Inspiration is truly everywhere, whether in a beautiful stately home with deeply saturated colors or in a gracefully aged french farmhouse with pieces bleached by the sun and aged with paint layers. I always loved seeing different styles and ways of life from country to country, town to town, and beach to mountain. Over the past 20 years, my husband has been in the fashion business, and his work has taken him all over the world. When I left my position as a press officer at Asprey & Garrard in London to move to the States for Toby's job, I decided to explore the American market for European furniture and artefacts. We shipped many of the pieces I had collected in our little London flat over the ocean to our apartment. As time went on, I experienced the various U.S shows and markets and started trading pieces and help design friends’ houses. While based in the U.S. Toby would have to travel to and fro to LA, New York and also down the West Coast. He would be looking for rare finds of vintage denim and inspirational clothing items - I wouldn't be left behind and would join him on these trips. The company put us up in wonderful hotels right in the centre of the action!
Wearing: Vintage 1980's jumpsuit - Portobello Market London
The markets we would go too and memorable vendors we visited were exciting and extremely inspiring. They always engaged us with extraordinary stories of where they collected items and designer heaven showrooms.
The trips also took us down to South America and Brazil which were a particular favourite of mine. My son Freddie had been born by then and simply would travel everywhere with us from the age of six weeks.
Our kitchen table we use every day came from Peru. It had been used in an old haberdashery store, with character already engrained it at the beginning. It has been the place of family suppers and children's creative adventures, washed down with memories and has now crossed the Atlantic 4 times!
After the first stint in the U.S we returned to London and then on to village life and a dilapidated cottage in desperate need of restoration in England .The character was there on the outside, but the surprises behind the 1970’s boarding was the best part! Sourcing back in my old haunts and finding new places was incredibly exciting with this fresh canvas of restoring this house. Discovering new fabric designers and building up my contacts for specialists in their field or artists to do bespoke chinoiserie works such as Emily Pardo Williams. Tobys travel continued with trips to Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, and Holland. I joined him picking pieces on the way. The culmination was when we had the first invitation opening and set up the house with all the pieces - I am my own best customer!
The sale had been a fun adventure and I started to do more but was also consulting on paint colors, fabrics and sourcing for particular clients. However, with 3 children by then and having outgrown the house, the next project loomed. A rather interesting place which was in desperate need of work but in an outstanding setting, the challenge began!