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Month: May 2018

Italian Inspiration

Lake Iseo

Whilst strolling along the shores of Lake Iseo in April I was struck by the decorating detail applied to the exterior of the lakeside homes.

The one below was the first to catch my attention with its perfectly symmetrical fleur de lys symbols. It was so neat that it looked as though the facade had been wallpapered.

To complete the perfectly executed design an elaborate frieze had been applied just below the rooftop.

As my walk progressed I realised that this house was not a one-off; in fact the more I wandered the more I realised that this attention to external decoration was the norm rather than the exception.

Above, this lemon walled house with turquoise shutters was elaborately decorated with two different friezes, one below the rooftop as before, and one at first floor level – both different in design.

Across the road this imposing three storey abode in pastel pink with chocolate brown shutters again boasted an elaborate lattice detail frieze.

The house next door to our accommodation was in the middle of a major refurb which looked as though it was nearing completion. With its formal gardens, uncompromising perimeter fencing, and stunning temple-like roof its appearance was extremely foreboding.

The cream painted walls were the perfect backdrop for the grey-green shutters and delicately detailed frieze.

The house on the other side, although less grandiose, displayed a similar sense of pride in its exterior decoration. On each window ledge a bright red geranium sung out from the pared back colour scheme.

Casa Salini, our holiday home, was unique in its own right. Nestling alongside Lake Iseo it did not have a roadside aspect. Instead it was accessed via a gated garden to one side of the building.

The entrance was modest and led to a two storey flight of stairs. It was only as we ascended the staircase that we noticed the framed Sting poster with a used concert ticket tucked into the corner and as we arrived on the landing we clocked a multitude of house plants in handcrafted pots.

Stepping into the inner sanctum of the first floor it became even more apparent that the owner had a keen eye for detail.

Book shelves cleverly curated with an assortment of books and miscellany covered one of the walls whilst works of art were displayed above doors and tables.

I particularly liked the fact that each of the doors, leading to each of the guest rooms from the hallway, were painted a different colour.

Red, teal…


….and green.

This striking combination added colour and interest to this welcoming space.

As well as the guest rooms the visitors’ lounge could be accessed from this area.

Here again, immense attention to detail had been applied to the furnishing of this room.

The natural light flooding in through the picture windows played a major part in emphasising the reflective qualities of the picture frames and glazed surfaces.

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Taste of Design 2018 Highlights

It’s been a busy week this week. Chelsea Harbour yesterday and Essential Install at Sandown Park earlier today.

As I hurtled back to my office after a series of meetings in Esher I made a last minute decision to drop in for a whistle-stop tour of Taste of Design 2018.  A minor detour enabled me to pull up sharp outside Mercedes Benz World in Weybridge.

Wandering through Reception, I was pleased that I had made time to stop at this stunning venue, if only to admire the super shiny classic cars.

With their bulbous bodies and elongated bonnets they brought movie star glamour to this state of the art showroom.

Dream car

Grey was definitely the colour of the day and this graceful model below even came complete with vintage luggage on the back shelf. Just right for a weekend away.

Silver saloon

Old and new sat side by side in perfect harmony and I could only imagine what it must have felt like to cruise around in these beautifully restored Mercedes Benz.

A real beauty

Having drawled over these blasts from the past I made my way up to the first floor to review the very latest in interiors at the Taste Of Design show.



My first encounter was with Kinkatou of London. Their unusual display of table lamps immediately caught my attention which underlines why they are regarded as pieces of art designed to be ‘The Gem in the Room’.

Table lamps

Next in line was R.E.H. Kennedy, makers of fine furniture. I loved the strong simple lines and finish of this circular mirror and console table.

Hand crafted furniture

Even more so this model racing car perched on top of this unusual geometric cabinet.


I whizzed round the dozen or so stands and noted that the majority were exhibiting new ranges of fabrics and flooring. One or two independent design companies held their own amongst the more established brands in this two day show.


I would have loved to have stayed longer but my charabanc was waiting to whisk me back to the confines of my office.

The Taste of Design roadshow continues through the month of May with three more venues in Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, on 22, 23 and 24 respectively.

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