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 are so pleased to be featured in this year’s edition of ‘Ins & Outs of Barbados’ magazine with an article all about my Barbados made furniture collection! Ins & Outs of Barbados is an annual publication filled with fascinating articles about the history, culture and art of the island along with essential information for visitors such as must-see places and not-to-be-missed events.
If you’re sadly unable to pick up a copy for yourself, here are a few excerpts to whet the appetite before the magazine is available online later in the year.
‘Jenny Blanc’s inspiring showroom in St.James features a host of enticing, original products for the home and offers an unbeatable range of services to help you create beautiful interiors. The full design service, run from their West London studio, is underpinned by their many years of experience of designing houses in the Caribbean and has access to the most exquisite collections of fabrics and furnishings available internationally.’
‘As part of their full interior design service Jenny Blanc has created a range of mahogany furniture inspired by the rich heritage of Barbados and made by joiners on the island. Barbados mahogany was abundant when the island was first settled by Europeans. Used by the settlers as the main material for construction, fuel for early sugar cane factories, boat building and furniture, only small groves now remain. Furniture made from this hardwood is prized for it’s durability, its resistance to termites, its superb quality and beautiful reddish brown colour.’
‘Jenny Blanc interiors has revisited historic Barbadian furniture styles with their designs for beautiful mahogany and cane armchairs, elegant mahogany and marble coffee tables and romantic four poster beds with matching dressing tables. Outstanding pieces – made from rarely available Barbados mahogany – such as a bar with painted panels featuring the local green monkeys, have been designed by Jenny Blanc and are made locally by talented artisans. This beautiful mahogany furniture, with it’s reflections of an earlier cultural heritage and style, adds depth and character to contemporary interiors and contributes influences of an original plantation house.’
The image above features a beautiful green monkey sculpture carved from coral stone by a local Barbadian artisan which I designed exclusively for this award winning project. This stunning family home competed against other exclusive properties on the island at last years International Property Awards in the category for Interior Design and was awarded ‘Best in Barbados’ by a panel of expert judges. You can find more information about the property awards on our blog here!
I’m so thrilled to announce that Jenny Blanc interiors have been presented with a 5 – Star award for the interior design of a beautiful family residence in Apes Hill, Barbados at this year’s International Property Awards held at the Hilton Hotel Barbados on Friday 23rd October!
This was one of my favourite projects to date and it was an absolute pleasure to work with our clients to create this very special family home. From the very first meeting our client’s dreams were for a house full of light with a feeling of Caribbean elegance and tropical influences. To meet their aspirations, Design Director Sue Thomas-Richardson and I designed living areas each with its own character but which flowed one into the other linked by a harmonious colour palette of cool subtle tones with punches of colour.
You can view more images of the award winning property on our website here!
As highest scoring 5 star winners, we have now been nominated for the title of ‘Best in the Americas and the Caribbean’ before the ultimate ‘World’s Best’ awards are presented at an awards ceremony at the Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, London on 7th December 2015.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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 Interiors
World’s Best Interior Design Private Residence
On Friday, 7th December at the Grand Final of the International Property Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Jenny Blanc Interiors was announced overall winner in their category and Jenny and her team were presented with the coveted award of Best International Interior Design Private Residence.
This accolade to the expertise and artistry of the Jenny Blanc Studio saw them competing with design practices from Arabia, Asia Pacific, Canada, Caribbean, Central & South America, Europe and USA and follows their success in the regional final. The competing projects were judged by a panel of top industry experts who declared the winning project to be ‘exceptional’. (to see the winning project please click here)
Jenny and her team danced the night away at the International Property Awards at the Marriott Grosvenor Square on Friday, 12 October.
They waltzed away with not one but two awards for their sympathetic restoration of a beautiful 15th Century lodge in Hertfordshire, winning not only Best Interior Design Private Residence East of England but the overall UK award for Best Interior Design for a Private Residence for the whole of the UK. They now go forward to compete internationally.
Fabulous news! Jenny Blanc have won an International Property Award! The extent of their achievement will be announced at the Gala Dinner on 12th October.
Jenny and her team of designers submitted their most exciting project which was a year in the making, pouring heart and soul in to every stage and element.
The client’s Grade II listed home in Hertfordshire required sympathetic restoration from the specification of architectural features, beautiful fabrics and furniture to lovingly sourced decorative antiques and finishing touches. The project will feature on the website after the awards have been announced.
The Company has won several International Property Awards in the past, to include Best International Design for a project completed in the Caribbean seen here on their website and hope to add another accolade to their collection.