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

‘Good design in garden lighting is becoming ever more important, because we now need to be so mindful of wasteful consumption.  If we spend more time considering the design, large savings can be made while maintaining aesthetic values. My tip for July and August is to remember that it’s not necessary to light the whole garden. Path lights and in-ground lights often create glare; reduce this by creating a light catcher like this Iceberg Lantern (opposite). By taking out unnecessary lights you will avoid the ‘Heathrow Look’. Pick out a feature that you love and light that, like this beautiful cherry tree (see picture). Gardens are also about texture and movement: capture or enhance this with low energy LED lights’

Lighting designer Bruce Munro


To win a pair of these beautiful jewelled tie-backs from French furniture specialists Sweetpea & Willow simply sign up to their newsletter at www.sweetpeaandwillow.com with code HD01. You will also be automatically entered for a prize draw for £250 in Sweetpea & Willow vouchers.

This month don't miss

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

An English Look (8 July) Christie’s South Kensington. A great opportunity to pick up the classic country house look in one go with this sale of 500 items from the collections of Robert Kime, Piers von Westenholz, David Bedale and
James Graham-Stewart . An eclectic selection of English furniture and pictures mixed with exotic textiles, architectural fragments and natural history specimens. www.christies.com 020-7389 2768

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (7-12 July). Among this year’s themes are sustainability, ‘grow your own’, and cookery demonstrations. Plus Tudor gardens to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession to the throne. For tickets call 0844 2091818 or go to www.rhs.org.uk/Hamptoncourtpalace

New Designers 2009 (9-12 July and 16-19 July). Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 . A well-established showcase for this year’s brightest graduate talent. For tickets go to www.newdesigners.com

The 42nd Annual Snape Maltings Antiques & Fine Art Fair (9-12 July), Snape, Saxmundham, Suffolk . In one of the prettiest settings for antiques fairs, this fair is held in a large tented pavilion close to the Maltings, well known for its concert hall, Victorian shops and restaurants alongside the Alde Estuary in the beautiful Suffolk countryside. Fifty exhibitors from across the UK take part. www.cooperevents.com

Free Range (until 20 July) The Old Truman Brewery, London. Now in its ninth year, this is Europe's largest graduate art and design show. Thousands of students from the UK’s top art and design colleges exhibit their work both to the public and to potential employers over the eight week period. Over 150,000 people visited last year. www.free-range.org.uk

Antiques for Everyone (23-26 July), The NEC, Birmingham. 300 specialist dealers at the UK’s largest indoor, datelined event with more than 50,000 antiques on sale. Plus a special display of travel-related antiques and collectables. www.antiquesforeveryone.co.uk

Sources of the month

Clifton Nurseries’ new cafe The Clifton Kitchen has opened in the former Fern House building, facing the fragrant flower beds and potted herbs. Open from 8.30am at weekends and 10am on weekdays (check www.clifton.co.uk), the Clifton Kitchen offers traditional afternoon tea and have a varied lunch menu, with food sourced locally where possible.

August 2009 marks the UK launch of a joint venture between Japanese lifestyle chain, Muji and iconic German furniture brand, Thonet.  Muji manufactured by  THONET is a collection of simplified, stylised classic Thonet designs made of bentwood and tubular steel - without the luxury price tag, and accessible to a younger, wider clientele. The brown beech bentwood chair with wooden seat (to the left in the picture, with an original Thonet No14 chair) is £215. The collection will be available to order exclusively at Muji’s flagship store in Tottenham Court Road, London from August 2009. www.muji.co.uk

Besselink & Jones is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their lighting workshop. Based in Surrey, the company buys all its materials locally and manufacturers its own components as far as possible, making it a truly British brand. Their 35 staff boast skills include gilding, wood-turning, metal-plating and cabinetry. The company’s archive comprises over 750 lighting designs, but they will also make anything bespoke. www.besselinkandjones.com

Ask the Experts
Selected from our free Q&A service

Q. Does anyone still make wirework garden furniture?

Rayment Wirework is the only remaining wirework specialist in the UK, and make a wide range of very pretty wirework garden structures and furniture, hand-crafted in mild steel. The range includes tree seats, trellis, gates, gazebos, as well as indoor furniture and chandeliers. They are galvanised (and therefore maintenance-free) with antique etched, paint or powder-coated colour finishes. www.raymentwire.co.uk

Do you know of any manufacturers who can custom-make cane furniture?

Holloways have an extensive range of cane and willow furniture which is made in the UK from imported cane and can be made for you in different sizes. Look at their website www.holloways.co.uk in the ‘British handcrafted willow and rattan’ section, or call them on 01886-884665.

Sales Round-Up

www.andsotobed.co.uk until 31 August. 20% off beds, linens & throws, furniture & lamps, 25% off mattresses & divans, 50% off discontinued lines and ex-display sets.
www.thechildrensfurniturecompany.com until 13 July. Up to 50% off childrens' beds, furniture & accessories.
www.ligne-roset.co.uk until 31 July;15% off upholstered furniture, dining & occasional tables, beds, headboards and accessories; 20% off cabinet ranges.
www.descamps.co.uk until 26 July; up to 50% off on bed linen, towelling, bedspreads and accessories.
www.davidlinley.com until 18 July; 50% off gift and home accessories; 40% off sofas and chairs; 30% off furniture; 20% off upholstery orders (exemptions apply).
www.chaplins.co.uk 25% off new orders and up to 70% off clearance items.
www.volgalinen.co.uk starts 20th July; up to 65% discount on pure linen bed linen, curtains, fabric, accessories and clothes.
www.wesley-barrell.co.uk until end July; 16 nationwide showrooms with up to 50% off on clearance items and up to 25% off on made-to-order upholstery using Wesley-Barrell’s own range of fabrics.
www.detailplus.co.uk until 18 July; stainless steel lever handles £9.99;discounts on Bisque radiators and Samuel Heath products.
www.georgesmith.co.uk until 4 July; last chance for up to 50% off showroom stock, 20% off new furniture orders; 25% off George Smith fabrics.
www.exterior-interior.com new and ex-display furniture and lighting at 30-50% discount. 15% off new retail orders.
www.featherandblack.com up to 50% off divans, bedsteads, headboards and bedroom furniture.
www.crye.co.uk Catchpole & Rye’ summer sale offers 10% off sanitary ware, including new and restored cast iron baths, taps, bathroom accessories and oak and mahogany toilet seats.
www.cphart.co.uk until end July; up to 40% designer bathrooms and accessories
www.bodieandfou.com from 1 July; up to 50% off on designer accessories for home and garden including Cote Bastide, Normann Copenhagen, Albetta.
www.roche-bobois.com until 2 Aug; up to 50% off ex-display models; 10% off new orders plus a voucher worth 10% of the value of items purchased, redeemable in Nov ’09 in participating stores.

www.ripples.ltd.uk 1-29 August : 'sizzling summer offers' at their bathroom showrooms nationwide.

End Notes

We’re coveting this classy new city bike as The House Directory ‘company car’! The Paper Bicycle was originally designed for use by Royal Mail and the large side panel is there for you to personalize with any kind of design or company logo. Prices start at £700 for a 3-speed version (personalisation is extra). www.paper-bicycle.com

Finally, a use for all those discarded estate agent boards…Designer Ben Dickens makes great bird boxes out of them! They are available direct from him at £15.00 each plus £2.60 p& p, and come ready assembled. www.bensbirdboxes.com