One of my favourite shops in England
is Pollyanna, a whole houseful of the best contemporary design in
fashion, owned and run by the redoubtable Rita Brittain. I have to
ration my visits to Pollyanna in Barnsley (Yorkshire) because the
place is so addictive. Rita selects and stocks not only the best
international fashion but also new and exciting British designers.
My other favourite shop is the Strand Gallery in
Aldeburgh (in Suffolk) of which Ron Howell is the proprietor. I’ve
bought some very simple Venetian glass jewellery from him
(uncompromisingly modern and always much admired when I wear it), but
the majority of his stock consists of contemporary British artworks –
sculpture, paintings, prints, mobiles and anything else that takes his
fancy. The look is fresh, clean, bright, sleek and modern.
Correction. I have two other favourite shops, both in
Huddersfield, near where I used to live in Yorkshire. One is the
stationers and art shop Wheatley Dyson, the other the ironmongers
Timothy Wood. There’s nothing like these outlets in the area where I
now live, and I miss them.
of the cleverest ideas I’ve ever come across (while researching Perfect
Order) was created by architect Jason Cooper. Some years ago, he
had a client with a London flat who wanted more space. With an admirable
leap of imagination, Jason simply removed the bathroom. Instead, he
fitted a lavatory in a neat space under the stairs and a basin in a
cupboard in the bedroom area. The floor of the bedroom was built up to
accommodate the depth of the bath which was hidden under the bed. The
bed rolled aside on runners when the bath was needed. After all, you are
never in bed and in the bath at the same time and this was a one-person,
open-plan apartment. Also hidden under the bedroom floor was acres of
storage, created by raising the floor and accessed through lift-up
hatches in the timber floor. Clever Jason!
+44 (0)171 727 3104
him you discovered him here.
Click Perfect Order
you are interested in getting hold of one of my books that is out of
print, contact book dealer Sue Mosley at:
+44 (0)1484 662120
her you discovered her here.
do a booksearch for you. This doesn’t cost anything until she finds
you the book and you pay for it. Let her know if you find it before she
does! She also specialises in books on textiles and the history of women
and domestic life.
Brides Wedding Book
Library of Interior Detail
doing the research for my forthcoming book on paint I discovered the
existence of an organisation called The Traditional Paint Forum. Founded
in 1994, this is a group of people dedicated to historic paints, in the
past and today. Their magazine is called Traditional Paint News
(‘Towards better understanding and appreciation of traditional
paint’) and is stuffed with news, articles and reprinted passages from
antique painters and decorators’ manuals and treatise. Personally, I
found it fascinating. The forum is a serious organisation with serious
aims, but the journal is nonetheless readable and it also holds meetings
and one conference each year or so.
you are interested in subjects like limewash, the use of paint types and
colours in historic buildings or the methods of decorating in the
eighteenth century and before, you might like to join. Contact the
Honorary Secretary, Una Richards, c/o The National Trust for Scotland, 5
Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4DU, Scotland (and tell them how you
know about them).
Earth is selling solid wooden flooring.
company that started by selling fabulous terracotta tiles (hence the
name of the business) now has huge showrooms with tiles, rugs, paints,
fabrics and even bathrooms (though not every shop offers everything),
all of the finest quality and utterly desirable. There are shops in
Britain and across Europe.
latest enterprise is to offer real solid wooden flooring. I love wooden
floors so I’m awaiting my package of samples with great interest. The
types sound wonderful – red oak, white oak, hard maple, coastal maple,
walnut and cherry – each with its own distinctive colour and grain.
Fired Earth supply the flooring unfinished – you fit it (or have it
fitted) then sand and seal or wax it yourself on site so the finish is
written the two books in the Decorating with Fired Earth series, The
Kilim and Tribal Rug Book and The Tile Book. A volume on paint is
written and due to be published in the spring of 2001, and another on
fabric is planned. I really love the stuff that Fired Earth sells,
though the books are not just about their products, far from it. My
association with Fired Earth has so far been a very happy one. May it
Earth : Telephone: +44 (0)1295 812088
them you discovered them here.
Kilim and Tribal Rug Book