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

Advice on choosing wallpaper, by Jane Gordon Clark…

'Always look at the sample from a distance, rather than flat in the wallpaper book, because you never stand half a metre away from a wall studying the wallpaper; it is the overall effect you need to see.

It is a great help to see a picture of the paper you like in a room setting, especially as you can then see if there is a dominant part of the design that leaps from the wall in distracting horizontals or diagonals. It is surprising how often this happens with wallpaper designs and it is too late to notice it when the paper is hung.’

Jane Gordon Clark has written a very useful piece called ‘Why Wallpaper?’ for our Design Topics pages. To see it in full go to www.thehousedirectory.com

She is the founder and designer of the specialist wallpaper company Ornamenta. Her new Ikat wallpapers were inspired by antique textiles, and 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

Members' News

Little Greene are reviving some of the best of the forgotten wallpaper designs of the past. They have a new collection of eight historic designs from the 1950s archives at Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery, originally commissioned by the wallpaper printer John Line & Sons. The charming ‘Hampstead’ shown here is £44.50 a roll www.thelittlegreene.com

More 50s designs from
Sanderson, who have just launched a colourful collection of fabrics, wallpapers, embroideries, weaves and velvets – some are original 1950s designs, others are patterns from contemporary artists who have taken inspiration from the era. www.sanderson-uk.com

Woods of Harrogate has been synonymous with fine linens ever since the first shop opened in 1895. It’s still a family business, run by William Woods, grandson of the founder, and although they pride themselves on their old-fashioned standards of service, they are resolutely cutting-edge, with a new online shop (and listings on The House Directory !). www.woodsofharrogate.com

Jocelyn Warner have launched their first fabric collection. Their four best-loved designs, Flora, Blossom, Treetops and Leaf have been interpreted in soft colourways that complement their wallpapers. www.jocelynwarner.com

Balineum have just become agents for the American textile company Matouk, famous for its smart monogram designs on linen and towelling. They are hoping to supply smart bed & breakfasts and boutique hotels throughout Europe. www.balineum.co.uk

In tune with the revival of knitting, Surface View’s new Knitted Room collection features prints, murals and blinds that look like giant stitches. There are twenty different patterns, created by the London-based Korean designer Chae Young Kim. For more, see www.surfaceview.co.uk

Don't miss this month

Watercolours + Works on Paper Fair (3-6 Feb), The Science Museum, London SW7. This fair presents all types of art on paper from every era, including drawings, watercolours, prints, photographs and posters, with prices from £500 to £100,000. This year over 60 galleries are exhibiting. Go to www.watercoloursfair.com to print a discounted e-ticket.

Rise & Shine: Silver at the Breakfast Table (4 Feb-27 May), London Silver Vaults, WC2. The 30+ specialist silver dealers have put together a selling exhibition of antique and modern silver – all you need for a gracious breakfast. www.thesilvervaults.com

Adams Antiques Fair (6 Feb), Horticultural Hall, Elverton St, London SW1. The biggest monthly antiques fair in central London. www.adamsantiquesfairs.com

Spring International Fair (6-10 Feb), NEC Birmingham. The UK’s largest home and gift fair for the trade. www.springfair.com

Sue Timney & the Art of Timney-Fowler (until 27th Feb), Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London. A retrospective both of Sue's career as a designer and her work with Timney-Fowler, best known for its distinctive graphic black and white imagery. www.ftmlondon.org

The Chester Antiques & Fine Art Show (10-13 Feb), The County Grandstand, Chester Racecourse, Chester. More than fifty dealers from across the country will offer for sale a wide range of antiques, works of art and objets d'art with prices from under £50 to over £20,000. All exhibits are vetted for quality and authenticity. www.penmanfairs.co.uk

London Plant & Design Show (15-16 Feb), RHS Horticultural Halls, Vincent Square, London SW1. Ideas and inspiration for balconies, urban gardens, and for the first time at this show, roof-top gardens. Some of the UK’s best nurseries will be bringing spring flowering plants, plus books, tools and accessories. www.rhs.org.uk

20/21 International Art Fair (17-20 Feb), Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7. International modern and contemporary art – oils, original prints, watercolours, drawings, photography and ceramics from 1900 to the present, with a very accessible price range. For details see www.20-21intartfair.com

The Listed Property Show (19-20 Feb), Olympia 2, London. This event provides owners of listed buildings with access to the products and services of around 200 specialist suppliers. Plus information on VAT, grants, insurance etc. For details visit www.listedpropertyshow.co.uk

Luxury Antiques Weekend (25-27 Feb), Tortworth Court, Wotton-under-Edge, Glouc. This ‘boutique-style’ fair will feature specialist dealers in fine furniture, silver, jewellery, sculpture, paintings, oriental carpets, ceramics, book illustrations, prints, clocks, portrait miniatures, arms and armour, glass and other objets d'art. See www.adfl.co.uk for further details.

Ceramic Art London (25-27 Feb), Royal College of Art, London SW7.
Discover and buy work from over 75 established and emerging ceramic artists. Plus talks and demonstrations. www.ceramics.org.uk

The Gardens of English Heritage (until 3 April),Kenwood House, NW3. This photo exhibition to tie in with a new book of the same name showcases some of the country’s best gardens and landscapes and looks at what makes them great. Inspiration for both seasoned and budding gardeners. Entry is free. Call 020 8348 1286 for more information. www.english-heritage.org.uk

Dates in your diary

International Antique & Collectors’ Fair (1-2 March), South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex . One of the antiques world’s best-known fixtures, this fair boasts up to 1,700 stalls and is only one hour from London. Tuesday is trade day, Wednesday public entry. www.iacf.co.uk

Ecobuild (1-3 March), Earl’s Court, London. Billed as the biggest event in the world for sustainable design and construction. Over 1,300 exhibitors, plus seminars, demonstrations and new product launches. www.ecobuild.co.uk

Round and about

We are fans of the small printing company Sort (Society of Revisionist Typographers) whose notebooks and cards are hand-printed in a mixture of lead type, wood block and printing plates. Pictured here is a design from their recent set of cards for the Design Museum. www.sortdesign.com

Also fun, this time on a much larger scale, are the new postcards for Visit London, the official tourism organisation working in partnership with the Mayor of London. Their designs feature iconic symbols of London like Routemaster buses, phone boxes, taxis, Battersea Power Station, covered in hip 60s fonts. www.halfmoonbay.co.uk


Potterton Books London are having a sale of ‘a whole stash of books looking for loving libraries to live in’. Many of the books can be ordered online but there are more in their 93 Lower Sloane Street Shop, SW1. www.pottertonbookslondon.com

The Gardens of Luciano Giubbilei (Merrell £40) This book showcases 12 gardens from the portfolio of acclaimed garden designer Luciano Giubbilei, known for the understated elegance of his projects. Each concept is fully explored, giving us an insight into sources of inspiration.

Still on an Italian theme, and coming out in March, Great Gardens of Italy (Quadrille, £25) is a personal exploration of Italy’s historic gardens by gardening writer and television producer Monty Don and photographer Derry Moore. www.quadrille.co.uk

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