February '08 Newsletter

Welcome to our monthly newsletter, providing you with the latest events and courses, trend forecasts, new sources, and answers to your interior design problems.
Some of you already know our exciting news…we are going independent in March ! We will become

We’re already the No.1 Interior Decoration Directory (worldwide Google ranking), so why are we doing it? Because it will give us more ways to promote our site. For the suppliers who are our members it will mean more customers. And for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the site for answers to their sourcing problems, it will mean an even more useful directory. All this, and a fresh new look !

‘Tart up hidden spaces.’ says David Oliver, Design Director of The Paint & Paper Library, ‘ Places like the insides of cupboards or wardrobes that would otherwise be painted a shadowy tinted white are great for strong bursts of colour.  The inside of a cupboard could be painted a really shocking pink. It makes the whole idea of putting away the dishes much more inspiring. There are also transitional spaces in the home - like a hallway or stairwell - where you can use wallpaper or strong colours. You don't spend as much time in these places so you are less likely to grow tired of the colours.’

In his new book, Paint & Paper: A Masterclass in Colour and Light, David Oliver takes us through all the stages of revitalizing a room with paint. He considers colour combinations and explains what works and why. Published by Conran Octopus, it is beautifully illustrated, with over 250 colour photographs. You can buy it for the special price of £20 with free UK P&P (RRP £25). To order, call LBS on 01903 828 503 quoting CONR38.

Don't miss this month
Exhibitions, sales, fairs, courses and events you should know about. International Spring Fair (until 7 Feb), NEC, Birmingham. 4000 companies from around the world exhibit at this huge trade buying event . For more information, see Valentine’s Day Personal Shopping (until 14 Feb), Gray’s Antiques Market, 58 Davies St & 1-7 Davies Mews, London W1 and at Alfie’s Antiques Market, 13-25 Church St, London NW8. Get a personal shopper to help you find an unusual love token from one of the many dealers at these famous markets. Anything from Victorian scent bottles to vintage cocktail shakers and bar accessories... The service is free – just call 020-7725 9601 to make an appointment. and Cloth & Culture Now (Jan 29-1 June), Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich. Innovative new work by 35 artists from Estonia, Finland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania and the UK, making contemporary use of traditional techniques and materials. International Antique & Collectors’ Fair (7-8 Feb), Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground, Notts. Note the earlier starting time (from 9am on Thurs) for Europe’s largest antiques fair, with up to 4000 stalls. 20/21 International Art Fair (21-24 Feb), Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7. International modern and contemporary art – oils, original prints, watercolours, drawings, photography and sculpture from 1900 to the present . For details see Exotic Textiles from Lord McAlpine’s Collection (12 Feb), Bonhams, New Bond Street, London. Over 200 lots of tribal art from countries in North and West Africa and Asia. A wide range of items will be included: wedding shawls, veils, Fante flags, wall hangings, capes, cushion covers, with estimates from £300 to £5000. Tel 020-7468 8333The Winter Chester Antiques & Fine Art Show (14-17 Feb), The County Grandstand, Chester Racecourse, Chester. 60 dealers from across the North West of England and from Wales. Among the more affordable gifts will be a selection of framed Victorian and Edwardian Valentine’s cards, starting at £20.

The Ski Sale (20 Feb), Christie’s South Ken, Old Brompton Road, London SW7. The annual winter sports poster auction presents graphic art from the 1920s to 1950s at its most arresting and stylish. For more information call 020-7930 6074 or see www.christies.comThe Listed Property Show (23-24 Feb), Olympia 2, London. This event provides owners of listed buildings with access to the products and services of around 150 specialist suppliers. Plus information on VAT, grants, insurance etc. For details visit

International Antique & Collectors’ Fair (26-27 Feb), South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex One of the antiques world’s best-known fixtures, the Ardingly fair boasts up to 1,700 stalls and is only 1 hour from London. Tues is trade day, Wed public entry. Form (28 Feb-2 March), Olympia, London. Billed as ‘the quintessential event for lovers of art and design’, this show brings together modern and contemporary art, design, photography and sculpture by established as well as emerging artists.

Ask the experts
Selected from our free Q&A service - This month we're talking metal...
Q. I'm a set builder and am looking for good sources of metallic paint finishes and fabrics. Can you help?

A. Check out the huge range of metallic fabrics at B.Brown. This company has been supplying display fabrics since 1934. Their ranges include lots of fabrics which simulate brushed steel, aluminium and corrugated metal as well as a new range of glitter fabrics in 39 colours. They also do metallic paint. Look them up on You could also try Ray Munn ( which imports the Swedish Beckers range of 'Decor Metall' paint. It comes in a gold or silver base and can be tinted to achieve other metallic finishes. They will send you a colour card upon request. Finally, Architectural Textiles supplies authentic Japanese gold, silver and copper leaf wallcoverings in 22 shimmering colours (

Sources of the month
New members...

Porte Italia( specialise in hand-painted doors fit for a palazzo on the Gran Canal. Its sister company Patina Italia ( supplies a wide range of beautifully hand-painted furniture in Venetian 18th century style. The pieces can be colour-matched and sized to your specifications.

Norfolk Decorative Antiques source period chandeliers and other lighting, and undertake all kinds of repairs and conversions (They also have large stocks of antique glass). They carry out installations of both old and modern lighting in homes, offices, boardrooms and gardens. Visit their website