Category Archives: Interior Design

Jenny Blanc Design Director, Sue Thomas-Richardson: Barbadian Born and Bred

Jenny Blanc Design Director Sue Thomas-Richardson
Sue going to pick up the award for World’s Best Interior Design for a Private Residence in 2012 with the Jenny Blanc Team

The April 2015 issue of Living Barbados, the renowned magazine on the island, featured our wonderful Jenny Blanc Design Director, Sue Thomas-Richardson, whose knowledge of the island where she grew up has been fundamental in shaping the company as it stands today…

Jenny Blanc Design Director - Living Barbados 2015 Feature
The Jenny Blanc advertisement and feature in the April 2015 Living Barbados

In 2002 award winning interior design company Jenny Blanc, set up their first office in Barbados from which to administer the increasing number of projects they were being commissioned to work on in the Caribbean. In December 2011 the company opened their highly successful lifestyle showroom in St. James which has become a target destination for visitors looking for beautiful, original furnishings for their homes. Barbados is a central hub for the rest of the Caribbean and the showroom serves to represent Jenny Blanc’s design style to the many holiday home owners on the island. Key to the success of their expansion into this area, has been Barbadian – born, Sue Thomas-Richardson, Design Director for the company, whose indispensable wealth of local knowledge and expertise ensured that the beautiful interiors they designed were perfectly suited for the tropical climate.

Jenny Blanc Design Director - Sue Visits Project
Sue on one of the many site visits necessary to complete a project

Sue comes from a very old Barbadian family, her ancestors having arrived on the island in the 1600’s as settlers of the New World. Her family all have a strong artistic leaning. Her mother, Audrey Thomas, internationally renowned and respected as a horticulturalist, is the shining light of the gold medals awarded over many years for the famous Barbados exhibits at the Chelsea Flower Show. Audrey was awarded the Barbados Centennial Honour for her services to horticulture on the island and this year, at the eminent age of 92, she opened her beautiful garden to the public to raise funds for the Barbados Horticultural society. Two of Sue’s brothers own and manage Growing Things, one of the leading landscape companies in Barbados.

Jenny Blanc Design Director - A hoola-hooping Sue on the beach in Barbados
A hoola-hooping Sue on the beach in Barbados

Sue was educated at Queens College in Barbados and in her teens threw javelin for her school and later Barbados. She held the Caribbean record for several years. In the 1970’s she joined her parents on an extended trip to the UK and decided to take the opportunity to further her education, finally training as a nurse and qualifying as an SRN in 1978.

Returning home in the 1980’s, Sue worked for several years in the travel industry for a British company specialising in luxury villa holidays on the West Coast of Barbados. She was based in the offices of real estate company, Alleyne & Aguilar, now Altmans Real Estate. She started her career in interior design when she was offered a job by Heather Aguilar-Swan, one of the most prominent designers on the island. Here she learnt all the essential basics of interior design and assisted on large hotel projects, private residences and commercial properties on the island. During this period, she tuned into her natural artistic talent and gained valuable expertise on designing in the tropics. She developed a love of paint techniques and in 1987 returned to London to study at the Leonard Pardon School in Knightsbridge. In 1990, she moved full-time to the UK as a freelance designer/decorator for interior designers both in the UK and Barbados. Sue was also a key member of the team at Holbein Collection in the UK, a leading manufacturer of bespoke curtain accessories. A painting commission introduced Sue to Jenny Blanc and thus an enduring design partnership was created.

In addition to the awards of World’s Best Interior Design for a Private Residence for a UK property in 2012 and Best International Interior Design for a Port St. Charles, Barbados Apartment in 2007, Jenny Blanc has won four awards for the design team’s work in the Caribbean. As Design Director, Sue’s knowledge and creativity were invaluable in these winning projects in some of the most prestigious areas of the island including the West Coast, Port St. Charles, Royal Westmoreland Estate and Apes Hill.

Jenny Blanc Design Director - Award-winning design in Barbados
Award-winning design in Barbados

Sue is still Bajan to the core and very proud of her Barbadian heritage. Through her work she is very keen to promote the talents and expertise of her fellow Bajans. Many of the design projects include pieces of furniture she has designed and had made locally by skilled artisans in Barbados. Jenny Blanc is currently developing an exclusive range of Barbadian made furniture which will be available throughout the Caribbean and beyond. In 2014 Sue and Jenny created the Jenny Blanc Design Scholarship to enable design students from the Barbados Community College to fine tune their skills at a London college and gain invaluable hands-on experience at both their London and Barbados showrooms. The first scholarship winner has spent 6 months working at the London showroom and passed her exams in computer aided design with flying colours. She is now using her new skills and experience in the Jenny Blanc Barbados showroom.

Jenny Blanc Design Director - Avertisement

Jenny Blanc Writes…Glasses For All Occasions Part 1

Glasses for all Occasions - Crystal Water Glasses and Decanter
Gorgeous Italian crystal water glasses and decanter finished in gold leaf

Jenny Blanc PictureStunning glassware is a luxury that doesn’t have to be really expensive. From creating the perfect finishing touch on a graceful dining table to a special wedding gift, there is a glass for every occasion. I want to show the amazing variety that you can find. Sourcing fantastic products from around the world was one of the most fundamental premises when it came to starting the business, and when it comes to glassware I have made no exception. The range of shapes, finishes, and materials is absolutely staggering…

Glasses for all Occasions - Goblets and Sunflower Plate
Goblets, and Gold-Plated Sunflower Dish all available at Jenny Blanc

What greater luxury could there be than the selection of Italian crystal glass goblets above? Also within the range are tumblers, decanters as well as a gorgeous petit fours dish all finished in gilt. The shapes are so individual, and can be mixed and matched as well as presented in single colour ways – like the blue glass above.

Glasses for all Occasions - Hand-engraved champagne flutes
Hand-engraved champagne flutes

Of course traditional glasses are a fail-safe when it comes to elegant entertaining and dining. These hand engraved champagne flutes are no exception, and are also available as coupes.

Glasses for all Occasions - Heavy- base decanter and tumblers
Heavy- base decanter and tumblers

For the whisky connoisseur, a wonderful heavy based-glass decanter and glasses in a matching design would be ideal for scotch and ice.

Glasses for all Occasions - Jenny Blanc exclusive coloured glass set and pitcher
Jenny Blanc exclusive coloured glass set and pitcher

I was so delighted to be able to create these coloured glasses, which come as a set of six in grey, aurora yellow and aurora. The glass is hand-blown in France and the sets are exclusive to Jenny Blanc. The fresh and unique colour selection would be a wonderful compliment to Pimms on a summer’s evening.

Glasses for all Occasions - Pewter-Stemmed Burgundy Glass and Cockerel Decanter with Silver Banan Leaf Dish
Pewter-Stemmed Burgundy Glass and Cockerel Decanter with Silver Banana Leaf Dish

Fine wine is so much more enjoyable when using appropriate glassware. And, this burgundy glass with a pewter stem is the perfect size for swirling the wine around to produce its fantastic aroma.

Glasses for all Occasions - Set of 6 engraved glasses in a variety of colours
Set of 6 engraved glasses in a variety of colours

These gorgeous little tumblers are engraved with a pretty blossom design and are perfect water glasses for a dining table. They work very well with clear glassware, and add a wonderful flash of colour to a more casual or plainer table setting. These glasses also make a fun wedding present!

Glasses for all Occasions - Tropical glassware exclusive to Jenny Blanc
Tropical glassware exclusive to Jenny Blanc

These glasses, engraved with a tropical and sea-life design are perfect for entertaining by the coast or abroad, especially poolside or by the beach

Glasses for all Occasions - Set of 6 screen-printed, silver-plated shot glasses
Set of 6 screen-printed, silver-plated shot glasses

I just love this vodka set. It’s perfect for any celebration or party and a match made in heaven with Grey Goose!

Glasses for all Occasions - Set of 6 engraved wine glasses in various colours
Set of 6 engraved wine glasses in various colours

Again, these colours can be mixed together, or simply one colour used to make up a set. I think it is such fun to have such a wonderful display of colours on show. But, at the same time a single colour or design can be the final touch to a matching room scheme.

Jenny Blanc Writes…Wonderful Wallpaper Part 2: Tropical Prints

Wonderful Wallpapers - Tropical Prints
The iconic banana leaf wallpaper at The Beverly Hills Hotel created by Don Loper in 1942 has made tropical prints a design staple that has come to be an emblem of luxury and elegance

Jenny Blanc PictureWith a heatwave in London what better way to anticipate Summer than with some simply gorgeous tropical prints? Don Loper created the banana leaf print wallpaper in 1942 for The Beverly Hills Hotel (see above). The palm leaf is an especially timeless motif; from bold geometrics to more traditional prints, which were introduced in colonial times, images of tropical leaves and palm trees are a go-to for creating a sense of the exotic, luxury, travel, and therefore, adventure. The verdant green leaves create a sense of lush fertility. However, the current trend sees tropical plants represented in all different forms and colours by the major design houses. From tonal variations in green and blue by Nobilis, to oranges and golds. There is a real trend, wherever you may be, for bringing an exotic touch into the home.

Nobilis
Nobilis have created a stunning and hugely varied collection of palm leaf prints in their Cosmopolitan collection…

Nobilis Cosmopolitan - Wallpaper Set 1
Clockwise From Top Left: Cosmopolitan in Curacao, Cosmopolitan in Vert Tropical, Cosmopolitan in Cerfeuil and Cosmopolitan in Noir all by Nobilis
Nobilis Cosmopolitan - Wallpaper Set 2
Clockwise From Top Left: Cosmopolitan in Ciel d’été, Cosmopolitan in Turquoise Mosaïque, Cosmopolitan in Vert Pin, Cosmopolitan in Emeraude all by Nobilis
Nobilis Cosmopolitan - Wallpaper Set 3
Clockwise From Top Left: Cosmopolitan in Noir, Cosmopolitan in Argent, Cosmopolitan in Jaune Souffre, Cosmopolitan in Bleu Baltique all by Nobilis

Cole & Son
With Palm Jungle Cole & Son have created a traditional style of print using more subtle colour ways within the Contemporary Restyled Collection…

Cole and Sons - Wallpaper Set
Contemporary Restyled Collection in Palm Jungle by Cole & Son

Sahco
Of course there are not only tropical leaves, but also birds of paradise, which Sahco have used to create a magnificent aviary with this modern wall panel in their newest collection…

Sahco - Wallpaper Set
Paradiso 01 Wall Panel by Sahco

Christopher Farr
Christopher Farr’s fabric range, Brisa, featuring tropical palm prints in a vibrant and sophisticated selection of colourways is also available as a custom made wallpaper…

Christopher Farr - Wallpaper Set
Clockwise From Top Left: Brisa in Green, Brisa in Aqua, Brisa in Lemon, Brisa in Sage, Brisa in Hot Pink all by Christopher Farr

Abbie’s Mood Board: Precious Metals

Precious Metals - Drawingroom Moodboard
This month Abbie chose taupes, yellows, golds and greys in metallic embroideries and weaves to create an absolutely sumptuous mood board for an elegant drawing room.

Senior Designer Abbies mood boardsThe spring sunshine is finally appearing and what better way to see in a brighter season than with this mood board filled with platinum colours, which we will be using for a formal drawing room. The scheme mixes contemporary designs and finishes – such as a modern lamp or metallised fabric – with traditional patterns and accessories to create a timeless interior in a contemporary-classic look.

Precious Metals - Material Swatch

Precious Metals - Sofa
Sofa fabric by Alton Brooke: Brocatelle, Col. 2, Hessian Sunflower

The scheme centres around this beautiful double weave by Alton Brooke (above) called Brocatelle, which I would use on an occasional sofa – finished with buttons on the back and studs on the frame. The fabric features a wool and silk embroidery on Hessian. The yellow and sand colours and traditional pattern create elegant, understated chic.
Reflecting the embroidery of the sofa fabric, the pattern of this stunning rug (below) in an old gold colourway by Stark is the perfect compliment.

Precious Metals - Rug by Stark
Rug by Stark
Precious Metals - Table and Wall Lamps
Left: Lamp by Porta Romana. Right: Wall Light by Beaumont & Fletcher

Accessorising the scheme with a contrasting mixture of this contemporary glass lamp, with a gold finish and pewter shade, by Porta Romana and a French style antique wall lamp from Beaumont & Fletcher, provides the perfect accompaniments to the colours and textures of the fabrics.

Precious Metals - Curtain Fabrics and Trim
Left: Curtain Fabric by Lizzo in Reef, Colour 6. Right: Curtain lining by Manuel Canovas, Nura Ficelle. Far Right: Custom made trim

The pattern of the sofa fabric (above) is mirrored in the gorgeous curtain fabric by Lizzo, which is a modern take on a cut velvet in a damask pattern with an antiqued finish and silvered effect, which is complimented by a pale lining from Manuel Canovas. The curtains would be accentuated with a custom made crystal trim.

Dressing the sofa with cushions covered in textured velvet by Manuel Canovas, Ashley Wilde’s golden silk-effect yellow, a paisley by Watts of Westminster and GP&J Baker’s trim (all below) will create a scattering of delicate patterns, as well as the paisley reflecting the floral embroidery of the sofa. This paisley ties in all the colours I have used in this scheme, and the velvet by Manuel Canovas echoes the pattern of the curtains.

Precious Metals - Cushion Fabric
Left: Cushion fabric by Watts of Westminster, Babylon in Pyramid Chalk. Right: Cushion fabric by Ashely Wilde, Mimosa. Trim by GP&J Baker, Wrapped Bead
Precious Metals - Cushion Fabrics
Left: Cushion fabric by Manuel Canovas, Kenza Ambre. Centre: Wallpaper by Casamance in Caractère, Essence. Right: Fabric as above

The distressed look of the sofa fabric goes well with the parchment-creased wallpaper by Casamance (above), which is flecked with glitter to subtly pick up the light.

Equally the leather by Futura (below) from the Selvaggio Collection in Walnut, which, in this case, will be used to cover a club fender – you can use studs or buttons to finish – compliments the metallised fabric that would be used for window seats by Lelievre in Oxide, Cendre finished with a fine, rope trim by Samuel & Sons.

Precious Metals - Window Seat Fabric and Trim
Left: Window Seat Fabric by Lelievre, in Oxide, Cendre. Middle: Leather by Futura from the Selvaggio Collection in Walnut. Right: Trim by Samuel & Sons, from Strata Collection in Honey

Jenny Blanc Writes…The Perfect Night’s Sleep

Perfect Nights Sleep - Elegant Four Poster Bed
Elegant bedroom with four poster mahogany bed with voiles and inset padded headboard, Barbados

Jenny Blanc PictureFor me, a bedroom is one of the most important rooms in a house. It is a space to relax and rest as well as to sleep. And, there is nothing more cheering than the prospect of a cosy and beautifully decorated bed to come home to. From your mattress to the type of bed you like, as well as accessories such as bedside tables and throws, there are just so many different ways of creating a space that really reflects what most appeals to you in terms of comfort, as well as aesthetically. When it comes to pillows the sizes and shapes available are again so varied, but I like two rectangular pillows and a large square pillow to lean on when reading – and always feather. The bedroom we created in Barbados (above) reflects this concept beautifully; the elegant four poster with voiles and an inset padded headboard is the centrepiece of the room. From there stems matching mahogany furniture and accessories in aqua, cream, silver and white.

Mattress

Whether you prefer your mattress hard or soft, quality is important. As the only carbon neutral bed maker, Hypnos uses the finest natural and sustainable materials. Unlike most mattresses, which are stuffed with synthetic fillings that can make you hot during the night, all of Hypnos’ mattresses are made using generous layers of natural, sustainable and breathable fibres such as wool, cashmere, teased hair, cotton and silk. My go to supplier for Vispring is And So To Bed. These mattresses are also made from natural materials, including wool from the Shetland isles, Bamboo from China which is incredibly soft and wicks away moisture to ensure that you awake feeling fully refreshed, Mohair, Silk, Cashmere, Horsetail, and Cotton. A typical Vispring mattress has four full fleeces within its upholstery. In both cases, this choice in fillings help to promote air flow and reduce moisture to help regulate body temperature, they also repel allergens and enhance the sleeping experience.

On the other hand, there is a huge trend in memory foam mattresses like Tempur, and these are always an option. However, as these mattresses are made from synthetic materials, they are known to raise body heat, so bear in this mind if you like to stay cool when sleeping.

And, of course, bed bases can be a wonderful way of creating storage in smaller spaces; whether you have drawers or the entire mattress is able to lift up and storage is created underneath.

Headboards

Perfect Nights Sleep - Headboards
Three of the most in-demand headboards all available through Jenny Blanc. Central image is a contemporary London bedroom with high, buttoned headboard by Jenny Blanc

Above are the three styles of headboard, which are most popular at the moment. You can cover these plain headboards in any fabric that you like, as well as varying the types of trim you use and buttoning or stud detail.
Below is a contemporary bedroom we designed using a buttoned headboard in dark, purple velvet. Like the traditional bedroom above, the bed dictates the surrounding colour scheme and accessories; modern statement lamps with contrasting lime lampshades, and cushions in chocolate and a Moroccan style print – which also ties in with the blinds. There is a huge range of bedside cabinets and tables available, and a bench or sofa (as above) situated at the end of the bed is a lovely addition to any bedroom.

Perfect Nights Sleep - Modern Bedroom
Modern bedroom scheme, London by Jenny Blanc

Beds

For a more traditional look, a Bateau Lit or a French style bedstead (as below) is just heavenly. The Bateau Lit ties in with the oak beams of this 15th century country house, as well as the bedside cabinets. The look is lifted by the light blue floral patterns of the duvet cover and chair, as well as flashes of dark green.

Perfect Nights Sleep - Bedroom Bateau Lit
Bedroom with Bateau Lit in countryside home by Jenny Blanc

 

Perfect Nights Sleep - French Styled Bedroom
Bedroom with French style bed by Jenny Blanc. Curtains and bed covered in fabric by Jean Monro

This bedroom (above) is one of my favourites, with the bedstead matching the curtains in fabric by Jean Monro. The flashes of aqua in the fabric are reflected in the traditional bed valence and this, in turn, is echoed in the pale aqua chaise lounge, which is another option if you’re not featuring a stool, bench or sofa.

A trunk at the end of a bed (below) is hugely useful for extra storage. The red chinoiserie fabric of the headboard here is reflected in the fabulous bath that we installed in this bedroom. The red throw ties into the scheme as does the throw in the aqua scheme above.

Perfect Nights Sleep - Red- Cinoserie Bedroom
Red Chinoiserie bedroom in countryside home by Jenny Blanc

Tyra Returns to Barbados

Tyra Returns Barbados Community College
Barbados Community College Design Tutor, Stephen Jackman, with Jenny Blanc Design Scholarship winner, Tyra Woodroffe

The recipient of the inaugural 2014 Jenny Blanc Design Scholarship, Tyra Woodroffe, is back from London and seeking to inspire other students at the Barbados Community College.

Woodroffe, a 19 year-old graduate of the BCC’s Design Program, this week visited the institution after completing a six-month stint at the England headquarters of international designers, Jenny Blanc Interiors.

Along with giving an overview of her “eye-opening” experience in London to the BCC’s 2014-2015 Interior Design class, Woodroffe and Jenny Blanc’s Caribbean Director, Emma Blanc, presented the students with hundreds of samples of fabric of varying colours, textures and designs.

Tyra Returns - Barbados Community College Students
BCC Design Program students with Jenny Blanc Caribbean Director, Emma Blanc, BCC Design Tutor Stephen Jackman and Tyra Woodroffe

“Designing is an exciting career and my trip to London allowed me to be more involved in the hands-on aspect. It was different and enlightening and the exposure also allowed me to benefit from a wider scope of design techniques and experiences,”

Explaining why she opted to provide the current BCC students with such a varied range of fabric samples, the emerging designer said BCC students were always challenged to find wide varieties of fabrics and they would certainly be useful.

This was underscored by Design Tutor, Stephen Jackman, who accepted the samples on behalf of the class and thanked Woodroffe and Jenny Blanc for their kind gesture. “Fabric samples are essential for interior designers and will enhance their portfolios and knowledge,” he said.

Tyra Returns Barbados Community College Tutor
Design Tutor, Stephen Jackman, with BCC Design Program students

While in England, Tyra also succeeded in gaining City and Guilds certification in computer-assisted designing (AutoCAD 2), which was presented to her Jenny Blanc Design Director Sue Thomas-Richardson. The qualification will fulfil the second half of her scholarship programme through a six-month attachment at the Holetown-based showroom of Jenny Blanc in Barbados

Tyra Returns Jenny Blanc Design Director
Jenny Blanc Design Director, Sue Thomas-Richardson, presents Tyra Woodroffe with her AutoCAD 2 certificate

Through the partnership with the BCC, Tyra emerged as the first winner of the Jenny Blanc all-expenses-paid scholarship last June after students were assessed on their course-work and a special project that included the interior design of a four-bedroom luxury home – complete with furniture, fabrics, lighting and functional spaces.
The next scholarship will be offered in 2016 and Jenny Blanc Interiors also revealed to students that the top two BCC students from the 2014-2015 class and the top two from the 2015-2016 class will all be eligible to compete for the prized all-expenses paid scholarship.

And in Tyra’s Words…

Having settled happily back into the warm embrace of the Caribbean beauty that is my island home Barbados, it is no doubt that I’m also enjoying the second phase of the Jenny Blanc design scholarship. With the comfort of a familiar environment, I’m now experiencing the other side of the Jenny Blanc business with renewed zeal.

The Barbadian team has welcomed me with open arms and I feel as though I’ve adapted happily into the dynamic of their operation. That being said it’s very valuable to note the differences in the happenings of the two locations and what particular skills they develop. The main design office of the company resides in London where they have the resources to handle larger scale projects in a comprehensive way. This allows for first hand exposure to the vast range of fabric, furniture and accessory supply companies the world has to offer, whereas in the Barbados office, things are hands on in a different capacity. The focal point here is the retail aspect where other variables come into play. This means that design is developed from a merchandising standpoint where products are displayed for sale and to inspire those visiting the showroom. Successfully inspiring onlookers, who may be in need of a designer, encourages them to choose your establishment. Attention to detail, proper maintenance and excellent customer service – while having a knack for very subtle, gentle persuasion – can go a long way.

A substantial amount of business traffic occurs in Barbados where many clients can need anything from a single room revamp through our Just Rooms service, an entire refurbishment, or a new build project. The challenge of going into spaces, having conversations with clients and measuring for initial drawings is an exciting one. Eventually it is followed by the final installation process where you interact directly with the pieces of a scheme that begin to transform a residential or commercial interior. The practical and functional nature of design then becomes most apparent. I look forward to being involved in this process in the upcoming months with the team.

Time has been going very swiftly but the experience here is enjoyable while beneficial. I still reflect on the fond and amusing memories of my UK trip and feel so fortunate to have been blessed with this opportunity that has aided in my personal growth in so many ways.

Spring is Here …

Spring is here Spring Flowers Secret Garden
The wonderful array of spring flowers at The Secret Garden, Thames Ditton

Jenny Blanc PictureAfter that dreadfully cold winter we’ve had, March means spring, and all of a sudden hundreds of flowers are in season. I just love delicate pinks and greens together. Our Senior Designer, Abbie, presented her mood board on our blog back in January – look out for her new mood board coming up in the next few weeks. She used soft pinks and mossy greens to freshen up a feminine bedroom for spring. We loved it so much we made it our London Showroom window!

Pretty spring flowers bring softness, intrigue, and of course a wonderful fragrance to any room as well as enhancing already existing colours and textures. I simply love little antique vases and jugs that you can fill with all kinds of wild flowers for a very natural look. I visited my favourite flower shop The Secret Garden in Thames Ditton, Surrey, which was absolutely full of a magnificent array of flowers in the lead up to Mother’s Day. With two weeks to Easter, what better way to decorate your home than with fresh, seasonal flowers. The pretty yellows, pinks and blues signal that spring is truly here. From Narcissus and Tulips to Cowslips and Cherry Blossom, there is a huge amount to choose from.

Spring is here Tulip filled jars & antique jugs
Filling jars with tulips and finishing with a ribbon, or using antique jugs and vases is such an easy way of creating a pretty ornament for your Easter table
Spring is here Pretty Primulas
Pretty Primulas are delicate and so colourful that you are sure to find some to compliment any room
Spring is here Narcissi
Narcissi say spring more than any other flower and are a wonderfully inexpensive so that you can scatter them all around your home
Spring is here Cherry Blossom
Some simple branches of Cherry Blossom add immediate prettiness and softness to a room
Spring is here Grape Hyacinths
Grape Hyacinths are beautiful when planted in large terracotta pots for your kitchen or spring garden

 

Spring is here Cowslips
Cowslips are beautiful in little vases and jugs, especially with other pink spring flowers such as tulips

Just Rooms

Just Rooms Decorative Lamp

Jenny Blanc PictureWhen 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…

Just Rooms North London Townhouse Master Bedroom
London Townhouse Master Bedroom
Just Rooms Guest Bedroom in Beautiful Hertfordshire Lodge
Guest Bedroom in Beautiful Hertfordshire Lodge
Just Rooms Chillout Hertfordshire Television Room
Chillout TV Room
Just Rooms Comfortable Hertfordshire Study
Comfortable Study
Just Rooms Caribbean Bedroomside Tablelamp
Caribbean Bedroom
Just Rooms Caribbean Bedroom
Caribbean Bedroom
Just Rooms Outdoor Caribbean Dining
Outdoor Caribbean Dining
Just Rooms Countryside Casual Dining
Countryside Casual Dining
Just Rooms Caribbean Poolside Lounging Table
Caribbean Poolside Lounging
Just Rooms Caribbean Poolside Lounging
Caribbean Poolside Lounging

The Sea Turtles of Barbados

Sea Turtles Giant Sculpture
The last giant size hand-sculpted turtle from our Limited Edition Collection will be reaching the shores of Barbados at the end of March

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…

Emma Blanc Portrait PhotographHaving 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

Barbados Sea Turtles Project Logo

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.

Sea Turtle Cushions

Sea Turtles Bespoke Turtle Cushions
Bespoke cushions & our small Limited Edition 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!

Sea Turtle Canvas Turtle Bags
Canvas Turtle Beach Bag
Sea Turtle White Bronze Paperweight
Gorgeous White Bronze Paperweights made for Jenny Blanc
Sea Turtle Brass Turtle Box
Brass & Abalone Shell Turtle Box
Sea Turtle Stone Coasters
Exclusively designed Stone Coasters with artwork created by local artist Linda Roach arriving at the end of March in 6 Designs

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. Sea Turtle Wood CarvingsThe 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.

Jenny Blanc Writes…Wonderful Wallpaper Part 1

Jenny Blanc PictureI’ve always loved wallpapers because they set the scene for the room, and create atmosphere. But, I often find that people aren’t aware of the fantastic variety of texture and style in wallpapers. For a long time wallpaper has been seen as only very traditional. Recently, however, the design houses have come up with contemporary designs that work in many different styles of home. Wallpapers are now THE thing to have. Even if you have a very large design you can have a feature wall and two plainer walls with tonally schemed paints.

So, this week I’ve shown some delightful schemes, which demonstrate the wonderful capabilities of wallpaper for transforming a room. Of course, a traditional, floral print is an easy way of creating comfort, and colour as you will see below. But, there are many more contemporary or modern prints and materials that can have really beautiful effects. From a simple paper to silk and shells, the materials that can be used today are truly remarkable, and the effects even more so. I hope you love the schemes as much as I do!

Contemporary
The huge increase in the creation of stunning, contemporary designs is truly evident in these Jim Thompson wallpapers. A bold geometric, paired with a modern combination of colours in a floral print, shows the subtle influence of a traditional design with a contemporary twist through colour.

jenny blanc writes wallpaper indra mandarin
Left: Indra by Jim Thompson. Right: Mandarin Orchids by Jim Thompson

Traditional
Traditional, floral prints, with a modern twist from the Baptista collection by Colefax and Fowler show that traditional wallpaper isn’t outdated, but in fact has been brought right up to date, and immediately creates a sophisticated and elegant look.

jenny blanc writes wallpaper passiflora roscoe blue
Passiflora in Blue and Roscoe Blue/Cream wallpapers by Colefax & Fowler
jenny blanc writes wallpaper seraphina pascoe pink
Seraphina in Pink and Roscoe Stone wallpapers by Colefax & Fowler

Textured
A featured wall in textured wallpaper such as Seychelles above by Nobilis, made from Capiz shells, or a textured woven silk such as Sands of Lazaro by Philip Jeffries, is a fantastic way of creating a unique and magical room.

jenny blanc writes wallpaper textured
Textured Wallpapers: Right: Seychelles by Nobilis. Left: Sands of St Lazarro by Phillip Jeffries. Paint: Aged Ivory No. 131, Stock – Dark No. 175, Stock – Deep No. 174, Stock – Mid No. 173, Stock No. 37, all by Little Greene. Fabric Left: Aurelia Gold by Harlequin.

Maco Features Jenny Blanc’s Caribbean Design for Living

Maco Jenny Blanc's Feature January 2015 Cover

Jenny Blanc PictureMaco 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…

Maco Jenny Blanc's Feature Editorial Page 1

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:

Maco Jenny Blanc's Feature Editorial Page 2

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.

Maco Jenny Blanc's Feature Advertisement

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.

Jenny Blanc Writes… Tropical Table Tops

tropical table tops - lancaster house barbados
A stunning Sunday buffet lunch table with bougainvillea and orchids at
Lancaster Great House, Barbados

Jenny Blanc PictureEver 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.

tropical table tops - table top and glassware
A contemporary tropical table top with engraved glassware

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).

tropical table tops - caribbean dining & vintage  stripes
Left: Casual Caribbean Dining. Hand-Painted Tropical Chargers by Jenny Blanc (8 designs available) Right: Dining Room Seats are covered in Vintage Stripe in Mandarin by Perennials

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:

Tropical Table Tops - Coral Designed Green Placemats and Lobster Forks
Green placemats, with a glass and silver screen-printed coral design charger, and lobster forks all available at Jenny Blanc
Tropical Table Tops - Outdoor Dining Table
A fabulous, grand outdoor dining table

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.

Tropical Table Tops - Table Lighting

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.

Tropical Table Tops - Terrace Dining in White and Aqua
Sophisticated terrace dining in white and aqua with Coral Bay Pool by Kravet

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.

Tropical Table Tops - CrockeryThe plates, chargers and bowls used in the place settings above are all available in the Jenny Blanc Showrooms

Abbie’s Mood Board: A Fresh Start! Inspiration for Spring

abbies mood board a frest start

Senior Designer Abbies mood boardsSenior Designer, Abbie, creates regular mood boards inspired by the latest collections. For Spring she has put together a romantic combination of soft pinks and mossy greens with touches of mother of pearl and silver to give a contemporary classic feel for a luxurious bedroom. Abbie writes…

My inspiration for the colour scheme was the beautiful beaded Maasai Crystal and Raffia Fringe trim from Samuel & Sons (below left). For the curtain fabric, I selected the show-stopping weave, Hanover, from Hodsoll & McKenzie’s collection Mayfair (below left). Echoing a classic damask design, it has been given a clever contemporary twist with its sculptural construction and slight metallic sheen. I also love the delicate sparkle of clear glass beads and the lustrous finish of the fabric which combine to reflect light and draw the eye. The trim would look fabulous used with this fabric, just like the arrangement that we created for one of our clients (below right).

abbies mood board a frest start collage of fabric & trim
Left: Hanover fabric by Hodsoll and McKenzie with a trim by Samuel & Sons Right: A beautiful way of using trim on a curtain.

For a feature wall I have chosen this stunning painted floral wallpaper by Nina Campbell, which would pair well with Cole & Son’s textured, metallic wallpaper, Random Match. The delicate sprays in the wallpaper pick out the trio of fresh, spring colours that are the motif of this scheme, set against a silver background.

Penglai from the Cathay Wallpaper Collection by Nina Campbell
Penglai from the Cathay Wallpaper Collection by Nina Campbell

I absolutely adore the lighting from Visual Comfort & Co. This wall sconce and floor lamp are classic pieces with contemporary touches; the hand-rubbed, brass wall sconce has crystal on the floral detail at the centre, and the floor lamp with a linen shade has a Quatrefoil detail, which is such an elegant flourish and very popular with many furniture designers this season. Both details pick out the floral pattern on the fabric and wallpaper.

abbies mood board a frest start wall sconce floor lamp
Brass wall sconce and Floor lamp both by Visual Comfort & Co

This sumptuous mother of pearl, art deco headboard – available at Jenny Blanc – carries on the bedroom’s theme of classic pieces with a contemporary twist. It would create such an air of elegance, and luxury as a truly extraordinary statement piece. The curves reflect the floral motifs on all the furniture and lighting, including the mirror below, with a reflective, pearlised frame (also available at Jenny Blanc).

abbies mood board a frest start headboard & mirror
Headboard and Mirror both available at Jenny Blanc

This elegant, French Louis XVI style chair is covered in a chic linen fabric called Soundless by Veere Grenney, which echoes the flower motif in the soft pink that repeats throughout this room scheme. It is such a pretty and feminine piece that, again, is a contemporary take on a classic design.

abbies mood board a frest start stool
Image and fabric by Veere Grenney

A stool covered in Turoa Copper, a pink, opalescent leather by Whistler would be just enough sparkle to contribute to the other metallic materials in this scheme without being too much. Other furniture could be covered in Bintan, a textured sage green and white weave by Nina Campbell, with cushions in pink silk by Colefax & Fowler and green silk by Zimmer + Rohde.

abbies mood board a frest start leather & material swatches
Left: Turoa Copper leather by Whistler. Right: Trio of fabrics clockwise from left: Bintan by Nina Campbell, Colibri by Zimmer + Rohde and Padova Pink by Colefax & Fowler.

Jenny loves the elegance and romantic colours of this scheme and has decided to recreate the look in the London showroom’s window in time for Valentine’s day.
Keep an eye out for our blog in a few weeks’ time where we reveal some of the fabulous Valentine’s gifts on show in our spring window. They will also be available on our Streethub page, which you can visit by clicking here

Jenny Blanc Writes… The Magic of Mirrors

Jenny Blanc pictureMirrors!
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!

Contemporary Mirrors

Magic of Mirrors Parallel Mirror

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.

Magic of Mirrors Contemporary Distressed

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.

Magic of Mirrors  Drinks Cabinet

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.

Magic of Mirrors Dinning Room Wall

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.

Magic of mirrors fabric by Thibaut
Fabric by Thibaut

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!

Magic of Mirrors Antique Mirror

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.

Magic of Mirrors Antique Distressed

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.

Magic of Mirrors Antique Mirror BathroomMagic of Mirrors Antique Mirror Bathroom2

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.

Shell Mirrors

Magic of Mirrors Shell Mirror

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.

Magic of Mirrors Collection of Shell Mirrors

 

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!

Inspiration From The Sea

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.

Ins & Outs CoverThe 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.

Ins & Outs Editorial

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.

Ins & Outs Lookback 2015 Cover Ins & Outs Lookback 2015Ins & Outs Lookback 2015 Ad

The London Showroom Sale Is Now On!

 

London Showroom Sale

Happy New Year from Jenny Blanc! It’s great to see the Jenny Blanc offices filled with people again, and bursting with fresh ideas. Our sale in the UK Showroom is now on, and we have a wonderful selection of items to choose from. Why not have a look at our Streethub page for an easy click and collect service: Click Here

The addition of new throws and cushions instantly create a fresh, New Year look.
The addition of new throws and cushions instantly create a fresh, New Year look.

LondonShowroomSale-pic7

These diffusers with a beautiful floral design come in a range of scents.
These diffusers with a beautiful floral design come in a range of scents.
The Jenny Blanc Sofa, 225 cm width x 100 cm depth x 90 cm height.
The Jenny Blanc Sofa, 225 cm width x 100 cm depth x 90 cm height.
Heather is a trending colour this season, and this lamp works as a staple in many settings.
Heather is a trending colour this season, and this lamp works as a staple in many settings.

We have many further interesting items on sale in the London Showroom from our beautiful home accessories to lighting and mirrors.

On the other hand, it’s certainly not the January Sales in Barbados, as it’s full steam ahead with the new season. Our international clientele are always eagerly awaiting the new products that we display every season. We source products from around the world, as well as presenting The Jenny Blanc Collection, which is featured in both showrooms.

We’d love to welcome you, both in London and Barbados, to come and see the products that reflect the unique lifestyle that is on offer at Jenny Blanc.

Do contact our Showroom Directors if you have any queries:
Chrissie Marshall in London: +44 (0)20 8943 4144
Emma Blanc in Barbados: +1 (246) 432 0989

Here’s to health, happiness and beautiful design in 2015!

 

Our First Barbados Scholarship Student Leaves London with Flying Colours

Barbados Student Leaving pic1 TyraTyra 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.

One of the mood boards I have created during my scholarship in London
One of the mood boards I have created during my scholarship in London

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.

A perfectly balanced interior created by Jenny Blanc for a client back home in Barbados
A perfectly balanced interior created by Jenny Blanc for a client back home in Barbados

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.

A sunny verandah showing the design team's clever use of colour through fabric
A sunny verandah showing the design team’s clever use of colour through fabric

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.

One of my all-time favourite images showing Jenny Blanc's attention to detail
One of my all-time favourite images showing Jenny Blanc’s attention to detail

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

Barbados Student Leaving_Pic5 TyraAnd 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!

An Inspirational Century 

On Jenny’s many buying trips abroad, she discovers companies which offer something quite unique in the world of interiors. Some 14 years ago, Jenny came across Century furniture  at High Point in America. Having forged a strong association with the company since then, Jenny not only loves to use Century in suitable projects, but it is THE place for clients to buy Century’s exceptional furniture and design accessories.

Westminster apartment sitting room table with delphiniums

To give you a flavour of the collections, it’s good to look back over some of the beautiful pieces the design team have placed in projects both in the UK and abroad. This exceptional table, in a Westminster apartment just a stone’s throw away from the Houses of Parliament, epitomises the craftsmanship of Century furniture together with its ability to suit both classic and contemporary interiors.

Miell entrance sitting room

Still working with glass, Century create mirrors such as this one fitting seamlessly into the sitting room of a stunning residence in Polo Ridge, Barbados. The 3-D effect created by the eight bevelled- edge mirror panels adds interesting reflections whilst being a real statement piece to set the mood of the interiors. The coffee table, also Century, displays the very clever design details which turn an essential piece of furniture into something unique.

Le Messurier hallway with coral stone monkey sculpture and bamboo chair

This very elegant chair shows the attention to detail in every piece. Influenced by legendary designer Thomas Chippendale, the framework  is uniquely crafted and cast in powder coated aluminium cast from real bamboo and re-crafted as an authentic design only available in a tortoise shell finish. This chair has been designed and engineered to be suitable for use in the sunny outdoors although the design team love to use them indoors too. The fine proportions set off the dramatic coral stone monkey sculpture designed by our Design Director Sue Thomas-Richardson.

bar stools at the Miell's monkey bar

bar stool detail

A unique bar designed by Jenny Blanc and manufactured locally for an exclusive family home in Barbados. It was crafted in local mahogany with original artwork panels depicting the island’s popular Green monkeys. This stunning bar required comfortable bar stools to be in keeping with the design and Century provided just the right level of sophistication and style. Jenny Blanc is the UK agent for Century so if you are wanting to find something of this calibre for your home browse through the brochures at our London showroom, or look online at www.centuryfurniture.com.

A Caribbean Christmas

Jenny Blanc Limited Edition Sculptures
Jenny Blanc Limited Edition Sculptures

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…

Caribbean Christmas - Silver Stand

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.

Caribbean Christmas - Orange Chic

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.

Caribbean Christmas -  Shell Design

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.

Caribbean Christmas -  Frosted Pinecones

 

Caribbean Christmas -  Frosted Pinecones2

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.

Creating Splendour: Jenny’s innovative colours and luxury ideas this Christmas

Creating Spendour Jenny at Christmas

CHRISTMAS is my favourite time in the London showroom with so many ideas for how to make the season special. This year I’ve chosen very feminine pinks, pearls, golds and creams. Traditional Christmas reds and greens are still one of my all-time favourite combinations alongside the more contemporary rich mauves, indigo blue, gold, silver and white.

Creating Spendour - Presents

I love to create a new gift wrapping idea each year as it sets the mood for the season. For me, taking care to wrap presents with thought at Christmas is essential. It shows you care. I like to use a pretty adornment alongside the bow; some glistening holly berries or an angel decoration. You don’t have to spend on these little extras. Taking things from the garden and hedgerows can be such a pretty way to present your gifts.

Creating Spendour - Gold TrayThere’s always a place in my home for a decorative table arrangement which I enjoy right the way through to the New Year. If you have a lovely decorative tray such as this one, you can make this idea work with any colour theme. I’ve used these very beautiful glistening pearl twigs with pink tinged honesty. It’s an unusual colour combination for Christmas, but very effective. I love all the different heights of the candles and you can intertwine any decoration you wish.Christmas time is always about ambience, and so my candles play a major role. I do recommend the battery-operated or rechargeable ones. From a safety point of view they’re wonderful and they can be used again and again with no worry about hot wax.

Creating Spendour - Silver Table

My Christmas table gives me the chance to make my home look extra special for family and friends. I’m looking forward to using these silver garlands for a long table decoration. You can use a large one in the centre with smaller garlands either side. Dot some lovely little votive candles and tree decorations around to bring the look together. Don’t stint on candles and add a finishing flourish of organza ribbon to create your colour theme. It’s simple to do yet very effective.

CreatingSpendour - Red Decorations

As the big day approaches, I love to get home in the evening to the scent of Christmas. The beautiful mix of pine, berries, cinnamon and orange pot pourri gets me in the mood for present wrapping. This year Jenny Blanc gifts are featured for the first time on Streethub- an online site encouraging us to look to our local high street shops for inspiration. This beautiful moc-croc pouch with its Swarovski crystal adornment is just one of the items I’ve selected. It can be used as an evening bag or make-up bag – it’s so versatile – and also comes in orange and yellow.

To visit the online shop Streethub, please click here

Creating Spendour - Pastel Cushions

I love luxury at Christmas. It’s always about buying treasured things for friends and family that you’re unlikely to buy for yourself. These gorgeous soft pink embroidered cushions go so well with my pink, gold and pearl area in the London showroom. The beaded handbag is completely adorable, and can be used as a jewellery bag or evening bag and is appropriate for any age group.

Creating Spendour - Chaise Longue

The luxurious fur rug always says Christmas to me. Throw it over the sofa or at the end of your bed – they’re surprisingly practical too. I just adore being able to wear perfume from a traditional pump and Jardins d’Ecrivains perfume in La Dame aux Camelias is pure heaven. The entire look is luxurious, soft, cosy, and most of all, feminine. On this beautiful antique chaise, these very special pieces embody the luxury of Christmas.

Creating Spendour - Shot Glasses

Take it from me. Shot glasses are set to be THE present this Christmas! I love the contemporary stylish look of this collection on their own silver tray – the design is superb in a striking blue and silver colour combination. It would make a gorgeous present for a man who likes to entertain in style. The same design comes in tall glasses and a glamorous ice bucket. Oh, and don’t forget the bottle of Belvedere vodka.

Creating Spendour - Reindeer

Presents don’t have to be a grand gesture.This beautiful trio of reindeer would suit a traditional or contemporary home. I’ve arranged them with these fabulous purple and gold room scents and candles. The reindeers can be used as a table decoration with flowers or on a mantelpiece.

Hopefully, I’ve put you in the Christmas mood with my ideas for the season. Come and see us at the London showroom or drive by in the evening for a sparkling experience. I have a busy week ahead with Christmas coming to the Barbados showroom. Watch this space!

Creating Spendour - London Showroom Window

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