The Andrew Martin Interior Design Award Were Hosted At The Newly Renovated Design Museum

Andrew Martin Interior Design Awards 2016

…To the sparkling new Design Museum last night to see the wonderful Nicki Haslam crowned ‘Andrew Martin Interior Designer of the Year 2016’.  The great and the good from the world of interior design and related industries were gathered under the hyperbolic roof previously, The Commonwealth Institute.  In Nicki’s acceptance speech he talked about the importance of interior and architectural design playing a hugely significant role in Britain’s output and influence in the world. He set down the challenge for Government to recognise the contribution the skilled and talented designers make to the nation’s well being and place in the world, and asked that it be aligned and recognised with that of the fashion industry.

The Serpentine Pavilion, 2016 by BIG. Copyright Jim Stephenson 2016

Out And About: World of Interiors at the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

It was to the annual World of Interiors party last night held at the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed, this year by the Danish Architect, Bjarke Ingels.

Bjarke’s firm’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion opened in London on 10 June 2016, and is a huge undulating structure composed of thousands of fibreglass boxes stacked on top of each other.

BIG’s Rune Hansen, who was project manager for the project, explains that the firm saw the pavilion as an opportunity to test what it is possible to create with its fibreglass material.

“To build a pavilion like this for us as an architecture office is extremely interesting,” he explains.  ”It is kind of a lab where we can test materials – the visual aesthetics as well as structural conditions.”

(source Dezeen).

Bjarke Ingels is also the architect for ‘No 2 World Trade Center’.  Which when completed, will be located on the east side of Greenwich Street, across from the original location of the Twin Towers.

Do you know the difference between tennis court surfaces?

Do You Know The Differences Between The Grand Slam Surfaces?

Worldwide planning applications for tennis courts, spike each year during the Wimbledon tournament. Famous for its pristine grass, this choice of surface is adorned by many considering installing a court at home, but aesthetics is not the only consideration wealthy tennis enthusiasts should make when choosing what surface to play on at home.

Speed Of Play

Grass is the fastest of all court surfaces and consequently favours players who prefer the serve and volley style of play. If you’re tennis game can keep up with the pace, then grass could be for you. In contrast Roland Garros’s clay courts traditionally make for the slowest playing style. However a slower style of play doesn’t make for a more boring game, slower surfaces traditionally allow for longer rallies between players and opportunities to showcase a wider array of technique. And what about the hard court surfaces, such as plyometric and macadam? Well, they’re slower than grass and faster than clay and both can be layered with materials to adjust the pace of play on court. For this reason professional players consider hard-courts to be the fairest way of comparing different player’s all-round abilities with the racket.

Resilience To Weather 

Whilst three out of the four grand slam arenas in the world have specially designed roofs to prevent rain disrupting play, few home tennis courts are constructed indoors. This means property owners should consider the weather, when selecting their tennis court surface. Both clay and grass can easily become waterlogged and take a fair amount of time to dry before play can resume, without a ready team of ball boys and girls on hand. Hard court surfaces are porous enough to get you back on court quickly.

Court Maintenance

The pristine grass of SW19 is trimmed to 8mm in length, looking after a grass court means maintaining a living ecosystem. The continuous maintenance of grass courts is a key consideration when choosing this surface, in contrast plyometric and macadam hard-court surfaces are far easier to manage and probably why they are the preferred choice for many tennis enthused property owners.


Janine Stone has over a quarter of a century of experience managing full design and build activities on prime residential projects. Working with our clients and specialist tennis court contractors, we have created exceptional homes that reflect our clients’ passions and lifestyles. Contact our team to discuss with us your latest project.

Eames Chair and footstool

The World of Charles and Ray Eames – catch it while you can …

When the Eames lounge chair and ottoman were launched in 1956, they signalled a new direction in American consumerism. The luxurious leather recliner appealed directly to an American public ready to leave behind the austerities of the post-war years, and treat itself to a very comfortable symbol of affluence.

The chair is “a perfect balance of tradition and modernity”, says Catherine Ince, curator of the exhibition about designers Charles and Ray Eames which closes on 14th February 2016 at the Barbican, London.

“It’s an incredibly well-made, high-quality, comfortable, beautifully elegant piece of furniture.”

The lounger has an unmistakably modern shape, but its leather upholstery roots it firmly in the tradition of English armchairs that can be traced back to William Morris’s late 19th Century designs.

(Source: BBC News)



Perfect Pieces from Gaze Burvill at Chelsea 2015

Chelsea heralds the arrival of summer living

Gaze Burvill hosted an elegant party at this year’s Chelsea to mark the launch of their stunning new outdoor entertaining collections.  The beautiful roof top garden setting (created by John Wyer of Bowles & Wyer) provided the perfect backdrop for their new and exciting furniture pieces.  The Michelin star Chef, Shaun Rankin oversaw proceedings in the outdoor kitchen creating the most delicious canapés served with ice-chilled champagne.  The A La Carte Linear outdoor kitchen features 180 degree flat opening doors and bespoke joinery, it was partnered with Sub Zero & Wolf appliances.

The new ‘Splash Lounge Collection’ offered an inviting retreat from the buzz of Chelsea 2015.   Luxurious and indulgent, this chic and contemporary seating would look great in both urban or country settings.


Andree's War.indd

Janine reviews Gander and White Director, Francelle Bradford White’s book about her Mother and her brave exploits during WW2 in occupied France

We are most fortunate to collaborate and work closely with some extraordinary suppliers and specialist support companies.  Gander & White is one such company and Director, Francelle Bradford White very kindly send me a copy of her recently published book, Andree’s War, which tells the story of Francelle’s Mother, Andree’s exploits in the French resistance during WW2.

Andree was a most courageous and inspiring young woman, I found the story compelling and profoundly moving.  She quickly learned that the world was not as innocent and light-hearted as she had hoped it to be.  There is no doubt that her bravery when arrested to face down her interrogation and use it to discover relevant intelligence to assist her brother’s resistance movement was remarkable.

These stories are incredibly important to the nation and help us piece together our recent history.  They ensure that future generations will learn about the sacrifice and heroism of Andree, her colleagues and other brave individuals from the era.

Notes for editors:

All profits from the book sales on the website  will go to the charitable trust Francelle has established in her Mother’s name – The Andrée Griotteray White Charitable Trust (Registered Charity No: 1157258) to fund research into any form of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and to provide support for those suffering from this condition.

Andrée was awarded three medals for her actions, the Croix de Guerre, the Légion d’Honneur and the the Médaille de la Résistance (to receive all 3 honours is highly unusual).




Budget Review and Comment from Matthew Oates, MJO Wealth Management

We asked Matthew Oates Principal of MJO Wealth Management, Partner Practice of St James Place Wealth Management, to highlight the key points from the 2015 Budget.  Part of our occasional series where experts in the field of wealth management and other disciplines share their knowledge.

The Chancellor has delivered his Budget statement. He confirmed changes previously announced in the Autumn Statement and outlined a variety of measures in what was clearly a budget aimed at supporting those who work, save and invest.


Lifetime Allowance

The Chancellor proposed a reduction in the Lifetime Allowance to £1 million from 6 April 2016, which will then index in line with the Consumer Prices Index. There was explicit confirmation that the Annual Allowance will not change and there were no announcements affecting tax relief on pension contributions or on tax-free cash.


The Chancellor has announced more flexibility for Cash ISAs from this autumn. Under the proposed changes, investors will be able to withdraw and replace contributions made in a tax year, without compromising the Cash ISA subscription limit for that year.

A Help to Buy Cash ISA has been announced for first-time buyers and will provide benefits of up to £3,000 from the government. Up to £200 per month can be saved, plus an initial lump sum of up to £1,000. The government will top up those savings by 25%, subject to a maximum top-up of £3,000 on a subsequent property purchase. It will be available from autumn 2015.

Further announcements will follow regarding changes to the permitted investments within ISAs. We are also still awaiting further confirmation of the eligibility of transferring Child Trust Funds into Junior ISAs from 6 April 2015.

Personal Savings Allowance

From April 2016, the government will introduce a tax-free ‘Personal Savings Allowance’ of £1,000 (£500 for higher rate taxpayers) on the interest earned from savings.

Other key announcements

Income Tax Personal Allowances

The Income Tax Personal Allowance will increase to £10,800 from 6 April 2016, and £11,000 from 6 April 2017. The higher rate tax threshold will rise to £42,700 from 6 April 2016, rising to £43,300 from 6 April 2017.

The Income Tax personal allowance will increase to £10,600 in April 2015 and the higher rate tax threshold will increase to £42,385.

It was confirmed that the transferable Personal Allowance will be available from the new tax year.

The government has announced that the annual tax return will be abolished. It will be replaced by an online digital tax account.

It was also confirmed that Class 2 National Insurance contributions for the self-employed are to be abolished.

Inheritance Tax

Despite recent speculation regarding the Inheritance Tax nil-rate bands, there were no changes announced. However, the government will review the use of deeds of variation as a means of avoiding tax. This will be subject to further consultation in the autumn, and we will update you further when details are known.

VCTs and EISs

The government confirmed its previous announcement that companies investing in renewable energy will no longer qualify for relief under VCTs and EISs. There were some technical changes announced which will affect the eligibility of companies for VCT and EIS investment but no changes to the reliefs available, and no substantial changes for the investor.

Entrepreneurs’ Relief

There are proposed revisions to the entitlement of Entrepreneurs’ Relief under certain circumstances. We are working to understand how this ruling will be applied in practice, but it is largely in relation to individuals attempting to benefit from Entrepreneurs’ Relief without holding at least a 5% stake directly in a company carrying on a trade.

Tax avoidance

The government has reaffirmed its continuing commitment to tackle aggressive tax-avoidance schemes.

Tax year-end planning

Overall, nothing in the Budget reduces the need for careful consideration of how to structure your assets in a tax-efficient manner. With only a few weeks left in the current tax year, make sure you are maximising the opportunities, which exist.

Matthew Oates  DipFA – Principal of MJO Wealth Management Limited, Partner Practice of St James Place Wealth Management



View From The Top …

We look at the amazing Glacier Skywalk situated near Lake Louise, Banff …Located in the Canadian Rockies, the Glacier Skywalk is just minutes from the Columbia Ice field Glacier Discovery Centre on the Icefields Parkway; 1 hour south of Jasper, and 1.5 hours north of Lake Louise.  The icefields Parkway has been recognised as one of the top ten drives in the world with over 100 visible glaciers and scenic mountain vistas around every corner.

To add a little heart-pumping adrenaline to all of the surrounding beauty the vertiginous viewing platform features a strengthened glass floor that provides a view straight down to the valley below.  Calgary firm, Sturgess Architecture created the cantilevered Glacier Skywalk as part of a 450-metre walkway in the Jasper National Park that provides spectacular views of the adjacent Sunwapta Valley and Athabasca Glacier.


Middleton completes the property picture …

In a house purchase, following an exchange of contracts and just when you thought you were on the home stretch, the period up until completion and even after, can be fraught with phone calls, paperwork and huge amounts of time spent organising every aspect of preparing to move on to a new property.
With more than 15 years’ experience of buying property in London and the country on behalf of retained clients, buying consultancy Middleton Advisors know a thing or two about the hassle a property move can bring.  Tom Hudson, Director comments: “Years of working with clients to acquire property on their behalf, whether it be a family home, a city apartment or a country estate, has really given us an insight into how the whole moving process can seem like a highly stressful experience, taking the shine off the end result.  Our first-hand experience and knowledge enabled us to create a solution that provides a joined-up, seamless and helpful new service to clients.”


Middleton’s Complete service will organise every aspect from utilities and communications to ensuring the sparkling cleanliness of each room, corner and crevice, in fact everything to the point of your arrival at your new home.

Juliette Moore heads up the management of Complete.


Talking Interiors Lecture Series at the RCA

Following on from the huge success of the 2013/14 series, the Interior Design programme at the RCA has confirmed the Talking Interiors public lecture series for 2014/15 with a roll call of extraordinary speakers

Talking Interiors will feature international architects, designers, curators and writers who will discuss their own practice and dissect the role of interior design. Forthcoming speakers include Andrew Stevens from London-based design consultancy Graphic Thought Facility; French industrial designer Matali Crasset; Roberto Feo of post-disciplinary studio El Ultimo Grito; the director of London’s Design Museum, Deyan Sudjic; Alannah Cochrane the Creative Director of Selfridges and Deputy Chairman of Selfridges Group; the leading British interior designer Ben Kelly; the visionary architect and designer Gaetano Pesce; the Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art Paolo Antonelli; Christophe Egret of architecture and urban design practice Studio Egret West; the renowned sculptor Richard Wentworth; and the architect David Chipperfield.

Head of the Interior Design Programme, Ab Rogers says:

”This is our third year of Talking Interiors, and we are excited to invite both highly influential designers and architects to the college, as well as those who are clients of design, curators, and graphic designers who operate in the worlds of retail and culture.’’

Talks take place in Lecture Theatre 1, Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU at 6.30pm. Places are free but need to be booked in advance by email:  Source:  RCA

Early 2015 Calendar:

21 January 2015:  Christophe Egret

Egret studied at the Architectural Association, London, where he gained his architectural diploma in 1986. He worked in practices which included Foster and Partners, Ian Ritchie, Troughton McAslan, Branson Coates and Ron Arad Architects before joining Alsop and Stormer in 1995, where he worked for 10 years as a director, managing, amongst others, the Peckham Library (winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2000), the Blizzard Building for the Queen Mary Research laboratory in Whitechapel and the Manchester Millennium Village framework plan. In 2004, Christophe established the architectural, landscape and urban design practice, Studio Egret West, with urban designer partner David West to offer an ethos of ‘strategy with architectural specificity; and specificity within an overall strategy’. He frequently lectures at universities both nationally and internationally and sits on member advisory boards including CABE and the RIBA Trust.

28 January 2015:  Alannah Cochrane

Alannah Cochrane has been the creative director of British department store chain Selfridges since 2004 and deputy chairman of Selfridges Group since 2014. She is credited with reinvigorating the store with Selfridges being voted the ‘World’s Best Department Store’ by the International Association of Department stores, twice in the last three years. Her creative directorship has redefined Selfridges’ role in London’s retail landscape, ushering in an increase in sales of over 50 per cent. Entertainment, interaction and spectacle are very much part of her vision. ‘People now have so much choice – sports events, museums, theatres, these are all our competition. They want intellectual, cultural and, yes, spiritual nourishment. They don’t just want to buy things.’


Ben Kelly graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1974. He established Ben Kelly Design (BKD) in 1977, a leading Interior Design practice based in Borough Market, London. BKD’s groundbreaking projects range from exhibitions for the V&A, Design Museum, Crafts Council, Wellcome Trust, British Council, and The Architecture Foundation, to the innovative London-based fitness club chain Gymbox, and Factory Record’s The Hacienda in Manchester, to permanent museum interiors for The Science Museum. In November 2007 Kelly was awarded the title Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) and was on the RDI Executive Committee between 2010 and 2011. He was Creative Director of The Architecture Foundation 2000–1 and was granted an Honorary Doctor of Design from Kingston University in 1998. As an artist he has shown at The Mackintosh Gallery, Glasgow School of Art (2010), The Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston and the Southbank Centre.


Simon Barnes

Janine Stone invites leading property consultant, Simon Barnes to share his views and predictions on the prime central London property market and what may lie ahead for 2015 …

In demand and undaunted– London’s prime property market looks certain to remain strong and attract international buyers in 2015, so says Simon Barnes, property guru, who has been buying and selling high end property in London’s most desirable areas for more than 20 years.

In recent weeks, there has been much talk in the press about what 2015 will mean for the prime property market in central London.

Despite the predictions of many, I do not anticipate that the General Election in May 2015, a predicted increase in bank interest rates, or the potential introduction of a Mansion Tax will actually have any real impact on purchases at the ’ultra-prime’ level of the London property market. It has always been a fact that would-be buyers are inclined to cite such events as a reason for not going ahead with a purchase, or for some hard negotiating.

It is my belief that, through the first six months of next year, those people buying property in the £2m to £3m price range may well use any uncertainty as a negotiation point.  That said, in reality buyers who do this, in my experience, tend to be looking for a convenient excuse to delay their purchase or simply pull out. It’s worth pointing out that this year by late summer 2014, many properties in prime central London were overpriced with greedy owners trying to cash in on the property boom. However, throughout the year the best properties in the best locations have continued to sell and I can see no reason for this situation changing in 2015.

Property in prime central London is a two-tier market. The first tier is made up of a limited number of properties in most price ranges which can be found in the right condition and perfect location and which are offered at the proper price. The second tier consists of a large number properties located ‘on the fringe’, perhaps on the wrong side of the street, lacking key amenities or not presented in absolutely the best condition.

International factors which we cannot anticipate may affect the lower end of the market as they have done in the past. However properties at the very top end of £20 million and above will continue to be popular and attract wealthy overseas buyers, because London is continually viewed as a safe haven with political stability and a sound economy. Historically, London has benefitted from the backdrop of unrest and political and economic uncertainty experienced in other countries and I see no reason for this being any different in 2015. Consequently, I predict that purchases of ultra-prime property in PCL will continue to happen, underpinned by the view that the capital remains a sound investment proposition.

Throughout 2014, there has been little pattern or predictability as to who is buying property at the top end of the London market. This year, I have seen interest from buyers from a very wide range of countries and this continues to be one of the London property market’s great strengths. Over the past 11 months, I have found buyers from areas I had anticipated, Russia, China, USA and the Middle East, but also buyers hailing from ‘new’ locations such as France, South Africa and India. Other markets will almost certainly emerge and my instinct tells me that two possible and largely untapped markets for 2015 could be Africa (Angola, Nigeria) and South America (Brazil).

Although London may be protected because of these existing and emerging markets, a significant change in international buying patterns in 2015 will mean a shift in the popularity of certain types of property. For example, Asian and Middle Eastern buyers, with their reliance on service staff, will want properties where working areas such as kitchens are hidden away from the main family  accommodation and which offer separate staff accommodation.  In contrast, buyers from Europe, USA and UK want genuine family homes, even if they are only intending using the property for part of the year.

While the layout and functionality of property varies in line with the cultural and practical needs of buyers, one thing which remains constant is that most buyers in prime central London will pay a premium for properties which are well presented and which offer the ‘instant gratification’ with top quality fittings and layout.  Certain things, such as the quality of the interior finish and fittings, strong design, the designer make of kitchen and cutting edge audio-visual equipment ‘set the tone’ for the quality of a property.  Never more than now do these factors remain key in influencing buyers and determining how or if a property will sell.

Above all, the ultra-prime London property market is based on quality and, as with most things, quality will sell. So despite variables, known and unknown, anticipated and unanticipated, my view is that in 2015, the winning combination of best location, the best property and the best price will continue to sell a property.







“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever…” ©Keats

We love this trilogy of delights from across the pond at The Hudson Furniture company, New York.  Their beautific ‘Mother’ laser cut chandelier atop the ‘Bangle’ dining table and accompanied by the ‘Colt’ chair.  A perfect storm.


Every picture tells a story …

Constructing Worlds brings together eighteen exceptional photographers from the 1930s to the present day who have changed the way we view architecture and perceive the world around us.

From the first skyscrapers in New York and decaying colonial structures in the Congo, to the glamorous suburban homes of post-war California, and the modern towers of Venezuela, The Barbican exhibition invites you on a global journey through 20th and 21st century architecture.

Featuring over 250 works, this exhibition highlights the power of photography to reveal hidden truths in our society. The exhibition also includes work from iconic architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Daniel Lebeskind and Charles and Ray Eames.

On now until January 2015


Discover the wonders of a London weekend

Each year London celebrates its cornucopia of architecture and design with an ‘open house’ weekend. More than eight hundred buildings across the capital will be revealed to visitors who would otherwise not be able to gain access to these structures.  There will also be a series of neighbourhood walks, landscape and engineering tours, cycle ride trails and experts’ talks.   Free access and open to all.

Dates:  20th-21st September 2014 caption:  30 St Mary Axe – The Gherkin,

Foreground:  Church of St Andrew Undershaft

Point of interest:  St Andrew Undershaft was built in 1532 during the reign of Henry VIII and is unusual in surviving both the Great Fire of London in 1666 and The Blitz during the second world war.


Glamorous Glassware

I adore the Berlingot glassware collection designed by Marie Brandolini.  They have a sense of fun and cleverly capture the spirit of long sultry summers’, their jewel-like stripey colours simply zing with style.  The playful design was inspired by the striped sweets of Provence and perhaps Marie’s own child-hood sweet tooth…  These delightful pieces express a taste for the naive, as well as a love of one of the most traditional forms of glass art – coloured stripes and spirals and they lighten the mood of a classic table top setting.

Layout 1

We preview the London based interiors journalist, author and lecturer, Judith Wilson’s new book, Think Home.

An inspiring guide to encouraging a considered and orderly approach to decorating the home with vibrant images from leading lifestyle photographer, Polly Wreford.

“The secret to a home that works effortlessly and looks beautiful is inspired thinking” – Judith’s words and guidance encourage people to carefully review the task ahead and avoid rushing  into the project without first considering the existing architecture, the space and how refurbishment and redecoration will enhance the building and how you live and enjoy the home.  There are special sections too on storage, lighting and art.

Published by Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99


View from the top – one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of fireplaces, Nicholas Chesney gives his considered view on recent trends and developments

Turning up the heat …

The last decade has seen the widespread popularity of an understated minimalist aesthetic for interiors, a look which has been reflected in the choice of simple architectural fire surrounds and contemporary fire baskets and irons, the former usually fabricated in a Mediterranean Limestone of some description.    However, this past year has seen a strong trend emerging in a more decorative style of fireplace both in the UK and across the Atlantic.  I have started to see a resurgence of interest in more elaborate and intricate designs of fireplace;  period designs which take centre stage in a room.   This is not a case of the 1980s and 1990s repeating themselves, when an obsession with period detail saw retail customers and industry specifiers demanding a style of fireplace appropriate to the period of their property.  Today it is more about a contemporary manifestation of luxury and opulence for period designs because these are the designs that sit most comfortably in these interiors.  The same rules still apply to the selection of a fireplace, whether contemporary or period – scale and proportion are everything but the shift is that an exponentially wider range of styles are now in play.  At its extreme, this movement is also seeing the growing popularity of antique fireplaces returning.


Lake Como House

Lakeside Living

Janine kept in mind that a lakeside house should reflect its surroundings and work in harmony with the landscape…

“I use natural materials which have a regional association with the property; this ensures a natural holistic fit for the space and creates a harmonious mood throughout.  From handsome stone floors and beautiful hard woods for cabinetry to the use of  fine Italian woven silks combined with gossamer light linen and gauzy cotton voile for elegant window treatments.  The overall mood is one of relaxed sophistication, which is combined with carefully curated period furniture pieces and exquisite art works.  A place in which to retreat and truly relax”.


Pools Paradise

It’s that time of the year again, that elusive sun has finally begun to poke through leaden skies and the mercury is rising.  Flora and fauna are blossoming forth and at last, the garden becomes the focal of family life again.  Whilst the UK could never be described as reliable in terms of al fresco living,  it is official this year;  spring 2014 is the warmest on record and we are promised summer days filled with warming sun rays and days of mellow fruitfulness.  With this in mind, Janine Stone embraces all that is summer and shares some thoughts on creating high drama in the garden and investing in the perfect pool to maximise the enjoyment factor this summer.

Janine comments:

“We are currently refurbishing a distinctive Arts & Crafts home in the Weald of Kent, the heart of England’s garden county where we have enlarged and reconfigured a 1930′s swimming pool which will be lined with Westmorland green slate to soften the overall impact of the pool against its garden setting.  It will be a fabulous reassertion of the property’s origins when the country house weekend was at its zenith”.  In addition we shall be creating a summer house in the traditional style of a classic English cricket pavilion.  This re-imagining of a garden building will serve elegant summer soirees, pool parties with pizzazz and lend a certain style to the sporting gatherings from tennis to croquet.  However, if the British weather prevails, there is always the handsome verandah to afford shelter from those passing showers…”



Anyone for bowls?

Escape the hurly burly of London life at the City of London Bowling Club’s pitch.  This delightfully picturesque gem is hidden away in the beautiful garden square of Finsbury Circus (nearest tube Liverpool Street).   On Tuesday evenings through the summer you can watch the fixtures with a glass of Pimms from the pavilion.  There are occasional jazz concerts in the nearby bandstand too.




Wood Wise …

Clever design is always inspiring and leading furniture designer,  Matthew Hilton’s Maia, which intentionally has a non-specific function,  is a perfect example.  It could be a bedside table, a step, a light table, a stool or perhaps small book shelf.  An ingenious design with elegant proportions and detailing finished in ash.

Chosen by Design Director, Anthony Bevacqua.


Tips for elegant living series – summer style

To harness a grand scale living room of an elegant Caribbean villa, Janine created several intimate seating groups.  ”This makes a large room comfortable for gatherings both large and small.  A big room needs furnishings and accessories that possess scale and have presence; the space needs to be elegant and it also requires a mix of silhouettes, and finishes to add interest and charm the eye.”

Janine kept in mind that a house by the sea should reflect its surroundings and work in harmony with the landscape — natural materials should be used for best effect – a handsome aged stone floor provided the perfect foil for the expansive decorative details and bold ornamentation, taking the eye through the room.  Luscious linen and fine cotton voiles were used for the window treatments and beautifully captures the sea breezes.    Sumptuous sofas have been cleverly combined with statement furniture pieces and antiques which lend a relaxed and sophisticated mood to the space.



Fabulous Flowers

Janine’s take on the flowers of the season…

… For me the most successful floral arrangements should look easy and natural and add a fresh and spirited dimension to a room.

A rose by any other name

The first of the seasons roses have a particularly gentle tea fragrance and lend a subtle perfume to a room; roses are ideal for more formal settings and work well  in bedrooms, drawing rooms and period hallways.  Choose the soft sugar almond shades of old rose, creamy white and blush peach to add a romantic note.

Plump heads of cool white hydrangeas accented with an abundance of rich green foliage punctuate contemporary settings in a chic easy way, use a clear glass vase to showcase their simple beauty.  But for a touch of drama choose vibrant hued parrot tulips, the combination of crimson red and sunny yellow make a real statement.


Homes & Gardens Designer Awards 2014

Head of PR & Marketing, Gillian Wheatcroft reports on an awards event that is firmly established in the annual British design calendar…

Renowned British ceramicist and glassware designer and part of the esteemed round-table judging panel, Robin Levien declared the Homes & Gardens Designer Awards his favourite event of the year.  This sleek annual gathering which recognises and rewards the most innovative and inspiring design talent is now in its 14th year and enjoys wide support from the design industry.

Highlights from the evening included the Lifetime Achievement Award to Zeev Aram for an outstanding 50 year career in design and retailing.  Bathroom specialist and a Janine Stone favourite, CP Hart picked up Retailer of the Year.  Their vibrant new Fulham showroom offers a glimpse of the future of retailing with interactive digital moodboards to assist with the planning of your project.  Veteran designer David Mlinaric who now partners Hugh Henry and Tino Zervudachi were awarded Interior Designer 2014.  David Mlinaric set up the company in 1964 working on important London and country houses, often associated with the National Trust.

Deborah Barker, Editor in Chief of Homes & Gardens succinctly sums up, “Everyone appreciates great design, whether it’s a knife that sits well in the hand or a sofa that envelops at the end of a long day and, through the Awards, we aim to highlight the very best”.


Linley Celebrates British Design Excellence with New Exhibition

Design Director, Anthony Bevacqua attended last night’s celebration of British Design, Craftsmanship, Engineering and Innovation curated by David Linley and Scott Simpson at Linley’s flagship store in Pimlico.   Borne from David’s motivation to shine a light on the craft of simply ‘making and creating’, the interactive exhibition brings together traditional craftsmen skills and modern-day innovators and engineers who are artisans in their own right.

On view is a rich heritage of British design giving insight into the expertise and endeavour of the artisan.  The edit includes some of David’s own fine pieces of furniture, a spectacle specialist, fine shoe and  motorbike makers to milliners, silversmiths and gun makers .  David’s passion to share his love of exquisite craft with a wider audience is infectious – to see up close and personal the majesty of a McLaren engine, the beauty of custom made Lobb shoes and how they cosset the foot, the intricate tracery engraving on a Purdey gun giving it perfect balance to the engineering excellence of a Bremont watch which allows it to withstand the force of an ejector seat is sheer joy.

A Celebration of British Design, Craftsmanship, Engineering & Innovation – Linley, 60 Pimlico Road, London. SW1W 8LP

Image caption:  The Equus Desk by Alex Hull for Linley


Thoroughly Modern Masters

Head of Architecture, Chris Gaylord takes a look at a new exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) and explores the skilled and innovative work of a remarkable generation of British architects.  Born in the 1930s and including Sir Norman Foster and Lord Rogers, The Brits Who Built the Modern World showcases their work and their astounding contribution to the architectural landscape of the world.

The exhibition features the fearless forms made by a generation of designers born in the inter-war years which have had a profound effect on global architecture. The High Tech movement had its roots in post-war American technical know-how and the sheer exhuberance and mastery that arose from Paxton’s Palm Houses and the Crystal Palace.

Richard Rogers spoke recently to Jonathan Glancey for the Saturday Telegraph©, highlighting the impact that these striking structures had on both British and American architects of the time. Their power and influence can be seen today in the Pompidou Centre and the Lloyds Building.  The smart, light and bright steel-framed designs were a turning point for these architects, and so began an era of exceptional design and vision.  Latter-day manifestations of this spirit include the sculpturally beautiful Millau Viaduct by Foster (pictured), Farrell’s Delhi Rail Station and Roger’s Madrid airport.  Seductive and powerful, all are wonderful examples of a truly modern world.

A complementary three-part series of the same name begins this evening, Thursday 13th February at 9pm on BBC Four.

Luxury Interior Design by Janine Stone

Janine’s 2014 Oscar Picks

Janine gives her personal Oscar predictions…

Best Film:  American Hustle

Best Actor in a leading role:  Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actress in a leading role:  Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

I have designed a number of home cinemas for clients over the years.  I recently created a sleek space for this home cinema inspired by the golden age of Hollywood for clients in Buckinghamshire.   Wool lined walls, subtle automated scene setting lighting and full reclining armchairs create a sumptuous mood which celebrates the art and sheer luxury of watching films at home.  I was influenced by the glamour of the early 20th century movie theatres and I think this adds to the feeling of authenticity.  I used an elegantly restrained colour palette to ensure the screen was the focal point and the overall mood for the space is one of sophistication and warmth, a perfect environment in which to watch your favourite movies.

Good luck to this year’s nominees for the 86th Academy Awards – Sunday 2nd March 2014.

Blue Pavilion By Pezo Von Ellrichshausen

An Architectural Gem

Sensing Spaces – Architecture Reimagined

Royal Academy of Arts now until Sunday 6th April 2014

The Royal Academy of Arts has invited seven of the world’s major architectural firms from six countries across four continents to create installations to showcase their work in this new exhibition, which opened this past weekend.  Stirlng Prize nominees, Grafton Architects, Li Xiodong, Eduardo Souto de Mouro and Alvara Siza are amongst the contributors.   Make a date.

Featured image:  Blue Pavilion by Pezo Von Ellrichshausen    Photography:  James Harris/Royal Academy of Arts


Through the lense

Terry O’Neill, the world renowned photographer, portraitist and a judge for my eponymous Young Interior Designer Award is showcasing the best of his work from across the decades.   The exhibition begins in the 1960′s, perhaps the most glamorous and sophisticated era…  He captured alluring images of Ava Gardner, the smouldering beauty of Brigitte Bardot and a gamine Audrey Hepburn. His images of Frank Sinatra and Michael Caine capture a magical moment in time and remind us how they set the gold standard for personal style. Terry O’Neill is a visual chronicler par excellence.

The show – ‘The Best of Terry O’Neill’ at The Little Black Gallery, now until 1st March 2014


Last week to see glorious pearls and learn a little more about their history at the V&A – ends 19th January 2014….

….The  stunning exhibition exploring the glamour and allure of pearls over the centuries is due to come to an end at the V&A next week.  The Qatar Museums Authority is a joint sponsor of this beautiful exhibition which looks at the history of pearls from the early Roman Empire through to the present day.

Pearls, iridescent textures, shimmering, sheen and metallic finishes play an important part in the narrative of contemporary luxury interiors.  From beautifully patterned mother of pearl wall treatments, to glistening panels of sumptuous silk, pearlised leather , pearl encrusted passementerie and elegant objet ‘ d Art  – its influence can be seen in the chicest interiors.  The pearl’s lustre and depth of tone add a glamorous edge to a room playing with the natural light and reflection. For this bedroom (featured) small pearl and crystal beading is traced through pale blue silk bullion fringing to these elegant ottomans.   ends 19th January 2014


A Thing of Beauty…

We love the TESO table by Foster + Partners for Molteni & C Dada. A robust cylinder of perforated steel with glass top. Brushed brass, stainless steel or a bronze painted finish.


Paul Klee at Tate Modern

The Tate Modern hosts a career-spanning Paul Klee retrospective until 9th March 2014. His witty exquisite paintings have been described by Richard Dorment of the Daily Telegraph as “The most beautiful installation of this elusive artist’s work any of us are ever likely to see”.


Isabella Blow at Somerset House

I have just seen the amazing Isabella Blow exhibition at Somerset House – a welcome spotlight on this extraordinary woman who for more than thirty years cut a provocative swathe through the world of fashion and art and discovered a clutch of supermodels and identified Alexander McQueen as a rising talent.