mangoes, Bajan ackees, avocados and sea grapes. The rains encourage a revival of these local fruits and the entirety of the island’s expanse begins to appear even more beautifully lush. The beautiful Flamboyant trees are now in full flower all over the island as if to welcome the Summer
Coupled with the jubilance of the Crop Over festival, which marks the end of the sugar cane harvest, Barbados is now teeming with energy and activity.
The festival attracts numbers of visitors to Barbados’ shores every year as it is the perfect time to experience “Bajan” culture at its best. Local music telling satirical and celebratory stories can be heard across the radio waves and is the basis for phenomenal parties and parades. A rich display of colour is exhibited throughout the festival, from our indigenous cuisine to elaborate costumes.
All a reflection of the splendor of our natural environment, therefore it is only natural that we are now more than ever inspired to find creative ways to add a dose of tropical flair to our summer décor as well! So many of our favorite suppliers have come out with collections these last few months that employ colour and motifs borrowed from the exuberance of a Caribbean climate.
The tabletop also provides a great way to inject some tropical heat into your home’s décor. Below we see how bright shades of orange, green and yellow compliment a neutral palate and a touch of warm gold adds the element of luxury.
This collection of Jenny Blanc’s own hand painted Limoges porcelain plates , tinted drinking glasses and jug as well as sculpted metal dining accessories from Aram’s Palm Collection can all be found on sale at the Barbados showroom.
Tyra Woodroffe is our Design Showroom Assistant in Barbados and the winner of the inaugural Jenny Blanc Design Scholarship, in partnership with the Barbados Community College. Before we bid her farewell as she begins an exciting new chapter (furthering her design education in New York) Tyra has a few words to share about her time with the Jenny Blanc team!
As I approach my last few weeks with Jenny Blanc Interiors, I reflect fondly on my time as the first design scholarship winner. It has been an exciting journey of change from being a curious design student, to someone who has been able to witness firsthand, the processes, skill and dedication it takes to run a successful, inspirational design practice. And to believe that it all began almost two years ago!
My start at Jenny Blanc was a wonderful one with my time at the London showroom and design studio. Having the opportunity to experience travel is incredibly enriching in itself, as it encourages personal growth and expands one’s knowledge substantially. Added to that was the great hospitality and mentorship I was fortunate to experience in my 6 months with the UK Team. In such a creative field, actually being able to see, feel and interact with all the aspects that make a beautiful scheme come together is invaluable. And while with the UK design team lead by Design director Sue Thomas, I was able to witness the decision making process in an environment where access to a plethora of resources such as fabric, lighting and furniture is unlimited.
Although this time abroad was so stimulating, eventually homesickness set in and I happily returned to Barbados ready to take on second leg of the learning experience. The lovely Barbadian showroom provided a setting for me to find out all about retail, visual merchandising and installations as we manage local projects. The Barbadian team lead by Caribbean Director Emma Blanc have provided a unique shopping experience on the island with products both local and from around the globe.
Even after the prescribed one year duration of the scholarship had elapsed, the team was gracious enough to keep me on as the Assistant Showroom Manager where I’ve had such an unforgettable time. Every site visit, every satisfied shopper and every trade show have further solidified my passion for design. It was only natural that I take the next step and pursue even more experience and higher education for this career path. I am therefore, off once again for a full B.Sc Degree in Interior Design from an accredited New York university.
Despite excitedly anticipating this new chapter, is not without some sadness that I leave the fantastic Jenny Blanc establishment after having nestled so comfortably into its embrace. But I do so with heaps of affection and gratitude for my colleagues and confident that I’ve been equipped with an impenetrable foundation for the future of my interior design craft.
The beautiful coral stone console table pictured above was a bespoke commission for one of our Barbados design projects. We’re thrilled that it has been featured in this months The English Home magazine, as part of an article all about using natural materials in the home!
Coral stone forms the bedrock of Barbados and is mined locally – in the form of sawn blocks, a highly desirable material for use in construction as it is a very porous stone which ages to a lovely patina and absorbs the tropical heat keeping interiors cool. Many of the old houses are built from sawn coral stone blocks with more contemporary properties finished in a render of ground coral stone dust and white cement. It is a very versatile product and though very porous, it can be carved to create beautiful architectural features or unique pieces of bespoke furniture like this console table which blends seamlessly with the surrounding coral rendered walls.
Coral stone’s natural colour and texture is beautifully understated, creating the perfect backdrop for decorative accents like the stunning mirror pictured above.
As part of our design work we are often asked to design and commission bespoke pieces of furniture in coral stone, using our team of skilled local artisans on the island – here are a few of our favourite designs!
The dining table pictured above is another of our bespoke designs and is supported by a base of hand carved coral stone scallop shells. A small piece of red coral is displayed in the top and this touch of colour is carried through to the cushions and tableware, creating a feeling of fun, seaside living.
The side table pictured above is a classic column design and looks stunning alongside a beautiful table lamp as well as natural objet d’arte.
The coral stone sculpture pictured above is a bespoke design for a stunning property in Barbados and shows how versatile coral stone can be – suitable for both practical items of furniture and more decorative accents, it’s the perfect choice for tropical properties!
We’ve been busy creating fun and inspirational ideas for our work in the Caribbean! With the sunshine making a much anticipated appearance again here in the UK it feels like the perfect time to share two exciting new schemes finalised this week in Barbados as part of our Just Rooms service!
The above fabric is ‘Monkey Puzzle’ by Bennison Fabrics and is the focus of this beautiful, relaxed sitting room for casual, comfortable living by the sea. The scheme features a fun colour palette with nautical elements and quirky touches which add interest to this otherwise classic, contemporary Caribbean living room. The coffee table, media unit and side table are part of the Jenny Blanc furniture collection made locally by a team of very talented and skilled Barbadian artisans whom we are proud to have built a longstanding relationship with.
The second scheme (pictured above) is for a very large dining and relaxing terrace overlooking the sea on the West Coast of Barbados! This scheme features sophisticated outdoor furniture including sofas, armchairs and sun loungers, all upholstered in nautical white fabric. We have created a selection of bespoke scatter cushions using 10 different fabrics in shades of aqua, white and citron – the bold mixture of patterns and textures creates a much more relaxed and less formal feel. Aqua and citron is of course a firm favourite for tropical schemes, blending perfectly with the surrounding sea, sky and sun!
When we choose fabrics for the tropics it’s essential that they are practical as well as beautiful. Good quality, outdoor fabrics which are UV resistant, washable and hardwearing are the perfect choice for terraces and poolside areas and are often used indoors too because of their durability.
A home filled with fresh flowers is one of life’s essentials – they’re the finishing touch that really bring a room to life and are so uplifting. One of the mistakes people often make though is thinking that they must always have an enormous bunch of blooms (more often than not accompanied by rather a lot of dark foliage) in the middle of the dining table and pay no attention to the rest of the house. Today I want to give you some ideas for some more creative and unusual ways to display flowers throughout your home that won’t cost the earth – in fact I absolutely forbid you to go out and buy a new vessel especially for the purpose but instead, look around your home with a fresh eye! Teacups, jugs, tureens and even shells make beautiful containers for flowers and require only a handful of blooms that more often than not, can be plucked straight from the garden. Happy picking!
Tiny buds and teacups…
Teacups look very much at home on bedside tables – hinting at the promise of Sunday papers and a slow start to the day. Filled with flowers they create a fun and thoughtful finishing touch, especially for guest rooms. Delicate cups in unusual shapes work best – look for ones in pretty spring colours that you can match to the flowers. Above I have used a combination of Purple Lisianthus and sage for the green and purple tea cup and saucer. The sage leaves add an unexpected twist and the beautiful bloom of the leaves works perfectly in this bedroom with accents of duck egg blue. Earlier, I used Pink Elegance Lisianthus and Thlaspi in a pretty cup with a touch of pink for a really feminine bedside table. With both arrangements the key is to keep things loose – don’t try to pack too many flowers in, and offset the tight buds with some light and feathery foliage. The whispy Thlaspi and velvety sage leaves do the job perfectly here. Whilst these two arrangements might appear effortlessly put together, the secret (as is so often the case) is to start with good foundations. A small piece of oasis foam at the bottom of each cup will hold the flowers in place, allowing you to create space between each stem.
A single bloom in a shell…
In Barbados, one of my favourite finishing touches for dinner parties is to dress each place setting with a beautiful polished shell filled with a fresh frangipani flower. Just imagine 24 of them all the way down the length of an outdoor dining table, lit with candles under the setting Caribbean sun! Over in the UK, an antique silver shell like the one pictured above works just as well – here I’ve filled it with a single camellia, freshly picked from my garden. The eglomise place mat that the shell rests on is one of my exclusive designs (inspired by this very camellia bush in fact!). There are six designs available from our UK showroom featuring a range of English garden flowers whilst over in Barbados the tropical versions are very popular!
An antique tureen makes the perfect planter…
When looking for unusual vessels for your flowers the kitchen may seem like the logical place to start with glasses being an obvious choice, however, if you look at your tableware with a fresh eye you might find a serving dish, like this antique blue and white china tureen which could work perfectly! Larger and more robust than a teacup, a tureen is the perfect place to use a plant, rather than cut flowers to make a beautiful addition to a sideboard or as a centrepiece for outside dining. Here I’ve used a lavender plant but take a look at what’s in season – small spring bulbs like Grape Hyacinths and Narcissus work beautifully as well as pansies and some of the smaller varieties of nasturtiums and geraniums. The key here is to ask your florist for some fresh, green moss to cover all the soil around the base of the plant and add an inch or two of gravel to the bottom of the dish to help with drainage for a long lasting arrangement. If you don’t already have a china tureen, your local antique shop is the place to start looking as you won’t find a new one with half as much charm. Whichever one you choose make sure it comes complete with its matching saucer – its little touches like this that make all the difference.
A fresh idea from the tables of Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons…
When Raymond and I opened Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons over 30 years ago, I spent several weekends hunting in my favourite antiques shops and bought 35 silver jugs (one for every table). Each one was different and each one beautiful in its own way. Every day we picked fresh spray roses from the gorgeous kitchen garden to create a centrepiece for each table. Back in the 80’s this was a very unorthodox idea – especially for a Michelin stared restaurant! They caught everyone’s eye and always sparked a conversation – I loved them because they were a fun nod towards the culinary setting whilst making the most of the beautiful surroundings. Here I’ve used the same idea but added rosemary for its beautiful fragrance and deep green colour. Once again a small piece of oasis foam is your friend here and will mean that you don’t have to pack the flowers in tightly in order for them to stand up. Many of us have a silver jug like this lurking at the back of the sideboard cupboard waiting for the day the queen pops in for tea – this is the perfect excuse to give it a polish and enjoy it every day of the week!
Coloured glassware and a single bloom…
Coloured glassware can add a fun, unexpected twist to an otherwise simple arrangement – here I have used a majestic ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peony alongside one of my antique cranberry jugs to create an elegant arrangement perfect for a small side table, dressing table, writing desk or even a kitchen window ledge! When it comes to the more expensive flowers such as peonies or roses, choosing just one, single bloom is a great way to keep the cost down – which of course means that you can treat yourself to a fresh one every week!
I hope you have enjoyed my ideas for creating floral arrangements in some smaller and more unusual containers – next time we’ll be pulling out all the stops with some ideas for floral arrangements at the other end of the scale! If you feel inspired to try any of my ideas at home do share a picture on Facebook or Twitter – use the hashtag #JennyBlancStyle so I can see what you’ve created!
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.
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.
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!
Compiling a wedding list is without a doubt one of the most exciting times in any couples life. Making plans for the future and visualising your life together in the run up to the big day should fill you both with a wonderful sense of anticipation for all that is to come. At Jenny Blanc we pride ourselves on our tailor-made Wedding List Service, designed to help you enjoy making your selection, simplify the present buying process for your guests and use our interior design expertise to select beautiful gifts for your home.
Both the UK and Barbados showrooms are the perfect environment to relax with a glass of bubbles while we get to know you and your lifestyle before the process of selecting presents begins! We offer a wonderful selection of unique pieces at every price level, hand-picked from around the world. In addition, we can of course supply essentials like china, glass and cutlery of your choice.
We also supply gift vouchers, split purchasing between two or three guests and finally, all presents will arrive beautifully wrapped and labelled at a time to suit you.
For more information or to book an appointment, please call Chrissie Marshall at our UK showroom on +44 (0)20 8943 4440/4144 or Emma Blanc at the Barbados showroom on + 1 (246) 432 0989 alternatively email us at email@example.com.
With the days getting longer and brighter thoughts naturally turn towards summer and the chance to entertain by the poolside once more. Just like any room in the house, a pool comes with its own set of considerations. A well designed pool goes far beyond sunbathing and swimming – each poolside that I design always includes a BBQ area when possible and a bar for serving drinks day or night as well as comfortable seating areas for relaxed lounging. If outdoors, gazeebos for show stopping pool side dinner parties are absolutely essential! Whether the property is in the UK or the tropics, furniture must be practical as well as beautiful. For houses in the Caribbean, all materials must be suitable for a tropic marine environment as the salty air will rust anything less, not to mention the scorching heat, humidity, heavy rainfall and strong winds! Our Jenny Blanc hurricane lanterns were designed with these conditions in mind and are made from marine grade stainless steel making them well suited to the tropics! Those in the UK often want indoor pools that can be used all year round yet still retain the feeling of poolside living that is enjoyed in warmer climates. Our challenge here is to create a space that is a warm and luxurious cocoon, away from the wind and rain that may be raging outside! Today I’m very excited to share my designs for three very different poolside areas which I hope will provide some ideas and inspiration!
A traditional plantation style house for a busy, happy Family in Barbados
This grand plantation style house is owned by a large, bustling family and required plenty of areas for outdoor entertaining in this more traditional poolside environment. In addition to several outdoor dining areas we used chose sun loungers by Kettal to create areas for comfortable relaxation. The powdered wrought iron frames echo the use of this traditional material throughout the rest of the property and along with natural stone and brick floor coverings, suit the style of this traditional house perfectly. Ambient lighting throughout the pool area creates the perfect romantic poolside environment at night for relaxing, dining and entertaining!
A luxurious indoor pool at a private residence in Surrey
Here we created the perfect indoor pool as part of a complete renovation project. Our client wanted it to feel like a luxurious spa but also retain the sense of water and light that outdoor pools in warmer climates benefit from. An indoor pool environment is very different to the outdoor way of life in the Caribbean – here we used coloured ambient lighting to create atmosphere at night alongside large French windows which can be opened to allow plenty of fresh air and natural light in during the day. We designed bespoke decorative glass panels set into niches along the far wall which were illuminated for maximum effect. Porta Romana shell wall lamps add a classic touch to an otherwise contemporary pool area. Furniture by Cane-Line complements the contemporary feel – the clean lines have a feeling of elegance and the padded cushions ensure comfort. The palette of neutral creams and soft aqua looks bright and fresh in natural light and under the atmospheric glow of the coloured pool lighting, helping to retain that waterside feeling.
A fabulous holiday home decorated in traditional Caribbean style
The image above from one of our more traditional properties shows the Jenny Blanc clam shell in action once more! As we design so many pools in the Caribbean it seemed a natural step to develop our own range of towels. Available in turquoise, orange and lime green from both our Barbados and UK showrooms, the Jenny Blanc beach or pool towels are wonderfully and the bright, fresh colours can really help transform the look of an outdoor space. My clients often choose a signature colour – like the pink towels pictured above which look stunning against the lush green foliage of the garden.
I hope you have enjoyed today’s delicious dose of poolside inspiration. If you’re thinking of refreshing your pool area but are not ready to embark on a full renovation project our Just Rooms service will be able to help you choose the perfect furniture and accessories. For more information please call Caribbean Director Emma Blanc at our Barbados showroom on (246) 432 0989 or UK showroom on 020 8943 4440.
Up and down the country spring lambs are taking their tentative first steps and our London showroom is no exception! I always appreciate a touch of fun and humour in the home and this fabulous sheep doorstop, paperweight and draft excluder (pictured above) add just the right amount of whimsy. It’s my favourite time of year here at our showroom in West London as beautiful new things arrive almost daily. Today I want to share a few of my favourite pieces which I hope will give you an idea or two. For those in the area, a visit to us in person is a must as we have so many new cushions, textiles and home accessories to inspire. Many of our smaller items start from as little as £15 – the perfect excuse to give your home a little lift or pick up gifts for the wedding season ahead!
I hope you have enjoyed a peek at some of our new arrivals. As always if you live further afield but would like to purchase anything you have seen on the blog today please don’t hesitate to call us on 020 8943 4144. Alternatively a small selection of our products are available to order online via our Trouva boutique. Keep your eyes peeled for more items popping up over the coming weeks!
With a long Bank Holiday weekend stretching out ahead of us here in the UK and in Barbados I thought it would be fun to share some of my essential ingredients for an Easter morning breakfast which I hope will inspire!
Our beautiful cherub urn (pictured above) is a real showstopper and a very versatile accessory. Here it has been planted with daffodils for a fun ‘Easter egg hunt’ that would make the perfect centrepiece on the dining table this weekend.
Last week we went behind the scenes in the design room as we prepared different options for the main rooms in a current Barbados design project. This week let’s take a closer look at the scheme I am creating for the master bedroom. It’s still a work in progress but I am very excited by the beautiful fabrics we are using with such bold patterns and colours.
The fabric pictured above is a striking tropical leaf print which features foliage in a vibrant shade of teal green. It was this fabulous shade of teal which first caught my eye – I love the contrast between the teal and the coral and have carried this through to the other textiles in the room. This bold print will make a wonderful statement on large bed cushions and sets the tone nicely for tropical drama in the bedroom! I am introducing some neutral tones to keep things cool but maintaining the dominant colours on soft furnishings and upholstery.
The scheme above should help set your imagination into motion as to how a tropical print fabric can harmonise with strong stripes, solids and other subtly textured fabrics and surfaces to unite an exciting colour palette.
I thought it might be fun for me to take you along for the ride as we work towards creating the finished bedroom as part of this design project – I’ll pop back soon to share the final scheme and perhaps one or two more ‘behind the scenes’ photographs as we work towards the installation. I’m looking forward to revealing the finished room in all its glory – in the meantime don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for a daily dose of interiors inspiration!
Today I am taking you behind the scenes in the design room as we prepare concept boards for a fabulous design project in Barbados! Our clients are a lovely couple looking to create a stylish home from home in the Caribbean. The property is going to be a new build which is fantastic as it gives us the opportunity to work alongside the architect, advising on the best use of the space and other more structural elements.
During our meetings with the clients the most important thing is to hone in on their likes and dislikes as quickly as possible. Sometimes the question ‘what do you like?’ can be overwhelming – if you’re not a designer you might find it hard to put your exact taste into words as most people react to design instinctively, without necessarily having an awareness of the different components that contribute to their preferred style. Ask someone ‘what don’t you like’ however and they’re sure to know straight away! Whether its dark colours, busy patterns, floral motifs or a specific colour, by starting with a client’s dislikes I can quickly work out the things that may appeal to them and begin the process of choosing fabrics and furnishings accordingly!
At our next meeting we’ll be presenting our clients with different options for each of the rooms in their home – combining two peoples taste can often be tricky so it’s always useful to have additional furniture options and fabric schemes tucked up our sleeve!
I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse at what goes on in our design room – next week I’ll be taking a closer look at our scheme for a tropical master bedroom!
Thank goodness for spring! It’s felt like a particularly cold winter here in London and I am eagerly anticipating the warmer days ahead. Perhaps that’s why I chose this beautiful, tropical inspired fabric by Nobilis for our spring window this year! Today I’m delighted to share a peek at the new spring window at our UK showroom – with its contemporary colour pallet of citron, green, black and white it has a fresh, outdoor feel and offers plenty of inspiration for those looking to bring touch of outdoor living to their homes or conservatories.
The fabric pictured above is 100% linen and the intricate design featuring tropical fruit and foliage is entirely embroidered. Aside from the striking black striped leaves it was the fantastic texture of the pineapples that first caught my eye – they add so much depth to the fabric and the beautiful soft teal colour adds an unexpected twist. The trailing pattern makes a dramatic curtain but would work equally well as fabric for soft furnishings, creating accent pieces like scatter cushions.
Sitting pride of place in the window is this fabulous white wicker peacock chair which I found whilst out antiques hunting. It’s a wonderful statement piece for a large conservatory and the perfect place to display cushions like these contemporary hummingbird and tattoo inspired designs. In the background you can just glimpse our hurricane vases which are exclusive to Jenny Blanc and made from marine grade stainless steel – they’re very popular in the tropics but equally useful here in the UK to protect outdoor candles from rough winds or unruly pets!
Adding some new cushions is one of the quickest and easiest ways to refresh a space. The ones I have chosen for our spring window feature a wonderful range of textures and patterns, all united by a harmonious colour pallet of green and citron.
I hope you find our spring window inspiring – we have had so many lovely comments already, it looks like prints and patterns with a tropical twist are going to be popular for the foreseeable future! If you would like more information on any of the products featured today please don’t hesitate to call the showroom on 020 8943 4144.
I was catching up on the Sunday papers a few weeks ago when a headline by journalist India Knight suddenly jumped out at me. ‘We’re ahead of you, Ikea: we already know Britain has hit peak tat’ the article read.
India goes on to write about how we have reached a point in Britain where we are sick of enormous department stores and supermarkets selling everything from clothes to tellies and that ‘regardless of what I need to buy, I want little friendly shops that know me and my tastes’. I couldn’t agree more and have long felt that the appeal of the cheap and disposable which has gripped Britain in recent years is starting to wane and people are becoming more mindful of the objects they choose to surround themselves with and the way they want to shop.
In her article, India writes that ‘our homes are extensions of ourselves and as such are constantly evolving’ and this is exactly the way I feel! Many of our interior design clients have been with us since we first opened 20 years ago – we’ve seen them get married, start families and of course move house! As such I keep in mind the way their life and home is likely to evolve so that the finished design anticipates their future needs. I always ask if there are any pieces of furniture that they already own which they are particularly fond of as so often a tired old armchair or sofa can be completely transformed with fresh fabric. Time and time again the client is thrilled that they don’t have to start from scratch but can make these elements a part of their new scheme.
The perfect interior for me is always a balance of the old and the new – it’s these layers which take a space from simply being a beautiful room to a home. India’s article ends with the idea that we might now try ‘peak living well’ which really resonated with me – our homes and our possessions are there not to make us happy (which, sadly, they do not have the power to do on their own) but to support our lifestyles and free us up for the important thing in life – the living!