Thursday, 22 December 2011

We wish you a Merry Christmas......

To all our valued customers......

A very Merry Christmas and wishing you all a healthy and Happy New Year ....

Our showroom will be closed from:-

Friday 23rd December at 4pm and re-opens Tuesday 3rd January at 10.00am when our January Sale starts.

Huge thanks go out to all the team at Honeysuckle who have been busy cutting, sewing, ironing and drilling.  We have managed to fulfil all our Christmas orders which always takes a huge amount of effort and commitment.

The last pair of curtains has been hung and we are busy cutting out orders ready to goagain in January which, is going to be really hectic and busy - nothing new there!  How lucky we are at Honeysuckle,  it is because we provide such a great service our customers come back time and time again.

So we have lots to look forward to in 2012..

Our first task will be to draw the lucky winner of our seasonal prize draw.... who is going to win £500 worth of fabulous furnishings ??????

Watch this space............ see you again in the new year - and remember the early bird will catch the worm in our sale - there are some gorgeous items going in at fantastic bargain prices.

           Happy Christmas one and all ...........

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Give your Home Some Seasonal Style

Give your Home some Seasonal Style

It's official, with less than 6 weeks to Christmas the seasonal madness has descended upon us at Honeysuckle and we're busier than ever.  The showroom has never looked more dazzling with its new displays which are really beautiful . We have two Christmas trees laden with trimmings - thanks to the help from lovely Michelle at Pippins. Check out her website for some fantastic Christmas gifts and accessory ideas  There's always a wonderful atmosphere in the shop but it's always extra special at this time of year.  We've already had an amazing response to the seasonal free prize draw and we are busy preparing for our end of season sale - there are going to be some fantastic bargains to be had so watch this space.

Give your home a magical make over .......
There’s so much to organise and think about at this time of year! The tree, the decorations, the table the food, and those extra special touches that will make all the difference to your home.  Treat your home to a magical make-over this Christmas and celebrate your well-deserved holiday in style.  Rich coppers and bronzes create a warm cosy look in a living room, subtle sage greens and purples provide a scheme that is easy to live with in the hall, traditional gingham with splashes of shaker style add a country feel to a kitchen, while bold red and sparkling gold bring opulence and luxury to the dining room. 

Make your hall look fresh and inviting….
An inviting scheme in your hall will immediately make friends and family feel relaxed and welcome.  Sage greens, pretty heather hues and hints of silver provide a light and open backdrop that won’t upstage your festive decorations.  Be sure to include a few key pieces of furniture such as a handy storage bench that will cater for the extra coats, hats and shoes of your guests.  The familiar scent of the tree and the banister garland will get everyone in the Christmas spirit as soon as they step through the door.

Warm up your living room….
Metallic golds and bronzes are Christmassy colours that lend cosy, intimate feel to a living room – the perfect environment for enchanting gifts, chatting and relaxing. Use them against a neutral backdrop of cream walls and linen coloured sofas and chairs to create a sophisticated scheme.  Include piles of cushions and throws in rich fabrics, such as silk, velvet and chenille to add texture and warmth.  Adorn the tree with beautiful decorations in bronze, orange and gold tones and complete the look with stunning foliage on the mantelpiece.

Create a glamorous dining room....
Gather friends and family around the dining table and celebrate in style.  Rich red walls compliment dark wood furniture perfectly, and ivory chair covers and a cream mantelpiece lift the decorating scheme, preventing the richer colours from being overpowering.  Dress the table with plenty of glass, white china and candles to create a truly magical atmosphere

Fill your kitchen with seasonal colours….
The kitchen is the hub of the home, especially at this time of year, so make the most of with simple but gorgeous decorations with a homespun feel.  Use a mini tree filled with rich reds and pretty gingham ribbons as a focal point, then team buttermilk-coloured walls with cheery red and cream check curtains and warm wool to create a relaxed country style.  Add lots of natural touches such as fresh foliage and pine cones, to enhance the rustic look.

Walk into Honeysuckle Interiors this winter where you'll always receive a warm welcome - we look forward to seeing you soon.....

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Bringing the Feel Good factor into your home with our Seasonal Prize draw your chance to win £500 of designer furnishings

There was a huge sence of relief and a great feel good factor in the offiice today as we finally managed to get our database emailed off to the printers. YIPEE!! At last our long awaited mail shot is ready to mail out to over 4000 clients from both Honeysuckle & Fine Fabrics.  We're so excited about the seaonal free prize draw  - you saw the details of it here first...

Bring the Feel Good Factor back into your home.
Nothing makes us happier than spending time at home and when your home looks good, you feel good too. Whether you’re looking forward to snuggling up during the dark evenings to enjoy this season’s must-see films or curling up on a sofa to read the latest best-selling novels, make sure your home is where your heart is at.

It is obviously unrealistic to redecorate every season, but you can add warmth by adding accessories in spicy saffron, chilli reds and cinnamon shades. Why not add a few extra layers to your existing furnishings to warm them up a little.  Just as we pile on pullovers to keep ourselves warm, a few extra layers work wonders in creating a warm feel indoors too.  Add a woollen throw or a travel rug to an armchair or sofa and cushions of all shapes and sizes to add a feeling of cosiness.

Carpet is unbeatable for warmth and comfort in the winter.  If you currently have bare floorboards or a stone floor, then this is the time to invest in a rug to raise temperatures instantly.

Eliminating draught is the first step to a warm comfortable home and windows and doors are the chief culprits when it comes to letting in cold air.  If your budget won’t run to new double glazing make sure you have linings and interlinings in your curtains.  If you have radiators under the window, then team your existing curtains with a thick Roman blind to cut out draughts.

Honeysuckle Interiors are passionate about bringing something special to people’s homes, so to help you put the feel good factor back into yours, we are delighted to announce the introduction of our seasonal free prize draw where we are offering one lucky entrant the chance to choose from one of the following fantastic prizes:-
£500 of beautiful hand made curtains
£500 of designer wallpaper
£500 Hand woven Jacaranda Rug
£500 of Designer Lighting

To enter simply click onto the website
Walk into Honeysuckle Interiors in Oakley and experience a warm and friendly welcome this winter. Our show room boasts one of the largest fabric collections outside of London and there’s always a friendly face to guide you through your choices. What ever your requirements from just supply or a complete room makeover they’re happy to help. To find out more contact the Design Team on 01256 780831 or click onto their website

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

From Cat Walk to Curtains

We had such a lovely time at Focus and Decorex at Chelsea Harbour last week where we met the lovely Clarissa Hulse who  has just designed the wonderful new Kallianthi collection for Harlequin.

So many people remarked on our outfits that we had specially made - and that we'd made them
ourselves! Clarissa shares our passion for wonderful fabrics and textiles and was pleased to see her designs walking around Chelsea harbour!


From Cat Walk to Curtains..........

It’s an exciting season in the furnishing industry as September sees the launch of new fabric and wallpaper collections. Fashion has been a key trend driver in interiors this year with many design inspirations transcending from the catwalk into the home.  Vintage style has seen a revival too as homeowners choose to decorate their rooms that remind them of yesteryear.  Key interior design trends take inspiration from the 1940’s and 50’s as bright colours and patterns are making a comeback.  Villa Novas new High Society – Tea at the Ritz is a great example of this illustrating ladies wearing 1950’s printed dresses.

If you have a passion for fabrics and have a little imagination you can turn this theory on its head as the design team at Honeysuckle recently demonstrated. Inspired by Clarissa Hulse’s latest Kallianthi collection for Harlequin, decided to make their own outfits in beautiful curtain fabrics to wear at Chelsea Harbour’s Focus design exhibition.  Kallianthi is a breathtaking collection of fabrics and wallpapers with a botanical theme.

Recent trends have also shown that we are also starting to use more vibrant  colours in preference to natural shades for our walls.  Wallpaper is also a popular choice as it adds texture and warmth and has a certain amount of luxury to it. In austere times consumers will be looking for brightness and will reflect on better times. The new Kallianthi collection has this in abundance whether you choose to make it up as curtains or clothing.   Colour is all around us and we are constantly influenced by it whether we realise or not. Colour creates mood, ambience and atmosphere in a room it can make us feel cosy, cold, relaxed, happy or sad. If you want to add some colour into your home, why not pop along to the showroom and see the whole collection for yourselves - its stunning!!!

A gorgeous collection of Kallianthi cushions

We also love this The High Society collection from Villa Nova - we all have to find a window to put this on...

And here are some we made earlier..... what will we be making next??????

From left to right Jen is wearing her own fitted jacket creation in Olea
Clarissa - not sure what shes wearing but looks lovely..
Miche is wearing a lovely knee length shift dress in Salvia
Marina has a longer length jacket on in Rue Flower

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Improve Dont Move

Improve Dont Move!

One of my customers remarked recently that they were going to do exactly what their home was designed for – and that was to live in it and enjoy it! When you’re happy with the area you live in, the thought of having to move in order to get a bigger bathroom or an extra bedroom can be daunting and costly. A reasonable estimate of the cost is about 10% of the price of the property you’re selling. That means if you live in a three-bedroom house worth £300,000 and decide to move into the identical three-bedroom house next door, you’ll pay around £30,000 on fees, stamp duty, legal costs, removers and the rest. 

People underestimate moving costs because they pay them a bit at a time and don’t necessarily add them up. It often pays to improve rather than move – especially as house prices are high just now, buoyed up by the lack of properties for sale while owners hold back until the market is more settled. Extensions, loft and garage conversions or creating a basement will add the most value. Open plan living is now very popular and knocking down a wall to open up a space that is filled with light will always appeal to potential buyers. Replacing an outdated kitchen will increase the value of your home. If the configuration of your kitchen works well and the carcasses are sturdy then keep the layout as it is and change the doors. Fitting a new work surface and smart new tiles will bring it into the 21st century.

Here's one we prepared earlier  - Before

During........ remember to call in the professionals!

Beware of the cowboys!  Be very wary of one man bands changing career from the stock market to becoming a builder, or the curtain maker working out the back of her shed in the garden. It does pay to shop around but make sure you are comparing like for like quotes so you know what you are getting for your money.  You’ll need to bring in professionals to carry out this kind of work and also contact your local authority to find out if planning permission is required. Talk to people who’ve had similar work done to get their advice.

                                        And Happily Ever After being Honeysuckled.......

Remember book early to avoid disappointment – the really good trade’s people are always busy.  If you’re thinking about having a project completed ready to entertain at Christmas now is the time to get organised. 

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Best of British - Our day out at Cole & Son

Located on a very ordinary industrial estate in north London we recently visted Cole & Son leading  manufacturers of exceptional quality wallpaper .  It is refreshing to learn that despite those awful riots last week, there are still some things that our country does exceptionally well  and Cole & Son have a product Britain can be proud of. 

We've had a Cole & Son account for a long time and when the team were invited for a talk and factory tour  (and lunch!) thought it would be a great opportunity to see how they justify in excess of £60 a roll for their wallpaper!  
The whole day was inspiring from start to finish we all came away buzzing and with so much more product knowledge - and our conclusion that at £60 plus a roll was truly excellent value for money.

The biggest surpise for us all that though famed for making wallpaper for Buckingham Palace, The House of Parliament, the White House (to name drop just a few) the company despite its size feels like a family run business.  It boasts one of the largest archives of over 1800 block designs, 350 screen print designs and an enormous collection of original drawings and wallpapers from the 18th, 19th and early 20th century.  It's not all about the old stuff though, their current collections have really modern excitng designs too.

Now I'm not going to get all super wallpaper nerdy as Colin Edwards did a brilliant job at that for us on the day! - but you could not help but be ovewhelmed by his knowledge of the product and his infectious enthusiasm for the company.  After we had our talk in the boardroom our tour of the factory was like stepping back in time.  How wonderful to see the original machinery and blocks still in use and how manual  and uncomputerised the processes were.  The results were magnificent the quality outstanding - but then so were all the people we met in the factory who take a real pride in their work.

It starts here....

Real flock wallpaper that you can scrub hanging up to dry- how amazing is that?

Colin showing us an example of an archive  - they keep a little of everything just in case!

Wow! screen printing - Cat walk we all loved this!

Hope these photos give you a flavour of Cole & Son - if you want to find out more come and see us or check out their website

More cat walk!

Print rollers  - how clever!

Nothing adds texture and warmth to a room like wallpaper - we're all completely converted and from now on we'll be recommending Cole & Son with a real sense of pride!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Living it up with Lambrequins!

1. Take 2 tricky windows
2. Ask your experienced track fitter to template shape from wood.

3. Upholster in sumptuous velvet.

4. Add Roman blind in amazing silk.



5. Next add Boutique Style Headboard

6. Throw over lush quilted bedcover

7. Finally - season with bespoke cushions

and enjoy...............

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Vintage Honeysuckle - quality that stands the test of time

I was really delighted when one of our old customers popped into the showroom recently.  I hadn't seen this lady for some years  in fact she hadn't realised Michelle had had a break and was back - so we're talking some time here.

We were of course only too happy to supply her with new sitting room poles upgrading them to something a little more substantial.  She reminded us of  how the poles had been in the house when she had moved in and had now finally expired.  I couldn't believe that we had made the curtains for her over 18 years ago - how time flies!  The great thing about these curtains is the fantastic condition they are in.  The Nobilis fabric is in timeless delicate colours - and was expensive at the time.  What a great investment  they were and testament to our expert curtain making it speaks volumes about the quality of materials we use.  The pole diameter was much greater than the original which meant the curtains needed to be shortened - no problem all part of the service.

Here's what they looked like when we'd finished... at least another ten years in them!

And here's what our lovely customer wrote to us:-

Hi Marina

I am truly delighted with the curtain poles and the transformation of my ancient curtains -  please give my thanks to everyone concerned with sprucing them up, you have all done a wonderful job.

Talk to you again very soon

Jan x


Monday, 13 June 2011

William Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement - paste this into your browser and find out more about the 150 year celebration and where to find Morris & Co exhibitions

Well I said I'd be back with more on William Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement. So if you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin ........

I am often asked to re-create a room in the style of Art Nouveau only to find that the client’s idea and the true representation of the period are two different things completely.  There is a distinctive difference between the two styles and an experienced eye will spot them immediately.  The Arts and Crafts movement was from 1860 – 1925 and was inspired by medieval architecture. Everything was made to the highest standards and where possible using traditional methods and materials. Furniture was made from oak and would have very simple straight lines.  The tone of the Arts & Crafts interior was set by William Morris in the 1860’s whose wallpaper and fabric designs were based on medieval motifs and on nature.  William Morris was one of the most significant characters during the time of the Arts & Crafts movement and he remains one of the most well known British Designers to this day.
His essential aim was to achieve the high standards of craftsmanship that he believed had been lost due to the dehumanising effects of the industrial revolution.
Naturalistic colours in warm, subtle colours included sage greens, rusts peacock blue and gold. If you want to see a great example of Arts & Crafts architecture locally  in Basingstoke visit the All Saints Church by Fairfields School and have a look at the commissioned Morris circular stain glass window design.

Art Nouveau style is far more exuberant than Arts & Crafts.  Its curvilinear style is more organic and flowing and wound it’s tendrils around France, Belgium and Germany between 1890 and 1910.  French Art Nouveau includes designers such as Tiffany and Gallet famous for lamps and glassware.  If you have had the opportunity to hop over to Paris check out the French Metro which embraces the style completely.  Britain’s most famous Art Nouveau designer was Charles Rene Macintosh.  Mackintosh favoured pastels such as soft pink and aqua or white, set off by a stencilled pattern at the top of the wall or accentuating a feature such as a fireplace or a window. He combined a mixture of stylised roses and thistles and geometric squares in his designs and often used black as a contrast accent. You can easily replicate Mackintosh in your own home as most of the large DIY stores will have stencils to apply yourself and even door handles.  Reproduction accessories to compliment your Art Nouveau interior can be found in high street stores particularly good examples can be found in Past Times. 
Couldn't resist sharing this photograph of a beautifully embroidered Honeysuckle firescreen on display at Standen -  And Tomorrow is a new day......

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Celebrating 150 Years of Morris & Co at Standen - Our Secret Revealed!

So our secret is out !- this is the design team dressed to impress yesterday - in our hand made outfits in beautiful William Morris fabrics. As soon as we knew that we had been invited to the prestigious  private viewing of "Standen and 150 years of Morris & Co"  our first reaction was "What are we going to wear".  It was obvious we had to make something in Morris fabrics.

 The excitement has been too much to bear every Monday and Tuesday for what seems like weeks, after  the showroom closes we have been busy cutting patterns and tailor tacking.  It's been such brilliant fun and has rekindled our love of dressmaking. We wanted it to be a surprize for our lovely representative Caroline to turn up on the day and see her reaction.

Feeling slightly self concious we arrived at Standen to an amazing reaction from everybody.  Yes, we did make it ourselves and yes the pattern placement all matched up!
The agenda for the day was set - a welcome, a private viewing, lunch and a talk by Michael Parry author of Morris & Co a Revolution In Decoration.

We had the most  perfect day - come back soon to find out more


Thursday, 2 June 2011

Under wraps - couture and curtains watch this space

For several weeks now the design team have been closetted away working on a top secrect project.  All we can say is that its taken all our skills as seamsresses and has tested our patience to the extreme!. We will soon be able to reaveal what we've been up to but our lips are sealed.


Watch this space  - all will be revealed after the 8th of June...

Marina xx

In the meantime here's a sneaky peak at what is to come....

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you ..........

You have to forgive me for having a nostalgic moment today - I'm so proud of my business 23 years of trading and I love it as much today as I did when I started out.   I am one of those lucky people who enjoy going to work everyday because I am passionate about what I do and the people who I come into contact with because of it. 

I've had one of those typically hectic days today chasing my tail.   Actually I am officially on holiday, but I had promised one of my lovely customers that I would try and get her curtains fitted for her before she went away and see a really busy lady who needs our help restoring a period property -  today was the only day. That's the essence Honeysuckle for you - we are dedicated to customer service and I don't think anyone else does it like us.

I always say I owe so much of the companies success to the fantastic team of people that work for me - it with great thanks to them, all their hard work and dedication that Honeysuckle remains constant enabling our loyal customers to be able return again and again.

Over the last 23  years  I have certainly seen some changes in soft furnishing design and interiors, I can honestly say I've seen and done it all.  And how technology has changed over that time.  When the business set up there were no mobile phones, email, computers  or satellite navigation all those things I take for granted now!

Right that's it nostalgia moment over  - all that's left to say is HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEYSUCKLE - here's to many more brilliant years to come. Check out what we did on our 20th birthday bash theres a link on the website  - Bring on a silver jubilee birthday celebration!!!

Marina xx

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Oooh la la - Casa Deco fabrique magnifique!

Enter ..... Edith Piaff and Sacha Distel and start humming  La Vie En Rose.  Have I set the scene? - a layer of continental sophistication swept throught the showroom this week, when we were paid a visit by the very suave Gilles from Casa Deco fabrics and wallcoverings.

We have been stockists of this exclusive brand of designer fabrics and wallcoverings for over 15 years.   We love the injection of fresh colours and designs that co-ordinate across  the range to give a european flavour to any interior.

This is our favourite new collection aptly named Paris  - gorgeous Parisian secnes with fabulous co-ordinate stripes and plains.  Great in the monocramatic black and white with acid yellow - but relaxed and sophisticated in the taupe and white with accents of duck egg blue.

OOh la la indeed!

Black and acid yellow - very in vogue across the water!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Like father - Like son!

You've heard of bend it like Beckham ,well today I have been bending tracks with Al and Alan.  Bays can be awkward to dress but with Honeysuckle Interiors expertise and a helping hand from our wonderful track fitters, 23 years experience has meant your bay need never go bare again!  We always thought we would struggle to find someone quite like Al, as a former precision engineer, his technical know how and dedication to any job is beyond compare.  We always said they broke the mould when they made Al but how about this..............we've managed to clone him!  We are so pleased to have Alan the taller, younger more good looking  version (Al's words) who just happens to be - wait for it - Al's son.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A fabric rep a day keeps the internet at bay

We've been having such a fab day today - we've seen our lovely reps from Nobilis and Jane Churchill.  The shop was filled with oohs and ahs as we were shown the new collections hot off the press.

Believe it or not there is a downside we have to buy all the books (GRRRRR!) but they are the tools of our trade and as a self confesed fabric junkie I just have to have. 

Sandras been a design diva knee deep in Kobe fabric  pattern placing with the girls in the workroom- things you'll do for a bit of Italian stringing! - whats that? I hear you say - watch this space.  This is going to be a spectacular window dressing with a curtain drop of 4.30m! incredible - and all handstitched.

Manuel Canovas new collection - gorgeous colours!

The new Jane Churchill collection so versatile with co-ordinating wallpapers and plains

Look at these gorgeous fabrics which will be available to view in our show room very very soon.

be back soon

Marina Miche Sandar & Jenny xx

Monday, 16 May 2011

our new blog is live!

How exciting, we have finally launched the Honeysuckle Blog and will be bringing you up to date news about whats going on here at Honeysuckle, tips on how to decorate and furnish your home with lots of helpful, friendly advice.