Tuesday, 9 December 2014


Large scale 1880 woven Vichy bed quilt, ticking cushions, chequer cotton bonnet, striped red/white French peasant skirt on model, Irish ' Drunkard's Path' patchwork quilt, toile cushions in a cherry picking basket (Kent), lined in Vichy toile,  vintage 1880 prints on chair and pouffe, painted marriage armoire, Czech, 1830, ticking bolsters on top..  All now sold.The cushion on bed shows one of my ideas for using ticking in various ways, making geometric designs.  This was a typical view to greet buyers at my showroom at Freshford, " Pile it high, sell it cheap!"
   When I first started dealing from home in a rambling old house in nearby Freshford, I stacked all my goods in the disused basement kitchen that had a wonderful built-in Bath Dresser with massive cupboards and shelves, ideal for displaying my French brocante and kitchenalia. I then decided that the best way to sell the textiles and decorative pieces was to arrange them in a room setting. The old study with three garden outlook windows was ideal and I worked out a new colour scheme every two or three months. At that time I had quite a lot of London and overseas customers and so I sat them down in my sale-room with the cup of tea or coffee to discuss their wants and preferences. After a bit, I discovered that if the decor was distinctly in red patterns, they suddenly got quite energised and said they were keen to finish some project soon, and started choosing and buying in my other stores as well. If, on the other hand, the room was cool and pretty with lots of blue and white and greens, they were inclined to sit and relax and were not in any hurry to shop. Such is the influence of colour on our moods and I read an article all about this phenomenon, citing the psychological use of colour in canteens, restaurants, hospitals and prisons, and of course shops.
     Think about this when decorating, as it makes sense to have restful schemes in bedrooms and more dynamic contrasts in kitchens and playrooms!    The living areas of your home can do with some stronger schemes, and bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens can have some really eye-catching decors with a bit of bling and zing which cheer you up when there is work to be done!

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