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

‘Until recently, lighting was an afterthought - which greatly limited its impact. But now most homeowners are aware of the role that lighting has to play and understand its value in setting the scene for their interior.  

Part of this awareness has been prompted by the legal requirement for energy-efficient lighting; I predict that LEDs will play a more significant role in this area.  We have also seen an increased demand for lighting that actually enhances the mood of an interior rather than just provide illumination.  Balancing these elements is the key to a successful lighting scheme. 

The central pendant has virtually disappeared and the ubiquitous halogen downlight is already in decline.  There will always be a role for downlights (in one form or another, LED, energy efficient, etc) but there’s no need to saturate a room with light - far better to concentrate on specific areas using a combination of light sources to enhance mood and save energy’ 

Wayne Mottershead, Lighting Designer with interior design practice Carousel Design. Go to www.carouseldesign.co.uk and check out their new online design service.

This month don't miss

Exhibitions, sales, fairs, courses and events you should know about.

Watercolours & Drawings Fair (until 8 Feb),The Flower Cellars, 4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2 . Several thousand pictures will be for sale, spanning every style and period from the 17th century to the present. Prices from £100 to £100,000 www.watercoloursfair.com or 01798 861815

St. Valentine's Wine and Cheese Tasting (11 Feb), Clifton Nurseries, Clifton Rd, London W9, 6.30-9pm. They promise flirty white wines and seductive reds from around the world, married with robust cheeses and rustic bread – tickets are £20. Take the opportunity to choose a hand-tied bouquet for your beloved with an exclusive 20% discount. For tickets contact: guy.pullen@clifton.co.uk or tel 020 7432 1866.

St. Jude's in the City (until 12 Feb) Bankside Gallery, 48 Hopton Street, London SE1. While St Jude’s Gallery moves from Aylsham to Itteringham in North Norfolk, check out their London exhibition of printmaking, illustration and their own screen-printed textiles, including work by Angie Lewin, Mark Hearld, Jonny Hannah and Christopher Brown. There will also be vintage pieces from architectural salvage and design business Retrouvius. www.stjudesgallery.co.uk www.retrouvius.com

Andrea Palladio: His Life and Legacy (until 13 April) Royal Academy of Arts, London W1. This well-trailed exhibition devoted to the Renaissance master is the first to be held in London for over 30 years. Ticket hotline 0870-708488484 or www.royalacademy.org.uk

20/21 International Art Fair (19-22 Feb), Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7. International modern and contemporary art – oils, original prints, watercolours, drawings, photography and sculpture from 1900 to the present . For details see www.20-21intartfair.com

The Chester Antiques & Fine Art Show (12-15 Feb), The County Grandstand, Chester Racecourse, Chester. 50 dealers from the North West of England and Wales, with some interesting specialisms such as arms & armour, 20thC film posters and fine wines. www.penmanfairs.co.uk

London Plant & Design Show (17-18 Feb) RHS Horticultural Halls, Greycoat Street and Vincent Square, London SW1. Early spring-flowering plants, with plenty of ideas and inspiration for urban gardeners and garden design. www.rhs.org.uk

The Listed Property Show (21-22 Feb), Olympia 2, London. This event provides owners of listed buildings with access to the products and services of around 150 specialist suppliers. Plus information on VAT, grants, insurance etc. For details visit www.lpoc.co.uk

International Antique & Collectors’ Fair (24-25 Feb), South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex www.dmgantiquefairs.com One of the antiques world’s best-known fixtures, the Ardingly fair boasts up to 1,700 stalls and is only one hour from London. Tuesday is trade day, Wednesday public entry.

Antique Textile Fair (1 March), Armitage Centre, Fallow Field, Manchester. A favourite with enthusiasts in antique and vintage textiles and costumes. www.textilesociety.org.uk

Ask the Experts

Selected from our free Q&A service.

Q. I am looking to replace broken art deco tiles on a fireplace. Can you suggest any suppliers ?

Craven Dunnill Jackfield are specialists in restoration projects, working closely with architects, conservators and companies such as the National Trust and English Heritage. Their heritage range includes a wide choice of Victorian, Art Nouveau and striking geometric Art Deco wall tiles, as well as encaustic and geometric floor tiles. They offer a colour matching service for customers wishing to restore an original feature, but will also reproduce other designs to match originals. Contact them for a quotation - all they need is an image of the pattern. An actual sample would be needed for manufacture. Tel: 01952-884124 or www.cravendunnill-jackfield.co.uk
You might also take a look at the real platinum and gold art deco tiles from Original Style. Look under 6” traditional decorated tiles on www.originalstyle.com

Where can I get hold of cane to repair my old dining chairs ?

J.A. Milton Upholstery Supplies has a very comprehensive range of DIY upholstery materials for sale by mail order and online. They stock four sizes of weaving cane for chairs, as well as natural and artificial rush, and useful handbooks. Visit their website www.jamiltonupholstery.co.uk or call them on 0870-7778934

Sources of the month

Kelly Hoppen was recently awarded an MBE for services to interior design. She is not resting on her laurels, but is busy re-opening her design school in Notting Hill. Her first short course, on 3 & 4 March, will explain the tools of her trade. It will cover all stages of a design project, from budgets, designing and floor plans to planning a room for practicality and style. For more details go to www.kellyhoppen.com

The English House has now opened a new shop selling its hand-made light fittings designed by architect Charles Morris. Their classical simplicity makes them as suitable for manor houses as for modern studios. The range includes chandeliers, candelabra, single and double-armed wall lights, swivel table and reading lamps, ceiling lantern and exterior wall lanterns. The chandelier is supplied with a unique link hook system, which is an integral part of the design. See the range at 17a Rugby Street, London WC1N 3QT. Tel: 020 7242 6727 or go to www.theenglishhouse.co.uk

If you’re after a Valentine’s present that won’t fade or be eaten, go for one of Fine Cell Work’s new hand-embroidered cushions. This linen appliqué ‘Ace of Hearts’ is designed by Melissa Wyndham and is £50. 020-7931 9998 www.finecellwork.co.uk


Smart space-age newspaper kiosks have appeared outside Sloane Square and Earl’s Court tube stations. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick (the man behind the East Beach Café in Littlehampton), they are brass on the outside and wood-lined on the inside. They open out in sections, with doors that contain the magazines. ‘Vaut le détour’ as the French say.

Since the US’s new first family chose Michael S. Smith as the next White House decorator, his recent book Houses (only published by Rizzoli last autumn) has completely sold out. It’s being reprinted at top speed and should be available in about four weeks. To reserve a copy, contact Potterton Books London on 020-7730 4235 www.pottertonbookslondon.co.uk


Cities of the World is an amazing 520 page door-stopper of a book – a sort of 16th century atlas of all the known cities. Originally produced as six volumes between 1572 and 1617, it features hundred of maps and engravings, panoramas and bird’s eye views – a precursor to Google Earth, but arguably more beautiful. It’s published by Taschen, costs £120, and is available from the smart Taschen shop at 12 Duke of York Square, London SW3 (020-7881 0795 www.taschen.com