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 and Trends

‘Texture could be considered the badge of honour of the handmade home: it speaks of the hand of the maker. Equally, texture gives evidence of age and use. While sleek, shiny, manufactured surfaces have their place, they cry out to be offset by more active, uneven textures. Contrasting textures will bring vitality and interest to an interior, they’ll make you stop and look (and, more than likely, reach out and touch too)’. Mark & Sally Bailey

In their latest book, Handmade Home, Mark and Sally Bailey (who run the renowned homeware store Baileys Home & Garden) turn their attention to hand-crafted objects, paintings, textiles, ceramics and glass. They show that anything made with care and skill – however modest – can bring character and definition to your home. They also look at inspiring real-life homes of artists, craftspeople and designers, or the collectors of their work. £19.99 www.rylandpeters.com

Members' News

Bespoke kitchen company Guild Anderson had an enquiry through The House Directory from Alice Gates of Barneby Gates (see their classical wallpapers with a contemporary twist at www.barnebygates.com); they ended up building a kitchen for her. With it's simple unfussy modern Shaker style, it looks like it has always been there and is perfectly at home in her restored farmhouse. www.guildanderson.co.uk

We can’t wait to go and see Pale & Interesting’s first retail shop. It’s in Rye in East Sussex (96 The High Street, 01797-229003) and is open seven days a week. It stocks everything you see on their website, plus a lot more ! www.paleandinteresting.com

Turner Pocock Cazalet have launched a bespoke colour service. You can now order any of their wallpapers to match a Pantone reference, fabric cutting or paint chip. Minimum order 9 rolls, £180 per roll. 4-6 weeks for production and delivery. www.turnerpocockcazalet.co.uk

Villaverde says ‘it’s all about glamour this season’ and have a new collection of glam Murano glass chandeliers and table and floor lamps in black and gold to prove it. See more on www.villaverdeltd.com

London plumbing company Staunch and Flow runs a really useful domestic plumbing course once a month. It covers all the basics and is well worth £60 ! The next one is on 28 November. To register for it call 020 8964 6710 www.london-plumber.co.uk

Sales & Special Offers

Soane Britain Friends & Family Sale (3-5 Nov). A one-off sale of ex-showroom furniture, lighting, prototypes, fabrics and antiques. We had to get permission to tell you about this one, as it’s by invitation only… But happy to say that our readers are included ! If you’re keen to go, you can contact Soane for details: shop@soane.co.uk or call 0207 730 6400. www.soane.co.uk

EasyArt have a 50% sale of selected prints and posters on their website www.easyart.com. And while you’re there, check out their vast selection of reproduction vintage travel posters from the National Railway Museum. A ticket back to the golden age of travelling by train in England.

Sibona is offering a 33% discount on this elegant silk (‘Fern Pewter’) quilt with silver embroidery and silver satin on the reverse. It’s now £390. www.sibona.com

Hastens are offering £2,500 credit for your old bed when you buy one of their luxurious hand-crafted beds. For more details visit www.hastensonline.com

New Books

In Essentially Irish, antiques dealer and stylist Josephine Ryan offers us a glimpse into a fascinating array of Irish homes. From elegant Georgian country houses and pretty cottages to chic city apartments, the interiors featured all have a rich colour palette, and an appreciation of the patina of the antique and a passion for the work created by a rich tradition of artists and craftsmen. £19.99 www.rylandpeters.com

Polish Neon: Cold War Typography and Design by photographer Ilona Karwinska tells the fascinating story of neon signs in cold war Poland. Through archival and contemporary photographs, as well as original designs and interviews with the designers, this book shows us how a communist bureaucracy helped shape the future of graphic design and typography. (MBP/Thames & Hudson, £35 www.markbattypublisher.com

Rachel Ashwell founded the brand Shabby Chic in 1989 and her look, with a muted palette of washed out pastels and faded neutrals clearly hit a chord with her customers. As well as the original Santa Monica store, she now has shops in New york and London, as well as a new interiors collection at House of Fraser stores. Her new book Shabby Chic: Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces (Cico Books, £25) is a personal tour of her world and of homes she relates to, homes with ‘soul and passion’. www.cicobooks.com

Helen Morris, whose company The Stencil Library sells over 4000 stencils, reveals her favourite ideas for stencilling anything in your home – whether walls, wood, fabric, furniture or floors, in her new book Stencil It: 101 Ideas to Decorate your Home (£20, www.aurumpress.co.uk)

This Month Don't Miss (free tickets & special offers)

Spirit of Christmas (2-6 Nov), Olympia, London W14. This annual Christmas shopping event brings together hundreds of exhibitors. Gifts, decorations, specialist foods and wines galore. Visit www.spiritofchristmasfair.co.uk

Asian Art in London (3-12 Nov), this annual event unites London’s leading Asian art dealers, major auction houses and museums in a series of selling exhibitions, receptions, lectures and seminars. Go to www.asianartinlondon.com for programme and venues.

The Homebuilding & Renovating Show (4-6 Nov), International Centre, Harrogate, and (19-20 Nov) at the Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet. For more information and tickets, visit www.homebuildingshow.co.uk

Luxury Antiques and Fine Art Fair at Capesthorne Hall (4 -6 Nov) Siddington, near Macclesfield, Cheshire. This new fair, held at this Jacobean-style house, will bring together 25 specialist dealers in decorative and fine antiques, unusual accessories and objets d’art. www.capesthornehallfair.com

Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair (9-13 Nov at the Business Design Centre, London N1 and 17-20 Nov at SECC, Glasgow). Stock up with home accessories, Christmas gifts and festive decorations, food and drink. Over 400 companies represented. And as a special offer, you can purchase advance tickets for £11.50 instead of £16 on the door for the London fair(quote CLXL3) and advance tickets for Scotland for £8.50 instead of £12 on the door at the SECC (quote CLXS3). www.countrylivingfair.com

The Winter Fine Art & Antiques Fair (14-20 Nov), Olympia Exhibition Halls, Hammersmith Road, London W14. One of the most prestigious events of the season. 150 of the UK’s most respected dealers exhibit here, with pieces ranging from 18th Century English furniture to Art Deco furniture, elegant decorative pieces to fine paintings. www.olympia-antiques.com

National Antiques Week (14-21 Nov), This year’s National Antiques Week is encouraging people to vote for Britain’s best antiques shop or saleroom. There are ten great prizes to win. For more info go to  www.nationalantiquesweek.co.uk

Ideal Home Show at Christmas (16-20 Nov), Earl’s Court, London. New for 2011, a Christmas version of Britain’s oldest home event, with some 500 exhibitors. As one of the sponsors of the show Harveys is offering 10 of our readers the chance to win a pair of tickets. Take some time out for a ‘Harveys Half Hour’ and visit stand 2G106 in Christmas Food & Drink and 2P76 in Christmas Fashion & Beauty to sample a delicious glass of Harveys Bristol Cream. The first 10 people to email us on info@thehousedirectory.com stating ‘Harveys - Ideal Home Show tickets’ will receive two tickets to the show. www.harveyshalfhour.co.uk. For tickets call 0844 2097330 or visit: www.idealhomeshowchristmas.co.uk

Chelsea Textiles Sale (16-19 Nov). Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, SW3.
40%-80% off hand-embroidered fabrics and bedcovers, cushions, one-off samples, ready-made curtains and hand-painted furniture. Open 16th : 11-8; 17th&18th: 10-7 ; 19th: 10-6. www.chelseatextiles.com, 020-75845544

Hand Sale (17-19 Nov), 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove, London W11. A twice-yearly, three day sale with an inspiring mix of stands offering cushions, throws and blankets, ceramics, glass, antiques, bone and wood utensils, clothes, jewellery and more…Open 6-9 on the first day, then 10-8 and 10-6. For more info call 020-86771848/ 07887 680 672. info@handshop.co.uk

Made 11 (17-20 Nov) Brighton Corn Exchange, Church St, Brighton. The sister event to the Brighton Art Fair, this is the largest art exhibition on the South Coast and brings together over 100 painters, printmakers, photographers and sculptors along with artists groups and Sussex-based galleries. www.made11.co.uk

RCA Secret (viewing 18-25, sale on 26 Nov), Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7. Pick up an art bargain at this unmissable annual event with original postcard-sized artworks, made and donated by professional artists (1000 of them contributed last year), plus up-and-coming graduates from the RCA. All the cards are for sale, at £45 each. The ‘Secret’ is the identity of the artist, which you don’t discover until you’ve bought the card, as they are signed on the back. www.rca.ac.uk

The Powderham Castle Antiques & Fine Art Fair (18-20 Nov), Kenton, Exeter, Devon. Art and antiques with prices to suit every pocket. Exhibits start from less than £30 for a Victorian silver spoon to more than £10,000 for fine oil paintings and Georgian furniture. www.cooperevents.com

National Maintenance Week. (18-25 Nov), Set up by SPAB to encourage homeowners and others to be aware of the simple, economic and achievable steps they can take to protect their buildings. See www.maintainyourbuilding.org.uk for their top tips on home maintenance.

Midcentury Modern (20 Nov), Dulwich College, London SE21. Renowned for its well-edited mix of mid-century dealers, this vintage fair is also a great place to pick up pieces by contemporary young British designers. www.modernshows.com

Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studios (25-27 Nov in Holborn; 2-4 Dec in Deptford), Buy your Christmas gifts direct from 165 designer-makers. Fashion accessories, homeware and more from £5 – £5,000. Plus the chance to see behind the scenes in the studios. www.cockpitarts.com

Dates in Your Diary

Clifton Christmas Market, Clifton Villas, London W9 (first three weekends in Dec, open Fri 12-5.30; Sat 10-5.30; Sun 11-5. Clifton Nurseries is especially atmospheric at Christmas time, and this year (and in association with The House Directory) they are hosting their first Christmas market. Among the companies taking part are our members Emily Readett-Bayley, Prometheus Bound Books and Runaway Coast. Entry is free. For more info see www.clifton.co.uk

PS. Please visit our Facebook page and click to give us a thumbs-up! You could win a copy of Stencil It: 101 Ideas to Decorate your Home (see NEW BOOKS, above). www.facebook.com/TheHouseDirectory and Twitter www.twitter.com/HouseDirectory