New for old

Old Parker Knoll type wing chairs are something we are often asked to recover. This particular one was of great sentimental value to its owner but it needed to suit a fairly modern room and be brought up to modern standards of flame retardancy. So the the upholstery was redone completely. We used a beautiful, hard wearing  Romo striped  fabric and  the legs were painted to coordinate with the fabric and the room.  Stunning.

This could be a great chair to use as a project on an upholstery course.  They are inexpensive to buy often as little as £10 or £15 .


All about linen by Pierre Frey

My thanks to Pierre Frey for this stunning brochure.  I love knowing about how our beautiful fabrics are made and this certainly filled in many gaps in my knowledge.  Their brand new ranges of stone washed linens are truly gorgeous.

Please click on the link below to see the whole brochure.

linen brochure


Cumbria Life copies

Since joining Cumbria Life up as a columnist, so many great things have happened. The birth of our Home and Garden show at Rheged, meeting the lovely people who work for CL and its other publications, working alongside the talented and patient Sally Seed of Stoneleigh Communications to produce the column on time and coming across lots of lovely new people who have become customers and friends.
I have been asked many times about various items from my page so I am hoping, technical ability allowing !, to add some of my CL pages to this weblog each month – so here goes.




Interior Design Assistant

Whitemore & Thwaytes are looking for an interior design assistant to join their talented team based in Penrith, Cumbria. A rare opportunity to “learn the trade” from a talented team.

The Company
Whitemore & Thwaytes is an established supplier of interior design services, soft furnishings, furniture, fabrics, paint and lighting. Our specialism is style that will not date. We work alongside our clients to help make their homes truly theirs – interpreting their needs and introducing them to a wide range of design ideas whilst working within their budget. We have an extensive show-room with a wide selection of pattern books, along with lighting and furniture samples.
All soft furnishings are produced in our own high quality workroom and we are able to draw together a strong team of crafts-people and suppliers to undertake larger projects.
The company is led by Maureen Whitemore. Maureen has a lifetime of experience in the soft furnishing industry, serves as a director of the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers and is renowned for her commitment to training and skills development in the industry.

The role.
The assistant designer will work along-side Maureen, assisting in selecting interior design schemes for clients and providing administrative support. Specific duties will be:
• Attending meetings with clients and ensuring follow-up such as ordering of samples, fabrics and components;
• Liaising with the Business Coordinator on quotations and progress of work;
• Liaising with clients on design schemes and project execution;
• Maintaining showroom displays and the pattern book collection;
• Maintaining the company’s profile on social media;
• Entering data to the company accounting system and processing on-line sales enquiries.
Training will be provided as appropriate to the qualifications and prior experience of the successful applicant. Subject to qualifications, experience and aptitude, the successful applicant will, after a suitable induction period, be encouraged to act independently in developing and expanding the business.
This is a full-time employment position. Hours of work are 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. The position is hourly-paid with opportunity for occasional over-time as business need arises.

Experience and Qualifications required
We are looking for someone with an interest in interior design, a love of high-quality soft-furnishings and good organisational and communication skills. A qualification and/or prior experience in interior design is preferable but not essential, as training will be given to an applicant with the right aptitude. The successful applicant is likely to have good sense of colour and texture, spatial awareness and practicality.
As elements of the role will be client-facing, candidates must be presentable and of a personable nature, with a good telephone manner and competence in written correspondence.
The successful applicant will be computer literate, able to use basic office applications such as word-processing and spreadsheets. Training will be provided in data-entry to the company accounting system.
A full, clean UK driving license is required.
Please reply with a CV to

Home and Garden show.

It is almost here and it is the biggest and best yet. Liz and I are so excited and we hope you will be too when you see what we have to offer. Please click  Home Show Full to show you what is on offer.






Lighting is so important

I am a really big fan of John Cullen lighting, they are so innovative and they have an incredible design team. This was an idea they had for lighting on a staircase, it is just fabulous. Gone are the days of a “centre light ” which must be switched off the second you leave the room. Led technology is moving ahead in leaps and bounds making lighting a feature rather than just a necessity. Walking into a beautifully lit room is a joy.





A special day

I was recently invited by GP and J Baker and Mulberry, to a fabulous private launch of their incredible new ranges.  I had a wonderful day including visiting their design studio and also being treated to the opportunity to see just a very small selection of their archives.

 GP and J Baker’s collaboration with Historic Royal palaces  has provided a wealth of inspiration for the books in this collection – yet there is something for everyone amongst the three ranges. 

 The Mulberry Festival collection is exciting and adventurous in that special, timeless Mulbery way. These are just a few of my own images but I can’t wait for the books to arrive at Foxton House.
This fabric is a printed velvet suitable for upholstery. We already have an order for a window seat. I can’t wait to see it in place 

This chair is upholstered in printed linen with an embroidered fabric used to make the cushion. A good way to make this fabric go further is to use an less expensive plain for the two side panels and the back of the cushion. A metre of fabric can go a long way used in this fashion. 

I have loved this design since it was first launched as an appliquéd and embroidered linen, which wasn’t suitable for upholstery.  As part of the new Mulberry launch, the same design is now available in a very hard wearing printed velvet. Fabulous !!!

Shepherds’ hut

Okay so the challenge we have to squeeze in for next week , as well as our ordinary work, is the interior of this “shepherds hut” Made by Woodstyle Joinery near Carlisle. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for a spare bedroom in the garden or a home office or studio. It is going to have a lovely sedum roof by Lizzie, Phil and their team. Come and see it at the show !


The show is almost here !

What is the show all about ? well take over 60 exhibitors ;

From fireplaces to furniture, plants to ceramics, garden design to wool throws, stencilling to showers, kitchens to carpets, door furniture to alternative energy, fencing to photography – and everything in between.

Add our celebrities and Garden question time in the theatre and a host of experts at our free seminars in the hall and you will have a fantastic day out. Take for instance Helen Morris  of the Stencil Library


helen27I can imagine that your image of stencils and stencilling is the traditional border of a teddy bears type border on the wall of your child’s room, but think again and let Helen show you how to transform whole rooms, floors, furniture or walls.

blue bedroom stencilled furniture 424DSC09156










Tell all your friends and come and have a fun day with us.  Don’t risk disappointment, book your places at the seminars now on the website

Cumbria Life Home and Garden Show.

What an amazing few months – apart from being wonderfully busy in our business, my associate Liz Newport of Buzy Lizzie garden design and I have been working on a fantastic project – a wonderful new Home and Garden show to be held at Rheged on February 28th and March 1st this year.  There is so much to tell you about including our speakers Sophie and Daniel presenters from The Great British Design Challenge and so much more.  To get all the info, the latest Cumbria Life tells you all about it. Including details of over 60 exhibitors.

More to follow but for now please click on the attached poster for a few more details.

150113 Home&GardensPoster