I always find introductions terribly hard to write; I usually like to know the person a little. With Clare, it might be even harder as I know her a lot. I believe we were introduced to one another at around three months old, and since then, we have spent most of our lives together. We went to school together, university, and until the cancellation of my wedding, she was, of course, going to be one of my bridesmaids. But this is not the reason I asked her to do this round-up. I asked her because she has been working in the interiors industry since we left university, including the last four years in which she has been working with Maria Speake at Retrouvius. So when it comes to interiors, Clare's voice is one I seek out and very much take note of. Clare is not like me; she does not plaster her opinions all over Instagram, so I knew the round-up would not be her bag. But like with a lot of what goes on at Tat, I emotionally bully people until they agree. You're welcome!
Biet Douma & Lebanese Recycled Glass The most beautiful guest-house in the mountains of Lebanon, filled with amazing art, textiles, books & food. A brilliant organisation that supports local craft and small scale agriculture. I bought some wobbly recycled drinking glasses from them, and since discovered the Green Glass Recycling initiative in Lebanon. Recently recycled glass from the tragic Beirut blast that shattered 500 tons of window panels which have been turned into jars, carafes and glasses.
Retrouvius Part of an incredible set of windows salvaged from a London Gallery. These have been snapped up already but Adam often has a large collection of copper, led and stained glass in the warehouse. Ideal for internal windows and borrowing light.
Murano Glass Ashtrays I’ve always had a thing for ashtrays, My grandma Nancy was a very good smoker and I'd often get to choose the ashtray she would stub her cigarette into. There was a selection of silver, marble, glass, ceramic, perspex - all shapes and sizes with various stories. Ever since then, I've loved the things with a real penchant for the Murano faceted glass ones, the heavier the better. I missed out on this golden peachy one from the Old Cinema in Chiswick
If you are greedy, Stroud Farmer's market is one of the best for growers and producers in the 5 surrounding valleys. Head to Stroud Smokehouse for all sorts of delicious smoked fish & meat including their smoked ox cheek, A delight popped in soups or sarnies.
Esther Wilson The Cloth Shop on Portobello put me in touch with Esther Wilson when I needed to enliven a boring present for some friends. Esther studied at the Royal College of Needlework and her work is loose and unpretentious. Great for embroidering clobber, cards and linen. @estherewilson
Crown Ducal China The Orange Blossom design of the vintage Crown Ducal China. The china is fine and the pigment of the painted oranges sit on the surface. Anything eaten off these plates help the taste of it. You can find them on Ebay.
Lewis & Wood Extra-wide width wallpaper allows the design to feel much freer. I particularly love ‘Bacchus’ by Melissa White with it’s bold, slightly phalic, Elizabethan like markings and removable bobbin border to surround architraves and skirtings. It takes the pressure off having an amazing art collection and brings to life even the smallest of rooms.
Real Seeds Lockdown 1 was spent with Dad in the Veg patch, rotating the beds, planting seeds and watching them grow. I was new to it and it was mesmerising. I recently read about Real Seeds, based near Fishguard, who has a refreshing no-nonsense approach to producing non-hybrid seeds, only selling the seeds they have grown, dried and stored themselves.
Basket Weaver Hilary Burns makes woven willow baskets in Devon. She grows, cuts, dyes and soaks. Using willow, hazel, oak & ash. They would make for brilliant cabinet doors as shown in a recent project of hers.
Tibor Rich woven textiles bought to life again by Tibor’s grandson Sam Reich. Dating back to 1946, the back of the weave is just as good as the front. Like this Cymbeline Design with its floaty silky tufts
Huge Thank You To Clare,
Follow Her at @claredlewis