Sunday, 25 March 2012

Arden Launch in Paris

"L'appartement du Bureau 110 chez Philippe Model"
I'm just back from this PR event in Paris where I introduced the Arden Collection to the French press.

My spot: The Arden collection featuring Verdure and Saffron Walden
My spot (above) featured the Verdure fabric in its two colourways and Saffron Walden covering the sofa. The central Verdure panel is a fabric-width non-woven wallpaper. It caused a stir as it looks so much like a fabric; you can see the weave of the linen on which we painted the original artwork. 

Hosting this launch event was PR agency Bureau 110. They have several brands on their books and for this event they took over the spectacular apartment of fashion and interior designer Philippe Model.

Some details of wall finishes around the apartement
This place is not so much an apartment as an atelier and playroom where Philippe experiments with whacky ideas and hires it out for location shoots.

In this ever-evolving space Bureau 110 set up product displays across about 10 rooms for its brands including Zoffany, Sanderson and Harlequin's new brand Scion with the bold and dramatic Melinki collection (below)

Melinki by Scion
In between meeting with invited journalists and stylists I couldn't resist taking shots of some of the products in their beguiling settings (albeit with my basic pocket camera).

This location is often hired out for photoshoots, the remnants of which are evident throughout. There are flaking paint, layers of wallpaper and incongruous architectural bits and bobs everywhere.

Here are some snaps from around the apartement:

Little Greene Paint & Paper

Le nouveau nuancier
This is Little Greene's new colour card. Check out the innovative sticky-outy chips. You can fold the perforated page and offer up the colour without a white background. Genious!

designer glassware and ceramics

 Robin du Lac 
tea light cups

I was obsessed by these faded pink tea light cups lined in old gold and arranged in front of antique mirrors.

kitchen ceiling
Now heres a technique I'd like to learn: flaking paint revealing old faded wallpaper.

A still life in the corridor
One of the rooms seen through a patinated mirror
I'm inspired to let loose on my studio and let it evolve like this place has. 
Every wall is a potential canvas. Trick is not to over-think it. Just play!

Hopefully the Arden Collection will feature in a few French magazines over the next few months. As a half-Frenchy myself it would be a lovely opportunity to show off the collection to my French family. 
You can see more images of the interiors at this Italian locations website 

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Silk Merchants and stripy paper

This is the week the ARDEN Collection launches after 17 months in the making. 

You can view it now on the Zoffany website.

The official launch is at Chelsea Harbour for London Design Week from March 11th to16th. I will be in the Zoffany/Sanderson showroom from the 11th to 13th.

Come and say hi if you're visiting. 

In preparation, last week I went over to Marlborough in Wiltshire where Zoffany had chosen to host an event for the area sales managers. This is the team who will be introducing the Arden collection to retailers and interior designers across the country. 

The setting was the amazing Merchant's House on Marlborough's high street. 

This is an extremely rare 350 year old gabled house built by a prosperous silk merchant called Thomas Bayly following the Great Fire of Marlborough in 1653. Its interior is rich with wall paintings, panelling and a commanding oak staircase with a rare survival of painted fictive balustrading on the walls. 

The dining room features the utterly unusual stripe that inspired our Merchants Stripe wallpaper. 

This painted stripe that parades across all four walls, over doors, hinges and the stone fireplace, is thought to represent striped silk hangings. There is no real precedent for such a design and nothing quite like it follows. It is truly unique and actually very contemporary (we've hung it horizontally for the Arden brochure!)

and here it is in Norsk blue (there are 4 colourways in all)

On arrival in Marlborough there was an unnerving power cut, caused by the sunspots, that shut down the entire town for two hours. Thankfully it ended just in time to plug in the projector and begin my slideshow talk. I was then joined by Zoffany's design director Liz Cann in talking the team through the collection piece by piece. 

Then came a guided tour of the house given by the knowledgeable head trustee Sir John Sykes and volunteers at the house. 

What an enthralling place and full of mysteries yet to be uncovered.

You can read more about The Merchants House and our Stripe wallpaper in The World of Interiors this month (April issue). 

The Merchant's House and Garden are open from 1st April to end of October on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 4pm with timed tours at 11am, 12noon, 2pm and 3pm.