Welcome to our monthly newsletter, providing you with the latest events and courses, trend forecasts, new sources, and answers to your interior design problems.
Tips and trends

‘Our philosophy is all about mixing it up. Forget clichéd themes or trends; this look is all about individuality and the art of contrast…Combining retro with classical, antique with modern, oriental with European or femininity with utility will add interest, bring a dash of humour and keep the overall effect lively and personal...A set of vintage French metal files, stacked to create a side table, will bring utility chic to an elegant bergère chair, while a Moroccan pouffe could add an ethnic twist to a traditional Chesterfield sofa.’

In their inspiring new book, Pale & Interesting, stylist Atlanta Bartlett and designer Dave Coote share their relaxed and accessible decorating style. It’s all about tranquil colour schemes and furnishings with character and patinas to create a look that’s easy on the eye and fits in with a busy family life.
(www.rylandpeters.com, £19.99) www.paleandinteresting.com

Don't miss this month (and free tickets !)

The London Antique Rug & Textile Fair (until 3 April), The Showroom, 93 Penfold Street, off Church Street, Marylebone, London, NW8. Still time to get to this new specialist fair dedicated to antique rug and textile art. View and purchase items originating from the Anatolia, the Caucasus, Persia, Central Asia, India and China as well as from Europe and Africa, and from all periods up to the early 20th century. www.larta.net

GROW ! (until late April), Selfridges, London. An unusual showcase devoted to urban gardening, to inspire even those surrounded by concrete to get creative with their green fingers. There’s an installation by London’s best-known guerrilla gardener Richard Reynolds, and even lavender pillows for sale, made from his huge lavender patch on Westminster Bridge Road. www.selfridges.com www.guerrillagardening.org

Chelsea Art Fair (1-3 April), Chelsea Town Hall, King’s Road, London SW3. Quality contemporary and 20th century work, including three-dimensional works of all kinds. Prices from £200 to £20,000. For a free e-ticket, go to www.chelseaartfair.org

John Makepiece – Enriching the language of Furniture (until 15 April), Somerset House, London. This renowned furniture maker’s first solo exhibition. The show brings together 25 pieces from public and private collections in the UK and abroad (some are for sale). www.somersethouse.ork.uk

Newark Antique & Collectors Fair (7-8 April), Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground, Winthorpe, Notts. Europe's largest antiques event with up to 4000 stalls spread over 84 acres. www.iacf.co.uk

Landscape Show (13-14 April), Olympia, London. A brand new trade exhibition for all those involved with interior & exterior landscaping and landscape gardening. Manufacturers and suppliers of everything from cut flowers and vases through to pots and flag stones, conservatories and water features will be exhibiting. www.landscapeshow.co.uk

The Cotswolds Decorative Antiques & Fine Art Fair (15-17 April), Westonbirt School, Nr Tetbury, Glos. This well-established fair has gone ‘decorative’ and is shifting the emphasis onto antiques for interiors. www.cooperevents.com

Printmakers 2011 (15 April-13 May), Tinsmiths, Tinsmiths Alley, 81 High Street, Ledbury, Herefordshire. Tinsmiths are known for their lighting, fabrics and accessories, but they also promote UK printmakers. This show will feature limited edition works by four artists, Paul Farrell, Sarah Chrisp, John Richardson and Sarah Young, using a variety of printmaking techniques. www.shop.tinsmiths.co.uk

Adams Antiques Fair (17 April), Horticultural Hall, Elverton St, London SW1. The biggest monthly antiques fair in central London. www.adamsantiquesfairs.com

London Original Print Fair (19-21 April), Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Gardens. The longest-running specialist print fair in the world is celebrating its 26th year. It covers all eras of printmaking from the early woodcuts of Dürer and his contemporaries, to the graphic work of contemporary artists such as Hockney and Hirst. www.londonprintfair.com

Festival of Britain 60th Anniversary (22 April-4 Set), Southbank Centre. A four-month celebration will be held here, where much of the original festival was staged. Stop off at the shop for commemorative books and products. www.shop.southbankcentre.co.uk

Grand Designs Live London (30 April- 8 May), ExCeL, London’s Victoria Docks. This vast show - with Kevin McCloud as event presenter - has over 500 exhibitors and is packed with products, information, services and advice – whether for self-build projects or refurbishment. We have ten pairs of tickets to give away to readers of our newsletter, so email us now on info@thehousedirectory.com stating ‘Free Grand Design tickets’. www.granddesignslive.com Ticket hotline: 0844-2097349

The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900 (until 17 July), V&A Museum, London SW7. The first major exhibition devoted to the Aesthetic Movement of the late 19th century brings together 300 objects and paintings. The rise of Aestheticism in painting was paralleled in the decorative arts by a new and increasingly widespread interest in the decoration of houses. The idea of 'The House Beautiful' became a touchstone of cultured life. www.vam.ac.uk

Date in your diary

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair (3-8 May), The Marquee, Battersea Park, London SW11.  This fair is fun, fashionable and well-known as an excellent source of painted furniture, Gustavian & Swedish design, 20th century design, lighting, accessories and named-design furniture, and excellent mirrors. www.decorativefair.com. For a free email ticket for two, contact pr@pipparoberts.com, quoting The House Directory.

Members' News

The Spanish company Lizzo Design has opened a London flagship showroom in Chelsea Harbour. The company represents fabric companies Pepe Peñalver, Calvin, Philippe Parent and Brinkman with a wide range of products: cotton/linens, silks, velvets and chenilles, embroidery, paisley, animal prints. They also supply Garrett Leathers, as well as wallcoverings and contemporary bespoke furniture. www.lizzo.net

Architectural Textiles are supplying an amazing new wallcovering called Geology. Made from a micro thin ‘veneer’ of real slate reinforced by a fiberglass resin backing so flexible that it can even go around columns and so light, there’s no need to reinforce the walls. www.architecturaltextiles.co.uk

Moroccan interiors specialists Habibi have just opened a new West London showroom and increased their range of hand-crafted Zellige tiles to give an even wider selection of bespoke designs (there are now 42 colours).1 Westbourne Grove Mews, Notting Hill, London W11. www.habibi-interiors.com

CP Hart has opened two new London showrooms, in Fulham and Notting Hill. Open to bathroom professionals and consumers alike, they showcase some of their many collections and offer design expertise and technical support. www.cphart.co.uk

Alternative Flooring have just launched their ‘Quirky’ Collection of British-made runners made on traditional Wilton looms but with bold new designs. There are spots, plaids, geometrics and a faux-zebra skin, in colours ranging from lime and pink to black, grey and natural. They can also be joined together as rugs and wall-to-wall carpets. £96 per m. www.alternativeflooring.com

To celebrate their new Voyage & Lorient collection of weaves,
plaids, stripes, silks, damasks and sheers, Couture Curtain Studio is offering a free sateen lining with every curtain order. For more information call 01582 513373 or visit www.couturecurtainstudio.co.uk

Sources of the month

If you’re planning a royal wedding party later this month, you might be needing these jolly fabric flags. They are hand-sewn onto wooden poles, and cost £10 for a pack of three, from www.deckchairstripes.com. And Tinsmiths’ Union Jack fabric (£9.50 m) would make great tablecloths and bunting ! www.tinsmiths.co.uk

New Books

Modern Vintage Style offers a contemporary spin on a vintage, quirky and bohemian look. Author Emily Chalmers is an interiors stylist and owner of hip Shoreditch shop Caravan. She shows us how to trust our instincts, to add vintage items to a contemporary interior and pull the ‘magpie look’ together. (www.rylandpeters.com, £19.99) www.caravanstyle.com

Round and about

This totally ivy-clad house has come on the market in Chelmsford, Essex - for over £200,000 less than its ivy-free value. It’s so dark inside that it’s practically impossible to ‘view’ the house ! (Picture: Eastnews)

PS. And for The House Directory’s latest news, don’t forget to follow us on our Facebook page ! www.facebook.com/TheHouseDirectory and Twitter www.twitter.com/HouseDirectory