Not long to wait for our new-look website! will soon be live….and we’ve already switched over for our monthly newsletter. Here it is !

‘Being gentle with the planet is something we should all be concerned with. From today until forever. In every aspect of life. The days of being slaves to 'fashion' are on the wane.  So, when redecorating the house or the garden - make sure that whatever you are replacing will be replaced for a good long while with something that is classically beautiful and not just fashionable.' Christina Strutt, Cabbages &

Just out this month is Cabbages & Roses’ Guide to Natural Housekeeping - a guide to keeping your house clean using organic and traditional methods, as well as growing your own produce and making your own herbal bath treatments. Published by Cico Books, the book is £19.99 from all good bookshops or call 01256-302699 quoting X04 to buy it at the special price of £17.99 inc p&p. 

This month don't miss
Exhibitions, sales, fairs, courses and events you should know about.

Interiors Sale (8 April), Christie’s South Kensington, London SW7. These regular Tuesday sales present decorators and collectors with an opportunity to acquire one-of-a-kind objects and collectibles in virtually every style from antique to contemporary.

Home Building Show (10-13 April), NEC, Birmingham. A dedicated show for self-builders, renovators and home improvers. View the latest products and services from over 500 exhibitors, plus free daily seminars and one-to-one advice.

Richard Allen: Retrospective (16 April-10 May), Offer Waterman & Co, 11 Langton St, London SW10. The first major exhibition of this artist at the cutting edge of abstract art in the 1960s and 1970s.

Love Your Home Show (19-20 April), Sandown Park, Esher. A new home and lifestyle show, with over 100 exhibitors offering home accessories, garden products, food & drink, home entertainment and eco-living.

Chelsea Art Fair (24-27 April), Old Town Hall, King’s Road, London SW3. Quality modern & contemporary art from Britain and across the world, covering the period from 1930 to the present, but with the accent on contemporary work.

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair (22-27 April), The Marquee, Battersea Park, London SW11. This fair is always popular with decorators looking for a quirky item that can provide the ‘twist’ to complete a contemporary decoration project. More than 130 exhibitors take part, and the Foyer will host a selling exhibition of needlework and patchwork by Fine Cell Work We have teamed up with them to offer you a complimentary email ticket (for two) to the fair. Just log on to, fill in your details and mention

London Original Print Fair (23-27 April), Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Gardens. The longest-running specialist print fair in the world will be celebrating its 23rd year. It covers all periods of printmaking from the early woodcuts of Dürer and his contemporaries to the graphic work of contemporary masters such as Hockney and

Spring Renaissance ( 23 April-18 May), West Piazza, Covent Garden Market, London WC2. A host of spring celebrations and events will take place in the cobble-stoned Piazza which was associated with the Flower Market for over 300 years. A giant flower installation will evolve into an amazing piece of living artwork; there will be a genuine working mini-allotment complete with home grown fruit and vegetables; and talks, demonstrations and live plant ‘surgeries’ from a host of gardening and eco-experts. For more info call 0207 208 7152

Brilliant Women: 18th century Bluestockings (until 15 June), National Portrait Gallery, WC2. This exhibition showcases those beguilingly talented 18th century women writers, artists and thinkers with famous paintings and rarely seen portraits, satirical prints and personal artefacts. And while you’re here, don’t miss the Vanity Fair Portraits (until 26 May) :150 portraits displayed for the first time alongside photographs featured in the magazine since its re-launch in 1983.

Date in your diary - free tickets !

The successful show Grand Design Live London (3-11 May) at ExCeL in London’s Victoria Docks is not until May but we are flagging it up now as we have ten pairs of tickets to give away to readers of our newsletter, so email us now on marking it ‘Free Grand Design tickets’. The exhibition is packed with products, information, services and advice – whether for a self-build project, a refurbishment of an existing building or tweaking a room with fresh furnishings. For more information log on to

Ask the experts
Selected from our free Q&A service.
Q. I would like to get rid of my net curtains. I’ve seen frosted window film and was wondering who supplies it ?

A. Opaque adhesive vinyl film is becoming really popular as it offers privacy, is easy to install and a fraction of the cost of etched glass. Brume supplies a wide range of smart contemporary designs, including frosted, coloured, spotted, or striped versions (they can be cut to size to your measurements). See Purlfrost also do vinyl film in Victorian and Art Deco designs, as well as reflective solar film, blackout film, clear UV protection film, frosted and coloured film. But you might also want to consider actual glass – have a look at Caroline Rees Design’s new range of contemporary sandblasted opaque glass. She offers a wide range of standard as well as bespoke designs.

Sources of the month

Les Tuileries, run by interior designer Penny Shivjee in Dorking, has expanded its range of craft and design courses and now offers French Furniture Painting, Lampshade Making, Floristry, Photography, Curtain Making, Textile & Wallpaper Printing, Upholstery & Braids & Trimmings, and more. For information call 01306 881252 or visit

For all sorts of inspiring courses, short and long, don’t forget to check out our new dedicated Courses listings, which you will be able to access via the icon on the right-hand side of our new home page.

One of the most original exhibitors at last month’s Country Living Fair was Jennifer Collier, who creates exquisite stilettos, baby shoes and dresses in paper using old maps, letters, wallpapers or pages of books. They come in a card or perspex presentation box. To commission her, call 07811 460494.

New book

Leslie Geddes Brown’s new book The Water Garden (Merrell) is a captivating look at water features in gardens all over the world and throughout the ages. It includes a useful plant directory and a guide to water gardens open to the public. It can be ordered for the special price of £26.95 inc p&p (rrp £29.95) by phoning Marston Book Services on 01235 465 500 and quoting ref. MERHGWGA.