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

‘It remains a typical act of teenage rebellion to want to paint a bedroom black. Rather than recoiling in horror, despairing parents might consider the fact that Lutyens, one of our greatest architects, had a black drawing room, set off by apple green floorboards and red lacquer furniture, while society decorator David Hicks painted his drawing room walls a colour he christened ‘Coca-cola’. Presumably, teenagers feel that dark colours are appropriately moody. And they are right in thinking that a dark colour can create a sophisticated effect’
Ros Byam Shaw

Ros’ inspiring new book Farrow & Ball Living With Colour (£30, www.rylandpeters.com) is an exploration of the eponymous - and iconic - paint company Farrow & Ball: what makes it unique and why it has such a loyal following. The book showcases 16 houses decorated with F&B paints and wallpapers. In part two, the colour-based chapters illustrate how particular palettes create different atmospheres. The brand that began in the 1940s as a small firm of craftsmen paint-makers based in Dorset now has stores all over the world. A brand new one has just opened in Notting Hill, at 21/22 Chepstow Corner, Notting Hill, London, W2. 0207 229 1120, www.farrow-ball.com

Our stand at Decorex

We’ve had a busy time promoting The House Directory at both 100% Design and Decorex. Thank you to Genesis Imaging for producing and installing our backdrop wall (look at their vast range of photographic and display graphics services on www.genesis-digital.net

This month don't miss
Free Tickets and 2 for 1 offers...

‘En plein air’: An Exhibition of Works by Alistair Erskine (7-15 Oct), James Harvey British Art, 15 Langton Street, Chelsea, SW10. Talented decorative artist Alistair Erskine is presenting his first solo exhibition of land and seascape paintings. www.jamesharveybritishart.com

Art London (7-11 Oct), Royal Hospital, Chelsea. An eclectic modern art fair with paintings, drawings, prints, photography, sculpture, glass works, sculpture and photography. Prices range from a few hundred pounds to six-figure sums. www.artlondon.net

International Antiques & Collectors’ Fair (7-8 Oct), Newark & Notts International Showground. The largest antiques fair in Europe, with around 3000 stalls. www.iacf.co.uk

Town & Country (8-31 Oct), Potterton Books London, 93 Lower Sloane Street, SW1. An exhibition of work by local artist, Martin Millard. Working both in pen & watercolour, and in pencil & charcoal, Martin captures not only the well-known landmarks of the Royal Borough, but also other buildings that catch his eye. He also paints private residences to commission. www.pottertonbookslondon.co.uk

Palace Art Fair (8–10 October), Fulham Palace, London SW6. A new art fair organised by the team behind the Brighton Art Fair. Over 100 artists across all media will exhibit and sell their work direct to the public. To take up a special offer of two tickets for the price of one, simply print up our newsletter and take it along. www.palaceartfair.co.uk

The Esher Hall Antiques and Fine Art Fair (8-10 October), Sandown Park Racecourse, Surrey . Some 40 specialist dealers from across the UK will be selling items ranging in price from under £100 to six-figure sums. www.adfl.co.uk

Grand Designs Live (8-10 Oct), NEC Birmingham. The sister show to the London Grand Designs – there are interactive features, seminars, and 500 exhibitors under one roof. We have ten tickets to give away (worth £18 each), so email us now on info@thehousedirectory.com stating ‘Free Grand Design tickets’. www.granddesignslive.com

Snow White and the Seven Designers (12-16 Oct) Garrick Theatre, WC2.
Starring leading figures from the world of interior design (the cast includes Bill Bennette, Joanna Wood, Nina Campbell, Tessa Kennedy and Stephen Ryan) and with costumes designed by illustrious fashion designers, this pantomime should be great fun. All proceeds will go to the charity Dementia UK, which supports families affected by dementia. www.nimaxtheatres.com. Book by phone: 0844 412 4662

‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ (13-30 Oct), Ben Pentreath, 17 Rugby Street, London WC1. Ben Pentreath’s eponymous shop will be filled with mysterious natural wonders collected from all corners of the world. The focus this year will be on Astronomy, Astrology and Geology. T 020 7430 2526 www.benpentreath.com

The Pavilion of Art & Design (13-17 Oct)
, Berkeley Sq, London. With forty-seven international dealers, this fair includes modern art, tribal art, decorative arts and design from 1860 to the present.  www.padlondon.net

Frieze Art Fair (14-17 Oct), Regent’s Park, NW1. A well-known October fixture. 150 galleries from around the world provide visitors with the opportunity to see and purchase works of art by over 1000 of the world’s leading contemporary artists. www.friezeartfair.com

Design Event North East (21-31 Oct), Billed as the London Design Festival of the North, this is a showcase for the region’s talent in art, fashion, architecture, furniture and graphic design. www.design-event.co.uk

The Affordable Art Fair (21-24 Oct), Battersea Park, London. Some 120 galleries from across the UK and overseas gather to exhibit contemporary art. The fair’s relaxed ambiance invites you to browse amongst the thousands of paintings, sculpture, photography and original prints - all priced between £50 and £3,000. 
For 50% off entry to the fair, simply print up our newsletter and present it to the ticket desk. Two tickets will be £12 on a weekday or £15 at the weekend (the normal price for two tickets is £24 on a weekday and £30 at the weekend). See www.affordableartfair.com for more info.

International Antiques & Collectors’ Fair (26-27 Oct)
, Ardingly, South of England Showroom, West Sussex. Around 1700 stands selling literally everything you could possibly imagine. www.iacf.co.uk

The Collection of Robert Kime (27 Oct), Christie’s South Kensington, London SW7. Interior decorator Robert Kime (known for his distinctive eye for pattern) has ‘a chronic storage problem’ and is selling some of the Islamic and Eastern-influenced antiques, textiles, furniture and accessories he has amassed over 40 years. www.christies.com

Handmade in Britain (27-30 Oct), Chelsea Old Town Hall, London SW3. Now in its fourth year, this fair showcases and promotes UK-based innovative and talented designer-makers working in glass, ceramics, textiles, fashion, furniture, silversmith, jewellery, paper, print-making, tableware and metal work. www.handmadeinbritain.co.uk

Members' News

OKA’s new three-storey flagship store has just opened at 155-165 Fulham Road, London SW3 (020 7581 2574). With over 20 room sets, it sells everything from sofas to cutlery, including their full range of fabrics by the metre. Plus there’s a special husbands’ den with a plasma screen, newspapers and coffee ! www.okadirect.com

Lewis & Wood have a pop-up shop at 57 Elizabeth St, London SW1. Their new linens,prints and velvets, as well as their complete range of fabrics and wallpaper, are displayed across three floors of a Belgravia townhouse. Open 10-6 until end Nov. www.lewisandwood.co.uk. 01453-878517  

Stone specialists Lapicida have launched a very useful app – a stone swatch library. It gives access to over 200 hi-res swatch samples of luxury natural stone, marble flooring and kitchen and bathroom tiles. It saves designers carrying books and samples around. It’s free to download and there’s a tap-to-call number for pricing enquiries in addition to a direct link to the Lapicida website. www.lapicida.com


Josephine Home’s sale runs until 8 October. Savings of between 25% and 50% on their luxury bedlinen, throws and accessories. 020-7751 0100 www.josephinehome.co.uk

Marvic Textiles’ Warehouse Sale. (12-16 Oct). Between 50% and 80% off their fabrics, wallpapers, ex-display curtains, cushions and furniture. Also, visitors registering to Marvic’s mailing list from 1 to 15 October will get a voucher entitling them to an extra 5% discount in the sale (when spending over £100).  The voucher can also be used against full-price fabrics purchased from the showroom from 18 to 22 October. www.marvictextiles.co.uk

The Garden Store Salcombe. Autumn Sale with 20% off Fermob Metal Garden Furniture and 20% off Helen Kaminski Raffia Bags and a selection of hats. 01548-844449 www.thegardenstoresalcombe.co.uk

Bennison Fabrics, 5 Holbein Mews, London SW1. This once-a-year half-price sale of hand-printed fabrics draws devotees from far and wide. Trade ( on production of trade card) on Tues 5th Oct; Retail and Trade on Wed 6th and Thurs 7th Oct. 10-5 every day. 020 7730 8076 www.bennisonfabrics.com

Interior joinery company James Mayor displayed an elegant specially-made cabinet on their stand at Decorex. They are now offering it to readers of our newsletter at 70% off its original price. It’s 235cm high x 210wide x 60 deep, painted in Sanderson’s Turtledove, and lined in Nina Campbell’s ‘Promenade’. First come, first served. It’s £1200 plus VAT and delivery. 0121-3281643 www.jamesmayorfurniture.com

Royal School of Needlework SPECIAL SALE (Fri 5th and Sat 6th Nov, 10-4) An annual sale to raise money towards their Foundation Degree programme and their work in keeping the art of embroidery alive. You'll be able to buy one-off collectors' items; antique scissors and thimbles; fabrics, threads, wools and canvases; lace and trimmings, vintage items and even furniture and storage pieces for your needlework accessories. 020 3166 6935.

New Book

Life and Work, Malene Birger's Life in Pictures (TeNeus, £70). In this lavish, large-format book (a coffee table in itself), fashion designer Malene Birger turns her attention to the domestic interior. Showcasing her houses in Spain and Scandinavia, she presents us perfectly composed still-lives in which muted textures and tones contrast with dramatic graphics, classic black and white stripes, photos, illustrations and her own artwork. Order your copy from www.teneues.com Or www.pottertonbookslondon.co.uk