September 26 2011
With bun in one hand and coffee in the other, I enter the great tent of Decorex at the Royal Hospital and make my way to my beautiful stand, charmingly arranged by my great team led by Michael Williamson.
The fun of the day is really about socialising with my peers. I love to trot round and see what my friends have been doing over the past year as obviously, in this industry, there are favourites. I was particularly taken by a marvellous collection of curtain poles and finials by the talented Shona McKinney. She has the most extraordinary knack for putting her finger on the pulse of her particular trade. I see interpretations of McKinney’s work in the marketplace, but her renditions I find both superior and uniquely energetic.
I giggle to myself that both of us have been in the industry for some 25 years, and one thing that one must never forget is that there is so much talent emanating from small British ateliers, and Decorex is an exhibition full of companies of this ilk. There is a particular creativity in the British mind that is so sought-after globally; I notice that visitors to our modest stand were coming from every corner of the earth to look and see what William and his team have pulled out of the bag for September 2011.
After chatting incessantly with several friends in a row, I took the trouble to view some of the younger exhibitors at the show and was very impressed by the rugs of Luke Irwin and mirrored panels by Dominic Schuster.
As I mentioned earlier this week, Nicky Haslam is responsible for the Decorex Foyer; and, perhaps needless to say, that talented man’s work only becomes more vibrant and exciting, both in sheer originality and historical reference, as the years go by. I am absolutely convinced if I were ever in a position to have a room of proportion and fantasy decorated, I would have to consider Nicky as a contender; this of course is very unlikely to happen as my partner, Colin Orchard, is a very talented designer too. But one can dream!
As I mentioned in my first posting last Tuesday, I was much looking forward to visiting Susan Crewe’s and Kate Slesinger’s House & Garden party at the Philips de Pury auction rooms in Victoria. My new friend Barbara Barry, who I have been waiting to meet since I was in short trousers, is most charming and energetic and has many exciting projects on the go; as does Will Fisher at Jamb, who supplied me with a magnificent chimneypiece. London really is a hotbed of talent, with everybody exchanging exciting ideas on projects both at home and as far away as New Zealand and South America. I do feel rather blessed to spend my life among such people.
Even with this excitement, however, I managed to race home and pour myself a bowl of soup and sit back and watch the glorious Dame Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey; and afterwards, slide into a delicious slumber.