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.


Anonymous said...

How wonderful! It looks so beautiful. A real boost for the Trust and recognition of the care and attention to detail that has gone into the restoration of our jewel.

Sarah Fleming said...

I visited Chelsea Harbour yesterday, every showroom was full to the brim with gorgeous work! Zoffany Sanderson is one of my favourite design companies and my visit there was so inspirational for my FMP! As is your blog; it's beautiful! I am definitely going to be aspiring to produce designs as well as yours.

Sarah x

Melissa White Interiors said...

It was an honour to be allowed to hold our meetings at the house. It truly is a jewel and is clearly well loved by a dedicated team. A must-see just off the M4.

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