Decorum Loves: Picnic Accessories

It’s that time of year again – the sun has emerged, new Wimbledon champions are about to be crowned and BBC Proms start on July 17th. There are six weeks ahead of us to fill with socialising and dining al fresco, so I’ve been taking a look at some standout accessories which will take your traditional English picnic to the next level.

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The Gourmet Trotter is an ingenious alternative to the cumbersome wicker picnic basket. Taking its inspiration from the golfer’s trolley, the mobile Trotter features three separate storage compartments, holding tableware and food for four people. No longer limited to the vicinity of your Land Rover, you are free to roam the countryside and picnic wherever takes your fancy.

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The Gourmet Trotter also disassembles, so there will still be plenty of room in the boot.

TollyMcRae

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing picnic rugs – make the correct decision and you will gain a blanket to use at home all year round. Pure wool is naturally water repellant, meaning you can avoid any plastic backing. Tolly McRae’s blankets are woven in a classic herringbone, with the range featuring modern colours like Beetroot and Lemon Zest. For an additional cost, they also come with a leather carrying strap for ease of use.

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If you’re aiming to create an atmosphere, these portable Bluetooth speakers from Such & Such are light and wireless for effort-free broadcasting, with a sleek design in sustainable bamboo and hemp.

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And if the weather should fail you, or you want to bring your summer of picnic memories home, Meadow Flowers from Blendworth’s new Avania collection (shown far left) is a printed satin, perfect for cushions or curtains and available in four summery colourways.

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All that remains is a trip to Waitrose to pick up prosecco, Scotch Eggs and a selection of mixed olives before locating your nearest meadow (or simply retreating to the garden) to make the most of the long evenings. Enjoy!

Decorum Explores: Design south of the river

As a Yorkshire native it wasn’t until I moved to London that I discovered how much of a dirty phrase ‘south of the river’ is. For the life of me, I can’t work out why.

I moved here two years ago this month and in that time I’ve found a fantastic flat at a reasonable (for London) price, a friendly area to live in and all the air conditioned TFL I could ask for (in the form of the London Overground). All south of the river.

Decorum Explores Design South of the RiverColourful Crossings Bankside (1) This year marks a breakthrough for the entirely underrated side of the Thames. London Design Festival recently announced the introduction of a new design district for this September.

‘Bankside Design District’ has been birthed from the cosy womb of Southwark Street and is the first Design Festival district south of the river.

Decorum Explores Design South of the River Tate modern The year 2000 saw the opening of the Tate Modern, the beginning of an ongoing makeover for the ugly duckling of central London riversides. The last fifteen years have seen the Bankside area transform into a creative hub, home to galleries, design studios, architectural practices and creative agencies. Not to mention the impressive NEO Bankside development, which as seen a real focus on residential design brought to the area.

Decorum Explores Design South of the River A Decorum favourite, the hub for the Bankside Design District is design led hotel, citizenM. Boasting a wonderfully diverse, yet pleasingly cohesive, range of interiors, citizenM will host an exhibition by British footwear label Clarks and 14 UK artists and designers.

Decorum Explores Design South of the River CitizenM Bankside Another iconic design feature of this newest district is the Oxo Tower Wharf. Aside from being an excellent location for cocktails (not that I’d know…), the charming Oxo Tower is home to more than 20 design studios and exhibition spaces, including gallery @ oxo and Bargehouse.

Decorum Explores Design South of the River OTW banner with St Pauls in background_LDF The Oxo Tower Wharf has hooked up with a variety of other leading Bankside and South Bank creative business to support the Bankside Design District. They will be hosting a series of designer talks, an exhibition of contemporary craft, design work by graduates of UCA and a ‘striking’ courtyard installation.

As fond as I am of the West End, Clerkenwell and Chelsea, I’m super excited to see what the area of London that’s attached itself to my heart brings to the (probably bespoke) table this September.

Decorum Explores: Masterpiece 2015

Masterpiece London is an expansive event for the world’s leading art, antiques and design dealers to come together and showcase their exquisite pieces. Held on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the show was my weekend highlight, as I explored some of the standout pieces on display this year. IMG_2148

This year’s Masterpiece features headline acts such as Symbolic & Chase’s Symbolic Yellow Diamond, at 114 carats recently certified as one of the oldest, largest old-cut Fancy Vivid yellow diamonds on record, and The Socialite by Andy Warhol, a portrait of New York socialite Olga Berde Mahl – displayed in public for the first time ever.

But aside from the newsworthy, there were still thousands of pieces to see which presented international craftsmanship, new and old, at the highest level. Here is a selection which caught my eye…

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An unexpected discovery was the amount of folk art and crafts which were included alongside the antique furniture displays, an indication that the spirit of Victorian curiosity collectors is alive and well in today’s luxury market. Two metre narwhal horns stood alongside tribal headdresses and these charming antique tortoise shells.

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Masterpiece has certainly become the heart of the luxury jewellery industry, with heritage Fabergé pieces being displayed alongside the latest creations from Van Cleef & Arpels. This Carnet necklace in purple sapphire, garnet, jade and diamond set in titanium is one of the diverse offerings from Symbolic & Chase.

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This rare silver throne chair from India 19th century features elaborate lion patterns and gilding. I’ve decided to search for a similar design for the office.

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Steinway

It can  be slightly numbing to be exposed to such a large volume of diamonds, fine art and beautiful furniture all at once, but should you reach saturation point, enjoying three restaurants (as well as Scott’s champagne bar) to the music of Steinway’s Fibonnaci grand piano is an excellent way to recover from fair fatigue.

Decorum Chats: Jennifer Guerrini-Maraldi

Jennifer Guerrini-Maraldi is a leading expert in Australian Contemporary and Indigenous Art, and has been instrumental in its increasing prominence in the British art world. With a diverse collection of paintings and sculpture characterised by their bold patterns and use of colour, I spoke to her briefly as she prepared her collection for this year’s Masterpiece art fair, to find out more about her work and the gallery based in her Battersea home.

At home with Jennifer Guerrini-Maraldi

Tell me about your background as a dealer of Australian art.

I’ve always wanted to be an art dealer. I love New York colourfield artists from the 1970’s, people like Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock. I started with sales at Powell Street Gallery in South Yarra, a suburb of Melbourne, at the age of 23. At PSG, I showed works by contemporary Australian artists such as Jenny Watson, Alun Leach-Jones, Victor Majzner, Inge King, and David Wilson, to name a few. It was very successful; I sold art to museums, regional gallery collections, I was also a valuer for the Australian Tax Office, for tax deductions for clients purchasing contemporary Australian Indigenous Art.

Kenneth Nolan, Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 1961.

Kenneth Nolan, Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 1961.

What makes Australian art stand out, and why would you recommend it for peoples’ homes?

After moving to London in late 1978, I lost touch slightly with the Australian art scene, but on a visit back to Melbourne and Sydney over 15 years ago with my husband Filippo, I attended a Sydney Christie’s auction viewing. It was there that I purchased a Freddie Timms painting, and my passion for indigenous art was sparked.

Australian Aboriginal art stands out because it is real art, not just decoration. These works are part of the world’s longest and oldest unbroken culture – 60,000 years. The art contains the stories and dreamings of the people, and that makes them uplifting and full of soul.

Lily Hargraves Nungarrayi Yirringali, Turkey Dreaming, 200 x 300 cm, Acrylic on Linen, JGM Art Ltd

Lily Hargraves Nungarrayi Yirringali, Turkey Dreaming, 200 x 300 cm, Acrylic on Linen, JGM Art Ltd

What is your favourite piece at the moment?

My current favourite piece is a large painting (acrylic on linen, 200 x 300 cm) by Lily Hargraves Nungarrayi. The Seven Sisters painting by the Ken family is another top choice of mine. I have many favourite pieces though, because I source all the art myself. Claude Carter and Lloyd Kwilla are two other artists who make work that I routinely like.

Ken Family Collaborative, Seven Sisters, 300 x 200 cm, Acrylic on Linen, JGM Art Ltd.

Ken Family Collaborative, Seven Sisters, 300 x 200 cm, Acrylic on Linen, JGM Art Ltd.

How would you describe your interior style? Your home is also your gallery, has this informed how you decorate?

When I designed the space in Battersea Square, I had two penthouse apartments arranged into one big space. I basically created a pale shell to show off the indigenous Australian art, so that the way the art is the decorating theme. To add to this theme, I have recently covered two 1960’s swivel armchairs in a new Pierre Frey fabric of Aboriginal design in black and white. In order to let the art take center stage, I installed a concealed hanging system and lighting system throughout the gallery.

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Spirit Poles on display in Jennifer

Spirit Poles on display in Jennifer’s Battersea home.

Which pieces will you be taking to Masterpiece this year, and what is your favourite thing about the show?

Masterpiece attracts the best collectors and museum directors from around the world. Visitors are genuine buyers and collectors of the finest art, antiquities, and contemporary design available. To aid in this, Masterpiece has a very strong vetting committee to ensure everything is genuine and the “best in class,” not over-restored. This gives buyers and collectors enormous confidence in any purchases they make.

I am taking many works to Masterpiece this year from a variety of Australian artists. The Ken Family Collaborative work ‘Seven Sisters’ and the two Lily Hargraves Nungarrayi Yirringali artworks ‘Turkey Dreaming’ and ‘Witchetty Grub Dreaming’ are all works done in acrylic on linen which makes them bold and bright. We are also showing scultupres, including five ‘Mokuy’ carvings by Nawurapu Wununmurra. We also have a work using natural ochres by Lloyd Kwilla and a selection of bark paintings.

Lily Hargraves Nungarrayi Yirringali, Witchetty Grub Dreaming, 203 x 117 cm, Acrylic on Linen, JGM Art Ltd.

Lily Hargraves Nungarrayi Yirringali, Witchetty Grub Dreaming, 203 x 117 cm, Acrylic on Linen, JGM Art Ltd.

Lloyd Kwilla, Jumuwarnti - Many Waterholes, 180 x 150 cm, Natural Earth Ochres on Canvas, JGM Art Ltd.

Lloyd Kwilla, Jumuwarnti – Many Waterholes, 180 x 150 cm, Natural Earth Ochres on Canvas, JGM Art Ltd.

Masterpiece is running until July 1st 2015. You can see the full collection of artists which Jennifer represents at jgmart.co.uk

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