March '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 at the end of this month ! 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 indispensable directory. All this, and a fresh new look !

‘More and more of our clients are turning away from furniture and lighting that could be considered to be mass produced. They are becoming increasingly discerning in the 'backstory' of the products. Carbon footprint, organic materials and sustainability are now familiar terms that are often discussed as homeowners are taking responsibility for minimizing the environmental impact of their purchases. We have always designed for enduring appeal, so we’re delighted to see this trend developing here in the UK.’
Interior designers Diana More and Diana Blanchard.

This month sees the launch of MoreBlanchard, their new bespoke furniture and lighting company which starts off with 19 products. The classic-contemporary pieces are all hand-made in England using locally produced materials. The collection can be viewed at the Blanchard showroom at 55 Regent’s Park, London NW1 or on their website at

This month don't miss
Exhibitions, sales, fairs, courses and events you should know about. BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair (5-11 March), Duke of York’s Square, Chelsea, London SW3. 100 of the country’s leading antique dealers will gather here. They are all members of the British Antique Dealers’ Association, and all the pieces on sale are carefully vetted for quality and authenticity. Take advantage of the special offer of 'Two for One' for £10 (Normal admission is £10 single and £15 for two) on quoting 'The House Directory Offer' at the ticket desk. For more information visit The 3rd Annual King's Road Antiques Fair (6-9 March), Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road, London SW3. 35 exhibitors at this popular event, known for its wide range of affordable antiques. East (6-11 March), A six-day festival championing the best of east London, with food, history, performance, art, film and fashion. The event kicks off with a relay of bell-ringing, starting at St. Paul’s then stretching out to over 20 of east London’s churches. Antique Textile Fair (9 March), Armitage Centre, Moseley Road, Fallowfield, Manchester. An annual event which you shouldn’t miss if you’re looking for a textile to enhance your home, or a vintage dress to wear, or even if you’re a business archive looking for sample fabrics. There will be lectures and demonstrations as well as lots of dealers. Country Living Magazine Spring Fair (12-16 March), Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1. Over 350 suppliers of home furnishings, crafts and food. The Affordable Art Fair (13-16 March), Battersea Park, London SW11. 120 galleries, many new to the fair, will exhibit a fresh line-up of paintings, sculpture, photography and original prints - all priced between £50 and £3000. Special 2 for 1 ticket offer if you print up and present our newsletter. For more info go to

London Design Week (9-14 March), Chelsea Harbour, London W10.
Spring’s biggest decorating event takes place in The Design Centre showrooms and at the premises of well-known names on the nearby King’s Road. See the latest collections and take part in forums, lectures and demonstrations. 9-11 March are trade days, and the general public is also welcome from the 12 to 14 March. For event details call 020-7225 9101 or look at Dolce Vita (13-16 March), Olympia, Hammersmith, London W14. Sample the finest Italian food & drink, discover Italy’s diverse regions, gawp at mouth-watering Italian property and find inspiration in beautiful Italian fashion and design. For more details see

The 100th Ideal Home Show (14 March-6 April), Earl’s Court, Warwick Road, London SW5. The grand-daddy of all decoration shows. From loft conversions to the latest gadgets. The show’s website has some fascinating video clips and photos of visitors and showhouses dating back to the first ever show in 1908. For more information call 0844 415 4144. Antiques for Everyone (27-30 March), NEC, Birmingham. With more than 400 exhibitors from across the UK, Europe and America, this is the UK's largest indoor, vetted antiques fair and a major international event for collectors and dealers. Plus a special 'Mao: Art for Masses' exhibition - a fascinating collection of Chinese communist works of art and political memorabilia.
The Architects who made London (until 4 June), The Royal Academy, Piccadilly, W1. Against a backdrop of photographs of London by Richard Bryant, this display looks at six mid-19th to mid-20th century architects who have had a significant impact on the world city which London is today. Drawings, plans and photographs of their most significant London buildings, illustrate the impact of architects including Norman Shaw, Lutyens and Lubetkin on the capital.

Ask the experts
Selected from our free Q&A service - This month it's bedding...
Q. I have recently purchased a new circular bed from IKEA. I'm finding it very hard to find a duvet that is circular. I've browsed the internet for some time now and I'm having no luck.
A. Bespoke Bedlinens will be able to provide the duvet, but they can also supply the bedlinen to go with it. They custom-make bedlinen in a range of textiles or your own fabric, and for beds of any shape and size (including caravan or boat beds).

Q. We are looking for a company that does custom-embroidery on fine linen. We can supply the linen or use theirs.
A. There are many companies that can provide bedlinen with embroidery or monogramming, especially Armoire Linen Company. ( However, most will only monogram their own range, but The Monogrammed Linen Shop ( will undertake large orders to monogram on your own linen 0207 589-4033.

Sources of the month

While you’re visiting Chelsea Harbour during London Design Week (see above), don’t forget to pop into the RIBA Bookshop for more inspiration. This branch specialises in interiors, furnishing and gardens, and leading design authors will be signing copies of their latest books. You can also browse and order books through their very useful website ( and sign up for their free weekly New Books email, download free contract and specification guides, and enter competitions.

The National Trust Print Collection is an amazing resource of over 700 images carefully selected from the NT’s very own library collection. Available as high quality digital photographic prints to buy online, the collection covers interiors, landscapes, private collections, fine and decorative arts, gardens and flora. Prices start at £15. For more details visit (Stowe image shown ©NTPL/Andrew Butler)