Friday, 30 September 2011

Super Fun in London Town

I zipped into London on Tuesday evening and was back home just over 24 hours later. It was a whirlwind trip but I took lots of photos to share. The main reason for the trip was to visit Decorex 2011 and the Decorative Antiques Fair at Battersea but I manged to fit in a few other bits and pieces too...

Arrived in Highbury after smooth drive into town and met the friends I was staying with at a brilliant bar/restaurant on Upper St called Zilouf's. I think my friends must go there a lot as one of them has a cocktail named after him. Anyway, Zilouf's chilled out relaxed ambience was the perfect opening to my time in town. We sat and chatted, drank fabulous cocktails and experienced the chef's genius interpretation of East meets West. I can definitely recommend this place and in particular I enjoyed the Hendricks' Punch (x3 whoops) - the perfect refreshment during this amazing Indian summer we're lucky enough to have been gifted with.

The next morning I had a lovely walk through Highbury Fields on the way to the tube stop helped blow out the cobwebs from the night before. Kind of.

Starbucks, Pimlico Road for breakfast. Had some time to read the paper and Stylist magazine which was lovely and something I very rarely do. And from there I walked down Royal Hospital Road to the Decorex interior design show at Royal Hospital Chelsea. 

 One of my favourite exhibitors at Decorex 2011 was the And So To Bed stand. They set up a stunning Beach House to show off their beautiful new 1930s-inspired Charleston Collection of mirrored beds and furniture, designed by Nina Campbell. 

I love the vintage style ice-cream stand - maybe that's why people stopped to look but I suspect it was because ASTB pulled a really striking visual display out of the bag and popped it right in the middle of the show!

Antiques by Design had a really super stand showcasing the best of their reclaimed furniture and accesories. The mirror on the back wall was incredible and I loved the lighting made from helmets used in the First World War. 

Catchpole & Rye had a wall covered in personalised cisterns - quite extraordinary. They also stock original French antique baths and basins that have been re-enamelled which were beautiful.

Pit-stop at Auntie Mame's Tea Room for some peppermint tea. I also had a slice of cake but I'd eaten it by the time I took the photo.

Andrew Martin's enormous stand showcased his Autumn 2011 collection. His coffee table slab of a book looked incredible too. (Christmas List).

So many of the stands were truly inspirational particularly the soft furnishings which ranged from bold and upfront at Harlequin to the calm, cool and collected Penny Morrison Interiors. 

All is all it was brilliant, my first visit and I loved every minute. The only thing I thought was a bit daft was putting The Games Room Company behind the Seminar Room - Susan Llewellyn's talk was punctuated with the sounds of nearly PinBall enthusiasts.

I left Decorex a little late and stopped for lunch at nearby Como Lario before crossing the river and walking through Battersea Park to the Decorative Antiques Fair. Unlike Decorex which had it's air-con firmly on, the poor dealers and visitors to Battersea were treated to a hot box of sweltering temperatures with little to no air circulation. It was such a shame as I think the fair looked the best I've seen it. This was my fourth visit so I managed to quickly navigate my way round to see familiar faces and catch up with some of the dealers listed in the SourceBook

Lorfords Antiques had a really excellent stand with some fantastic pieces - I love the original vintage New York Walk/Don't Walk signs!

Jenny Hicks had a beautiful array of unusual antique and vintage rugs, carpets, runners and textiles from Russia, Turkey, Persia, China and Tibet. 

Victoria Harvey @ Deuxieme had this Swedish grandfather clock available for sale. Just stunning!

I LOVE these original painted shelves from Puckhaber Decorative Antiques. Actually I love Puckhaber is general because they don't stick to a particular style -they mix it up so it's always fresh and interesting. 

The afternoon ran away with me and I suddenly found I had to hotfoot it back to Sloane Sq to get the tube back up to Highbury. I used the complimentary car shuttle driven by the most hilarious guy who told me and another girl about his experiences working as security for the Qatari and Saudi royal families. A little surreal but really fascinating.

Back in Highbury and driving past the Arsenal stadium I hear an absolutely enormous roar as Arsenal scored against Olympiakos in the Champions League. It was a great London moment.

An hour and a half later I was home. A whirlwind trip but so, so fun. I met lots of new and thoroughly interesting people and have come away with a head full of ideas and plans. Exciting!

Have a good weekend all and enjoy this wonderful Indian summer, long may it continue!

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Monday, 26 September 2011

Who's Who? West Egg that's Who!

West Egg is now a proud member of The Daily Basics Who's Who - a guide to the most interesting and prominent tweeters in their field - in our case Home & Garden.

The Daily Basics, as they say, tells it all. They put together one short, sweet and quirky article a day to think about Monday-Friday. Their philosophy is to go back to basics and remember our heritage, traditions, ourselves and their message is that one thing a day is enough - simple! 

Their articles cover bodyworks, book clubbing, cookery, enrichments, entertainment and home. Take a look through their archive of previous articles by clicking here

And as if the week didn't get off to a great start as it is, we got included in their weekly Greatest Hits - here's what they had to say about West Egg:

West Egg is a UK based company and blog that is all about unique furniture and decorative home accessories. Inspirational?  Yes.  Great content?  Definitely. Fun to visit… Go over and see!  

Wowzers. I'm off to London tomorrow for Decorex 2011 and the Decorative Antiques Fair in Battersea Park. I'll be taking my camera so I can blog about them on my return. I find it slightly surreal that it was this time last year I quit my hedge fund job and set up West Egg. So much has happened since then it's crazy. Oh well, time flies I guess.

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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Dedham Workshops - Open Week

I've been working with the Soft Furnishing Studio in Dedham over the last 6 months or so and they are such a fantastic team. Following the huge popularity of their Open Day last year, last week they extended it to a full Open Week where people could drop by and see various demonstrations and talks by different affiliated companies.

Set in fabulous converted barn buildings in the picturesque village of Dedham on the Essex / Suffolk border, the Soft Furnishing Studio was created by Justine and Amanda who have an infectious creative energy and buzz which they plough into their business. They offer a wide range of interior design services from just helping with inspiration and ideas to a full interior design brief. 

Soft Furnishing Studio, Dedham

Soft Furnishing Studio, Dedham

I run a Furniture Painting workshop at the adjoining Dedham Workshops so I did a demo and talk as part of the Open Week. It was a great opportunity to meet lots of new customers and people interested in doing the workshop. I used a project I'm working on right now which is a lovely corner cupboard - it's a fantastic shape and has lovely detailing but I thought it would fit more easily into the modern home with some revamping. I used the Annie Sloan paints to give an authentic French country look. I'm especially loving the French Linen paint - it is such a wonderful muted colour particularly at this time of the year. 

As you can see from the photograph below I've left half of it unpainted so people visiting could see the difference. It will available for sale from once it's finished. 

Furniture Painting Workshop @ the Dedham Workshops
The Annie Sloan paints are fantastic for transforming old pieces of furniture that have perhaps seen better days. During the one day workshop you will learn how to create an authentic French country look using chalk paints. 

Participants bring along a small piece of furniture, typically a bedside table or small side table and the outline for the day is as follows:

Introduction to painting furniture
  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Colours
  • Tips & tricks  
  • Coats / dealing with stains
    Waxing & crackle effect
    • Clear wax
    • Dark wax 
    • Crackle effect 
    • Subtle wear and tear v total destruction
    • Wire wool – sheen effect  

    The workshop runs from 9:30am to 5pm and includes tea & coffee, a lovely buffet lunch and all materials. The cost of the workshop is £95 per person.

    For more information or to book your place please contact Justine or Amanda on 01206 322690 or by email at

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    Monday, 19 September 2011

    SourceBook Dealer of the Week: Gilli Hanna Decorative Antiques

    West Egg's SourceBook has a brilliant network of dealers from all over the UK and to celebrate their brilliance, each Monday will see a different SourceBook Dealer of the Week. This first week we have Gilli Hanna Decorative Antiques. 

    Based in Oxfordshire, Gilli deals in fabulous eighteenth and nineteenth century French antiques that she sources herself. She keeps a wonderful blog of her buying adventures which you can find through her website or simply click here for her Diary of a Brocanteuse.

     Gilli Hanna Decorative Antiques 

    Address: Station Mill Antiques, Station Road, Chipping Norton OX7 5HX 
    Telephone: 07771 766 055 

    Gilli Hanna deals in beauty. From little items of daily utilitarian use to the deep warm patina on a walnut desk. Objects that nourish both eye and heart. She sells dreams, folded in parchment love letters or stitched onto monogrammed linens; caught in a gilt wood frame or a passing reflection in a mercury mirror.

    Scraping back layers of time to find a perfect grey or repainting cupboards, tables, buffets and armoires in chalk paint to give them the chance to flourish once more. Here lies much happiness.

    Gilli Hanna sources items in France and Belgium to delight you. Mostly eighteenth and nineteenth century French antiques, Swedish antiques, country furniture and accessories including:
    • Fruit wood and oak furniture
    • Painted furniture
    • Mirrors
    • Chandeliers and candelabra
    • Glass, porcelain and ceramics
    • Bed linens, textiles and soft furnishings
    • Oils and water colours
    • Books and documents
    • Quirky finds


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    Thursday, 1 September 2011

    West Egg's SourceBook goes live!

    The SourceBook is LIVE! It's been a crazy last few weeks getting to this point but the SourceBook is now up and running! West Egg is working with a network of antique and vintage dealers in the UK to help you find that perfect piece for your home. It's completely free, quick and easy to use! Click on the image below to find out more or click here.

    Also, the West Egg homepage has been completely revamped - please let us know what you think!

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