R A C H E L N I D D R I E is proud to be working with the Nutshell in Kings Walk; a vibrant performance and events venue in the heart of Winchester as their Art Curator for exhibitions in the fabulous building that was once the antiques market Shell A, Shell B and Reception all available for hire.
The first art exhibition at the Nutshell is coming to an end this week. 4 local artists; Ed Saye, Bex Willis, Kate Arnold and Georgia de Buriatte filled the generous white walls with their artistic talents. All of these artists are currently involved with the Nutshell running a variety of art classes. www.thenutshellwinchester.com/workshops
Click the link for more information or contact Rachel directly at: email@example.com
#art #winchester #venue #artwork #exhibitions #artcurator #thenutshellwinchester #rachelniddriedesign #artexhibition #eventsvenue
I get terribly excited in the lead up towards lent; the anticipation and intention to let go of some of those material trappings; evenings spent half working on my laptop and half flicking through endless channels of brain numbing programmes, relying on sugar to make my day, buying happy items online - (bye bye Brandalley - well for 40 days). I know if I can persevere and resist some of these through prayer and meditation I can reach a better place, a better awareness, a clearer mind - but it won't be easy.
In truth I struggle every year with my Lenten intentions and royally fail. Yet here I am starting Lent with high hopes and a long list. Ideally I like to follow some kind of guide to keep me focused and in my search online I came across : 40-things-to-do-this-lent__1_.pdf Whether you follow a faith or not there are some wonderful ideas especially relating to being more environmentally friendly and with my recent blog Eco Elegance I am ready to embrace these.
So with pancakes on the menu tonight if you don't hear from me over the next 40 days, wish me luck and I will see you on the other side.
I have to admit I am not the most conscientious person when it comes to being eco-friendly; I do my general recycling and then struggle to get down to the bottle bank, I use a few eco-friendly cleaning products but my WC receives a good dose of bleach. I have collected a somewhat ridiculous amount of plastic bags however many I remember to take with me to the supermarket, spilling out of every corner, waving their plastic handles at me, reminding me - this is not good bag lady!
Recently we have seen more and more eye opening images depicting the devastating effects that our lives have on this planet. One would think this would be enough to shake us all up but realistically many of us struggle with our own day to day tasks where time and money often seem against us. As we are becoming more aware of our mental health and encouraged to get a better work/life balance the realisation that we are each responsible for the decline of our beautiful planet can feel overwhelming and we bury our heads. How on earth are we supposed to accomplish being environmentally conscious enough too.
One documentary I watched recently that totally surprised me was 'Stacey Dooley investigates cotton'. Although it focused on the clothing industry I am fully aware that within the home and within my job as an interior designer the use and promotion of cotton is fairly prolific. I even promote it on my website as a good thing; it's versatile, feels great, , patterns can be printed beautifully, it drapes well for curtains, I could go on but I think you can tell - I love cotton. I was horrified to find out then the reality of the destruction it can cause to the environment due to the large amounts of water it requires to manufacture even one simple pair of jeans. You may think this doesn't sound so bad but watch the documentary or read this link and see the effects it has had to a whole community.
I am not suggesting we no longer use cotton but having watched the documentary I am encouraged to re-think and look into how I live and work. Is it possible to be an interior designer and be able to give a wide range of options that are beautiful, usable, affordable and sustainable. Who are the most eco-friendly suppliers of fabric, furniture, paint, lighting, rugs and other items we use to decorate our homes. Are there other materials I should be aware of that are preferable? Is it better to consider promoting more artisan items? I love artisan but not everyone has the budget or the patience with the lead times and the slightly unknown results - it's not the depeche mode we have all become accustomed to. It could appear that for us to be kinder we have to be wealthier - is this true?
On a positive slant, I do have a passion for second hand, vintage and antique pieces. I have rarely purchased something that I don't fall in love with and keep for a long time. So albeit subconsciously I am in that way somewhat eco-friendly; I buy and I love. I re-use and I re-love. Most of my furniture is second hand; items I have either purchased myself or have been lucky enough to be handed down by family and friends. I like to buy new items here and there; a rug, a piece of art, cushions and accessories to bring in a certain texture or colour to balance out the eclectic fusion. This is something I like to encourage with my clients if they are happy to do so; mix the old and new in creating a wonderful interesting home with integrity.
Older furniture is often well made with beautiful patinas and an interesting history. Sadly, apart from vintage and Art Deco the older style furniture has very much fallen out of fashion and people are struggling to give it away. This does however mean there are lots of exciting things to be found at auction houses and charity shops for an absolute steal if we are willing to open our eyes to them.
Images above of my home interiors; including curtains in a Nina Campbell printed cotton, second hand antique style mirrors, antique chairs, modern and antique vases. Cushions from Chelsea Textiles & Robert Kime, bed covers from Aleta, cashmere throws and artwork I have had for around 15 years or more and love them as much as the day I bought them.
I will be visiting antique shops and charity shops and discussing the subject with general suppliers. Please join in, comment and share your ideas and suggestions. I cannot promise to only use eco-friendly items from here on but I intend to seek out the possibilities. I am interested to see what is out there and how easily accessible they are in creating ourselves a more eco elegant home.
#ecofriendly #ecoelegance #ways2gogreen #antiques #reuserelove #interiorswinchester #secondhandchic
The home is where the heart is and whether you are creating a romantic feel or a loving space for yourself or you and your family, make sure your home is inviting and filled with things that you love.
Don't hold back from showing your personality with photographs of family & friends, plants, animals, books, artwork and decorative items, these reflect your capacity to love and care for things, your interests as well as your ability to keep something alive! All bonus points in anyone’s dating agenda. No need to clutter spaces; even a few personal items carefully placed can have a positive impact. Having cherished possessions like this around you, can also help with your general well-being.
Low level lighting rather than bright over-head lighting is much more flattering and gentle; lamp shades with linings in soft pink or gold give a warm, magical glow. Light candles with subtle scents to help with relaxation and tranquility. Choose sensuous textiles like cashmere throws, linen fabric. wool & silk rugs with tactile furniture in warm woods & tones of golden distressed brass. Walls with a hint of pink, are very complimentary creating a wonderful rosy, happy, positive feel to a room. Antiqued mirror is a romantic nod to the past, creating interest & adding reflective space to a room on furniture or walls.
For bedrooms serenity is key; charm the senses with soft colour palettes, keeping it simple in no more than 3 colours in various tones with the occasional contrasting finish & fabric for interest. If you like patterns choose large blooms of florals, my favourites are from Bennison Fabrics, Sandersons and Colefax & Fowler. For more of dramatic effect; oriental style fabrics with a black background in cotton are seductively stylish. Mixing smooth silks, crisp cottons and pretty florals induce calmness, feel sensuous and reminds us of nature encouraging fulfilling, soundless sleeps.
Indulge by investing in fabric walling in silk or linen to create a wonderful feeling of being cacooned in quietness, safety & elegance. Beds & windows with sheer curtains are the ultimate in romance; with soft dapples of light and breeze filtering through feels wonderfully freeing, perfect if you want to keep spaces open but with an element of privacy. Beautiful, well made lined and interlined curtains with a bit of extra length are cosy and luxurious enhancing an overall feeling of harmony. Click the link to our website for more inspiration on romantic bedrooms www.rachelniddriedesign.weebly.com
A crystal chandelier or wall lights are pretty and elegant dimmed to create soft patterns of light. The bedroom should remain a sanctuary so keep televisions to other more social areas in the house.
To maintain that sense of serenity a bedroom is best kept tidy and stress free, avoid having too many cluttered objects on display. Soften wardrobes with upholstered or wallpapered panels in a subtle textured pattern, adding interesting details with gorgeous glass or metal ironmongery. Warm wooden flooring with rugs and sheepskins or invest in a good quality wool carpet. Antiques and painted furniture are romantic and add personality to a space. Also think about your choice of artwork and how it is placed in maintaining your soothing environment.
Creating a romantic, loving home is just as important whether you are single or in a relationship. Once you have filled it with warmth and love, sense the harmony and let the romance begin.
Looking to transform your home into a beautiful space you will love - contact us.
#inspirationalideas #blissfullyhappy #valentines #homedecor #interiors #Winchester #designWinchester
With the anticipation that this year is going to be an exceptionally splendid year, here are my top tips for New Year design resolutions, to help you achieve a super chic & stylish, relaxing home with oodles of character for 2017.
Set your design goal
Be more decisive and don’t over think it
Indulge in a bit of bad taste
Face lifts & feel goods
Remain open minded
Wishing you a very happy new year with brave and bold design decisions for 2017 & less clutter.
#homeaccessories #antiquesourcing #designerrugs #newyearresolutions #boldcolours
My first job in the interior design world was working for a traditional sofa shop on the Kings Road called ‘Recline & Sprawl’. Situated just before the New Kings Road we were surrounded by antique shops, lighting, framers etc. Opposite were our arch sofa rivals George Smith sofas; the darling of the traditionally made sofa companies and just a few doors down another competitor George Sherlock Sofas, with their beautiful Howard style sofas that I secretly coveted in fantastic pink linen.
Although we promoted ourselves as having superior webbing on the base of our sofas and hand tied springs (that was our big line), competition was high and George Smith particularly had the edge; not only were they well known for a quality product, they more than often promoted half-price sales, were clearly visible from the road and had a much larger shop window. We on the other hand were hidden under some kind of pagoda like facade, with a small front window, obscured by a red post box, bus stop and clock and were under strict instructions never to offer any such deals or promotions. Our bosses repeated their mantra that selling the sofas at a lower price (which was the sale price of George Smiths sofas) consistently throughout the year would give us the appealing edge.
So it came to pass that people would regularly wander into the entrance of the shop and shout, ‘do you have a sale on’ or when does your sale begin? Barely had we uttered the word no, the person had already crossed over the road and was veering towards the banners of the half-price sale at George Smith with little chance of them hearing us finish ‘but our prices are consistently all year round half the price of George Smith' …. Even if you managed to explain the whole thing, you could see their eyes glaze over at no sale, ‘so you don’t have a sale would be the general response’. People love to know they are getting a bargain and who can blame them, it’s all about marketing. Still sometimes we managed to get the message across and thanks to the amazing manager we had faithful customers and the business continued on.
It was the millennium and these were still exciting times when the Kings Road attracted famous and interesting characters. You didn’t have to go searching for them in night clubs or restaurants, online or in magazines no, they were walking around freely and they would even come to you. So each day was filled with the possibility of someone super famous popping their head around the door.
In this rather nostalgic year we have been experiencing with the passing away of so many beloved celebrities, one of the most recent being George Michael, I am reminded of my time working at Recline & Sprawl and his visit to the little sofa shop. Arriving with his interior designer he walked in wearing a baseball cap and quietly perused the furniture. We had 4 CD’s that we continously played in the shop; Dido, Maria Callas, Burt Bacarch and George Michael – Ladies & Gentlemen The Best of. My manager had this fortunate or unfortunate ability to attract coincidences, so we weren’t entirely surprised to be listening to George Michael when he arrived at the door. Luckily it was for our ears only at the back of the shop, otherwise he would probably have thought we were playing it on purpose, which would have been terribly embarrasing, then we would have been forced to show him our coincidence board; a detailed list of the daily coincidences; 10.30am - discussing Mrs Jones armcaps, phone rings - guess who - it's Mrs Jones. 10.45am - listening to George Michael, 10.50am George Michael walks into showroom - quelle surprise!
His Interior designer did her best to shield him from us fearsome shop assistants; when I asked if they needed any help she immediately bundled him down the stairs tout suite, away from our eager, beaming faces. She had purchased from us before, so there was no need for the hard sale. He however looked up at me, raised his eyebrows and smiled with a kind of an amused I’m sorry expression. Obviously he had prior instructions not to collaborate with the shop assistants. It was an exciting moment, his songs had been part of my life through my teenage years and my twenties and here he was.
His visit albeit brief, left an impression on me not only from his smile but as he walked out he said a sincere goodbye, waved and thanked us. People spotted him in the street and were calling out to him as if they knew him like a friend – ‘Hi George’ and he stopped and waved and called back and for several minutes this went on. His protective Interior designer finally managed to coerce him into the car and off they went and I thought what a genuinely nice guy, how lovely and my manager and I agreed that we loved that George.
A few days later we received an order for some sofas from his interior designer, I like to think they were for George Michael and that our professionalism and contained inner excitement helped him choose us over those Kings Road sofa giants or perhaps it was simply the 70% feather, 30% duck down cushion interiors, superior webbing and hand tied springs.
#GeorgeMichael #memories #sofas #interiordesign #kingsroad #chelsea
As Christmas fast approaches, I ventured out into the shops of Winchester to see what is on offer in the range of beautiful, fun and exciting Christmas gifts for the home.
First on my list was Pure Home in the square. The entrance was beautifully Christmasy and rustic with carved deer and country style wicker baskets. I had a quick scout around the ground floor where there are Christmas decorations, glassware and candles and then decided to peruse upstairs. I was stopped in my tracks by a shop assistant asking me whether she could help me, although it was more in the tone of - and where do you think you are going madam. I thanked her and said I was fine and continued to head upstairs when she proceeded to ask, 'did I know it was only sofas upstairs'? Okay, I said, that’s fine, thank you. She then continued to follow me up the stairs. Remaining undeterred and with the assistant closely at my heels I continued on. What was she thinking I was going to do, steal a sofa? If there had been a sofa shop next door and I had the ability to carry one I imagined myself doing an irrational purchase and walking past Pretty Women styley chanting BIG MISTAKE! BIG MISTAKE! Once upstairs the furniture and layout was a bit underwhelming with leather sofas and simple but well-made oak pieces. I then spotted an Eames like style chair and stool and some unusual and interesting industrial clocks, lighting and furniture, all worth seeing. They also had a great supply of cushions in simple ticking fabrics. I finally came across three delightful ceramic lamps, which would look great in any interior. It was well worth the trip upstairs – as long as you are prepared to navigate your way past security.
Next on my list was The Hambledon. This is one of my favourite shops for clothes in Winchester. Everything I have bought from here I have cherished and loved; the colours and the patterns are timeless and individual and bring a smile to my face when I open my wardrobe. So I was interested to see what they had on offer in the home accessories department. The home section is bijoux but has some real gems. The candle stick holders, vases and tumblers in pretty, cut coloured glass are beautiful and reasonably priced. Lovely, chunky, wool throws and velvet cushions in jewel oranges, blues and green. I particularly loved the parrot and pineapple jugs and cabbage plates. I overheard one young customer next to me say ‘that’s like something my gran would have’ – indeed it may well be but it makes an interior far more interesting to add the occasional unusual, humorous piece, so take a look at Grannies collection with fresh eyes and you may find some beauties.
One of my favourite Streets in Winchester is Parchment Street. They have a wonderful variety of shops. I was delighted to come across two new shops just opening. There is a new Turkish shop called The Mayam Bazaar as well as a new Orchid Furniture shop. You will also find Bell Fine Art, Forme, The Yankee Candle Shop and The Clock Shop.
In The Mayam Bazaar you will find piles & piles of sumptious, wool rugs, wooden side tables with mother of pearl inlay, Turkish cotton towels and rugs and lots of trinkets. I purchased a rather beautiful fabric hanging of the Madonna and Child, which I am thrilled with.
Next door is the newly opened Orchid Furniture. I am particularly drawn to Asian pieces and influences so was overwhelmed with the beautiful colours and patterns of Turquoise, yellows & oranges when I walked in. They have recently started a new range of contemporary pieces in their collection like their fabulous concrete dining table. The combination of different finishes and styles shows the pieces off to perfection.
Bell Fine Art has been on Parchment Street for well over 30 years. I used to go in there when I was in my early 20’s and purchased my first framed prints from them. They have a good collection of artwork but I particularly love their range of ceramics, which are absolutely stunning. It’s a great place to find unusual, individually designed gifts, beautiful for the home.
If you are looking for the ultimate gift then visit The Clock Workshop and view some of their exquisite, antique clocks. Time pieces are beautifully fascinating and are works of art in themselves, some ornate, some simple, all telling their own story.
I paid a little visit to Consortium on Jewry Street; it was so busy it was difficult to get past the front door. Once inside it was rather chilly but this didn’t seem to deter anyone, evidently popular there were people popping up everywhere. Their main look being vintage, industrial style furniture; they have some beautiful throws in limes, pinks and oranges and a great selection of cushions, baskets and rugs.
I finally headed to the Winchester market and came across the wonderful ceramics of ‘Tregear Pottery Design’ from the Isle of Wight. With patterns of seagulls, fish and sailing and all in these pretty whites and blue/greys and green/grey tones.
Happy Christmas shopping; may this season be filled with love, peace and joy and goodwill and happiness for 2017. #winchestershopping #interiordesign #homeaccessories #antiques
Now the temperature has finally dropped after a wonderfully warm spell resulting in those gorgeous, intense, autumnal colours, bright, crisp sunshine, blue skies and green fields, what happens when the sunshine no longer filters through the window and those dark evenings and rainy days make us dread those winter blues? If you haven’t had joyous memories of the more wintry months start to create them with positive connections enabling you to look forward to each season rather than just the warm ones. We often think about what we wear with the changes of seasons but how do our homes change and how can we keep cosy and happy through the darker, colder days and nights.
There are the bigger choices you make with a property; like underfloor heating and the colour temperature of integrated lighting, which can make a huge impact on comfort and your mood and with these ever more popular options you can have timber or stone flooring and feel as cosy as you would with carpet.
On a smaller scale create warm, soft, ambient lighting with side lamps and consider buying lamp shades with gold lining for a rich, warm soft, subtle glow. Gold has become more popular again and there are lots of attractive pieces of furniture and accessories to add a hint of warmth out there without going overboard. Think about adding subtle touches of it in your home with an old gold distressed frame for a piece of artwork or photo and for a coffee table or side table with a gilt base try Made.com.
A fireplace can be wonderful to come home to on a nippy evening and there are so many choices out there enabling you to enjoy that feeling of an open fire. Get an expert to assess the possibilities and make sure that it’s heat capacity compliments any existing heating you may have; be aware that overheating can be as uncomfortable as under heating.
Times used to be when one would have loose summer covers for one’s sofa and chairs which would be packed away for winter. I think this is still a great idea and something that should be considered; cotton and linen for summer and velvet for winter, how delicious. The other practical benefit being that it makes your furniture last longer. See sofa.com for their fabulous upholstered furniture and range of exquisite velvets.
Draughts can affect all types of properties old and new and a fabric draught excluder may seem terribly old fashioned but why not get them made bespoke for windows and doors in your own choice of fabric? Cosying up on the sofa or covering the bed with a wool or cashmere throw is a treat. Going for pure cashmere from a reputable source is an investment bringing lasting enjoyment but there are also some great budget options out there, which can be surprisingly soft. Try West Elm or Zara Home. I also love a traditional bed quilt on top of my duvet for extra snugness. Steep your toes into a sheepskin rug last thing at night and first thing in the morning Skandi style from 'IWOOT.
Don't be afraid to add a bit of texture and colour and humour into your home. Mix the old with the new creating a home that looks like it has evolved over time. I love Graham and Greens Blue Jellyfish Paperweight and their bright appliqued Character cushions. For something a little more classical try Robert Kime or Chelsea Textiles for truly beautiful, traditional embroidered and ethnic cushions. For quirky and stylish check out hutchingsandbrandt, their Metal stag hooks are both seasonal and stylish.
Creating a cosy ambience isn’t complete without the fragrant glow of a candle. For a beautiful winter sensory experience check out Jo Loves for candles with wonderful names such as ‘Smoked Plum and Leather’, ‘Salted Caramel’, Red Truffle 21’ and ‘Log Fires’. A personal favourite of mine are the Manuel Canovas candle range from Colefax & Fowler, each one has a comforting, warmth to it. Smells don’t just have to reflect winter though consider those which generally make you happy. I tend to be drawn to a mixture of Vanilla, Jasmine and fresh cotton and these keep me happy all year round, so keep your favourite spritzer on hand for a quick squirt to lift your mood.
Finally, I can highly advocate having a pooch around the house. My dog Furio is small and white and looks fabulous in any interior, whilst also keeping my feet toasty warm. But seriously, whilst considering all the commitments having a pet entails; he forces you to face the elements and stride out into all weathers experiencing incredible winter mornings of star filled skies and when it’s not so star filled his happiness is infectious, just make sure you clean his paws before he walks across your sheepskin rug.