Friday, 8 March 2013

Following my Dream….

Marina Wooldridge Profile – Honeysuckle Interiors

Led by Marina Wooldridge, Honeysuckle Interiors has grown from a cottage industry to a highly successful business supplying quality hand made furnishings and interior design services.

Based in their attractive showroom in Rectory Road Oakley Marina recalls:-

Following my Dream….

“I have always had a passion for sewing and wanted my own business.  As well as making all my own clothes, I naturally made curtains for my first home.  As a result in the very early days I made curtains for friends and family and realised here was the business opportunity I’d always dreamed of.  I always had the vision that one day the business would be more than just a furnishings company and wanted to be able to provide a complete interior design service.

When I look back I was so young just 22 I had nothing to set up a business except me, a sewing machine and lots of determination. People would bring their fabric to me I would make curtains on the lounge floor and fit them myself.  I borrowed £500 from a family friend (as no bank would support the venture) and I had to pay it back in loose covers and curtains.

Setting up back then was really hard and even harder as the last recession took a foothold.  I would supplement my income by temping come home sew all evening and work weekends.  But I loved it! I got to live my dream recession or not I had to make a living and make the business work.

I worked from home for two years plus juggle home and life with having my first baby, I knew the key to growing the business and keeping my sanity would be to have premises and get more help.  In 1992 Honeysuckle Interiors moved into its first premises on Park Farm in Oakley which offered great value for money and much needed space to grow.  “When we opened up I thought we may get one or two people through a week if we were lucky.  But people got to hear about us and started to visit daily. We started to supply fabrics, wallpapers plus a make-up service and that’s when the business started to flourish”.

Seven years later Honeysuckle moved into its current premises in Rectory Road Oakley.  “It was another dream come true set in the heart of the village the old post office had a fine reputation set by its previous owners and was well established. I would often go there in the early days to buy stamps and a cake to keep morale up and think  one day if this could only be mine how perfect that would be.”

Having been in business for over 25 years the business has seen many changes and has steadily grown.  A passion for homes and everything inside them is what Honeysuckle is all about – but most importantly it’s the people they work for and with, understanding their needs and being able to deliver great customer service.

The company has brought style, innovation and quality furnishings to hundreds of homes throughout the south from one bed maisonettes to sprawling mansions.  What ever people’s aspirations or budget the design team are happy to help.

Marinas work has featured in acclaimed National magazines such as Period Homes, Home Style and Period House and at the Ideal Homes Exhibition in London.  She also runs soft furnishing courses and workshops from the premises in Oakley.

Latterly she has had acclaimed fame with her own “House Doctor” radio programme on Kestrel FM. Marina has regular monthly Home Style articles featured in Hampshire Life where many of Honeysuckles clients homes have featured.  Her column also appears in the Basingstoke Gazette and many other local publications including the Hampshire Voice.

“I’m very proud of Honeysuckle Interiors – it’s my love and my passion – and people know and feel that when they come into my shop.  When I look back I am so proud to have developed and grown a solid business that is so highly respected.  You’re only ever as successful as the people that work for you.  I owe a great deal of the company’s success to my brilliant team of loyal staff. It’s partly thanks to them that we have a solid base of satisfied customers who refer us and come back time and time again. My husband family and friends have always supported me and so much of my drive comes from them. Not many people can actually say they enjoy what they do for a living.  I can honestly say even after all these years of being in business I have a love and a passion for what I do I have been truly blessed.  I want to keep on evolving Honeysuckle and continue to work in partnership with my customer’s suppliers and staff and keep enjoying what I do.”

My future plans will involve working more closely with schools running more workshops and courses to pass our valuable skills on to the next generation. I want to help motivate and inspire our youngsters to follow their dreams and fulfil their potential.

2013 sees Sanderson launch their greatly anticipated ‘Designer Options’

2013 sees Sanderson launch their greatly anticipated ‘Designer Options’, the 11th Options collection. This series of collections has been going for 31 years with the first ‘Options’ collection launched in 1982. There are a total of eleven prints and twelve wallpapers in the collection including ‘Dandelion Clocks’ from the previous ‘Options 10’ collection and ‘Fifi’, which was previously printed as a wallpaper in the ‘50’s’ collection. The style of ‘Designer Options’ is varied to give the customer a wide choice within one book. Contemporary designs, classic Indienne trails and fresh florals are all included.



Varese is painted using an unusual technique which lets the paint bleed creating a blurred, unfocused effect.  Abstract flower motifs have been coloured in contemporary combinations including rich berry tones, indigos and charcoal. It is digitally printed on cotton satin in four colourways, suitable for curtains and upholstery. Varese wallpaper is printed in four matching colours and Kantu, a small gingko leaf wallpaper has been designed to complement Varese in eight colourways.

Jubilee Square was originally painted in the 1950’s the recent interest in retro design brought this design out of the archive. It is a whimsical street scene using images of the designers long-time family home and dolls house with park benches, trees, lampposts and dogs. It is printed on brushed cotton in three colourways and is suitable for upholstery and curtains. The coordinating Jubilee Square wallpaper shows a similar design coloured in a monotone palette.

Maple has areas of flat colour are juxtaposed with bold abstract leaf shapes and etched marks to create a contemporary and graphic image. It is printed on slub cotton in four colourways, suitable for upholstery & curtains. The coordinating Maple wallpaper is printed in three colourways. Dandelion Clocks, also designed for the ‘Options 10’ collection is included as a fabric and wallpaper in the three best selling colourways.

Sussex Downs is inspired by the countryside around the designers home, a subject she often draws on. The line illustrations are spontaneously sketched, depicting trees, hedgerows and scattered dwellings. It is available on unbleached linen union in two colours and fine cotton voile in one colourway. Sussex Downs wallpaper shows similar imagery and is available in three complementary colours.

Spring Flowers, has been painted in a loose watercolour style with subtle tonal effects that are reproduced in the print. It shows a mix of spring flowers including hyacinths and anemones. It is printed on linen/viscose in four colourways and is complemented by Spring Trellis wallpaper, painted in a similar technique.
Ranee, is adapted from an Indian embroidery and is painted to imitate a delicate chain stitch. It shows a classic trail with stylised birds and is printed in three colourways on slub cotton. The coordinating Ranee wallpaper comes in three colours to match the fabric and a classic neutral colour.

Fantasy Garden is a contemporary interpretation of a tree of life printed on slub cotton in three colourways. The Swedish influence of the design is reflected in the coordinating Fantasy Garden wallpaper. Seaford Stripe wallpaper complements many of the designs in the collection and is printed in five colourways.

Morning View depicts an interior view with fruit and flowers in the foreground and a seascape seen though a window. Morning View has been digitally printed in 2 colourways to capture the variations of texture and tone in the designers artwork. The semi-plain wallpaper, Reflections echoes the paint effects used in the print and is available in five colourways.

Apples & Pears and was inspired by the fruit motifs in Morning View. It is a simple arrangement of halved fruits in two colourways and printed on cotton.

Fifi is an original ‘50s’ Sanderson wallpaper, which was re-discovered in 2012. Fifi is a whimsical design, which shows fashionable ladies in ‘new look’ dresses. It is printed on cotton in two colourways and has a coordinating Fifi wallpaper.









Is a charming collection of whimsical embroideries for the young at heart with elegant embroidered trails, complemented by multicoloured satin stripes.

Beautiful Balloons is a stunning design of hot air balloons floating across the sky adorned with lively, colourful patterns. It is embroidered on cotton twill in four colourways.

Carousel is a smaller scale design of colourful beads hanging in vertical stripes. It is embroidered in six colourways on cotton twill to complement Beautiful Balloons.

Asami is a charming embroidery of cherry boughs and blossom. The yarns used to embroider the blossom motifs have been cut to create delicate pompoms. It is embroidered on linen union in six colourways.

Ranee Embroidery is a delicate Indienne pattern displaying a stylised trail of blossoms and leaves. It has been embroidered using a technique that imitates the chain stitch used on traditional hand stitched Indian cloths.  It is available in three colourways on cotton twill.

Candy Stripe is a multi-coloured asymmetric stripe and Asami Stripe is a classic, symmetrical stripe.  Both are woven in a smart satin quality to complement the embroideries.



Sanderson launch their first Trimmings collection including seven versatile trimming styles including simple picot braids, bobble fringes, ruffles and beads. Almost one hundred trimmings are presented in 17 colour sets including linen, duck egg, charcoal and plum, all designed to complement Sanderson’s collections of weaves and prints. The comprehensive choice of trimmings will enhance and embellish upholstery, curtains, cushions and other soft furnishings.

The range is comprised of: Picot Braid, Wide braid, Bobble Fringe, Drop Bead Fringe, Pleated Ruffle, Flanged Cord and Beaded Braid.

The Need for Tweed - Getting the Country Look - Johnstons of Elgin

Nothing blends style and function like this multi-colored woolen cloth. It’s been used for centuries for its durability, warmth and function and adds a touch of class whether you’re wearing it or furnishing with it.

Traditionally used for upper class country-clothing like shooting jackets, tweed became popular among the Edwardian middle classes who associated it with the leisurely pursuits of the elite. Tweeds certainly have stood the test of time and are as desirable and durable now as they have ever been for clothing and use in interior design schemes.  Tweed is a favourite because the flecks of colour in the weave lend it a wonderful depth. This gives us a wide variety of colour choices to pair it with so makes it perfect for the use in the home.

Nobody knows more about this glorious fabric than Johnstons Of Elgin who’s furnishing fabrics we proudly stock at Honeysuckle Interiors.  Johnstons of Elgin has been manufacturing the finest woolens and cashmere products since 1797 from its mills in Hawick and Elgin. When you see an authentic Johnstons of Elgin product, you can be sure it has been made in Scotland to a standard and quality that is world class. Their history is one of quality resilience and outstanding provenance.  It is one of the last remaining vertical mills in the UK and manufactures under the Made in Scotland label.  Skilled craftsmen and women are still producing a luxury product that is exquisite relevant contemporary and enduring. Johnston’s selects the finest luxury fabrics which are processed through approximately 30 different manufacturing stages before reaching the finished product.  The drape and the handle of this fabric is wonderful and has to be felt not looked at to appreciate its fine quality. It’s not surprising to know that a company with such a respected history has just been awarded The Royal Warrant of Appointment to The Prince of Wales with effect from the 1st January 2013

Tweed is much more than a piece of cloth. It speaks of standards to live up to.
Visit our showroom for country style inspiration and find out how to use woolen tweeds in your home.

March 2013 sees Clark and Clark launch thier new Collections

 View this post on our website with an image gallery

Wild Garden

Taking inspirations from the British countryside, this collection comprises of 6 hand drawn patterns, each created in a charming, organic style.

Foxglove and Cowslip are chic embroidered linens and Woodland is a contemporary, block printed linen union fabric.

Botanica is a complex embroidery and applique quality and is accompanied by Wild Fern, a stylish jacquard and Lawn Stripe.

There are three semi- plain textured patterns that complete the range, each suitable for upholstery.


Wild Garden Wallcoverings

Designed to complement our fabric collection of the same name, these patterns have been given a fresh twist with the use of modern colour. Surface printed foliage designs are teamed with embossed, plain grass cloths and a wonderful trompe l'oeil named Peeling Planks. Colours range from soft shades of Pearl, Parchment and Mineral through to bold hues of Aqua, Citrus and Spice.



A stunning collection of contemporary, Balinese inspired, multi-purpose printed fabrics.
These ikat styled patterns are printed on a soft linen look cotton ground and are available in six exotic shades, which include Sunset, Spice and Sorbet.

To compliment, there is a lustrous plain satin named Java in a range of eighteen colours.

New England

A coordinated collection of classic cotton stripes and plains in a wide variety of modern colours. This heavy duty quality is both soft and durable, making it ideal for drapery, blinds, upholstery and other uses.

Comprising of five coordinated patterns, Astrid is a Scandinavian styled range of florals, stripes and geometrics. The collection is printed on 100% cotton panama and suitable for both drapery and upholstery. Sophisticated colour ways include muted