Ali Heath: Blog en-us (C) Words & Photographs: Ali Heath & All Photographers Individually Credited (Ali Heath) Fri, 24 Sep 2021 17:23:00 GMT Fri, 24 Sep 2021 17:23:00 GMT Ali Heath: Blog 85 120 'CURATE' TASTEMAKER SERIES | DEBORAH BOWNESS | COLLECTIONS DEBORAH BOWNESS

(Ali Heath) ali heath ali heath interviews aliheath tastemaker series authenticity author bespoke wallpaper blog collaboration collections creative director curate curatethebook" deborah bowness decor decoration designer entrepreneur home home decor home interiors inside story interior books interiors journal london objects people places publications researcher retailer sourcing stylist tastemakers wallpaper Fri, 24 Sep 2021 17:11:59 GMT






(Ali Heath) ali heath ali heath interviews aliheath tastemaker series authenticity author beni ourain blog collaboration creative director curate curatethebook" decor decoration designer entrepreneur home home decor home interiors inside story interior books interiors journal larusi london objects people places publications researcher retailer rugs souad larusi sourcing stylist tastemakers textiles Sat, 04 Sep 2021 21:04:21 GMT

(Ali Heath) ali heath ali heath interviews aliheath tastemaker series authenticity author Baileys Home blog collaboration creative director curate curatethebook" decor decoration designer entrepreneur home home decor home interiors inside story interior books interiors journal London objects old and new people places publications researcher retailer sourcing stylist tastemakers Sat, 21 Aug 2021 14:46:19 GMT


(Ali Heath) Abigail Ahern ali heath ali heath interviews aliheath tastemaker series authenticity author blog collaboration creative director curate curatethebook" decor decoration designer entrepreneur home home decor home interiors inside story interior books interiors journal London nature nature lover objects people places publications researcher retailer sourcing stylist tastemakers Sat, 07 Aug 2021 14:26:19 GMT

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of www.aliheath.comCopy of Copy of Copy of Copy of

(Ali Heath) Storage Textiles 2021 2021 Launch A Sense of Occasion Ali Ali Heath Art Aspirational Authenticity Author Chameleon Spaces Collections Create Creatives Curate Curate by Ali Heath Curate The Book Curves Decoration Furniture Heath" Home Individual Inspiration For An Individual Home Inspire Interior Interior Book Interior Trends 2021 Interior Trends 2021 by Ali Heath Interiors Journalist Mixing It Up Monochrome Palette' Nature 'Old and New' Palette Predictions Preorder Real Spaces Ruffles Seek 'Self Belief' Stylist Writer Fri, 08 Jan 2021 19:59:18 GMT

I am very proud and excited to share some early news about our forthcoming book CURATE commissioned by Octopus Books. A creative collaboration between myself and Australian stylist Lynda Gardener, with imagery by Marnie Hawson. Having wanted to create a book for some time, it has been so hard for us all to keep quiet about this. The summer has involved many early-morning, late-night creative planning sessions across the world – and a serious amount of fun and hard work. With everything submitted, it is great to finally be able to share the news as a team.

The book will be published in June 2021 – but is AVAILABLE NOW FOR PREORDER via bookshops and Amazon. We would be so grateful if you could help us share the love for CURATE #curatethebook

We can’t wait to show you more as the months roll on…and hope you will love this beautiful book as much as we do. A huge thank you to Alison Starling for championing our idea and the fabulous team at Octopus Books. We are also beyond grateful to the very lovely Kate Watson-Smyth, the interior force behind Mad About The House; and Martyn Thompson, revered designer, photographer and creative director, for so kindly endorsing the book. 


"This gorgeous book marries inspirational ideas with real interiors, to help you curate a home that reflects your personal story and style." Kate Watson-Smyth of Mad About The House.

"A paradise for the curious, Lynda and Ali present an interior perspective so cosy that you already feel you live there. Textural spaces cleansed in monochromatic hues - with ideas that invite your imagination to consider home and collections in a new light." Martyn Thompson, Designer, Photographer, Creative Director.

ABOUT CURATE Doyenne of the unique and decorative, Australian interior stylist and boutique hotelier, Lynda Gardener, is always on the hunt for finds to enhance her homes and decorating projects. Her ability to curate and display these personal treasures has created a trademark style that is loved internationally.

Curate, the highly anticipated book by creative duo, Lynda Gardener and journalist and stylist Ali Heath, reveals how to create a home that is truly individual. With their shared love of a monochrome aesthetic and natural imperfections, they explore the eight Elements that bring a space to life: palette, nature, textiles, lighting, a combination of old and new, storage, collections and art. Ten aspirational homes show the style in practice, including a converted warehouse, one-bedroom studio, bijoux apartment, historic cottage, country estate, new-build barn, remote shack, period townhouse and rural retreat.

With gloriously evocative photography and plenty of down-to-earth ideas, Curate will encourage the reader to embrace their individual style, dream big and create a timeless interior of their own. CLICK HERE TO PREORDER 


(Ali Heath) Individual Nature 'Old and New' Real Spaces 'Self Belief' Storage Textiles 2021 Launch Ali Heath Art Aspirational Authenticity Author Collections Create Creatives Curate Curate The Book Decoration Furniture Home Inspiration For An Individual Home Inspire Interior Book Interiors Journalist Lynda Gardener Marnie Hawson Monochrome Palette' Palette Preorder Seek Stylist Writer Fri, 09 Oct 2020 08:52:28 GMT
Hill & Friends Founder: Emma Hill
creative director, entrepreneur, colour lover, baker, OCD label-maker, collector of cartoon paraphernalia, art lover.

It feels very apt to end this Lockdown Tastermaker Series with designer, Emma Hill - as it was started as a bit of fun - a sneak peak into life behind the closed doors of some of my best loved creatives. Emma is certainly one of life's fun loving characters and right now that sense of joy could not be more welcome. Her home that she shares with son Hudson, aged 13 and French Bulldog, Bleeker, sits behind a bubble-gum pink door, modelled on her favourite cartoon character, Barbapapa, who is now sporting googly eyes and a rainbow tongue - in support of our hugely valued NHS. Notorious in her London neighbourhood - the door is a hit amongst passers-by who frequently stop to take photos, or drop kind notes through the door. So who is Emma? Without you necessarily realising she has been the creative force behind the designs of many leading global brands.  Having studied fashion design at Ravensbourne College Of Design And Communication, Emma spent 14 years in New York, working for leading design houses including, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs, before returning to London in 2007 - where she was subsequently credited with turning Mulberry into the most covetable designer handbag brand and awarded a CBE for services to British fashion. Wanting to do things her own way, Emma launched Hill & Friends in 2015, with Georgia Fendley, defining once again a new standard in luxury handbag design – classic styling, but with a generous injection of humour, good value and loyal spirit. Emma maybe about fun, but hard-work is equally high on her agenda - and having experienced the luxury sector from many sides, she is dedicated to shaking things up and doing things differently: no ridiculous-out of your league price tags, and definitely NO compromise on style, quality and craftsmanship. Having bought one of their Hepworth Totes - I couldn't be more delighted, and believe me I searched for the perfect big workbag that would hold my life, for years! When I interviewed Emma for a recent magazine feature, this down to earth, real take on life was genuine - so no surprise to see that this virus pandemic has brought out more goodwill - followers have been invited to nominate their NHS heroes to receive a surprise and the company are about to launch a £20 Rainbow Hero Tote- with 100% of profits going to NHS Charities Together. High profile this lovely lady maybe, but old fashioned kindness values remain at her core - the smiley brand logo seems very fitting. 


How has your home evolved during lockdown? A gradual migration of my existing home office, which was on the top floor of my house, down to the basement floor, where it’s nearer the fridge!!

How has your work had to adapt? We are very lucky that we at Hill & Friends already had a very small, but highly effective, dream-team…not just in terms of our core Head Office team, but also our incredible factory and warehouse, all of whom are British-based and still fully operational and delivering to our customers. This has meant that we haven’t had too much interruption to our regular way of working, other than the fact that all of our interactions are of a virtual nature! We have a daily team zoom call every morning, but we decreed very early on that these calls would only be audio, with absolutely no video (we are a predominantly female-led business after all!!!!)

Screenshot    Screenshot



What projects have you been dreaming up? We have been working on producing a fabulous H&F rainbow “HERO” cotton tote bag, which will be £20 RRP and with 100% of profits donated to “NHS CHARITIES TOGETHER” - will be available in the next week or so….watch this space!!!


How has your neighbourhood come together? It’s been a beautiful thing - neighbours looking after neighbours, finding inventive ways to interact with and help each other, and coming together as a community to look after those that can’t leave the house. And, every Thursday at 8pm, an emotional and noisy street clapping for our carers!!

Screenshot     Screenshot Screenshot     Screenshot    

Acts of kindness - to you / by you? All the myriad of tiny kindnesses that now occur every single day! 


Favourite space in the house to escape to? My ensuite bathroom - it’s the only room in the house that has a lock on the door and so has occasionally served as a vital self-sanity-saving lockdown bunker! I live with a teenage son…….enough said!!!   

Jobs in the house ticked off the list? Unfortunately not much!!! Just so busy working……which I am so grateful for!!


New daily rituals? Daily bike ride round my neighbourhood, which I adore! I was always too frightened to cycle before, because of the London traffic…..

Early morning fitness or another biscuit please? Of course I had grand lockdown plans to reinvent myself as a fitness fashion guru, but the sad truth is that I’m just so much more a “just one more biscuit” kind of girl!!!

What’s in your vase? No change there - potted white orchids all the way!  

What’s on the menu? I have always loved to cook but, like most single working mothers, would more often than not, especially on weekdays, default to repetitive & quick meals. Now that I have more time I am really enjoying everything about mealtimes - from menu planning OCD weekly charts, to having the time to grocery shop little & often in our neighbourhood small local shops, to inventing new recipes, to setting aside a proper sit-down family mealtime, around the table. I’ve long been a sucker for buying cookbooks, and now I finally have the time to pour over them! I especially love Nigel Slater (for his infectious love of embracing seasonal British ingredients) and Julia Child (for her shameless love of butter!)

Favourite tipple to get you through? A glass of chilled red wine always seems to do the trick (but with a bottle of Patron Tequila on an emergency standby!!) 

What book is on your bedside? 'The Testaments', by Margaret Atwood.


What tunes are playing? Old school sentimental favourites like David Bowie, Queen, Blondie, Everything But The Girl, The Smiths etc etc….until my son does a sneaky speaker Rap takeover!!

News updates or podcasts? BBC news updates on my phone, Audio Books and “Serial” Podcasts are my go-to obsessions.

Which IG accounts have inspired you? Am I allowed to say our own @hillandfriends ???!!!

What have you missed the most? Messy nights out with my friends!

What distractions are getting you through? We have set up daily, weekly repeating, games zooms with our friends both here and in the US…where we virtually play games like Rapidoh (I even had to make my own Playdoh for this!), Pictionary, Hearts card game etc etc….we are all as competitive as ever despite the new socially distanced aspect to the games!

Zoom backview? In my mind: a calmly zen home/work space. In reality: intermittent bursts of unexpected background chaos, lovingly provided by things like my son, Hudson, suddenly appearing in the background to raid the fridge or my French Bulldog, Bleecker, peeing on the floor!!!

What has your home meant to you over this time? This time has forced me to re-evaluate so many things that I once took for granted. Before, like so many of us, I would obsess over all the things wrong with my house (the DIY jobs I never finished, the natural chaotic mess that comes with the territory of living with a teenage boy and an excitable puppy, the victorian plumbing that is forever breaking…the list was endless). But now I just feel so humbled and so incredibly grateful for the space that is our home. I no longer see any of the flaws, but rather only the beauty and how very lucky we are….and it’s made me fall in love with our house all over again!


Instagram: @hillandfriends

Image credits: Interior images kind permission Megan Taylor. Brand imagery, Hill & Friends. Home / lifestyle imagery, Emma Hill. 





(Ali Heath) ali heath ali heath interviews authenticity blog collaboration collector creative director creatives curator decor decoration designer Emma hill entrepreneur handbag designer Hill and friends home home decor inside story interior book interior books interiors London nature lover NHS charities together objects people places publications researcher retailer sourcing tastemakers the authentic home the authentic home journal: lockdown tastemaker series Emma Hill trend setter Sun, 10 May 2020 17:17:45 GMT
New York based stylist: Hilary Robertson
interior stylist, art director, set designer, image creator, author, editor, compulsive rearranger, curator of treasures, trend-setter, effortless style legend.

Hilary Robertson is one of my favourite interior stylists. An English creative who left the seaside town of Hastings, 13 years ago, for the bright lights of Brooklyn, with her husband and now teenage son. I remember clearly seeing her New York home on the cover of Livingetc and falling in love with her look - no surprise that brands and creative houses think the same - she is in high demand for her creative eye and ability to create magic with spaces, places and objects. Her work has graced the covers and pages of the leading interior publications and if you know her work you will recognise her signature style and aspirational aesthetics. There are stylists and then are STYLISTS - Hilary falls into the camp of those with an effortless ability to create standout images that sell the dream: a creator whose work involves flying around the world, finding the location, creating the set, styling the look and art directing the finished piece. She is also quietly a really talented photographer - and in these days of lockdown, brands have called on her to help them out, shooting content from her Connecticut country home. Hilary was set on her career path from the word go - redecorating her own bedroom at the age of 8, then realising that she could make a career out of her passion. Editorial styling followed for Metropolitan Home, then freelancing for Elle, The Times, Livingetc and House & Garden, plus many leading brands - Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Ochre, Bloomingdales, Harrods, Swarovski, Sunbrella, Zoffany, Elle Decoration, Vogue Living, Town and Country, to name a few. She has worked as Creative Director for Canvas and last year began working with Bloomist (another inspirational start-up story I look forward to sharing) on a range of her own designs - think chunky white and black marble chains and elegant faux blooms. She has also produced 5 books for Rizzoli and Ryland Peters and Small (yes she can write too): Monochrome Home is one of my favourites - beautifully curated images and words that I have returned to many times. To say this lady is an inspiration is an understatement - she is a great example of what excellence should look like and one that will fire up your imagination. 




How has your home evolved during lockdown? We left NYC for our weekend place in CT as we knew we might need the space - we have 4 acres here, as opposed to an overgrown postage stamp of a garden in Brooklyn. It’s been really helpful for us to spend more time here as we are trying to finish our renovation.

How has your work had to adapt? All my shoots have been postponed. I was in the middle of shooting a new book (Nomad at Home, to be published in Spring 2021). I had to cancel shoots in California and Mexico. At the moment I’m not sure when I’ll be able to reschedule or if I will have to change far flung locations for domestic ones. I have been trying to get ahead with writing the text. Otherwise Zoom meetings.


What projects have you been dreaming up? My 1800 schoolhouse has beautiful light and is a fantastic place to shoot, so brands that I work with have been sending me products to shoot here. I have a garden full of spring blossom which also helps! And I ran a still life competition with @mybloomist (I design accessories for this sustainable startup). 


How has your neighbourhood come together? I live in the middle of nowhere so we don’t see anyone other than the postman and Fedex driver.


Acts of kindness - to you / by you? We brought friends here to ‘quarantine’ with us (as they have a tiny NYC apartment). We call it ‘the Commune’. It’s easier for the two ‘only’ children to be together, so it’s beneficial to both families! 

Favourite space in the house to escape to? It’s been rather chilly so working on a daybed by the wood-burner has become my spot.

Jobs in the house ticked off the list? Ugh! So many jobs still to go! I bought a new bed frame for the guest room and a great new mattress for our bedroom. We had just installed a new kitchen so we’ve been trying to organise the drawers - a work in progress. My husband and our co-quarantiner, Johnny Fego have made a huge, much improved veg patch.

New daily rituals? I bought a Giant electric bike - I had been eyeing it because it’s very hilly here. A late afternoon cycle or walk with my husband has become an almost daily thing when it’s not raining.

Early morning fitness or another biscuit please? A very quick hula hoop session in the garden, or a little stretching on my yoga mat by the fire. I had more ambitious exercise plans but they evaporated.

What’s in your vase? Making flower arrangements with whatever I can forage from the garden is one of my favourite daily rituals. At one point I was bringing in huge magnolia branches everyday; now it’s Bleeding Hearts, Hellebores and branches of my Stewartia trees. I post these arrangements to Instagram as a way of marking time.


What’s on the menu? There are 3 decent cooks here so we’ve eaten ridiculously well. For the first 4 weeks I really enjoyed the endless cooking, but now I’m getting a bit jaded… and chubby. I make lots of healthy soups or Dahl, while the men marinate great hunks of meat and cook them outside on the BBQ.

Favourite tipple to get you through?
A G&T brought to me by my husband at 6pm.

What book is on your bedside?
I’m reading The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild.

What tunes are playing?
Last night it was Carleen Anderson.

News updates or podcasts? Both. I can’t deal with too much Covid news, so podcasts or historical dramas on Radio 4 - I love the serialisation of Persuasion, The Mirror and the Light.


Which IG accounts have inspired you? I love the seeing ceramic artist @simonebodmerturner post new pieces, my very funny friend Peter Cock’s posts from his pretend pub in his house @privatewiddle, seeing the progress of @leannefordinteriors renovation of her LA cabin, and I did an art class with @aeandstudio which was fun and @waynepate is prolific and inspiring.

What have you missed the most? My girlfriends and being on shoots.

What distractions are getting you through? Playing with my house, getting to spend lots of time with my teenager, being surrounded by nature, taking photographs.

Zoom backview? I think anyone over 45 is probably trying to find the most flattering lighting, so wherever that is. Laughing. 

What has your home meant to you over this time? Shelter from the storm.

Instagram: @hilaryrobertson Bloomist image credits: Kate Mathis, @katemathis




(Ali Heath) ali heath ali heath interviews art director authenticity blog collaboration collector connecticut creative hunter creatives curator decor decoration designer entrepreneur hilaryrobertson home home decor inside story interior book interior books interiors monochrome home nature lover objects people places publications researcher retailer sourcing tastemakers the authentic home the authentic home journal: lockdown tastemaker series Hilary robertson trend setter Fri, 08 May 2020 14:34:50 GMT
Plumes & Feathers Founder: Deborah Beau
creative hunter, human sourcebook, researcher, trend-setter, fluent fresh speaker, nature lover, curiosity seeker.

Deborah Beau is probably better known to most as the face behind Plumes & Feathers - an inspirational feed that piqued my interest on Instagram a few years ago. Having studied French and Drama at university, Deborah spent 10 years working as a translator in the telecoms and emergency relief sectors, before she began blogging and opened the successful children's store, Kickcan and Conkers. 2015 marked time for another change and Plumes and Feathers was born - firstly on tumblr and then on Instagram. If you know the feed I am sure, like me it will be one of your favourites and if not then you have a treat awaiting you. Deborah has an eye for finding interesting accounts and inspirational creatives from around the world - often unknown or niche and always other-worldly and outstanding in terms of visual content. Her feed features regular images and mood boards from sourced creatives and always ignites in me a feeling of wanting to know more. In her own words she is curious - insatiably so. And it shows. She worked behind the scenes on the book The Foraged Home: co-conceiving and researching content and has another similar project in the making. Articles have been published in Selvedge and she has been invited to speak at various forums in Berlin, about finding creative content. Currently she is working on her plan to build a creative community and is looking to host workshops, from her new rural abode. In my former marketing agency role as new business director - she would have been high up there on my list of collaborative partners to work with on trendsetting and forecasting and if I were still in that corporate world I would want to snap up her services. Accounts like this are soul food to me - and it is one I keep coming back to and love. 

How has your home evolved during lockdown?  To be honest, I was in the process of moving when we went into confinement and half of my belongings are still in my old house. I’m going it alone after thirty years, so I’m in minimal mode. I’ve downsized into a gem of a place, hidden away in the woods, near to Montpelier in the South of France, and I’m very happy. I wanted somewhere quiet, a creative retreat, and it’s perfect. If there’s been any kind of evolution, other than unpacking, it’s that this house is slowly beginning to feel like my home. 

How has your work had to adapt?  I’ve worked from home for years, so no major changes for me. I can research, write and create on my own from anywhere.


What projects have you been dreaming up?  All of my personal and current professional projects revolve around nature. I’m living semi-off grid and my surroundings are a constant source of inspiration. My three kids (15, 17, 24) are keen to redecorate our caravan in the garden for fun summer living, so that’s our first official family design project. In addition to working on my website and soon to be launched newsletter, I’ve been thinking of ways to use this beautiful space in the future. At long last, I’ve found the monumental garden table of my dreams, perfect for small, theme-based creative gatherings, including visual identity /storytelling and mood boarding workshops, once and if, post-covid life permits. I have other projects underway but I’m keeping them under wraps, so stay tuned!


How has your neighbourhood come together? My neighbours are few and far between, but there’s a lonely donkey down the lane and wild boar paid us a visit a couple of weeks ago!

Acts of kindness - to you / by you?  My mum’s in three-month isolation in the UK so I’ve been in contact regularly. I’ve been checking in with friends who may be struggling and generally letting people know I’m there if they need help. As a freelance creative, I know how financially worrying these uncertain times can be. I make an effort to share and support the work of small businesses, artists, artisans and makers every day on social media. The solidarity and ingenuity in the creative community has been very uplifting.

Favourite space in the house to escape to? My bedroom leads out onto a rooftop terrace with a birds’ eye view of the garden and surrounding woodland. It’s a suntrap, the perfect spot to chill with a book, catch up online (oui, we can actually pick up a bit of 4G!) or just listen to the birds at dusk. Star-gazing in the summer is going to be magical!

Jobs in the house ticked off the list? Everything’s new – I’ve unpacked, decided how I want to decorate and things are slowly finding their place.

New daily rituals? 10 minutes meditation in the morning, then my first coffee looking out into the garden. Priceless 'me' time.

Early morning fitness or another biscuit please? Power walks, stretching and chocolate.

What’s in your vase? Wildflowers and lilac.

What’s on the menu? We’re lucky that our nearest shop is a well-stocked whole-foods cooperative, so business as usual, with lots of fresh fruit and easy vegetable dishes, salads and soups.  My teenage daughter is a talented and enthusiastic cook. She’s been experimenting and baking, non-stop. I can feel an interest in foraging coming on... 

Favourite tipple to get you through? 'Triple Hot', a spicy local French beer with chilli, pepper and ginger.

What book is on your bedside? Goodbye Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki. I’ve also been dipping into the French edition of The Foraged Home, Esprit récup (Editions Jonglez) to see how the book feels in my second language.

What tunes are playing?  24/7 birdsong – blackbirds, jays, woodpeckers, owls, and a mixed bag of old CDs. 

News updates or podcasts? News occasionally, but I’m enjoying my patchy internet access, so...

Which IG accounts have inspired you? @3_sources and @imagineican are my go-to accounts for selfcare, nutrition and meditation. Staying healthy has always been a priority and I enjoy learning about new ways to improve my well-being. @weareageist gives me a daily boost, as does @yazemeenahIt’s been interesting to see how people have adapted online. I could write a book about lockdown creativity. One notable French account would be @myurbansweet, which has been posting micro-interviews with key retailers, creatives, designers, museums, etc in Montpellier. Thank you Jeanne, I’ve discovered some great new addresses!  

What have you missed the most? My family and friends, the freedom to go out when I please, travel, the flea market on a Saturday morning.

What distractions are getting you through? Daily walks exploring the woods and local countryside. Cooking, planning and good conversations – no real internet yet, you see.

Zoom backview?  Zoom backview? No Zoom, No backview.

What has your home meant to you over this time? A safe haven for my loved ones, an anchor in uncertain times, a retreat, a place to relax, reflect and take stock. A new chapter in my life. 

Instagram: @plumesandfeathers

Image credit: Deborah Beau




(Ali Heath) ali heath ali heath interviews authenticity blog collaboration collector creative hunter creatives decor decoration designer entrepreneur france home home decor human sourcebook inside story interior book interior books interiors Montpelier nature lover objects people places plumesandfeathers publications researcher retailer sourcing tastemakers textiles the authentic home the authentic home journal: lockdown tastemaker series plumes and feathers trend setter Thu, 07 May 2020 16:59:48 GMT
Antique Dealers: Anton & K
antique dealers, Swedish & French specialists, decorative collectors, foodies, travel lovers, homemakers.

Karen and Anthony Cull founders of Anton & K Decorative Antiques are well known in the trade and amongst their loyal set of customers for their chic, signature style: predominantly Swedish and French antiques, from the 18th to 20th Century. Understated, elegant pieces that bear the hallmarks of superior quality and true craftsmanship - always. Their taste is impeccable and their standards exacting - no surprise that everything they sell appeals. The business was born out of a passion for a time-worn aesthetic: one that celebrates imperfections and the marks of time - think faded, patina rich surfaces and original painted veneers. Authenticity is inherent and provenance a vital part of each find. Pieces include: elegant linen presses, statement consoles, dry-scraped cabinets, characterful dining tables and chairs, not to mention the upholstered seating in precious antique linens and hemp. Decorative finds complement the look with everything from rustic wooden stools, magnificent terracotta urns and ornate mirrors to French salting pots, rusted metal art panels, natural finds and Swedish objet d'art. 

The former restauranteur (Anthony) and stylist (Karen) enjoyed a period of island living for a while in Mallorca, before returning to the Cotswolds to launch Anton & K: firstly from a shopfront in Winchcombe, to now selling online and by private appointment. They renovated and extended their stone cottage a while back and I have been lucky to work with them on various shoots capturing the spirit of their home - which epitomises everything that their brand stands for. Some places make you want to stay forever and this is one of them - lockdown or no lockdown, it really doesn't get any better. Impeccably designed and dressed, yet homely and welcoming - as much down to the owners fun and generous persona, as the aesthetic - and not forgetting Molly the dog - because as we all know they really do make a home. 


How has your home evolved during lockdown?  We have been spending most of our time in the garden doing jobs that we have been meaning to do for a while -  so it’s looking the most manicured it’s ever been. When the weather turned wet we tried to make it as cheerful as possible...candles lit, fire burning, lamps on and tunes playing. 

George Smith HomewaresGeorge Smith Homewares     

How has your work had to adapt?  We are incredibly lucky to work from home anyway and our warehouse is only 3 minutes away. Our clients are based worldwide so we are more than happy to store their items for a little longer than normal, until lockdown is over. 


What projects have you been dreaming up?  We are doing a little Town Mews house project and were very near to completion just before lockdown. We still need to concentrate on the little courtyard garden, so are looking forward to getting on with that and are busy sourcing garden furniture and interesting pots. I have been busy working on my planting plan and am excited to get going on that!

How has your neighbourhood come together? Everyone is looking out for each other - shopping and making calls to check elderly neighbours. 

Acts of kindness - to you / by you?  We have taken on my parents large garden - they are in their mid 80s and isolating, so it’s been lovely to help them, chat from a distance and see it come together. It's certainly keeping me fit!

Favourite space in the house to escape to?  The summerhouse has been a fabulous little place to escape to in our garden. It's light, bright and has sun all day - and a WiFi signal which works! We have a fabulous flowering lemon tree in there which smells amazing at the moment. 

Jobs in the house ticked off the list? Our Landy has been cleaned for the first time in a year. I have worked some magic on our oven, sorted out our food & spice cupboard and polished our old brass kitchen draw handles - the house has never looked so spruced!


New daily rituals?  We get showered and dressed early so we are ready to start the day with purpose. We enjoy a relaxed coffee and breakfast in the garden or summerhouse, then get going with bookwork, photographing new arrivals at the warehouse, catching up with emails and uploading stock. With the great weather sundowners in the garden have become a feature!


Early morning fitness or another biscuit please? Ant has been doing a 3 mile walk in the hills each day, while I give Molly a more local walk, potter in the garden and catch up on IG with a coffee and maybe a cheeky 🍪

George Smith HomewaresGeorge Smith Homewares         

What’s in your vase? Apple blossom and cow parsley.

What’s on the menu? Shellfish paella and a nice glass of Chateau Leoube...we haven't eaten any meat since Christmas and it has been lovely enjoying our Mallorcan paella pan again.

Favourite tipple to get you through? Gin & Tonic.  A lovely Client sent us a bottle of Henstone Distillery Gin at Christmas and it had remained unopened until lockdown. Beautiful glasses, lots of ice, Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic and a dash of elderflower cordial... it's the best! 

What book is on your bedside? Piles of interior and architectural books, favourites are mostly from Beta-Plus publishing at the moment.


What tunes are playing?  Ant has revisited his Rare Northern Soul collection and is a fan of Public Service Broadcasting who we recently saw live. I have enjoyed listening to old summery jazzy tunes: Donald Byrd's - Spaces and Places and William DeVaughn's - Be Thankful For What You Got ...oh and some Clash, chucked in when the gin comes out!

News updates or podcasts? News updates, but in moderation...

Which IG accounts have inspired you? @austindwhittle - we became IG friends a while ago and when we were in New York last year met him at @rwguild, where he works, for a pre lunch cocktail. He helped me choose some beautiful ceramics for our townhouse project. Also love @colinking &

What have you missed the most? We should of been in Morocco right now, staying in a Berber village and then moving into the Medina, sad we are not there but we will go again when things are safe. Miss obvious things like seeing family & friends and the not so obvious...such as going to our favourite Indian restaurant, popping to local @sohofarmhouse for a swim & pizza and @daylesfordfarm for a mooch and lunch.


What distractions are getting you through?  Molly, sunshine and still being able to work from home has definitely kept us sane and focused.

Zoom backview?  No zoom, lots of phone calls. 

What has your home meant to you over this time? Home has been a peaceful haven and an escape from the crazy world we are living in at the moment. We are so grateful to have a garden and to be able to listen to nature all around us.


Instagram: @antonandkantiques

Shop online at:

Image credit: Styling, art direction Ali Heath, Photography, Emma Lewis. 

George Smith HomewaresGeorge Smith Homewares George Smith HomewaresGeorge Smith Homewares George Smith HomewaresGeorge Smith Homewares
Portrait: Jo Ward

Images below: Anton & K

(Ali Heath) ali heath ali heath interviews antiques Antonandk authenticity blog collaboration collector cotswolds creatives decor decoration decorative collections designer entrepreneur home home decor inside story interior book interior books interiors objects people places publications retailer sourcing tastemakers textiles the authentic home the authentic home journal: lockdown tastemaker series anton and k Wed, 06 May 2020 15:00:03 GMT
Australian Stylist: Lynda Gardener
stylist, designer, magpie, decorative collector, art lover, serial house renovator, airbnb guru, travel addict.

Melbourne based interior stylist, Lynda Gardener, is known and loved internationally for her fun demeanour and innate sense of style. Self-made, Lynda has been buying properties since her early 20s and has built up a beautiful collection of boutique Airbnb accommodations that she runs: Room + Board, The Estate Trentham, The Apartment, St Kilda and The White House. Her personal home based in Fitzroy North (a hub of creativity and fast paced inner city buzz), is located in an original mattress factory/warehouse that Lynda bought 16 years ago as a shell. A master of house transformations each of her properties is unique and full of personally sourced collections, curated over many years. To say she is a magpie is an understatement. She has an eye for the unique and unusual and it is this that sets her properties and work apart: a look that keeps evolving naturally - not dictated by the latest fashion or trends - and one many others have tried to emulate. Lynda left school at 19 to work as a visual merchandiser for Levis Strauss, before stepping out on her own to launch 'Empire', one of the world's first lifestyle stores, that sold her nomadic collections and ran for 24 years. Now she runs the studio, Inside Story, with the talented Belle Hemming and together they design and style projects for hotels, cafes, retailers and home owners. I have been very lucky to get to work with Lynda and brilliant Australian photographer, Marnie Hawson, on features and exciting new projects - sadly now on hold for a while. The best bit of my job is getting to know the real people behind the shiny Instagram squares - when people exceed their online persona it makes you love their work even more. This lovely lady is not only brilliantly creative but she is one of life's very gorgeous people. The world definitely needs more Lynda's!


How has your home evolved during lockdown?  My home really has not changed too much...however, I am noticing a whole lot more cracks and defects in my old building that will amount to a list of repairs in the near future…(it's made me focus on all the things that need doing).


How has your work had to adapt?  Everything is online now with clients…we are not visiting anyone currently, so it's emails back and forth and phone conversations.

What projects have you been dreaming up?  I had to cancel a European trip this year, so the focus is on hopefully repeating that journey and those projects next year. I am also planning future trips - I firmly believe in chasing my dreams!



How has your neighbourhood come together? Our local community has been incredible. I am fortunate to love our inner city and all my local favourites have come together to provide the most amazingly creative take away food - working the best they can whilst they adapt to the changes. I am not a cook and have really enjoyed trying wonderful new dishes every night.

Acts of kindness - to you / by you?  Helping each other in our local community and really supporting my local cafes and stores, by buying local and staying local.

Favourite space in the house to escape to?  My bathtub - it's a nightly ritual!


Jobs in the house ticked off the list?  I have more on the list to tick off, than has been ticked off unfortunately! Started tidying a wardrobe but still trying to complete it. Not doing a great job to be honest.            

New daily rituals? An early morning and late afternoon walk with Finn, my new naughty and adorable puppy!

Screenshot       Screenshot


Early morning fitness or another biscuit please? Both - my walks and a biscuit!!!!

What’s in your vase? Sprigs from my neighbourhood. I love nature and always pick something on my outings with Finn - I like to display them in a singular vase. It marks the changing season and the passing of time.   

Screenshot       Screenshot  

What’s on the menu? I never pre-decide - I walk around my neighbourhood each night and decide spontaneously which delightful local takeaway is for supper. I have tried to made it a fun, exciting time to look forward to and it's been a complete mix of everything…

Favourite tipple to get you through?  Cocchi Americano - apertivo - vermouth. With a slice of fresh orange on ice.

What book is on your bedside?  David Sedaris……Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls.



What tunes are playing?  Talented Mr Ripley soundtrack and Nick Cave. I have been listening to music more than ever during isolation. 

News updates or podcasts? Oooh haven’t been listening.

Which IG accounts have inspired you?  On a daily basis I love to flick through all the 1000s I follow. It's my world map on creatives doing what they do best and I have so many I love…I couldn’t list them all - it truly is a daily inspiration for me.

What have you missed the most? Socialising, dinners, friends, outings, galleries, I could go on and on. 


What distractions are getting you through? Finn my 6 month old Springer Spaniel puppy who wants my constant attention, day in day out.



Zoom backview?  Lounge room art wall of artists sketches.

What has your home meant to you over this time? A safe, cosy place to be, where I have everything I really need.

Instagram: @lynda.gardener

Image credit: Portrait, Dan Magree Photography

Image credit: Sharyn Cairns

Image credits: Lilli Waters Photography, kindly via Hunter & Folk.

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot
Image credits: Lynda Gardener



(Ali Heath) Airbnb ali heath ali heath interviews antiques Australia authenticity blog collaboration collector colour creatives decor decoration decorative collections designer entrepreneur home home decor inside story interior book interior books interior designers interiors london lynda gardener objects people places publications retailer sourcing tastemakers textiles the authentic home the authentic home journal: lockdown tastemaker series Lynda gardener Mon, 04 May 2020 14:39:37 GMT
AU Bespoke Founder: Anna Unwin
antique and textiles private atelier, off-grid showroom, online retailer, minimalist, sustainable thinker, new breed of dealer, secret source (just...)

Anna has long been regarded as a tastemaker: a graduate from Chelsea College of Arts, a successful interior stylist and founder of the fashionable Primrose Hill store, Maiden, back in the early 2000's. Her latest initiative - the launch of AU Bespoke - a private atelier sourcing unique and timeless pieces that complement more minimalist, sophisticated spaces. Anna's discerning edit includes antique, mid-century and vintage: furniture and objects united by their design sensibilities and quality of craftsmanship. Less is definitely more and her look is attracting a lot of attention behind the scenes, from some serious interior names. Pieces you can expect to find: think marble coffee tables, Willi Rizzo dining tables, vintage sheepskin covered chairs, unique lamps, stone bowls, pottery and covetable vintage textiles. Selling both online and by private appointment from her home, this is an exciting business to watch. Be quick if you find something you love, these beautiful one-offs sell quickly.


How has your home evolved during lockdown? I feel that we are using much more of the house than we ever did, it's been wonderful to move around the rooms throughout the day depending on whether we are homeschooling, exercising, eating family meals together or working.

How has your work had to adapt? Having an online business has been a blessing for me. I have had to stop showroom visits, but I have taken clients on virtual tours of my showroom to discuss pieces that they might be interested in, which has worked wonderfully.

Screenshot     Screenshot



What projects have you been dreaming up? Lots of house renovation plans and evolving business plans... it's been lovely to actually have the time to focus on these things.

How has your neighbourhood come together? There is a lovely sense of community in our neighbourhood everyone is looking out for each other and we have been shopping for the more vulnerable members of the village. Local farm shops are doing well, we have a local fishmonger and milkman and someone who delivers free range eggs... we are really incredibly lucky.

Acts of kindness - to you / by you? It was my birthday during lockdown and I was blown away by the kindness and love from my family and friends...a very different birthday this year. The focus was on the simple things in life - I received hand made cards, bunches of wild flowers and love letters. I felt incredibly blessed.

Favourite space in the house to escape to? My bedroom, the light is so wonderful in the morning. I have worked hard to create a calm sanctuary with lots of gorgeous smells and no technology at all.


Jobs in the house ticked off the list? We have been enjoying the wonderful weather and have been doing lots of gardening, that we sadly never had time to do before.

New daily rituals? Meditation - I’ve been doing Oprah and Deepak’s daily meditation and evening yoga religiously. It helps settle my busy mind.

Early morning fitness or another biscuit please? I have been running most mornings, feeling so blessed to be able to do so. Living in the countryside has enabled me to run in solitude and breathe...

What’s in your vase? Wildflowers and huge branches of greenery from my garden.

What’s on the menu? Actually I’m following an anti inflammatory diet at the moment so am keeping inspired by the daily recipes from @rosemaryferguson_.

Favourite tipple to get you through? Kombucha - I'm addicted to them and the girls have been juicing a lot, so I’m treated to a fresh juice most mornings.


What book is on your bedside? Piles of interior and fashion magazines.

What tunes are playing? Indian Sitar music - I find it incredibly relaxing.

News updates or podcasts? Definitely podcasts. My favourites - 'More Than One Thing' with Athena Calderone @eyeswoon@themodernhouse and @goop.

Which IG accounts have inspired you? My lovely friend Louisa Grey’s Instagram. We met when we were doing our degree in textiles at Chelsea College of Arts and have always shared a very similar ethos, so @houseofgreylondon for the serene, carefully curated, calming imagery; @pernille_lind_studio_ for her pared back interiors; @emmamilnewatson for a glimpse into her ever stylish life in the countryside - a smattering of everything I love from interiors to fashion.

What have you missed the most? My family and friends - without a doubt that has been the hardest part so far as we are a very close family.  I have a strong network of friends so not being able to have that human contact has made me feel incredibly sad. Although very thankful for technology, nothing beats a hug.

What distractions are getting you through? My gorgeous girls and their infectious laughter.

Zoom backview? A pair of huge commissioned paintings by my lovely friend @oliver_hilton_art.


What has your home meant to you over this time? Everything. I have fallen back in love with my home and the charming village we live in, I know its a cliché but I feel blessed daily, to live where we do and have the space that we enjoy. 

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

Image credits: Portrait, Charlie Surbey. Interior images Tim Young.

Instagram: @aubespokestudio

Shop at: AU Bespoke


(Ali Heath) ali heath ali heath interviews anna unwin antiques au bespoke authenticity blog collaboration colour creatives decor decoration designer entrepreneur home home decor interior book interior books interior designers interiors london objects people places publications retailer sourcing tastemakers textiles the authentic home the authentic home journal: lockdown tastemaker series au bespoke Sun, 03 May 2020 11:01:21 GMT
edit58 Founder: Lisa Mehydene
rug addict, basket & bow lover, traveller, souk connoisseur, seeker of provenance, John Derian collector, former advertising director, homebody, lover of simple pleasures, wisteria whisperer.

If you are looking for a wisteria fix or a success story to cheer you up, then the hugely talented Lisa Mehydene, founder of edit58, delivers on both counts. Having quietly dreamed up and launched edit58 from her beautiful London home - the outcome of an addiction to interiors and rugs - she very quickly gained cult momentum amongst interior lovers, with a penchant for Moroccan and artisanal feel textiles. I remember coming across Lisa a good while back by chance, when she was just starting out and her stash of beautiful rugs felt like I had stumbled upon an undiscovered secret. That didn't last long... she was soon picked up by the media for her discerning eye and it didn't take Liberty London long to cotton on to edit58's appeal - with a Christmas pop up shop turning into a regular retail spot. A serial traveller, edit58 has become the test bed for many of the artisanal pieces she sources on her trips, many injected with her own twist of uniqueness to give them a personal edge. Lisa has nurtured relationships with craftspeople in Portugal, France, the US and Morocco and is constantly sourcing new ideas - the rattan scalloped shade one of her most recent sell out lines. For me though what remains special is her consistent attention to detail and high level of service - personal notes, follow up messages and a clear passion for what she does. This level of detail shows and it does make a difference. The success is deserved and I can't help but feel there will be more chapters to come in the story of this brand. 



How has your home evolved during lockdown? 
By ‘evolved’ do you mean ‘deteriorated’?! In all seriousness, our home is just having to work a lot harder right now than ever before. It is definitely evident that there are four people present non-stop (two of those under 8 years of age!) and it is now not only a space for our enjoyment, but one that also has to serve as a workspace for us all. My husband has carved out an office in the spare room, my children are working from the living room, and I continue to work at my circular desk downstairs. It has definitely evolved into a ‘busier’ space (let's not say messy!) with more demands put upon it.

How has your work had to adapt? 
As an online homewares store, I feel very lucky that lockdown hasn’t altered our business model too much and we can continue to supply our customers. The reality is that as someone that works from home, the biggest impact has been having my children around and home-schooling them, whilst trying to achieve some work too. It became evident early on that the best solution was for me to concentrate on them as much as possible in the day, and do my work in the evenings/early mornings. 

What projects have you been dreaming up?
Before Christmas we purchased a house in the Cotswolds. It needs a full renovation and that was meant to have started mid March and have been finished by summer. With builders tools down, I’ve used this ‘extra’ time to think about the decoration/furniture and had some upholstery projects completed, as fabric houses are still supplying (in the main) and my brilliant upholsterer works solo from his home workshop. It’s been a very welcome distraction!

How has your neighbourhood come together? 
I love my neighbourhood more now than ever before; from the weekly ‘clap for carers’ and endless rainbows in windows, through to a ‘Love Your Neighbour’ scheme set up by our local church that I’m participating in. It ensures the vulnerable have meals/groceries delivered and assistance as required. It has been so heartwarming to see everyone come together. Even simple smiles and waves from neighbours on our daily walks are uplifting. 

Acts of kindness - to you / by you?
So many to mention...A neighbour dropped off a desk for my children to use for homeschooling. It has made the world of difference. Suddenly they wanted to study! (I was thrilled as they were using our living room table before). Doorstep deliveries of cakes/biscuits/wine by friends and neighbours. Little packages of thoughtfulness. Gorgeous flowers sent by Kitten Grayson; the last of the tulips and some wonderful sweet peas. Cards and notes from friends - I’ve always loved receiving a written letter, but now more than ever it is sparking joy. 
In return I hope we’ve been cheering up those we love with small acts of kindness. I was missing my goddaughter, and know her favourite things are cinnamon buns - so, in lieu of sharing one with her, I sent her a box of them from GAIL’s. I think she was pleased!

Favourite space in the house to escape to? 
My bathroom! Despite the lack of a lock on the door (must get that rectified post lockdown!) it is the calmest space in the house and where I retreat to for some personal space; whether that be a soak in the bath with a glass of wine and magazine, or simply sitting on the bench and taking a few deep breaths! 


Jobs in the house ticked off the list?
I’m rather envious of people that have used this time to tackle jobs at home! I wasn’t very organised pre-lockdown, failing to purchase paint/plants etc - and then everything was sold out/had long delivery times (I ordered some fence paint 3 weeks ago and it’s yet to arrive!) Thus, lots of the jobs required still linger, and are taunting me even more as I’m seeing them so much! My drawers and cupboards are definitely tidier, though....

New daily rituals?
One of my favourite things to have come out of lockdown is the ritual of having our meals together as a family. It’s been such a highlight to share that time and converse together over good food. Morning cuddles with my children in our bed have also helped. It’s nice that we’re not all scrambling to get out the door each morning. 

Early morning fitness or another biscuit please?
I wish it was the former, but sadly it’s the latter. A classic digestive, please, with (another) cup of tea. 

What’s in your vase? 
The beautiful flowers from Kitten Grayson have been the best thing to grace my favourite Astier De Villiate vase during lockdown. Aside from those, it’s been foraged cow parsley from our walks. Free and endlessly cheering. 


What’s on the menu?
My husband is the chef in our family. On Friday, in a bid to recreate being out, he made Lobster rolls with chips and we drank champagne and FaceTimed with friends. His homemade banoffee pie has also been a lockdown highlight. 

Favourite tipple to get you through? 
Rosé wine. With the lovely weather we’ve been having, indulging in Rosé in the garden has helped add a summer holiday feel to staying home. 

What book is on your bedside?
‘She Said’ by Jodi Kantor and Meghan Twohey. I’m also rereading ‘Beautiful Ruins’ by Jess Walter.

What tunes are playing?
All my favourites; Sampher, Sam Fender, Jeff Buckley, Ray Lamontagne a random selection from my husbands Spotify. 

News updates or podcasts? 
Podcasts. I only allow myself to check the news when I wake and then again in the evening. A solo walk accompanied by a podcast, is a lockdown highlight. 

Which IG accounts have inspired you?
I love that Laura Jackson is inspiring us to “make a meal of it” during lockdown and I’ve definitely been putting a tablecloth down more than usual. Molly Mahon inspired me and my children to get blockprinting and I’ve also been enjoying the House and Garden content in lockdown. Both their work space IGTV’s and calico club virtual talks. In fact - I struggle to get to lots of events/talks normally, so I hope this is something that will actually continue post lockdown. 

What have you missed the most? 
Family and friends - especially time spent over lingering lunches and dinners. Hugs. Coffee shops. School drop-off...

What distractions are getting you through?
Planning the Cotswolds house renovation, work projects and nature. If there’s one upside to all this it’s that I’ve taken the time to go on a daily walk and really appreciate the changing scenery. 

Zoom backview?
I’ve been avoiding Zoom! 

What has your home meant to you over this time?
I’ve always been a homebody; someone who takes great pleasure in their surroundings and making them as lovely as possible. I enjoy spending time at home. I’m so grateful, more than ever, for the safety, comfort and space my home provides, and the luxury of having outside space to enjoy. I am also very grateful indeed that lockdown has coincided with wisteria blossom season! I’ve been throwing the windows open to enjoy the scent and having lunch in the front garden to soak up the view.

Image credits: Portrait front door, Delphine Jouandeau for Bedroom image with rattan shade, Charlotte Bland. Sofa/rug image, Kristy Noble. Portait, white blouse, Harry Crowder. All other images, edit58.
Instagram: @edit.58

Shop at: edit58  Liberty London


(Ali Heath) ali heath ali heath interviews authenticity baskets blog bows collaboration colour creatives decor decoration designer edit48 edit58 entrepreneur home home decor interior book interior books interior designers interiors libertylondon Lisa Mehydene london objects people places publications retailer rugs sabbatical sourcing tastemakers textiles the authentic home the authentic home journal: lockdown tastemaker series edit58 travel Sat, 02 May 2020 17:15:24 GMT

Artist: Wayne Pate
artist, illustrator, former DJ and graphic designer, collaborator, collector.

Next up this morning is Brooklyn based artist and textile designer, Wayne Pate. I don't know about you but I am slightly obsessed with Wayne's work. I have followed him since his illustrations first graced the pages of World of Interiors, back in 2015 and ever since his Instagram feed has been one of my favourites.

I could fill our home with his paintings and never tire - helps that his look is constantly evolving and following a 12 month sabbatical in Paris, that began in the summer of 2018, Wayne's work has grown immensely in stature, presence and style - often featuring decorative pieces collected on his travels. The only problem is, every time a new painting flashes up on my Instagram feed, I can feel the buy me button talking to me! To say I am a fan is an understatement. And it seems I am not alone. He has charmed the design world and during his time in Paris and Provence collaborated with the equally brilliant, Atelier Vime, on a collection of hand-painted shades. It feels this was a match made in heaven and I hope more projects together will unfold. Collaborations have followed too with Saved, on covetable throws and cushions and Studio Four NYC with textiles and wallpapers.

Matisse is clearly an influence, but Wayne's fun take on abstract pattern, line and motifs is uniquely fresh, playful, contemporary and timeless - all in one hit.  Art is both an aesthetic passion and an investment - for me Wayne ticks both boxes.  So who is Wayne? Brought up in Texas, he moved to New York to become a DJ and graphic designer, before following his heart and taking up the role of artist - no formal training, no art school, but with self taught creative talents that clearly formed at a young age. Now married to fashion designer, Rebecca Taylor, they have three children, and live in a Brooklyn Brownstone. I was lucky to chat with Wayne in 2018, just as he has packing up New York, to leave for the family's Paris sabbatical - charming, down to earth and real, it was a pleasure to talk with him then and great to revisit now, for this behind closed doors Q&A. Thank you Wayne!



How has your home evolved during lockdown? Funnily enough it has become tidier on a daily basis. It’s also become a mini classroom, as I have three children doing virtual learning all at once in different rooms!

How has your work had to adapt? For now, due to my son using my office for his virtual learning, I have resorted to working on the dining room table, which also means I have to work on a smaller scale. This allows me to work faster and produce more and eventually some pieces will develop into larger pieces.



What projects have you been dreaming up? Mostly projects for my own work these days. As I incorporate a lot of paper collage in my work, I’m always experimenting with ways of applying it in a larger scale and directly onto walls in the coming months hopefully. As I work alone without any assistants, working with collage at a large scale becomes a bit tricky.

How has your neighbourhood come together? It’s hard to say really, the one direct way is in the evening when we all come outside at 7:00PM and cheer on the health care workers for their service, as the rest of the world does.

Acts of kindness - to you / by you? We all try and find things that we can do - for me I’ve been offering free shipping for any work purchased during this time, offering to buy provisions from the grocer for the older people on our block and my wife has been sewing masks for friends and our neighbours.

Favourite space in the house to escape to? At the moment it’s the grill on the back terrace of our Brownstone. It’s a gas grill so it is easy to get it going and grill some fish or chicken. Glass of wine and WorldWide FM playing on my phone. It’s primal!

Jobs in the house ticked off the list? Chipping away at the downstairs kitchen which has become a storage depot for anything and everything. Lot’s of rattan bins and baskets have been bought for storing.

New daily rituals? As I did when living in Paris, I get up, make a pot of tea and get right to work at the dining table. While the kids are holding class hours I also take time to pop out for necessities and provisions for the evening supper. 

Early morning fitness or another biscuit please? Another glass please! I have actually started doing a few sit ups and push ups in the morning just as a suggestion of being more balanced!

What’s in your vase? Dust I’m afraid, in these times it’s hard to get quality flowers and all the good florists are closed around me. The grocer offering of flowers just aren’t up to scratch.

What’s on the menu? We love farro and especially at the moment, it’s easy to prepare and you can add anything to it! Lot’s of burgers (my grilling ritual for getting through) and tacos.

Favourite tipple to get you through? It’s pretty uneventful as I only drink wine, so it really bounces between rosé or white, only red when it’s a really good vintage.

What book is on your bedside? A very dry read “Parisians” - tales of monumental moments that define Parisians and it’s culture through the centuries. As I’m not a avid reader I’ve been chipping away at it for some time now.

What tunes are playing? As I was a DJ for many years in my 20’s and early 30’s and played a very eclectic mix of music, nothing poppy though. Nowadays, it’s listening to Gilles Peterson and pretty much anything on the excellent

News updates or podcasts? The New York Times “The Daily” podcast and the BBC World Service for unbiased news.

Which IG accounts have inspired you? Oh this becomes a bit tricky as you are afraid to leave someone out. I have lately been enjoying visiting Artist Foundation websites such as the @williamscott_archive

What have you missed the most? The obvious I think: friends and the energy of the neighborhood on the weekends. In addition I miss our derailed plans that were underway in planning to move back to Paris in 2021.

What distractions are getting you through? Boring enough but it would be the additional house cleaning that we find ourselves taking on. 

Zoom backview? A wall with a piece of vintage French Indigo ikat fabric hanging on it as the background.

What has your home meant to you over this time? The essential purpose of a house really - safety & security. Inspiring in some ways and we are really blessed and fortunate to have it.



Instagram: @waynepate
Images via: Wayne Pate.


(Ali Heath) ali heath ali heath interviews artist authenticity blog Brooklyn colour creatives decor decoration designer home home decor icon interior book interior books interior designers interiors New York objects Paris people places Provence publications sabbatical tastemakers textiles the authentic home the authentic home journal: lockdown tastemaker series wayne pate Wayne pate artist Sat, 02 May 2020 11:08:03 GMT
Mad About The House: Kate Watson-Smyth
blogger, journalist, author of three books, podcaster - The Great Indoors' with Sophie Robinson, NEW columnist at RED magazine, retreat host, ambassador of Design Haven for Heroes.

For a bit of fun this weekend I am launching 20 questions with 9 creatives (well today is officially Friday but it always feels like the start of the weekend, even if days do seem to be rolling into one and gin o'clock the new norm) - an Instagram grid's worth of inspiring creatives and just what is happening with them behind their closed lockdown doors, whilst our NHS bravely battle on for us all. The first chat is with Kate Watson-Smyth - a revered household name in the interiors world, with her multi-award winning blog that has become the go to source for home interior lovers, since its inception 7 years ago. I interviewed Kate at the end of last year - she was a joy to chat to and it is great seeing her career go from strength to strength. Her fantastic new book, 'Mad About The House, 101 Design Answers', could end up being your greatest friend, if decorating has just become your lockdown thing...


How has your home evolved during lockdown? Well it's definitely dustier! It hasn't changed that much as both my husband and I work from home anyway. My 19yo is back from university and the 16yo is here too - so it's fuller than usual and there is more crockery spread throughout the house.

How has your work had to adapt? On one level nothing has changed as I write from home every day, but I co-host a podcast, The Great Indoors with Sophie Robinson, and we have had to adapt to remote recording. This involves us both in duvet dens on our respective beds dialling into a Zoom meeting with our producer who coordinates everything. 


What projects have you been dreaming up? I had already come up with a new plan, which I wanted to launch this summer but have now postponed until the Autumn. I am also starting work on my next book (March 2021), but as Mother Pukka has pointed out; you are not working from home you are working at home during a crisis. I have definitely not been as productive as usual. 

How has your neighbourhood come together? We all come to our front gardens once a week for the clap for carers and it's lovely to wave across the street at each other. There are also various WhatsApp chats and groups forming. 

Acts of kindness - to you / by you? Lots of people have been raising money and helping out where they can. I have been reading Percy Jackson stories at 5pm which started as a way of giving parents a break at that tricky time of day (too early for bed, too soon for wine) but I have had lots of messages from people who live alone who are also tuning in, as well as one little boy whose anxiety has massively abated apparently. I have also become ambassador to a new initiative set up by the interior designer Francesca Rowen Plowden called Design Haven for Heroes, which is about thanking NHS staff when this is all over by giving them a space to retreat to and relax in, when they can finally spend time at home, like we have been doing for weeks. It's been wonderful to see how many brands and designers have come on board. 

Favourite space in the house to escape to? I tend to follow the light: I like the kitchen first thing, the sitting room bay window in the morning (or a cheeky lie down on the bed in a patch of sun) and the darker library in the afternoon.


Jobs in the house ticked off the list? Hmmm... I have decluttered and cleared out my wardrobe but that has just left a massive pile of stuff that I have had to stash in my study, as neither the tip nor the charity shops are open. My husband did the same with the kitchen cupboards and now his car is full of stuff. 

New daily rituals? The 6pm aperitif with the news. It's a way of marking the break between day and evening and now that the sun is out an icy Campari Spritz and an olive is a glorious thing. Also 60 second cold showers every morning which is meant to help the immune system. 

Early morning fitness or another biscuit please? I don't eat sugar but I'm not great at early morning fitness either. I used to meet a friend at the gym three or four times a week, but now that that has closed I'm finding it hard to get motivated. 

What’s in your vase? Some lilac from the bottom of the garden next door (completely overgrown and with permission) that is filling the house with the most glorious scent. 

What’s on the menu? Lots of pasta. 

Favourite tipple to get you through? Campari Spritz or chilled white wine with red at dinner. 

What book is on your bedside? Just finished the latest Hilary Mantel, currently on the latest Donna Leon for its glorious descriptions of Venice and lovingly described meals. 


What tunes are playing? Only the birdsong which I am really enjoying. Although that is often interrupted by the music played by my 19yo son and my husband. 

News updates or podcasts? Too much news - I have had to turn it off as it was becoming too stressful. I don't listen to many podcasts as I tend to be writing. 

Which IG accounts have inspired you? Laura Jackson and her #makeamealofit is one, Alison Roman always as well as @kim_dti who finds the most glorious interiors. I also love @boringenormous which always makes me laugh.

What have you missed the most? The sense of freedom. It's not that I want to go out all the time but the knowing that I can't. 

What distractions are getting you through? Lots of reading. 

Zoom backview? The books in my library.


What has your home meant to you over this time? I'm so lucky that for me home is a safe haven where I can find comfort and peace with food in the fridge. I love it even more for providing that for me, although I sense a redecoration coming if this goes on too long. 

New book 

Listen to Kate's podcast: The Great Indoors

Read Kate's blog

Instagram: @mad_about_the_house

Image credits: Portraits, Rekha Damhar. The Great Indoors Portrait: Alun Callender. Interior images: Brent Darby & Kate Watson-Smyth.

(Ali Heath) Ali Heath Ali Heath Interviews Authenticity Blog Colour Creatives Decor Decoration Designer Home Home Decor Icon Interior Book Interior Books Interior Designers Interiors Kate Watson Smyth Mad About The House Mad About The House 101 Interior Design Answers Objects People Places Publications Tastemakers Textiles The Authentic Home The Authentic Home Journal: Tastemaker Series Fri, 01 May 2020 14:58:02 GMT
TASTEMAKER SERIES: ROMAN & WILLIAMS Pioneers Of A Shopping Renaissance
 multi-dimensional, unique concept store, based in Soho, New York, encompassing furniture and home décor, a restaurant, library, florist and art gallery.

In recent times we have witnessed shop closure, after shop closure and with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic now global, there will inevitably be further movement. Those businesses that have already embraced the shifting bricks and mortar streetscape as an opportunity, have set the tone for how the future high street will need to think. The high street is not dead, but it is undergoing a huge cultural change. This Q&A with Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the founders of international design studio, Roman and Williams, was carried out last year and highlights a great success story for their retail concept store, RW Guild. A brand that is embracing the need to think unique, community and personal. When I first visited this amazingly special shop, it literally took my breath away. It takes the notion of great retail to a totally different level. I look forward very much, to revisiting when travel allows.

How did it feel creating your own flagship retail store space for the first time, with no client involvement?
Liberating! We’ve done this with our homes and Roman and Williams Guild is an extension of our private life. 

What was the vision behind the store?
The vision behind the store was to create a guild of the senses, a place where we could showcase our collection and bring all of the things we make and all of the things we love from objects to furniture, from food to flowers, under one roof – for everyone to share.

Located in a former bank, you are pioneering a renaissance of high street retail – how do you see the future of the high street vs the growth of online?
They will always have to work in concert. Human beings want a connection that is physical, as well as digital.

The Guild is multi-dimensional: a store, a restaurant, a library, a florist and art gallery within one – how did this evolve? Are the various elements crucial to driving optimal customer traffic?
The mix is crucial to creating a cultural experience.  The combination of creativity and commerce in our minds required an animated environment. To elevate retail to revive is to recognize it as a reflection of how you live! 

You have proven experts running La Mercerie and the flower shop – was know talent important to you?
Absolutely! Emily Thompson and Stephen Starr are treasured partners and collaborators - it takes a village! 


Do you see the store as a community hub within the Soho district?
That’s our dream and our goal and it seems to be happening. 

How has Soho retail changed over the last 5 years?
It’s become more commercial and lower Soho at Canal is beginning to become a new creative centre, as it was when it was developing in the 70’s.  

Shopping in RW Guild is an experience – what emotions do you want to evoke with your customers?
Joy, beauty, desire, comfort, quality, and community.  

You are known for your anti-minimalist style and love of imperfection. How does this manifest in store?
The Shop, as we like to call it, represents “Isness”; beyond the flashlight of creativity is something more subtle – something that achieves a solidity and objective wholeness that rises above individuality and inventiveness. The store is a physical manifestation of the fundamental values of us (Robin + Stephen) and of Roman and Williams.  

Your retail offering is a mix of RW Guild Original Designs, Community and Found objects and furniture. Why is this mix important to you?
Because those three categories define the essential elements that create a home. 

Favourite piece you have designed and why?
Hub - because it’s the heart and soul of the room.  


Favourite pieces sourced and why? 
KH Wurtz dishware because they are made by a family and are heirlooms of the future. They are an essential part of your life.


When I visited, your staff were incredibly well versed on the provenance of pieces and the story behind the makers (which I loved). Is this important to you? 
Absolutely! We are devoted to narrative and our staff are a key part of telling our story.  

Do you travel extensively looking for pieces? 

What would your top piece of advice be to town planners looking to turnaround failing high streets? 
Invest in these streets, activate them, revive them with proprietors who care about what they make, both high and low.  This is the key to solving the problem.  Embrace trade globally and allow the web to be an extension of our built world - not the other way around. 

All images: Roman & Williams. 

(Ali Heath) Interiors International Design Studio Objects People Places Publications Robin Standeder Roman and Williams Roman and Williams Guild RW Guild Stephen Alesch Style Icon Tastemakers The Authentic Home The Authentic Home Journal: Tastemakers Tue, 28 Apr 2020 14:46:09 GMT
Founder and CEO, Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve; Best-selling author and consumer trend expert

'With the concept of home being drastically reinvented, how and where will we be living tomorrow?' #Cocooning

I have followed and been fascinated by the work of Faith Popcorn and her Brainsreserve team, the futurist marketing consultancy she established in 1974, since my agency days in the late 90s, early 00's. Working in new business, we worked with several external Brand Futures teams, but Faith Popcorn's open and honest dialogue as a futurist was what really appealed. Introduced to her thinking via her best-selling book The Popcorn Report, it ignited my appetite for her ideas on the future and how as humans and society we would behave. The book was followed by Clicking, EVEolution, Dictionary of the Future, and soon to be released, Popcorn Report 2020: A Leap of Faith. As the years have passed, so many of these trend predictions have come true. At the time, things you never thought a possibility, but now an everyday norm.

Named by The New York Times as 'The Trend Oracle,' and by Fortune Magazine as 'The Nostradamus of Marketing,' she is recognised as America’s foremost Trend expert and is a trusted advisor to the CEOs of The Fortune 500. With a documented 95% accuracy rate, Faith predicted the demand for four wheel drives, fresh foods, as well as the societal millennial trend of 'Cocooning'. She was the first to forecast the now explosive rise of home delivery, working from home and home shopping, not to mention the rising dominance of social media. Her FutureView, which focuses on how Trends are affecting consumer lifestyles and purchasing behaviour, has been presented to thousands of audiences across the globe.

So what does this have to do with home...

...Faith has just realised a new report: A NEW KIND OF COCOON: MAPPING THE HOME OF TOMORROW. It's downloadable and I have shared below. It's a fascinating read! With the rise of Coronavirus, Faith predicts 'it will be the tipping point of #Cocooning. I, for one, look forward to seeing how homes evolve - think we are set a major rethink of how we live, if these predictions are anything to go by. 

Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes.
Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes. Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes.

Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes.
Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes. Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes. Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes. Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes.

Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes. Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes.

Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes. Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes. Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes. Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes.

Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes.
Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes. Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes.

Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes.
Faith Popcorn, Brainreserve: The Future of Homes.

(Ali Heath) A New Kind Of Cocooning Ali Heath Ali Heath Journal Authenticity Blog Brainreserve" Cocooning Creatives Digital Nomads Evolving Society Faith Faith Popcorn Flyingrooms Future View Futurist Home Home Decor How We Live Life Futures Mapping The Home Of Tomorrow Minimal and Moveable Podlife Popcorn Regenerative Responsive Robotic Companion Smart Home The Authentic Home The Authentic Home Journal Tiny Houses Tue, 10 Mar 2020 20:28:14 GMT
One of the highlights to date of my career was interviewing Iris Apfel. She was a hard lady to track down - lots of agents, leads and publishers approached, before I finally got to the right contact. An interview was agreed, a time set up for me to talk with Iris, at her Palm Beach home and a 20 minute slot given. When we spoke she wryly told me that if I was prepared to persevere that far, I must be worth engaging with - I will be eternally grateful that she did. My 20 minutes turned into an hour and I will treasure that chat forever. A rare character in today's modern world and a voice that should be shared - so many precious stories and pearls of wisdom. So it feels fitting that the first of my TASTEMAKER posts, on The Authentic Home Journal should be this one, with Iris. Hope you enjoy reading her responses, as much I enjoyed listening and engaging with them. 



At 98, Iris Apfel, defies all stereotypes of ageing and is revered amongst fashion and interior design aficionados’ as one of the true great style icons of our time. An acclaimed interior designer and business woman, Iris rose out of retirement to new found fame in 2005, when an exhibition, entitled ‘Rara Avis’ – Rare Bird, was curated by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, showcasing a collection of her own flamboyant outfits and accessories. The show, an overnight success, launched Iris onto the international stage, as a ‘geriatric starlet’ in the worlds of fashion, modelling, design, film, advertising and education. In an increasingly homogeneous society, Iris’s innate and infectious verve for original, unexpected, and real, epitomises the virtues of a life less ordinary. 

Where is your home based in New York?
I live in a 3-bedroom, Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan. I moved here in 1978 with my late husband Carl and split my time between NYC and Palm Beach.

Did your early years help to shape your style?
My family were a big influence on me. I grew up an only child in Queens, New York: my father had a homeware import business and was always bringing home interesting pieces; my mother, owned a fashion boutique and loved dressing me up. As a child, I travelled internationally with my parents, long before it was the norm. I always felt like I was a sponge: absorbing everything, holding onto what I liked and getting rid of the excess somewhere else. 

Do you see interiors and fashion as being inextricably linked?
For me it’s all part of your creative expression and aesthetic. If you are honest with yourself it is part of your being, so unless you are mimicking some
body you will find your natural style. I definitely dress and decorate with the same spirit. 

Describe your New York apartment style?
It’s full of things I love and pieces collected over many years of international travel and buying, firstly for my interior design business and later as co-founder of Old World Weavers, our textile manufacturing company, that I ran with Carl until we retired in 1992. I am obsessed with colour, pattern and texture - when you walk in you know it’s my apartment.

As with your fashion style do you mix couture with junk shops finds at home?
Always – I have beautiful French, English and Italian antiques, but I love hunting out unique pieces in junkyards, fleamarkets and souks. Things don’t always have to be beautiful but they always have a powerful association with my life. 

Where did your love of antiques come from?
As a child I played hooky on a Thursday to scour the junk shops of Manhattan. I could travel as far as I wanted on the Subway for a nickel and was obsessed with the hunt for unusual finds. I like to forage around and dig and scrape. I don’t get any kick out of going to a very beautiful, elegant shop where everything is preselected. I like to do it myself. 

Photo by Keith Major. As seen in Iris's book: Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon, £25, published by Harper Design.Tastemakers: Iris Apfel by Ali Heath, The Authentic Home Journal.    Photo by Roger Davies. Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon, £25, published by Harper Design.Tastemakers: Iris Apfel by Ali Heath, The Authentic Home Journal.    Photo by Roger Davies. Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon, £25, published by Harper Design.Tastemakers: Iris Apfel by Ali Heath, The Authentic Home Journal.
You have worked on some amazing design projects, including the redecoration of The White House for 9 Presidents and clients such as Greta Garbo and Estee Lauder. What was the best bit?
We had such an interesting group of people to work for who didn’t want to go showroom to showroom for the latest standard design pieces. If clients wanted to work with me I made them think uniquely - no two homes I designed ever looked alike – every space reflected the people who lived there. 

What do you feel about interior design today? 
So much décor today, although beautiful, looks like an exceedingly expensive suite in a grand hotel, but without any soul. I would rather have made a few mistakes in my time, than have created something so perfect that it feels obnoxious – but that’s just me. 

As a fashion icon, you have always been ahead of your time: the first lady in NYC to wear jeans and long boots. Was the same true of your home design? 
My home has always been a reflection of who I am. I dress myself and home to please me, I am not influenced by others and don’t take myself too seriously – humour is important. So many people look like they don’t belong in the background they are put into. If people constantly live in someone else’s image it doesn’t make for peace and happiness. 

Do you move things around a lot at home? 
I love to rearrange furniture and play with things, to see how they look with this or that. I don’t live in a static atmosphere. 

Has your style at home evolved over the years?
I have always been a maximalist – I have never changed my approach to things, my style has just got more highly developed.

You are a big fan of Jazz – has that impacted your style?
Jazz is all about improvisation and drawing on different cultural influences. I have lots of multicultural pieces and love how marvellous they look mixed together in the most unexpected way. People seem to like that.

Secret to a happy home?
Happy inmates. If you not a happy person or happy with whom you live with you, then it won’t be a happy home.

Photo by Roger Davies. Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon, £25, published by Harper Design.Tastemakers: Iris Apfel by Ali Heath, The Authentic Home Journal.

Home – place for entertaining or a retreat?
I like to have people over but my privacy is everything. My husband was a darling – losing him has been a huge loss. I have always worked like a fiend but since he died I have been working day and night. I can’t stay at home and cry all day - he loved what I was doing and would have wanted me to carry on. 

Would you consider leaving the contents of your home as a legacy for a permanent exhibition space?
Nobody has ever asked me or approached me, but it’s a very interesting thought, thank you so much. 

How did it feel becoming a global style icon after the Met show? 
Totally ridiculous and surreal - I still don’t believe it, it’s something I never ever expected. My husband loved it too, he was so encouraging - we would both laugh and laugh about it.

Why do you think you are so popular with the younger generation too?
I think there is a big hunger amongst young people for suitable role models. People are dying for old fashioned mystery and glamour, which has long since been wiped out of our vocabulary. I don’t think it will come back, so I guess my ways have an appeal.

Social media convert?
I don’t do social media, I abhor it and think it is a curse. Too many live vicariously through celebrities’ lives. We must have our own experiences, not simply press a button and enjoy someone else’s.  

You have an Instagram page though?
It’s insane I have over 1.4m followers - people have taken pages in my name but it’s not me. I never look.

Photo by Luis Monteiro. Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon, £25, published by Harper Design.Tastemakers: Iris Apfel by Ali Heath, The Authentic Home Journal.    Photo by Roger Davies. As seen in Iris's book: Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon, £25, published by Harper Design.Tastemakers: Iris Apfel by Ali Heath, The Authentic Home Journal.    Photo by Roger Davies. Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon, £25, published by Harper Design.Tastemakers: Iris Apfel by Ali Heath, The Authentic Home Journal.

Letter or email?
Pigeon post! Technologically I am still living in the 17thcentury!

Do you find it hard to switch off?
I should relax more but my head is always buzzing with new ideas.

What type of people do you surround yourself with?
Always a very varied group - young, old, black, white, yellow, gay, straight. I don’t like living in any kind of ghetto, I like a mix. It’s hard to find the good ones but once you do you hang on to them.

What gets you up in the morning…
The big man upstairs – I am very grateful. 

Best thing about getting old?
I don’t have to worry about how I look in a bikini.

The worst thing?
Knowing that time is passing and you don’t know how much time is left. That’s not very pleasant – I don’t like to think about it so I don’t. 

Where do you find the energy for all you do at 98?
I work so hard, it’s all work, work, work - then an exhaustion attack. My time at Palm Beach recoups me and I start again. 

Is the real Iris as flamboyant in private as in real life? 
What you see is what you get. I haven’t changed since all this fame came my way. People say: ‘You are overnight sensation.’ I say yes but my overnight took 72 years to arrive!

The images shared are taken from the press articles written by me about Iris and are by hugely talented photographer, Roger Davies. Bottom portrait, by Luis Monteiro. Orange cape portrait, by Keith Major. As seen in Iris's book: Iris Apfel, Accidenttal Icon, £25, published by Harper Design. Black and white portrait from Assouline x Forty Five Ten 'The Eccentrics' Book. 


(Ali Heath) Ali Heath Ali Heath Interviews Antiques Authenticity Blog Colour Creatives Decor Decoration Designer Home Home Decor Icon Interior Book Interior Books Interior Designers Interiors Iris Apfel Iris Apfel Manhattan Home Keith Major Objects People Places Publications Roger Davies Style Icon Tastemakers Textiles The Authentic Home The Authentic Home Journal: Tastemakers Thu, 05 Mar 2020 20:41:23 GMT
SHARE THE LOVE Share the love: books, home & interiors
FREE Interior book opportunity for subscribers each month.

With all the madness going on in the world our homes are increasingly important as a place of retreat - where we cocoon, nest, restore & rejuvenate. For me it is a place in which I feel loved, inspired & nurtured. Interior books have always been a huge escape for me - they fire my imagination, inspire me daily & bring a profound sense of joy. I love turning over new crisp pages to discover treasures, homes, artisans, owners & places, that I often never knew existed.

House story of Ali Heath photographed by Alun Callender.House story of Ali Heath photographed by Alun Callender.House story of Ali Heath photographed by Alun Callender.


I have too many books, am running out of shelves, benches & chairs on which to stack them, but still cannot resist the draw of a new find or release, or the search for an old, out of print edition. 

SO... as a thank you to my followers, with a mutual passion for the written & visual; & as a genuine desire to want to share some love & positivity, I am going to gift one interior book a month - a new copy, not one of mine! For the next 12 months, one random follower, who subscribes to The List on my website or via my profile, will receive for free, my interior book recommendation of the month, as a present from me. As I have only just set up the subscriber page on my website, it is only my family, friends & a few loyal followers on there, so the odds are good! Anyone on the list will be re-entered each month. 

The book I am choosing to give away at the end of this month is The House That Pinterest Built, by Diane Keaton. It’s a favourite of mine & I hope you will love it too. I will announce the lucky recipient on here each month (chosen by one of my kids at random, so no bias from me) & the book will be posted out to you straight away. 

This is not funded by a publisher it is a gift from me, but if a publisher wanted to get involved & share the love of books even more, then do get in touch! Who knows it might start a tide of goodwill & kindness - right now I think that has to be a good thing.




(Ali Heath) Ali Heath Authenticity Blog Creatives Decor Decoration Designer Find Your Style Free Books Genuine Give Back Home Home Decor Interior Book Interior Books Interior Designers Interiors Monochrome Natural Home Objects People Places Publications Real Share The Love Sharing Shopkeepers Spaces Subscribe Sustainability The Authentic Home The Authentic Home_Journal Thoughts Wed, 04 Mar 2020 19:38:32 GMT
WHAT MAKES A SOULFUL HOME? So what is it that makes a soulful home? 

This is a question that I get asked a lot and think about frequently when styling, photographing and writing for editorial features.

Some homes have it in abundance and other potential projects that come across my desk leave me cold. For me it is a combination of energy, spirit, visual beauty, comfort, smell and a sense of the individual - rooted at the heart of the space. It is about being a home not a house: a place that is valued and loved, a feeling that materials are honoured and looked after and where life is real, not played at.  Lynda Gardener: Room + Board, out now in Livingetc, April 2020Photography: Marnie Hawson Styling: Lynda Gardener Words: Ali Heath

It doesn't matter whether minimal or maximalist, tidy or messy. It is not about aesthetics and expensive interiors - it is about a sense of identity, the essence of a feeling, the glimmer of something special but not seen, an inherent intensity that quietly exists. I have always felt very intuitive about people and situations and I have the same feeling with homes, the moment I walk through the door.

Spaces are undeniably linked to their owners - their personal sense of warmth or lack of good spirit, immediately affects the karma and energy of a space. Aesthetically things can look beautiful, but if there is an underlying sense of ego or chippiness, then our primal emotions are immediately piqued. Beauty becomes beauty no more  - merely a pretty shell but with no substance and no soul.

We live in a world where we are often told what good looks like and it can change with the wind, as fashions come and go. The most fabulous spaces for me are the ones that raise a glass to individuality and positivity - full of personal treasures and finds that tell the story of their owners, in all their timeless glory.  

For it is the story that manifests the heart of a place - when that is a thing of beauty, it nourishes the soul. It is when a house becomes a home.


The Old StablesThe Old StablesA 17th Century former stable on a West Sussex estate, is home to Maria and Paul Le Mesurier, founders of handmade furniture brand Wood Edit. Content curation, styling and features, Ali Heath. Photography, Brent Darby.   Ali Heath Home Feature, Antique Dealers: Anton & K.Ali Heath Home Feature, Antique Dealers: Anton & K.Ali Heath Home Feature, Antique Dealers: Anton & K. Content curation, styling, art direction and features, Ali Heath. Photography, Brent Darby.   Tom Cox, Ham InteriorsStyling and words: Ali Heath. Photography: Alexander James.

Hannah Beaumont-LaurenciaStyling and words: Ali Heath Photography: Alun Callender Alex LegendreStyling and words: Ali Heath Photography: Emma Lewis St John'sMarta Nowicka St John'sStyling and words: Ali Heath Photography: Brent Darby

Top image - Lynda Gardener Room + Board. Photography, Marnie Hawson. Styling: Lynda Gardener, Words, Ali Heath

Bottom left image, top row: Wood Edit.  Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography, Brent Darby. 

Bottom centre image, top row: Anton and K. Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography Brent Darby.

Bottom right, top row: Tom Cox, Hám Interiors. Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography Alexander James.

Bottom left, second row: Hannah Beaumont Laurencia. Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography, Alum Callender.

Bottom centre image, second row: Alex Legendre. Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography, Emma Lewis. 

Bottom right, second row: Marta Nowicka. Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography, Brent Darby.







(Ali Heath) Ali Heath Authenticity Heart Homes Soulful Soulful Home Soulful Living Sustainable Home The Authentic Home With Writing Sat, 29 Feb 2020 16:57:14 GMT
If ever there was an example of an architectural practice meeting a design brief to makes use of local materials and construction systems, showcase true sustainability and create a solution that could be added to over time, then the Indian architect firm Nudes, is a fine example. Led by architect Nuru Karim, Nudes responded to an architectural competition, ran by Archstorming on behalf of NGO, Active Africa. The project - a design proposal for a secondary school located in south-east Africa Malawi; 60 kilometres south of Nkhotakota Township and 50 kilometres north of Salem Township.

Image4s: Nudes  The proposed design features a modular wooden framework build, comprising a series of ladder style wooden A frames and curved walls made from bales of straw, that houses the pedagogical intent of the school. The ladder component has been arranged to explore the inside-outside relations of learning environments. The vertical and horizontal linear frames are made up of different heights and widths, which allows the structures to fan out and creates space for classroom environments, computer rooms, laboratories, admin space, living, dining and washing areas; as well as outdoor learning environments - amphitheatres, outdoor workshops spaces and open air recreational activities. Using a linear structure, the idea is that there is capacity for a growth expansion strategy over time. 


Local material infill - straw bale cubes have been suggested, as well voids for light and ventilation - creating a breathable skin and facilitating ease of repairs sustainability and maintenance by locals and students.  

Image: Nudes

The design proposal was awarded the World Architecture Community Award Cycle 31, in July this year.  For all those interested in sustainable living, this is an architect practice to watch - a truly inspiring portfolio of projects that embrace the very essence of social, cultural and environmental sustainability. Authentic living at its best.

All images Nude.



(Ali Heath) Ali Heath Architecture Authenticity Blog Design Designer Education Matters Interior Writer Interiors Writer Nudes Architecture Nuru Karim Sustainability The Authentic Home The Authentic Home Journal Sat, 17 Aug 2019 11:21:27 GMT
MODESTY: THE QUIET REVOLUTION | AKT MAGAZINE With all the emotional ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, it has been a really poignant week honouring the amazing individuals who paved the way for our generation to live in peace. My husband's gorgeous grandad had been left for dead on the beaches of Dunkirk - a bullet in the back of the neck, but eventually stretchered off as one of the last at this desperate scene. He recovered (bullet still in back of neck) and then returned a few years later as part of the D-Day invasion and a reconnaissance team, that after surviving the beach landings, were then subject to many brutal months fighting throughout Europe. 

Hard to imagine that the elderly man I was lucky enough to know, was once a 15 year old boy, lying about his age, to join up as a solider with the Grenadier Guards. He rarely talked about the war - but the official army journals he gave to my husband and his experiences that he shared in later life, made us all very proud. Sadly dying only a few years ago he would have loved to see how their service had been honoured this week.

What stood out for me though, was that like Grandad George, every person I heard interviewed on the BBC, carried the same qualities of modesty and humility. It was never about the individual and their own heroism, but their quiet efforts for the larger good. I listened to so many tales on Radio 5 about heroic war stories that only made the light of day, in a family members later years, or even after their death. This was a generation that saw so much danger, horror and sadness, yet madly seem to be amongst the most modest, contented and low key of all time. 

So why am I chatting about all this on my The Authentic Home Journal... 

The Authentic Home Journal: Modesty | AKT MagazineThe Authentic Home Journal: Modesty | AKT MagazineImages: Piet Albery Goethals
Styling: Jessy Van Durme
Modesty: The Quiet Revolution by Micha van Dinther


...Yesterday my order of the new bi-annual independent magazine, AKT A Kind Tributearrived in the post with a personal note from the new founders: Jessy Van Durme and Piet-Albert Goethals - always a gorgeous touch. It is a beautiful new title, that celebrates conversations with inspirational people they meet and places they go - a tribute to small corners of greatness and will appeal to those who appreciate a timeless aesthetic and desire for authenticity, whether in architecture, interior design, food, fashion or simply general life.

The Authentic Home Journal: Modesty | AKT MagazineThe Authentic Home Journal: Modesty | AKT MagazineImages: Piet Albery Goethals
Styling: Jessy Van Durme
Modesty: The Quiet Revolution by Micha van Dinther
The Authentic Home Journal: Modesty | AKT MagazineThe Authentic Home Journal: Modesty | AKT MagazineImages: Piet Albery Goethals
Styling: Jessy Van Durme
Modesty: The Quiet Revolution by Micha van Dinther
The Authentic Home Journal: Modesty | AKT MagazineThe Authentic Home Journal: Modesty | AKT MagazineImages: Piet Albery Goethals
Styling: Jessy Van Durme
Modesty: The Quiet Revolution by Micha van Dinther
The Authentic Home Journal: Modesty | AKT MagazineThe Authentic Home Journal: Modesty | AKT MagazineImages: Piet Albery Goethals
Styling: Jessy Van Durme
Modesty: The Quiet Revolution by Micha van Dinther

The magazine contains a feature entitled MODESTY - The Quiet Revolution, by Micha Van Dinther. After reflecting this week on the power of modesty in today's hectic world, it was a great and timely read about how in Belgium "professional craftsmanship and the study of form and concept, trump blinding manifestations and larger-than-life personalities. Here it is all about humility, plain and simple.' The characteristic modesty, has been used for a long time to reflect the heart and soul of this country's inhabitants, and in the design world their covetable style has become synonymous with the emotions of modesty, humility and freedom, and is gaining much momentum in its popularity outside of just Belgium. It will probably come as no surprise that the minimal, timeless style of Belgian, Axel Vervoordt, interior designer and antiquaire, is for me, pure perfection - but that is another journal post in its own right! This article by Micha, is a wonderful read that ends...'in a world where shouting is the norm, whispering doesn't seem to be an altogether bad idea.' I couldn't agree more. 

I am delighted to have stumbled across this new title. Twelve unique features of substance, about many people I have not heard of before - a treat and printed on the most exquisite, tactile, uncoated paper. In the editors letter at the start it says "above all we took our time, a precious gift in a hectic world. We've made this magazine mindfully and enjoyed every minute of it.' 

It shows - huge congratulations AKT Magazine


(Ali Heath) AKT Magazine Ali Heath Authenticity BBC Belgium" Blog Creatives D_Day Decor Decoration Designer Find Your Style Genuine Home Home Decor Interior Designers Interiors Interiors Writer Jessy Van Durme Journal Magazine Micha Van Dinther Modesty Natural Home New Lifestyle Magazine Objects People Piet-Albert Goethals Places Publications Radio 5 Real Sustainability The Authentic Home The Authentic Home Journal Thoughts Fri, 07 Jun 2019 13:49:49 GMT
ART IS WHERE YOUR HOME IS | KALPA ART LIVING Kalpa (कल्प kalpa)...a Sanskrit word meaning the period of time between the creation & recreation of a world or universe. I am excited to share this new discovery with you, Kalpa Art Living,  a contemporary art and interior concept in Italy, created by multidisciplinary artist Olga Niescier. Her creative vision is to enable a 'unique, spiritually conscious lifestyle concept, where nature, culture and intellect, breathe together to become an aesthetic transcending the sum of its parts'. For Olga, 'art is where your home is,' and what a home it is. No surprise that endless creativity abounds. 

Set in the heart of Tuscany’s stunning ancient Etruscan city of Volterra, just minutes from the world renowned rural resort of Borgo Pignano, Kalpa Art Living has just launched its new home in Palazzo Bonomini on Via Porta all’Arco, a charming street connecting the main square with the famous Porta all’Arco - an Etruscan gate to the city, dating back to 4th century B.C. 

Olga's philosophy is to bring together 'the sophistication of the high arts, with the intuitive passion of the craftsman and the keen eye of the designer.' Art from both local and international names is brought together with a sense of balance, elegance and simplicity - embracing the wabi-wabi sensibility that is so akin to The Authentic Home. Her desire is for you to sense the artworks, leaf through the catalogues and discuss consultancy ideas for your living space - and for nature, soul and mastercraftmanship to weave themselves into the inherent beauty you create within your home.

In the spring of this year, the Palazzo commenced the renovation of two floors dedicated to art exhibitions. The project is being designed and executed through the collaboration of Glen Polessello, the new owner, passionately dedicated to restoring the past beauty; Olga Niescier, the art director of Kalpa Art Living; and the Anima Silvae Cultural Association. The trusted process of giving new life to Palazzo Bonini, is under the guidance of specialists, including conservator/restorer and artist Cristiano Sabelli, building surveyor Paolo Franceschini and architect Simone Bartollini. Considered a national monument, the building is protected by the Soprintendenza Belle Arti of Pisa.

The diverse interiors juxtapose light filled, luminous high-ceilinged rooms, with underground brick vaults and age old stone walls, that date back to medieval and renaissance times. The restoration will take a number of years to complete and spaces will be unveiled gradually - throughout the process, Kalpa Art Living will be immersed in the heart of this.

This summer Kalpa Art Living in collaboration with Anima Silvae Association and Pignano Art Gallery present their new annual art review: 'De Rerum Natura | On the Nature of Things'. The collective exhibition will feature twelve international artists and will run from both the Palazzo and Pignano Art Gallery.  If you are in Tuscany this summer, it will be one not to miss. 

It's 14 years since I visited Volterra - I think it is definitely time to return to this magical place.

Thank you for reading. Ali 

Photo Credit: www.kalpa-art-it. 


(Ali Heath) ali heath architects art gallery authenticity creatives decor decoration designer find your style genuine home home decor interior designers interiors journal kalpa art living monochrome natural home objects Olga Niescier palazzo people places publications real shopkeepers spaces sustainability the authentic home the authentic home_journal thoughts volterra Tue, 21 May 2019 13:54:13 GMT
CREATING THE AUTHENTIC HOME | WHY NOW? There is something in the air...
Genuinely I feel as is if we are on the cusp of something huge. Something powerful that is set to unite like minded people, in pursuit of a more conscious way of living. A group of independent individuals (who I like to refer to as a tribe) emerging from their personal corners of the world, recoiling from the chaos of the economic and political nonsense, that seems to fill our news each day; and instead slowly evolving their personal journey and readjusting how they choose to live; in search of the more meaningful, authentic and sustainable. I can see from social media that this change is gaining momentum, often sub consciously, but it is happening and there is an energy around it that I am finding infectious, empowering and vital. Often small tweaks to how we go about our lives, but increasingly aware that that something bigger is at play...

So how has this happened? Don't get me wrong this journal is not meant to be a righteous babble. I have not always been as aware of eco-issues, sustainability and the planet as I should - though not many of us actively admit to that. I drive a car, take planes, am horrified by the volume of rubbish we as one family can generate, but slowly slowly over the past few years I have become increasingly conscious that being alive, having a planet to live on and a home to feel safe in, isn't a given - it is a luxury that I increasingly want to cherish and protect. I no longer crave bigger or better - what we have is our little corner of the world, and for me it is perfect because it is where my family are and where our memories have been created.

I think my thoughts about the notion of The Authentic Home, started to percolate when we embarked on work in our own home, nearly two years ago. Not because we wanted to update it unnecessarily, but because we had experienced a water tank leak and it had to happen. The bones of our home were stripped back to the raw stone and brick walls, floors lifted, tanking replaced, the kitchen ripped out and bathrooms gutted. By stripping back and exposing the bare bones of the house, we realised that our pretty Georgian cottage had in places been held together by love. But it had also stood proud for nearly 270 years, with many different families living within these walls, and those perfectly imperfect quirks, that had served us well for the last 16 years, were the things we loved. 


Doing the work also made me realise that what I was drawn to, was a need for materials that breathed, had a soul and a provenance all of their own, to complement the house and age with us - in fact probably better than us!  It got me researching endless sites for ideas and I kept coming back time and time again to materials that were authentic - limestone, marble, concrete, aged wood. It also opened my eyes to a world of tradespeople that cared and whose passion shined through in their work (with the exception of our first plumber but that is another whole story)! In short it was a treat to learn from these experts and to feed off their energy for doing a job well and with pride.

The project also made me reflect on how I go about my work as a writer and stylist. The vast majority of the features that I am involved in, are ones personally sourced by me. Again there has always been a sub conscious decision to only approach people with whom I feel affinity with, but I had never really spent much time wondering why they appealed. Being immersed in the house I inevitably stumbled across a whole host of companies that made my pulse quicken with excitement, for what they were making and what they believed in. The project finished, but my black book of sources continued to grow and grow - I should say that the idea of a perfect black book is in fact 10 scattered notebooks and endless phone screenshots - but these lovely people, places and objects began to take up more space in my head. Don't get me wrong, you don't need to renovate your house to find these people, but it was my trigger and the start of wanting to buy once, buy well and seek out sources and places that care and have a shared love of real and genuine.

I had and am still wanting to take this idea to the max and create a book, but I had an increasing desire to start sharing ideas and thoughts on the notion of The Authentic Home -  it feels real, in this moment, with the world in the state that it is now, not in a year or 18 months time. Too often words, concepts and thoughts get lost in translation, and before we blink what was a great idea has been homogenised into short term, high street trends, churned out with absolutely no authenticity, to the point that the concept is broken. Vintage, shabby chic, upcycling are all victims of this.

For me The Authentic Home is a quiet movement, embraced by those who value its sentiment as a part of their everyday life, not because it is dubbed as cool or current, to then be discarded for the next round of glitzy glue, to fill in the gaps and provide the latest unnecessary distraction. For me this is not a fad, it is way of being and living and I am excited to share with you examples of those who are embracing this thinking around the globe. The WHY, was as a start point, for how my journey began. I hope it becomes something you will enjoy with me.

Thank you for reading. Ali 

Photo Credit: Styling: Ali Heath. Location: The Home of Rural Office For Architecture, for YOU Magazine. Image: Alexander James. 


(Ali Heath) Ali Heath Antique Dealers Architects Authentic Authenticity Blog Creatives Decor Decoration Designer Find Your Style Genuine Home Home Decor Interior Designers Interiors Journal" Monochrome Natural Home Objects People Places Publications Real Shopkeepers Spaces Sustainability The The Authentic Home Thoughts Mon, 20 May 2019 14:32:18 GMT
oun: the quality of being authentic, real or true
synonyms: genuineness, originality, rightfulness, legitimacy, legality, validity, reliability, dependability, trustworthiness, truth, veracity, 
verity, faithfulness, fidelity, authoritativeness, credibility, accuracy, factualness, historicity

Earthy BeautyEarthy BeautyEARTHY BEAUTY
The rustic interior of Tracey Appel's sensitively restored lodge house has been given a new lease of life with contemporary additions that blend seamlessly with the local landscape.
Content curation, styling and features, Ali Heath. Photography, Emma Lewis.
This feature is available to purchase on request. Contact Ali Heath:

The qualities behind the word authenticity, are also values that I look for in my family, friends, work colleagues, people that I approach to feature, who I choose to buy from, where I go on holiday, what I choose to read and importantly how my home makes me feel. Knowing yourself and being true to your values, is important - it determines happiness levels and ultimately how the outside world perceives you. 

Once you allow yourself to connect with your own style, make your own decisions and find your own creative direction, you will find yourself released from the relentless pressures of trends and the need for ever ending change. Layered homes created over time, enhance sustainability, lower land fill and ultimately lead us on a path to living in a way that is true to our own story, showcasing our own memories, treasures and one-off finds. 

On our own individual journey, some will be attracted by vibrant, jewel like colours; others like me will be drawn to palettes in all manner of natural hues - off whites, pale stones, warm greys, soft browns and inky blacks. Working with so much colour in my life as a stylist and writer, I am drawn to a limited spectrum of colour at home - favouring monochrome and earthy shades, which create a restful energy that enables materials, textures and patina to take centre stage. 

What is key though, is allowing yourself to choose what makes you truly tick. Listening to your inner voice, trusting your own judgment and making conscious decisions, for the well being of yourself and the survival of the world around us, is a vital part of the process - and ultimately sets us on our way to creating The Authentic Home. 

I look forward to sharing thoughts, news and details of some my favourite people, places and finds - some local, others international, but always reflecting the very essence of The Authentic Home. 

Thank you for reading. Ali 

Photo Credit: Styling: Ali Heath. Location: Tracey Appel Shoot For Elle Decoration Country. Image: Emma Lewis.


(Ali Heath) Ali Heath Antique Dealers Architects Authenticity Blog Creatives Decor Decoration Designer Find Your Style Genuine Home Home Decor Interior Designers Interiors Monochrome Natural Home Objects People Places Publications Real Shopkeepers Spaces Sustainability The Authentic Home The Authentic Home_Journal Thoughts Sun, 19 May 2019 14:55:57 GMT