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 & Trends

‘The beautiful patterns, colours and shapes of things in nature have etched themselves into the human psyche since time began –for two million years anyway.
Flowers, leaves, butterflies, furs, feathers, and shells, rocks, marbles, skies, earths, things marine and plenty more, all of them have triggered the decorative instinct in mankind. Let nature be your inspiration.’ Min Hogg

Min Hogg, who edited The World of Interiors magazine for 20 years, has channelled her love of pattern into designing a collection of wallpaper and fabrics (in collaboration with Mike Tighe, ex-art director of WoI). The pretty Seaweed Collection is printed in the UK on top-quality papers, linens, cottons and velvets. Any design can be produced in your own colours, and the scale of any pattern can be increased or reduced. www.minhogg.com

Members' News

Soane have just been presented with The Walpole award for Luxury Craftsmanship for their support for British craftsmanship. Soane now produce over 500 pieces, all made in Britain, using traditional skills such as iron forging, saddlery, cabinet-making and bronze casting, www.soane.co.uk. Also nominated was another THD member, Linley. www.davidlinley.com

Ornamenta's new Ikat wallpapers were voted "Best of the Best" of the new collections at Focus 2010. Jane Gordon Clark was inspired by antique textiles, and the papers come in various colourways, some of which are printable to order in any colour. They retail at £22.50m . Min order 10m. www.ornamenta.co.uk

One of our member companies, Anyvan.com, was the winner of this year’s Good Web Guide ‘Website of the Year Award’. They offer a brilliant service that matches customers who need goods moved, with transport companies and courier services already travelling in the same direction. Worth bearing in mind for delivering bulky Christmas presents too… www.anyvan.com

New Shops

Lombok have a new pop up store at Christopher Place, in St Albans. It will be open over the festive period until 14 January.The store covers over 3,100 sq ft across two floors and showcases Lombok’s bestselling furniture and a wide range of Christmas gifts and accessories. www.lombok.co.uk

Cabbages & Roses has a smart new Mayfair store at 4 Avery Row, London W1. The Grade 2 listed building has been carefully restored in the company’s quintessentially British style. There are two floors of fashion and homeware. www.cabbagesandroses.com

The French House have been supplying artisan-made French products by mail order for several years, and have now opened their first shop at 50 Lambs Conduit Street, London WC1 (0207 831 1111). Go and see their great range of light fittings, striped and toile quilts, wire baskets, pretty crockery and table linen and much more.

Italian publishers
Rizzoli have opened their first UK bookshop at Somerset House. It stocks books on art and design; interiors and fashion, and will host talks and special events. Open daily, 10-6 and Thurs until 9pm. www.somersethouse.org.uk

The Craft Potters Association has just opened a new gallery at 63 Great Russell Street, opposite the British Museum. It sells pieces by some of the UK’s top ceramic artists, and will also host exhibitions of individual artisans’ work. www.cpaceramics.com

Special Offers

We’re thrilled that The Linen Works is back – and with a brand new website. They have a great selection of French striped fabrics and linens, carefully-sourced tableware and accessories for kitchen, bathroom and pantry, and lovely pre-washed bedlinen in soft muted colours. www.thelinenworks.co.uk. And there’s 10% off for readers of our newsletter – just key in voucher code EC2945.

Sibona are offering 10% off their opulent new silk velvet cushions and quilts. The cushions are £39 each, the king-size quilts are £650. Order before Dec 15 for timely despatch. www.sibona.com, 020 8949 4882

Capella Shutters is offering The House Directory readers a discount of 10% across its made-to-measure range. If you book before Christmas for delivery in the New Year, you can get an extra 10% off, making a saving of 20%. All their shutters have a three-year guarantee and UV coating to prevent fading. To claim the discount, visit. www.capellashutters.com or call 020 7100 5222 and quote “House Directory”.

Xmas Sources of the Month

For traditional Christmas wreaths and trees (from 3ft to 14ft, or even larger to order) as well as a huge selection of decorations and gifts, Clifton Nurseries is the place, www.clifton.co.uk. We love the unusual recycled cardboard tree (£28) from www.henandhammock.co.uk; the pretty Christmas decorations from www.lombok.co.uk and www.melathome.com; and the festive selection of candles from www.nordichouse.co.uk. The ‘pearl baroque chain’ (shown here) from www.lightingweb.co.uk has its own battery pack and would look great on a mantelpiece or a table (£35).

The 30 specialist shops at The London Silver Vaults in Chancery Lane are a brilliant source of vintage gifts for Christmas, from Art Deco cocktail shaker & coupes, Stuart Devlin 1960s champagne flutes, vintage swizzle & cocktail sticks, and buffet table accessories: grape scissors, stilton scoop, ham-bone holder. Prices start at £15., www.thesilvervaults.com

Gift Vouchers: Award-winning interior designer Charlotte Crosland's 'One-Room Voucher' is £500 and includes a suggested scheme board and floor plan, plus fabric and furniture recommendations. www.charlottecroslandonline.com. And Surface View's gift vouchers (in the form of smart A2 size canvas prints) can be redeemed against any of the stunning prints from their 'ready to buy' collections. www.surfaceview.co.uk

This month don't miss

East London Design Fair (3-5 Dec), Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1. An annual event that brings together the best of the UK's independent designers of furniture, accessories and jewellery. www.eastlondondesignshow.co.uk

Clarendon Cross Christmas Shopping Fair( 7 Dec, 5-8.30pm), London W11
Seasonal refreshments and discounts are on offer from the shops taking part, including Summerill & Bishop and Stephen Ryan. www.summerillandbishop.com

‘New Bloomsbury’ Christmas Shopping Evening ( 9 Dec, 4-8pm), Rugby Street & Lambs Conduit St. Tucked away in Georgian London, this network of independent one-off shops and galleries promise a festive shopping evening with music and merriment. www.benpentreath.com

Adams Antiques Fair (12 Dec), Horticultural Hall, Elverton St, London SW1. The biggest monthly antiques fair in central London. www.adamsantiquesfairs.com

Cologne Christmas Market (until 23 Dec), Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1. A traditional German Christmas market with hand-crafted gifts and seasonal comestibles. www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays (8, 15, 22 Dec), The small independent shops on Columbia Rd and Ezra St (normally only open on Sundays for the flower market) will open on Wednesday evenings (5-9pm). English and Italian delis, furniture and vintage shops, terracotta pots, festive food and live music. www.columbiaroad.info

‘Christmas Past’: 400 Years Of Seasonal Traditions In English Homes (until 5 Jan 2011), Geffrye Museum, London E2. Each year the museum’s period rooms are decorated in appropriately festive style. Plus Christmas posters designed by Heal’s. Go after dark to see the fantastical pieces of woven fibre-optic furniture by Kei Ito which illuminate the gardens. www.geffrye-museum.org.uk

Cut It, Fold It, Build it with Paper (until 9 Jan), V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, E2. Drawn from Robert Freidus' extensive collection, this exhibition features nearly 200 examples of architectural paper models of iconic buildings, such as the Tour Eiffel, theEmpire State Building, and Big Ben - some dating from the 1880s. www.vam.ac.uk

Dazzle (until 9 Jan), London National Theatre, Olivier Foyers, South Bank, London SE1 9PX. A contemporary jewellery selling exhibition, with dazzling work by over 80 leading designer-makers from all over the world. www.dazzle-exhibitions.co.uk

Threads of Feeling (until 6 March), The Foundling Museum, 40 Bruswick Sq, W1. Don’t miss this moving exhibition of 18th century fabric swatches kept to identify babies left at the hospital between 1741 and 1760. www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010 (until 20 Feb), Sixty works have been selected from this year’s competition, which attracted nearly 6,000 submissions from over 2,400 amateur and professional photographers around the world. www.npg.org.uk

And for Christmas food markets and tree dressing events across the country, visit: www.foodloversbritain.com

Date in your diary

London Art Fair (19-23 January), Business Design Centre, Islington N1
Now in its twenty-third year, this fair presents over one hundred galleries showing modern British and international contemporary artists and attracts experienced collectors as well as those looking to buy their first original work. 

London Art Fair is offering readers of our newsletter two tickets for the price of one, if booked before 14 January 2011. The advance ticket price is £11 plus £1.50 booking fee. Call 08448 480 141 or book online at www.londonartfair.co.uk quoting LAF137.