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

Known for her distinctive sense of colour and pattern, New York textile and carpet designer Madeline Weinrib has opened a new London showroom. Here she shares a tip about buying Ikat fabric:

‘Ikat is such a beautiful fabric, and very fashionable these days.  A lot of people have asked me what to look for when buying Ikat in terms of pricing so I would like to share a tip about buying this special textile. When you are in a store or showroom, I would advise a person who is buying Ikat to ask if the fabric is hand woven, machine made or printed.  A true Ikat is one that is woven by hand on a loom by a master weaver who can only produce a very limited amount per day (approximately 12-18 yards).  This makes it, of course, quite labour-intensive and expensive. Note that machine-made and printed Ikats are not true Ikats but a design or a fabric inspired by an Ikat.  Both machine and printed methods of production can generate thousands of yards per day and should therefore not warrant the same prices: it is important to know the difference.’

View Madeline’s carpets, cushions, textiles and furniture at her new ‘shop in shop’ at Andrew Martin, 200 Walton St, SW3 (020 7225 5100). www.madelineweinrib.com

Members' News

Poliform UK has opened a new studio at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour (Ground Floor, South Dome). It showcases wardrobes from the Senzafine, Ubik and Ego range. Also on display is an Alea kitchen, one of the six Varenna models available. Poliform finishes come in a myriad of colours in matt and gloss with coloured glass and textured melamines. The company offers a free space planning service as well as offering bespoke design solutions for both residential and contract interiors. www.poliformuk.com

Ochre have moved to a lovely new showroom in Clerkenwell where they have space to display most of their elegant modern lighting, furniture and accessories. It's at  46-47 Britton Street, London EC1. www.ochre.net

Bespoke carpet company Veedon Fleece has sponsored a carpet design competition for students from the Inchbald School of Design since 2007. This year’s winning entries have just been announced (Camilla Guy’s design inspired by Australian Aboriginal dot paintings is shown here). As a prize, the winners will have their designs made into carpets in Nepal. Veedon Fleece employ some 300 workers (no child labour) in their factory, and each process from dyeing the yarns to stitching the covers for despatch is carried out by hand. www.veedonfleece.com

JA Milton Upholstery Supplies are now supplying curtain linings not only in the standard ivory and white, but in an amazing range of 66 colours. The ‘Cascade’ range is 100% cotton, 54” wide, and prices start at £6.99 a metre. www.jamiltonupholstery.co.uk

GEC Anderson, better known for their high quality stainless steel kitchens & bathrooms, are now selling cast iron cookware & tableware by the Swedish manufacturer Skeppshult. Pure cast iron has a lot going for it: it’s a source of iron, it’s non-toxic, has a 25 year guarantee and is suited to all heat sources, especially induction hobs. www.gecandersoncookware.co.uk

Decorus Furniture have opened a new showroom at 602 King’s Road, London SW3 to display their tables, mirrors, lamps and cabinets with a ‘sleek metropolitan’ look. They specialise in the use of glass, marble, steel, chrome and exotic woods, an array of metallic finishes including shades of gold, silver, platinum, bronze and pewter. www.decorusfurniture.co.uk

Lampshade maker Eileen Garsed reminds us that she can make very big drum lampshades (up to 32-24 inches). These are often very hard to source. www.shadesofchoice.talktalk.net

Christmas Sources & Special Offers

Remember: you can solve all your present problems on The House Directory! Here are a few to start with:

Katrina Phillips has a huge selection of old-fashioned glass baubles, all fair-trade, priced from £3 to £18. She’s at 99 Portobello Rd, W11. www.katrinaphillipsinteriors.com

Nordic House has the best selection of festive candlesticks and tealights. www.nordichouse.co.uk

Kate Forman has these luxurious Christmas stockings (shown here) at £45 each, plus many more pretty accessories. www.kateforman.co.uk

Bodie & Fou’s inspiring Christmas catalogue is out. Order it here: www.bodieandfou.com

Volga Linen are offering a free monogram initial on some of their panel tablecloths and matching napkins, small pillowcases, damask hand towels, kitchen towels and merino wool throws. www.volgalinen.co.uk

20% discount to our readers on Christmas candles from Ancienne Ambiance. Quote code HDAA11 (expires 20 Dec) on www.ancienneambiance.com

For hundreds of present ideas, browse through Not on the High Street’s website: www.notonthehighstreet.com

Clifton Nurseries is a one-stop shop 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. www.clifton.co.uk

Anthony de Grey are also selling Xmas trees. Collect one from 40 North St, SW4 or have one delivered for free if you’re in SW4. www.anthonydegrey.com

This month don't miss

Clifton Christmas Market, Clifton Villas, London W9 (first three weekends in Dec, open Fri 12-5.30; Sat 10-5.30; Sun 11-5. Clifton Nurseries is especially atmospheric at Christmas time, and this year (and in association with The House Directory) they are hosting their first Christmas market. Among the companies taking part are our members Emily Readett-Bayley, Prometheus Bound Books and Runaway Coast. Entry is free. For more info see www.clifton.co.uk

East London Design Fair (1-4 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

Made by Hand (2-4 Dec), Tredegar House, Newport, South Wales. Now in it’s second year, this event showcases 150 of the UK's best designer makers. For details of the free craft masterclasses on offer, go to: www.madebyhand-wales.co.uk

Adams Antiques Fair (4 Dec), Horticultural Hall, Elverton St, London SW1. The biggest monthly antiques fair in central London – this one is even bigger than usual, with 200 stands. www.adamsantiquesfairs.com

Alfies Antiques Market Christmas Party (8 Dec), Church St, London NW8. Celebrating 35 years of trading. www.alfiesantiques.com

Potterton Books London' Christmas Extravaganza (opens 8 Dec), 93 Lower Sloane Street, SW1. An exhibition and sale of original artworks by
Gail Brodholt, Paul Catherall, Angela Harding, Mark Hearld, Michael Kirkman, Ed Kluz, Rob Ryan and Emily Sutton. www.pottertonbookslondon.com

Selvedge Christmas Fair (10 Dec), St. Augustine’s Church Hall, Langdon Park Road, London N6. Peruse the stalls of thirty designer-makers, get creative at the bookbinding workshop and enjoy refreshments from High Tea of Highgate. www.selvedge.org

Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays (7, 14 & 21 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 8 Jan) Geffrye Museum, London E2.  Each year the museum’s period rooms are decorated in appropriately festive style. It’s a fascinating insight into how Christmas has been celebrated in English middle-class homes from 1600 to the present day. www.geffrye-museum.org.uk

A Celebration of the Big Top (until 16 Dec), James Harvey British Art, 15 Langton St, SW10. A collection of works to celebrate the vibrant world of the circus from its origins on London’s South Bank almost 150 years ago. www.jamesharveybritishart.com

The Cook’s Kitchen: Culinary Silverware and Gifts for Epicures (until 28 Jan), The London Silver Vaults, Chancery Lane, London WC2. A selling exhibition of Georgian, Victorian and 20th century silver items and gadgets, both practical and beautiful. www.thesilvervaults.com

MAKE (until 2 Jan), Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey, Devon. This Christmas exhibition brings together 50 of the best regional and national contemporary craft makers. www.crafts.org.uk

Dazzle (until 8 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

Postmodernism: Style & Subversion 1970–1990 (until 15 Jan), Victoria & Albert Museum, London SW7. What does postmodernism mean, and where did it come from? www.vam.ac.uk

The Way We Live Now (until 4 March), The Design Museum, Shad Thames, London SE1. For Sir Terence Conran’s 80th birthday this major exhibition explores his unique impact on contemporary life in Britain whilst also showing his design approach and inspirations. The exhibition traces his whole career from post-war to the present day. www.designmuseum.org

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