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

Fabrics first…

"Start your room scheme by deciding on the fabric first, then choose the wall covering and paint colour. Once you've got these 'big' decisions made, then you can add lamps, side tables, art work and other accessories. The style of window dressing very much depends on the room, its size and shape and the way it faces: sometimes in a room with more than one window you might only want one pair of curtains and then a blind on the second or third window so that the room isn’t swamped in fabrics." 
Vanessa Arbuthnot

Renowned for her quintessentially English style, Vanessa Arbuthnott has drawn inspiration from some of the iconic British designers of the 1950s for her most recent collection of printed fabrics, for which she has taken simple motifs drawn in her distinctive hand. She has added a subtle ‘Scandinavian’ twist, and called it ‘Swedish Collection’. It’s printed in the UK on 100% linen. Call for stockist or buy online at www.vanessaarbuthnott.co.uk

Members' News

Original Book Works have created a YouTube video on how to create a secret faux- book door. Click on the link at www.fauxbooks.co.uk to see it.

When presented with the challenge of providing something original for the shower room of a bridal suite, Catchpole & Rye designed this amazing heart-shaped double shower ! See more on ‘ La Cage d’Amour’ at www.crye.co.uk

Hand-crafted accessory specialists Cubbins have added smart  tweed-covered wastepaper bins and tissue boxes to their range. They are perfect for country homes. See them at: www.cubbins.co.uk.

The photo archive Picture Fair has just launched a new gallery of images from around the British Isles. With the Jubilee and Olympics this is an area there seems to be a lot of interest in this year – many of their  most popular search items are around this theme:  www.picturefair.co.uk

Special Offers

Emily Readett Bayley will be exhibiting again at The Chelsea Flower Show with 50% off her Posh Salvage range, including her wonderful reclaimed teak tables and benches.  www.poshsalvage.com

White Cloud, the fine wool bedding specialists, are offering 15% off their  soft and luxurious pure wool duvets and lambswool pillows. Perfect for keeping allergies at bay! Quote WCHD15. Offer valid until 30th June 2012. Visit www.whitecloud.co.uk  or tel: 01989 721010

House Couturier are holding a clearance relocation sale with all showroom stock at up to 80% off until 31st May 2012 . They will continue to sell high quality curtains and blinds and to offer their interior design service from their new premises. 285 New Kings Road, London SW6 4RD.  0207 371 9255. www.housecouturier.eu


Don't Miss This Month (and free tickets !)

After Bloomsbury:  Rugs from the Omega Workshops, 1913-1916 (3 May- 24 June), Somerset House, London. In an inspired collaboration between the contemporary rug producer Christopher Farr and The Courtauld Gallery, five hand-crafted contemporary interpretations of Omega designs, faithful in spirit but in no way ‘reproductions’ will be unveiled. www.somersethouse.org.uk

Grand Designs Live London (5-13 May) ExCeL, London's Victoria Docks. This vast show - with Kevin McCloud as event presenter - has over 500 exhibitors and is packed with products, information, services and advice - whether for self-build projects or refurbishment. www.granddesignslive.com  Ticket Hotline: 0844 854 1348.

Oxfordshire Artweeks (5-27 May), Oxfordshire artists and craftspeople will open their studios to the public for the county’s most important arts festival. Over 500 events, free. www.artweeks.org

HOUSE 2012 (5-27 May) Brighton & Hove. This vibrant contemporary visual arts event is now in its fourth year. The focus is on projects and accompanying events on a theme of  ‘art and domestic space’. www.aoh.org.uk/house-festival

Artists’ Open Houses (four weekends in May) is the biggest free arts event in Britain. A great opportunity to view unique work in artists’ homes and studios and to buy directly from the artist or maker. www.aoh.org.uk

Windsors at West Wycombe (6-31 May),West Wycombe Park, Bucks(National Trust). 35 18th century examples of the Windsor - the quintessentially English chair- will be on display. Hard to believe that this chair was so popular in the 19th century that 4,500 of them were made every day in the High Wycombe area.  www.windsorchairs2012.co.uk

‘Theatre Britannica’ (8-26 May), Ben Pentreath, 17 Rugby Street, London WC1.
A selling exhibition of the work of British printmaker, illustrator and painter Ed Kluz. His eclectic interests include London streets, baroque interiors, fanciful follies, pleasure gardens, early theatre design, to name but a few.

Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects (11-14 May), The Saatchi Gallery, London. This prestigious fair, now in its fourth year, presents 31 of the world’s finest galleries representing work of museum quality from their portfolio of artists. The Project Space returns to the second floor, featuring ten installations by artists with a focus on textiles and furniture.  www.craftscouncil.org.uk/collect/

Antique Folk Art (11-19 May), Robert Young Antiques, 68 Battersea Bridge Road, London SW11. Their 13th annual exhibition, with vintage decoy birds, early primitive furniture and naïve paintings. www.robertyoungantiques.com

Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair (11-13 May) Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallett,  Somerset. Head off to the West Country for this fair (with some 600 stalls) which is very popular with dealers. www.dmgantiquefairs.com

Taste of Design 2012 (16-24 May). An interior design roadshow taking place at various beautiful venues up and down the UK to showcase the products of 15 top-end  brands. www.tasteofdesign.co.uk

Spirit of Summer Fair (16-19 May) Olympia, London.
Run in association with House & Garden, this fair offers everything from fashion to food, home and garden decor to gift ideas. Plus inspiring workshops on flower arranging, summery cookery, al fresco entertaining and garden design. We have three pairs of tickets to give away to readers of our newsletter, so email us now (with your address) on info@thehousedirectory.com stating ‘Free Spirit of Summer tickets’. www.spiritofsummerfair.co.uk

The Hand Sale (17-19 May), 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove, London W11. A twice-yearly sale with an inspiring mix of stands selling cushions, hand dyed and printed fabrics, quilts and throws, table cloths, lampshades, hand blown glass, ceramics, hand carved spoons, hand block printed stationery, gifts, beachware and accessories.For more info call 020 86771848 or 07887 680672 or info@handshop.co.uk. Open 17th 6-9pm, 18th 10-7pm, 19th 10-5pm.

Affordable Art Fair (18-20 May), Brunel’s Old Station, Temple Meads, Bristol. 55 galleries will exhibit contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography and original prints, priced between £40 and £4,000.  www.affordableartfair.co.uk

Museums at Night 2012 (18-20 May) Night owls can look forward to a weekend of after-hours events at museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites all over the UK www.culture24.org.uk

London Photograph Fair (20 May) Holiday Inn, Coram Street, Bloomsbury WC1. Historic images, contemporary photographs and books on photography from about 50 dealers at this quarterly fair. For a free ticket go to the promotions page on their website: www.photofair.co.uk

RHS Chelsea Flower Show (22-26 May), Royal Hospital, Chelsea. The world’s most famous flower show, with show gardens, floral exhibitors and hundreds of garden product suppliers. Leading communication consultancy APCO Worldwide  has sponsored London-based designers Ruth Willmott and Frederic Whyte (both graduates of the English Gardening School) to create a garden on a theme of outdoor sociability and communication. It combines the elements of the great Italian gardens – evergreen architecture, stonework and water – with British ornamental planting to create an elegant external space. For more info go to www.apcoworldwide.com.
Also new for 2012 will be five Artisan Retreats, decorated by well-known designers and artists to inspire the show’s visitors and show the creative and decorative potential of a garden hut. Ticket hotline 0844 338 7528, www.rhs.org.uk

Midcentury Modern (27 May), Nursery Pavilion, The North Gate, Wellington Place, Lords Cricket Ground, London NW8. Purchase directly from dealers selling American, British and European design classics from the middle part of the last century including Wegner, Eames, Jacobsen, Nelson and Day. And why not take a break for a cricket tea in the Pavilion… www.modernshows.com

Made in Clerkenwell: Summer Open Studios (24-27 May), 21 Clerkenwell Green & 33-35 St John’s Sq, London EC1. Avoid the high street crowds and meet over 90 cutting-edge designers in Craft Central’s studios. Plus a spotlight on traditional and contemporary basketmaking.  www.craftcentral.org.uk

British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age (until 12 Aug),
V&A Museum, London SW7.  Celebrating the best of British post-war art and design from the 1948 ‘Austerity Games’ to the present day, this exhibition highlights significant moments in the history of British design, featuring over 300 iconic and much-loved objects. www.vam.ac.uk

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