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

‘Longevity.Whether caused by the recession, concern for the environment, the end of ‘bling’ culture or mere thrift. We are noticing that people increasingly want buildings, fabrics or objects that are durable, timeless, which will last well and survive the vagaries of immediate fashion. 

In interiors, everyone I talk to, is searching out old timeless patterns or wants to know where I got my rush squares – that ubiquitous flooring from the 1970s which I feel sure is due a revival. In the shop, good brown furniture mixed with classic textiles or ceramics and one or two good modern pieces like  decoupage continue to be our best sellers.

So we are seeing a return to normal, a celebration of the good ordinary... or what I call the new modesty.  Even those who still have a lot of money don't want to be seen to be spending it.’ Architect/designer Ben Pentreath

Ben Pentreath’s eponymous treasure trove shop in Bloomsbury sells furniture, china, plaster casts, letter-printed posters and more. www.benpentreath.com. See below for his Edward Bawden exhibition.

This month don't miss (free tickets and 2-4-1 offers !)

21st Bath Decorative & Antiques Fair (4-6 March), The Pavilion, Bath.
45 exhibitors will be offering country and painted decorative furniture from the UK and continental Europe, lighting, folk art, naïve paintings, needlework and textiles, unusual decorative items for the garden and more. www.bathdecorativeantiquesfair.co.uk

The Tatton Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair (5-7 March ), Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6QN. A unique display of original paintings and drawings by L.S.Lowry will mark the relaunch of this fair, held at this well-known stately home. Around forty specialist dealers will be present. www.cooperevents.com

Manchester Antique Textile Fair (7 March), Armitage Centre, Fallow Field, Manchester. A favourite with enthusiasts for antique and vintage textiles and costumes. Open 10.30-4.30 (trade 9.30). www.textilesociety.org.uk

Edward Bawden: a Birthday Celebration  (10-20 March), at Ben Pentreath, 17 Rugby Street, London WC1. Edward Bawden was among Britain's most original artists producing some of the most memorable graphic design of the 20th century. This selling exhibition is a great opportunity to buy collectable drawings, linocuts, watercolours and other ‘Bawdenalia’. www.benpentreath.com

Architectural Heritage: The Adrian and Suzy Puddy Collection (10 March), Christie’s South Kensington. To mark a new era (and son Alex Puddy taking over the reins of the business), Architectural Heritage is holding an auction of 220 lots of fine antique garden statuary and ornaments, hand-carved natural limestone chimneypieces and panelling, with estimates from £500 to £40,000. www.christies.com

The Affordable Art Fair (11-14 March) Battersea Park, London SW11. 120 galleries will exhibit paintings, sculpture, photography and original prints - all priced between £50 and £3000. Special 2 for 1 ticket offer if you print and present our newsletter. For more info go to www.affordableartfair.com

La Dolce Vita (11-14 March), Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1. Much fun to be had at this showcase for Italian food & drink , property, fashion and design. For more details see visit www.ladolcevitaevent.co.uk

Luxury Antiques Weekend (12-14 March), Macdonald Linden Hall Hotel, Longhorsley, near Morpeth, Northumberland. Some 24 fine art and antique dealers, all members of BADA and LAPADA. www.lindenhallfair.com

BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair (17-23 March), Duke of York’s Square, off Sloane Square, London SW3. One of the UK’s smartest art and antiques fairs and a major showcase for 103 members of the British Antique Dealers’ Association. All items on sale are carefully vetted for quality and authenticity. Plus a ‘Heroes & Villains’ exhibition of celebrity memorabilia. Take advantage of the special offer of 'Two for One' for £10 (Normal admission is £10 single and £15 for two) when you quote 'The House Directory Offer' at the ticket desk at the BADA Fair. For more information visit www.bada-antiques-fair.co.uk

The Chelsea Antiques (17-21 March), Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road, London SW3. A popular event, known for its wide range of affordable antiques. www.penmanfairs.co.uk

The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show (18-21 March), NEC, Birmingham. Find the right products and services to convert, extend, renovate or build a house from scratch. Over 500 exhibitors and 120 free seminar and masterclass sessions over the four days. Visit www.homebuildingshow.co.uk or call 0871 945 4547.

Very Sanderson: 150 years of English Decoration (19 March- 13 June), The Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1. A fascinating look at the Sanderson story, and the social history of Britain reflected through domestic furnishings. Designs from the late 19th century to the 1970s will be on show, along with brand new collections. www.ftmlondon.org; www.sanderson-uk.com

The TVADA Antiques and Art Fair (19th - 21st March), Albury Park near Guildford GU5 9BB. Antiques, period and contemporary art, sculpture & garden statuary in a great setting and for a great cause - raising funds for Help for Heroes. Entry £5 (Preview with drinks & canapes, 6.30 - 9.00pm 18th March) www.tvada.co.uk

Quilts 1700-2010 (20 March-4 July), The V&A presents its first ever exhibition of British quilts, with examples dating from 1700 to the present day – including one commissioned from inmates at HMP Wandsworth through the charity Fine Cell Work. www.vam.ac.uk; www.finecellwork.co.uk

Ideal Home Show (20 March- 5 April), Earl’s Court, Warwick Road, London SW5. The grand-daddy of all ‘house’ shows is now in its 102nd year. It runs for 17 days, and has over 400 exhibitors - from loft conversion companies to the latest domestic gadgets. We have ten pairs of tickets to give away to readers of our newsletter (worth £15 each), so email us now on info@thehousedirectory.com stating ‘Free Ideal Home Show tickets’. www.idealhomeshow.co.uk. For tickets call 0844 415 4144.

London Design Week (21-26 March), Chelsea Harbour, London W10.
Spring’s biggest decorating event takes place in The Design Centre showrooms and at the premises of well-known names on the nearby King’s Road. See the latest collections and take part in forums, lectures and masterclasses. 21-23 March are trade days, and the general public is welcome from 24-26 March. For event details call 020-7225 9101 or look at www.designcentrechelseaharbour.co.uk

KRADA Open House Events (21 & 23 March), 554-638 King’s Rd, London. The newly-formed King's Road Antique and Design Association has been set up to promote the extraordinary concentration of antique and design shops in this world-renowned stretch of the King’s Road. They will be hosting exclusive open house events on Sun 21 March, 12-6pm and Tue 23 March, 6-9pm. For details call 020-73841004.

Country Living Magazine Spring Fair (24-28 March), Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1. Spring is in the air at this event, which is always strong on pretty home accessories. www.countrylivingfair.com

Members' News

Paris Ceramics
have acquired an office near Montpellier to snap up the best antique reclaimed limestone and terracotta floors from period demolitions. Alvaro de Ferranti, who bought the company last year, says ‘Our French office will act as our eyes and ears’. www.parisceramics.com

OKA have just launched their huge new Spring 2010 catalogue with dozens of new items. Look out for their new gloss side tables, colourful dhurries and pretty Ikat cushions and fabrics by the metre. www.okadirect.com

New Book

A new book by wallpaper and textile historian Mary Schoeser is being published to celebrate the Sanderson anniversary: ‘Sanderson: the Essence of English Decoration’ (Thames & Hudson) features over 200 patterns from their archives and will be a font of inspiration for designers. The author (who is also the curator of the anniversary exhibition, see above) will be signing copies at the RIBA Bookshop at 2pm on Sunday 21 March during London Design Week. For details of other book signings, call 020-73516854 or go to www.ribabookshops.com