Praise for our new site...
We’ve been delighted with the response to our relaunch. ‘Every address you could want is here’ says The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella Magazine, and The World of Interiors urges its readers to ‘look out for the bigger and better www.thehousedirectory.com
Trends

'I love using colour in the home – I know it can be difficult to use, so often I just use key accents. Neutral tones are easy to live with and not seasonal. My own sitting room is a rich crimson felt, so I use more muted colours to calm it down in summer, or brighten it up with a stronger palette during the bleak winter months.  I also like to combine prints together – it’s something I have done in fashion for years and I do enjoy using florals together with a check, spot, star or stripe to give it a new dimension.' Celia Birtwell

Celia’s new ‘Pop Story’ collection has just been launched. The over-sized florals, checks and dots based on her dress fabrics have been added to her home furnishing collection. There are four new designs, in both bright and more soothing shades. For more see www.celiabirtwell.com or visit her showroom at 71 Westbourne Park Rd, London, W2 Tel: 020-7221 0877
 


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

Grand Designs Live London (3-11 May), at ExCeL in London’s Victoria Docks. 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 www.granddesignslive.com Ticket hotline: 0871 230 5577

Street Posters from the Paris Rebellion (1 May-1 June), The Hayward Project Space Southbank Centre, London SE1. A free exhibition of brilliant graphic works produced by students & workers in Paris during the ‘évenements’ of May 68. www.haywardgallery.org.uk

Objects of Desire: The Lapada London Fair (8-11 May ), 6 Burlington Gardens, W1. In its third year, this fair brings together some 70 dealers in contemporary and traditional fine art, furniture, sculpture, jewellery, silver, watches, clocks, glass and ceramics. The dealers are all members of LAPADA, the UK's largest association of art & antique dealers. Plus 20th century design furniture from Art Deco to modernist pieces, as well as talks and lectures. See www.lapadalondon.com for more information or call 020-7823 3511. Special offer of 2 tickets for the price of 1 if you print and present this page.

If it's May, it's Museums and Galleries Month (MGM), with activities, talks and workshops at museums all over the country. On May 16, 17 and 18, the UK joins in a Europe-wide event giving visitors the chance to experience museums after dark. Unusual night-time events on offer include 'behind the scenes' tours of the cellars of Hereford Cider Museum, or a torchlight visit of one of Britain's oldest museums, Saffron Walden Museum. For more details visit www.24hourmuseum.org.uk: a very useful calendar of events at over 3800 museums, galleries and heritage sites.

Artists’ Open Houses (four weekends in May), is the biggest free arts event in Britain. Over 1000 artists of Brighton and Hove will throw open their galleries, studios and homes. Visit: www.aoh.org.uk for more information.

Mary Fedden Exhibition (8-30 May), Portland Gallery, 8 Bennet Street, off Arlington St, London SW1. A major retrospective exhibition of oil paintings, watercolours and drawings by one of Britain’s best loved painters, the Royal Academician, Mary Fedden OBE. She is known for the whimsical charm of her subjects and her striking use of colour. Many of the paintings will be for sale. www.portlandgallery.com

At Home: symposium (9&10 May), Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Rd, London E2.A two-day seminar on 17th and 18th-century urban middle-class homes, exploring the domestic architecture, decoration, furnishings and daily life of the 'middling sort' in London. Speakers will include silver historian Philippa Glanville of the V&A, historic paint expert Patrick Baty, architect Peter Powlesland and furniture historian Dr Adam Bowett. www.geffrye-museum.org.uk

London Photograph Fair (11 May), Park Inn (Bonnington Hotel), Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, WC1 . Historic images, contemporary photographs and books on photography. www.photofair.co.uk

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2008 (20-24 May), Royal Hospital, Chelsea. The 600 exhibitors at the top gardening event of the year include 22 show gardens; 22 small gardens, including courtyard gardens and urban gardens; 100 floral exhibitors in the Great Pavilion; and some 300 garden product exhibitors. For more info, see www.rhs.org.uk/chelsea. Our members Clifton Nurseries are there with Rachel De Thame and LK Bennet to build a beautiful Urban Garden www.clifton.co.uk. Emily Readett-Bayley will be exhibiting her salvaged teak dining tables www.emilyreadettbayley.com Ticket hotline 0870 247 1223.

Cockpit Arts Open Studios (17 May in Deptford; 14-15 June in Holborn), Meet hundreds of designer-makers, watch live demonstrations and buy their products. www.cockpitarts.com

Garden Ornament & Fossils Auction (20 May), Summers Place Auctions , The Walled Garden, Stane Street, Billingshurst, West Sussex. Tel: 01403 331331. Held in association with Sotheby's in the walled gardens and arboretum of Summers Place with 5 acres of landscaped grounds, the auction offers items ranging from a few hundred pounds to over £250,000. www.summersplaceauctions.com















Ask the experts
Selected from our free Q&A service.
Q. I am trying to find a wet room installation company and a wet room system that will cater for a very strange shaped shower area.  All the systems that I have been told about have a set 'hidden tray size’.  Any ideas ?

A. You should contact wet room, bathroom and steam room specialists Liquid Design. They say the tray can be made to order or you could use other waterproofing methods depending on the location. They not only do full installations but will also carry out the tanking (waterproofing) of the room only, if that is all you need. If you are just looking for products and equipment so that you can carry out the installation on your own, you should visit their website www.liquid-design.me.uk

Another company on our website, European Heritage, supplies wet room products (trays, drains, membranes, waterproofing materials). www.europeanheritage.co.uk







Sources of the month
This month it’s mosaics…

New members Surface Tiles have one of the largest selections of glass mosaic tiles, in a myriad of colours. They are offering up to 30% off the usual retail price in their Spring Sale which starts on 9th May and also includes some of their ceramic and stone ranges. Their showrooms are at 60 Queenstown Road, Battersea, SW8 3RY (020 7819 2300) or in West Molesey, Surrey (020 8481 9588) www.surfacetiles.com

Inspired Mosaics run weekend courses throughout the year, one-week summer schools in August, and even mosaic-making parties for a special occasion. Or you could commission them to make a special tabletop or mirror. See their work on www.inspiredmosaics.co.uk

Finally, if you want an entire room in stone or glass mosaics, you might consider the reputed Parisian mosaicist, Pierre Mesguich. He creates stunning backsplashes, showers, floors, table tops and swimming pools in classic, art deco or contemporary motifs, including the charming patchwork bathroom shown here. www.mesguichmosaik.co.uk

To see more mosaic tile suppliers and specialists, just type ‘Mosaics’ in the Quick Search box on our home page, www.thehousedirectory.com




New book

Judith Wilson’s The Natural Home: Stylish Living Inspired by Nature (Jacqui Small) focuses on decorating with a natural look and in a more ecologically-sound way. It includes practical advice on conserving energy and recycling without causing aesthetic offence. To order it at the special price of £10.99 (rrp.£12.99) with free p&p. call 01903 828503 quoting ref JS175.

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