Party Styling: How to Style a Party that Gets People Talking

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10 Party Styling Tips illustrated with an Indian Summer Party Theme. Debra Luker talks to Debbie Blott for Time & Leisure magazine, with photography by Helen Fickling An artist with a degree from Kingston University, creative events stylist Debra Luker knows all about how to create drama having started out in theatre painting, design and […]

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The Start-Up Home: Naomi Callan of Castles for Rascals

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The Start-Up Home: Naomi Callan of Castles for Rascals. Often what drives a career path is a change in personal circumstances and in Naomi Callan’s case, the arrival of her two children meant the long hours of site visits and client meetings entailed in being an interior designer had to be abandoned. But when she […]

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Slightly Quirky: Picture Perfect Victorian House in Richmond

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A Slightly Quirky Project: Picture Perfect Lorraine and Andy live in a lovely Victorian house in Richmond and are keen art collectors and the lounge and reading room display some of their well-loved pieces. From the very start, it was clear that the scheme would have to incorporate – if not revolve around – this […]

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Peter Rabbit: Vegan Coconut and Lemon Cake Recipe

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Peter Rabbit: Vegan Coconut and Lemon Cake Vaani Wadman of SugarPlum Bakes, is well known for designing fabulous cake decorations, and making wonderful celebration cakes. What is less frequently talked about is just how delicious they taste. We had a party recently, and I asked Vaani to make a Peter Rabbit cake. It of course […]

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Sharing our Sources: Magical Lighting Effects – Designed by Light

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Magical Lighting Effects: Designed by Light If you came to The DecorCafe Home & Garden Festival at Strawberry Hill House last year you may have seen the lighting range created by new contemporary lighting company, Designed by Light.  Founded by Putney based lighting designer Sian Baxter, Designed by Light have a small team of lighting […]

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Inspiring Interiors: Glamorous Teddington Terrace

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Jennie Bartholomew and Tiffany Ring are co-owners and founders of Union Interiors, an interior design and styling company based in Teddington. With young children at the same school in Twickenham they have a wonderful knack of combining the practical and glamorous. This Teddington house is an excellent example. Home to a family of four it […]

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Urban Flowers. New Book for Small City Gardens

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Carolyn Dunster is an award-winning planting designer, florist and urban gardener. After a career in journalism she trained in floristry with Jane Packer and now runs her business from her home in north London. In 2016 Carolyn designed a small cutting garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on behalf of Katie’s Lymphoedema […]

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Nicky Haslam Paints The Town Green

Mcc0055253. Telegraph. Designer Nicky Haslam in Hampshire Saturday May 31, 2014. Picture by Christopher Pledger.

Interior Designer of The Year, Nicky Haslam, Paints The Town Green – launching his first colour collection. By Debbie Blott for Time & Leisure Magazine. I was more than just a little excited when I stepped through the doorway of The Paint The Town Green showroom in Allfarthing Lane. The opportunity to interview interior design […]

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Floral Designs for the Summer

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 Tea Party Design These beautifully scented David Austin roses create a traditional English scene. The lime colour of Alchemilla, heightens the rich colours of the roses by providing a contrast. The dainty daisies add a variety of texture and scale and, when combined with the variation in heights of the arrangement, create movement by mimicking the […]

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Beautiful Eco Rugs for Your Home & Garden

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Researching rug companies for a recent press feature for Time & Leisure magazine, I came across this amazing rug company Weaver Green. I discovered them online, liked their designs and gave them a call to find out a bit more. It was only half way through the call, chatting with founder, Tasha Green, that I […]

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Life On The River

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Debbie Blott meets an Interior Designer, Ann Jackman, who cast away from a traditional home in favour of tranquility on the river. Written for Time & Leisure magazine, it first appeared in the March 2017 edition. Ann Jackman is an interior designer living on a house-boat in Surbiton, tucked away on The Thames riverbank close […]

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Festival Feature: Chunky Couture For Your Home

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Melanie Porter’s Chunky Couture For Your Home: The chubby knitted upholstery which hugs the intricate frames on Melanie Porter’s statement cinema chairs captures Melanie’s flair for creating furnishings which are both elegant and snug. This traditional workmanship of Melanie’s hand-crafted, upholstered pieces is fused with a contemporary vibe of boldness and colour. Her designs range from grand […]

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Surrey Architect Ilse Kerr’s New Build Family Home

7. Surrey Architect Ilse Kerr, TIA, The DecorCafe Network

Ilse Kerr, founder of Tailored Interiors Achitecture has lived and worked across three different continents over the course of her 17 year career. Born and brought up in South Africa, she has built, restructured and refurbished homes across South Africa, Australia and the UK. This, her most personal project, is the design and build of […]

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Kick-Start Your Health 2017. Tips from The Nutrition Kitchen.

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Hilary appreciates that the world of nutrition can feel quite muddled.  With so much information available it can be challenging to know what the best foods are to get each of us through the day in the best of health. “We are told that unless you eat in a perfect way you are not doing it […]

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First Impressions Count. Make More of Your Hallway

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First Impressions Count. Make More of Your Hallway. Storage: The problem with hallways is that they tend to become the dumping ground for coats and shoes, dog leads, boxes and packaging ready to go out to recycling or charity collections, but it is such a shame because first impressions count. So, before you start to […]

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An Insider’s Guide to Getting into the National Press

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An Insider’s Guide to Getting into the National Press Getting press attention when you’re just starting out with your business might seem like a huge challenge but at our recent Creative Home Business Club, leading journalist Serena Fokschaner made it all a great deal more attainable. It is a complex subject, with much to learn, […]

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An Eclectic Victorian Kitchen in Surrey

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  An Eclectic Victorian Kitchen in Surrey Rosie and Peter waited 19 years before embarking on the refurbishment of their Victorian period kitchen in Surrey. “The kitchen has always been at the heart of our home and we wanted it to stay that way” says Rosie. “We were keen to avoid anything too modern and […]

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Sharing our Sources: Chandeliers

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I have always wanted a chandelier for my home, and the moment is nearly right, and so I thought I would take the opportunity to multi-task and explore the best sources and put it all together in a useful list of the best places to buy chandeliers. But before I do, I just want to […]

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Easy Christmas Canapes: Savoury Scones with Lime Butter

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Easy Christmas Canapes: Savoury Scones with Lime Butter Yesterday we had a bite-sized (quite literally) DecorCafe Network morning at the beautiful Konig Kitchens showroom in Wimbledon Village with Fruits of the Fridge. Fruits of the Fridge are a local catering company run by Sarah Betteley and Robyn Forbes who specialise in home-cooked food. They are […]

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What size of rug should I choose?

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What size of rug should I choose? You would think picking a rug would be easy wouldn’t you? But if I had a pound for every time we are asked this question… what size of rug should I choose? It is a question that comes up most often when talking about a sitting room. Should […]

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Home Tour: Sandy Layton’s Sustainable Home Design

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Home Tour: Sandy Layton’s Sustainable Home Design Ceramicist Sandy Layton and her husband Alex have created an environmental oasis of sustainability in a beautiful corner of South Wimbledon. Downsizing from their family home, they had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve and collaborated with local specialists and decorcafe experts to bring their ideas to […]

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Restoration and Garden Therapy at Strawberry Hill House

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Restoration & Garden Therapy at Strawberry Hill House Last week the decorcafe made a visit to Strawberry Hill House and discovered why it’s so often described as a hidden gem. Built by Horace Walpole in the 18th century, there are traces of his eccentricity and sense of fun throughout the house. Since 2007, the Strawberry […]

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Wimbledon Lighting Designer, Virginie Dunne’s Latest Home Project

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Lighting Home Tour by Debbie Blott with Virginie Dune, written for Time & Lesiure Magazine Lighting is the unsung hero of interior design, often only thought about when the builder asks where you want to put the wiring, it can totally transform the look and feel of your home, elevating the ordinary to the stunning. […]

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Putney Interior Design Project: Cliveden Before & After

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Putney Interior Design Project: Cliveden Before and After Gill loves an architectural challenge, the conundrum of fitting everything together and making the most of the space, and when she bought Cliveden in Putney, she knew that this was exactly what she was taking on. The advantages of the property were immediately obvious. It is a […]

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The Start-Up Home: Vaani Wadman of Sugar Plum Bakes

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The Start-Up Home. Vaani Wadman of Sugar Plum Bakes Vaani Wadman founded bespoke cake company Sugar Plum Bakes after she had had her two little girls and discovered that she wanted to return to work but be at home for her family also. She needed something flexible that meant that she could pick the kids […]

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Designing your Home Office? 10 Things to Consider.

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10 Things to Consider when Designing your Home Office. Claire Burrage of Clara Bee shares her checklist: Function. Is this a dedicated home office, a household admin centre, maybe somewhere children can play on a computer or do homework? Is it somewhere to keep the games console to manage screen time? Maybe it’s just a peaceful […]

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Kim’s Devon house up for Telegraph House of the Year Award

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Kim’s Devon House up for the The Daily Telegraph House of the Year Award.  Amazing news! Kim’s gorgeous property in Devon is up for The Daily Telegraph House of the Year Award. Designed by architects van Ellen Sheryn, this is the interior design scheme that she created with us on our “Create Your Home Course” […]

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Office Under the Eves.

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Surbiton Interior Designer Ann Jackman’s Small Attic Conversion on a Budget When Ann moved into her two bedroomed terraced house in Richmond she needed a home office for her interior design business. The most obvious space available was the attic, which had been used by the previous owners as extra storage. The property was in a conservation […]

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Sensible Financial Advise for Small Businesses & Start-Ups

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Jennifer Denning is the founder and owner of Wimbledon based accountancy firm, Finling Associates. Together with a carefully selected team of specialist accountants and support staff she has developed a thriving business deploying financial services for more than 50 small to medium sized businesses which, since May 2016, includes us. Over the years she has […]

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Jacks’ Room Redesign plus Nikkis’10 Top Tips for Kids Rooms

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Pic: Before redesign 1. A child’s bedroom is one of the hardest working rooms in a house, used for sleep, play, toy storage, artwork display, play dates and later, homework. How they use it will change from peaceful nursery for baby to play room, to a more personal space for your teen. Designing an adaptable […]

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Devon Holiday Cottage Makeover

Featured Image, Devon Holiday Makeover 180 Anna Wright, The DecorCafe Network, decorcafe

Devon Holiday Cottage Makeover by Anna Ainscough I’ve just got back from a few days in Devon where we found the most perfect example of a holiday cottage makeover. Located in the tiny village of Lympstone on the Exe Estuary, this is a genuine toes in the water property. The house has been newly renovated […]

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Decorating Ideas: 5 Inspiring Mural Designs by Anna Starling

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Local artist Anna Starling graduated in fine art about 16 years ago and identified a gap in the market for professionally painted murals to commission. She has painted hundreds of different spaces and designs. Together we have selected a few favourites to inspire you in your home: 1. Private Pool This landscape scene was painted […]

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A Garden Makeover – From Plan to Planting

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A Garden Makeover – From Plan to Planting. Putney Garden Landscaping: 27 Holroyd Road This is a garden that began its life at a workshop run by Sarah Speller, who was wonderful at drawing out ideas and encouraging you to develop them. Development, as it turned out, was a long process, but at long last […]

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New Eco Paint Company: Paint The Town Green

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Fine Eco Paint. Paint The Town Green A new brand of paint has been launched, right on our doorstep in Wandsworth and so we went along to find out more. What is different about Paint The Town Green? Well the first thing is that it was created by Phil Robinson, who is himself a painter and […]

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Vegan and Surprisingly-Delicious Sweet Potato Brownies

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One of the many benefits of becoming vegan, is giving yourself the opportunity to recreate all of your favourite desserts and baked treats, whilst convincing yourself that ‘it’s okay’ that you’ve eaten 6 and half brownies, because you simply had to find a decent vegan alternative to the traditional egg, milk and butter recipes you’re […]

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No Gardening Garden Styling Ideas

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  No Gardening Garden Styling Ideas by Putney Interior Designer, Anne-Marie Taylor Putney Interior Designer Anne-Marie Taylor’s French Lebanese background is evident in her intrinsic sense of style, love of rich colours and desire to create a feeling of warmth throughout her home and garden. With little time for gardening she draws on her interior […]

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Beauty of Bespoke

180 Credit Caroline Browne Interior Design. Photography Earl Smith

Beauty of Bespoke (Time and Leisure Magazine, July 2016) Beautiful bespoke furniture is the haute couture of interior design, tailor-made to suit your style and fit the features of your home, it will cost more than the High Street equivalent, but is it a worthwhile investment? Yes says interior designer Caroline Browne and may not […]

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A Look Inside this Lovely Victorian Home Restoration

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Victorian Home Restoration. When Laura and her family moved into their mid-Victorian property she knew she had a lot of work on her hands. There was no doubt that the previous owners had loved their home but the original character of the house had been lost and it had become a mish-mash of dark rooms. […]

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Brilliant Twitter Learning

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Brilliant Twitter Learning Last night we enjoyed a truly inspiring evening with PR guru and Twitter expert Sandra Nardi (aka Lady Wimbledon) MD of Bombshell Consultancy. Together with her partner in crime Karine Torr of Darling magazine, they make an unstoppable team. Whether you are just thinking of starting-up, already run your own home business […]

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Nutrition for Children: Granola Bar Recipe

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Children’s Nutrition: Granola Bar Recipe Nutritionist, May Simpkin runs a range of Nutriful Healthy Cooking workshops with the DecorCafe, most recently on the topic of nutrition for children. She shared her knowledge and demonstrated a number of great recipes for quick and healthy snacks for our children including the popular recipe below for healthy and […]

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Anita’s elegant and spacious Victorian terraced home

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It is difficult to create an elegant home to enjoy as an adult when you have young children, and Anita has four, but with a clear vision of the look she wanted to achieve, careful planning of the layout and attention to detail, this is what she achieved. Victorian properties are beautiful and their period […]

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I never knew that… 5 quick and easy I-Phone Tips

Computer Fitness, with Sylvie Garvey, the DecorCafe Network

At our May HomeBizClub morning Sylvie Garvey, of Computer Fitness, shared her knowledge to help us to make the most of the wizardry that is contained within our i-phones. Here are five of her many tips: Safari can automatically fill out web forms using your Contact info, previous names and passwords, and credit card details, […]

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How To Create a Planting Plan

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How to Create a Planting Plan Learning how to create a planting plan is fundamental to creating a lovely garden. Sarah Speller shares her experience:   It is a really good idea to take the time to put a planting plan together before buying plants for your garden. The important thing is to be rigorous […]

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Bespoke Window Film. Blossom and Brush

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Blossom and Brush How do you achieve privacy at a window that faces onto a street or a bathroom window that looks out onto the garden without losing all the light? Shutters are a great solution but are not always within budget and voiles create a certain look that aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Window stickers […]

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Healthy Eating: Quick, easy and delicious Kale Chips Recipe

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Healthy Eating: Quick and easy delicious Kale Chips Recipe If you want a nutrient rich diet that helps to balance your hormones, manage your weight, heart-health or just general well-being you may find swapping unhealthy snacks for delicious kale chips appealing. This recipe for kale chips is a quick and easy way to create a […]

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The Secrets of Success for Starting up Your Own Business

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  Jane set up Jane Plan from her kitchen table in 2010 and last year her turnover exceeded £4 million. Yesterday she joined us at our HomeBizClub evening in Putney to share the secrets of her success. Her talk was filled with practical tips about how to build your business, but there were three things […]

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Helpful Tips & Sources from our DecorClub with Ann Jackman

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Helpful Interior Design Tips and Sources Taken from our April DecorClub morning with Ann Jackman Interior designer Ann Jackman, based in Surbiton, ran our inspiring decorclub morning last week aimed at helping people to progress their home project. It was a fantastic morning during which Ann shared some of her recent projects with us, gave […]

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Starting from scratch. Our new build Habitat House

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I assume many of us have started a design project and then realised that we are lost souls in the pursuit of what we thought was happiness? Interior design nirvana is blighted by builders, suppliers and the overwhelming volume of choice. Two years ago we jumped into this pit for the unwary by signing up […]

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3 ancient crafts being cleverly reinterpreted today

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Crafts and great craftsmanship have been around for centuries. From the earliest civilizations, we’ve seen incredible work being made in glass, ceramics, pottery, wood, paper and many more materials. Even in our fast-moving and sometimes disappointingly disposable world today, there is a definite increased interest, awareness and appreciation for crafts that are expertly and lovingly […]

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Inky Velvet at Strawberry Hill

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Inky Velvet is a new soft furnishings company that have been attracting a lot of attention with a front cover feature in Homes and Gardens last month. Founded by interior designer Stephanie Everard, we got to know them when, DecorCafe Network member, interior designer, Gemma Tuersley moved to the country and started working for Stephanie […]

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