Marrakech Design Retreat!

I’ve been visiting Morocco for over ten years, and last year I thought it was high time for me to share my favourite places with some other design aficionados. So, after several months of organising, I’m excited to say my Marrakech Design Retreat is on! Running from 30th September to 7th October, we’ll be staying at the delightful Maison 28 in the heart of the Marrakech medina, which has been lovingly restored by American artist Melanie Royals. Have a look at your home away from home here: .



We’ll be visiting inspirational palaces, designer riads, hidden flea markets, artisans’ studios, design shops and showrooms, the carpet souk, and we’ll be refueling at some of the best restaurants in Marrakech. Oh, and when you want to rest your feet, we’ll spend an afternoon spa/hammam break at the Beldi Country Club.

Have a look at for further information or email me on . Prices are £1850 per person for a shared twin room, or £2150 for a private double, meals and entry to events included. 5% of all fees will be donated to girls’ education and empowerment charity Project Soar





marrakech souk 8marrakech souk 11


Join me as we explore the iconic Jardins Majorelle, once home of Yves Saint Laurent who had rescued it, with his partner Pierre Berge, from creeping development, lovingly restoring it and the house to the former glory as the home of French artist Jacques Majorelle. We’ll then head next door to the new Yves Saint Laurent Museum, just two of the fantastic visits we’ll be enjoying on this trip.


Posted in architecture, ceramics, Colours, Design, inspiration, Marrakech, Morocco, nature, retreat, rugs, shabby chic, soft furnishings, Yves Saint Laurent | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Shop is Open!

Oh, I’m so excited! I’m a shopkeeper at last! Well, an online one at the very least. Oh, and it’s stocked full of lovely, lovely things. Vintage 1960s pottery? Check. And art glass, you ask? Murano? Check! Mid-century Italian pottery. Well, of course. And lots of wonderful treasures from my travels through Morocco. Rugs, wedding blankets, hammam towels, jewellery, desert pottery, poufs made from vintage rugs… come in, come in! You are welcome!

Here’s a teaser taster of some of the unusual things I’ve got in store. Come and have a look at

bitossi-3 donkey-1 small-vintage-vase-2 vermillion-green-salt-glazed-bowls-2 vermillion-hammam-towels vermillion-zig-zag-with-black-red-pouf vermillion-aqua-tieback murano-dish-2 vermillion-aqua-scarf-2 vermillin-black-handira-on-bed-2 vermillion-black-white-pouf-corner vermillion-boots vermillion-berber-necklaces vermillion-purple-babouches vermillion-multi-on-rug-inside vermillion-purse vermillion-grey-rug-fireplace

Posted in art glass, Bedrooms, ceramics, Colours, Contemporary Design, inspiration, interior decoration, Interior Design, Interiors, Living Rooms, Marrakech, Mid-century modern, Morocco, rugs, rustic, shabby chic, soft furnishings, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everything’s Coming up Roses

mottisford abbey rose garden hampshire

So, it’s a rainy, bleak Sunday afternoon in July — not an unusual occurrence in England, it has to be said. I’ve retreated indoors, and it’s struck me that maybe one of the reasons floral prints are so popular over here is because, well, we’re often chased inside by our rainy climate. The rain is a boon to gardens here, and when the sun does creep out from behind the clouds for a day or so, we’re all to be found puttering in our verdant plots — whether it’s titivating a window box on a ledge, hoeing a small allotment of vegetables, or dead-heading roses in a walled glory in the countryside (see the lovely Mottisford Abbey Rose Garden in Hampshire, England in the picture above). But for those (many) days, when we can only admire our gardens through the rain-spattered window, a hot cup of tea in hand, the only solution is to bring those roses indoors.

mario buatta

Living room designed by Mario Buatta via So pretty. A deft hand at work.

ysl tangier house

Yves Saint Laurent’s Tangier house. I love the restrained use of this subtle chintz. The room looks fresh and modern.

nikki tibbles wallpaper

Nikki Tibbles’ living room in “Dark Floral” by American designer Ellie Cashman via Featured in Vogue, Sept/Oct 2014.

nina campbell kitchen

Florals aren’t just for living rooms and bedrooms. Here Nina Campbell uses a fresh, spring-like floral in this country kitchen.


Nina’s decorator/writer daughter Rita Konig has used this pretty lavender wallpaper in her master bedroom on I like how she’s picked out accent colours on the cushions from the wallpaper.

micheal s smith interior

English country in California. A masterful English interior designed by Michael S. Smith which has appeared in

nicky haslam interior

Speaking of masterful English interiors, here’s a lovely foral interior by Nicky Haslam, from

rose mural surface view

Surface View offers gorgeous wall murals based on artwork from the National Gallery in London.

dust jacket attic - hallway

This fresh green and ivory leaf print gives this hallway a strong identity. On

the english room

If you don’t want to go whole hog, thank about adding a floral accent. Here designer Holly Hollingsworth Phillips of The English Room has done just this. On

dorothy draper greenbrier

The divine Dorothy Draper is one of my favourites. I love how she’s used this classic floral chintz on chairs and curtains in the Greenbrier Hotel in Virginia.

digetex floral wallpaper

A striking floral mural from Digetex via vintage chic

A vintage floral bedroom mixes and matches floral patterns in this bedroom designed by Helmi Vaga of

Don’t chuck out that chintz just yet!

Posted in chintz, classic english interior design, english interiors, fabrics, florals, interior decoration, Interior Design, wallpaper | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Going Bananas


I’m just back from Grenada and I’ve got palm trees and bananas on my mind — especially as the view from my window is all about rain, rain, rain — the horizontal kind. Typical summer in England. So, why not bring some tropical sun into your home (even if it’s blowing a gale outside), with some lush, tropical leaves?

palm tree floor lamp  palm tree floor lamp 2

I am in love with these vintage brass palm tree floor lamps. I’m going to have to find a place for on in my flat. Pictures from

Even since it was first hung up in the Beverley Hills Hotel, the Martinique banana leaf wallpaper was been popular. Lovvvve.

martinique 3 martinque wallpaper  martinque in room   martinique wallpaper 5

martinique wallpaper 4 palm leaf hall

First and last pictures from , all others from

Even one of my favourite interior decorators, the inimitable Dorothy Draper, used it in her iconic decoration for The Greenbriar Hotel in West Virginia (pictures below from

palm tree wallpaper lobby

and, where there are banana leaves on the walls, could carpet be far behind?

palm leaf carpet

I found these tropical area rugs for sale on (below).

tropical rug tropical rugs 2

What could be nicer than to wake up surrounded by tropical greenery?

  palm leaf bedroom palm leaf bedroom 2

palm tree bedroom bedding 2

(Pictures from top left: ,, (interior by Michelle Workman Interiors) and

How about some Martinique banana leaf curtains? Pictures from

palm leaf bathroom 3 palm leaf bathroom 4

You can even get a tropical leaf shower curtain! From

palm leaf curtain

Speaking of curtains…

palm leaf curtains palm leaf curtain 2

Pictures from

Not forgetting cushions, of course…

palm cushions   banana leaf cushion

From left: and on right

This new restaurant in Farringdon, London is definitely a place I need to check out:

palm tree upholstery

Image of the restaurant in the Bourne and Hollingsworth Hotel on

But if you want a quick tropical fix, why not pop around to your local florist and pick up some tropical leaves?

palm leaf palm leaf 4

palm leaf 3 palm leaf 2

Images from




Posted in Bathrooms, Bedrooms, interior decoration, Interior Design, martiniquewallpaper, palm tree lamps, tropical design, wallpaper | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Oh, yes, I’m one of those people who loves Christmas. Growing up in Canada, a white Christmas was guaranteed, with snowmen, frosty noses, and even an occasional sleigh ride, jingle bells and all.

But the thing that meant Christmas was truly here was the night we’d all decorate the Christmas tree, always a real one, painstakingly selected at the local Christmas tree man’s stall on the petrol station forecourt (or garage parking lot in Canada-speak). This was, of course, once we’d moved to Quebec. Back in Newfoundland Dad had to put the chains on his tires, drive out over the icy roads to the forest and chop down a tree, tie it to the roof of the car and get it home, without it falling off (something that did happen one year, but that’s another story).

So, today’s blog is an ode to the Christmas Tree, in all it’s decorative glory.

 christmas tree fabulous tree in Covent Garden London.

christmas tree

And another English one, the tree in Trafalgar Square London. An annual gift from Norway.

christmas tree

I love this pretty pink tree. From

christmas tree 3

I love this pretty multi-coloured candy tree. On

christmas tree 2

Just because you’re short of space doesn’t mean you have to forego your tree. From

christmas tree 2A frosty white delight! From

IMG_2062I have to put in my own tree, don’t I? Lots of turquoise, purple, pink and lime green. My favourite colour combination.

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De Fence is Divine – Decorating Interiors with Fencing

I’m helping some friends of mine with the refurbishment of a guest house in France, and, as they’re watching their pennies, we’re doing a lot of recycling and upcycling. Recently we found some old metal fencing at a country flea market as cheap as chips, so they bought the lot and we’re not thinking of inventive ways to use it in the guest house. I’ve trawled the internet and have found lots of great ideas.

I love these quirky fencing headboards. Photo:

I love these quirky fencing headboards. Photo:

This old fence makes a great rustic pot-hanger. Photo:

  This old fence makes a great rustic pot-hanger. Photo:

fencing 8 -

This newel posts was a garden centre find. Photo:

I love this gorgeous upcycled console table. Photo:

I love this gorgeous upcycled console table. Photo:

fencing 2 - dishfunctional

This garden fencing has been made up into a strkining distressed pot-hanger. Photo:

A bit of cheap wire fencing makes an inventive ceiling light. Photo:

A bit of cheap wire fencing makes an inventive ceiling light. Photo:

How about this clever kitchen board? Photo:

How about this clever kitchen board? Photo:

fencing 6 -

As an alternative to fencing, think about upcycling old windows. Here’s one made into a pot-hanger. Photo:

More upcycled window ideas coming up soon!

Posted in fencing, interior decoration, Interior Design, Interiors, upcycling | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Interview on “Terry’s Blinds” Site

I’ve recently been interviewed by Tudor Davies at Terry’s Blinds at (which is nice). Here’s the article:

Posted in Contemporary Design, Interior Design, Interiors | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Home Sweet Home

I may live my life with plane and train tickets stashed in the old Moroccan bowl I use as my In-Tray (I go into withdrawals if I don’t have a ticket to somewhere lurking in there), but as much as I love to travel both for work and pleasure, I love to come home. There is nothing like having your own comfortable nest, a place that’s all about you.

I believe your home should reflect your life — your hobbies, interests, family life, collections, pleasures and aspirations. I always encourage my clients to help me make their house their home. We make collections out of their possessions, paint walls their favourite colours, and frame their family photos. We blend the dining table left to them by their great-aunt with contemporary chairs and the rug they carried back from Marrakech. We re-frame and re-hang their pictures, and fill in the gaps with flea market finds, artwork from contemporary artists, vintage furniture and a few new pieces. And beautifully made curtains and blinds (even if the fabric is a dropcloth!) I don’t have a “design style”. You won’t walk into a room decorated by me and say “That’s an Adrienne Chinn interior”. I want my clients to walk into a finished room and say “This is me.”

Well, this is me. Almost everything comes from flea markets, ebay, Morocco, new artists, and hand-me-downs from friends and family. I can remember the story behind every find and purchase: the 1960s Lloyd Loom chair my ex-boyfriend and I carried back on the train from Norfolk, the Moroccan rugs I squashed into my suitcase in Marrakech, the Art Deco dog sculpture that the young French guy I bought it from at a London antiques fair lugged over from Paris (it weighs a ton) and I lugged from Battersea to Balham by foot, bus and train. The pair of late 19th century photographs of geishas in their original hand-lacquered frames I found, coated in dust, at the back of an antiques barn. The enormous original 1920s print of the dancer Lydia Fedowa I saw on the wall of the Battersea Art Fair and immediately fell in love with, arranging to pay for her in installments over a 6-month period. All of these possessions are part of my story. My home is small, eclectic and a bit cluttered (I admit). It is my place to manifest my loves, as odd and disparate as they may be. And in my home, as in your home, that is as it should be.
























Posted in Bedrooms, Colours, inspiration, Interior Design, Interiors, Living Rooms | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Decorating with Dropcloths

Decorator’s dropcloths — huge swathes of light beige cotton canvas used by painters to protect floors and furniture from paint drops — are terrific as curtains and slipcovers if you’re looking for a shabby chic or contemporary rustic edge to your interiors. And, at a fraction of the cost of designers fabrics, who’s to complain if you buy it from a hardware store rather than a upmarket fabric shop?

Real decorating is about thinking outside the box. It’s about creating beautiful interiors from honest materials; rescuing unloved cast-offs; and supporting talented craftspeople. Upcycling and recycling are certainly part of real decorating, as is trawling around flea markets and car boot sales. So is searching out local artists and artisans at craft fairs and using their talents to add unique accents to your home.

Here are some fabulous ideas for decorating with dropcloths, from curtains and blinds to slipcovers, cushions and headboards. Your only limitation is your imagination!

dropcloth cushions 1

Posted in curtains, inspiration, Interiors, Living Rooms, rustic, shabby chic, slipcovers, soft furnishings, upcycling | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

William Haines – A Man of Taste

I’ve long been an admirer of the 20th century American interior designer William Haines. He had a flair for creating interiors which combined simplicity and luxury — much like Chanel did for clothes. And the furniture he designed, many designs still available through , are as covetable now as they were when the design first sprouted from Billy’s aesthetically atuned mind. One of Billy’s most famous quotes is “I would rather have taste than either love or money”. And taste is something Billy had in spades.

227751_409219152489290_548460250_n-225x300 william haines bill haines tux haines at home haines williamhaines_car Billy was talent scouted for Hollywood in 1922 and within a few years was an in-demand leading man. He was often cast opposite an up-and-coming flapper named Joan Crawford and the two became lifelong best friends. When he retired from movies in 1934, because the studio insisted he hide his homosexuality, something he refused to do, he opened an antique shop in Hollywood. It wasn’t long before Hollywood’s leading ladies, lead by Joan Crawford, were knocking on his door to have him design their homes in the new Hollywood Regency style he had invented in his own home — a style which brought together old world antiques with custom-made modern pieces, touches of Chinoiserie, exotic artifacts including animal skins and prints, and lots of mirrored and laquered surfaces…oh, and not to forget the luxurious velvet and silk curtains, swags and all. Billy pulled it all together into a look that was both glamorous and liveable. Genius. His new career as an interior designer was born.

Here’s Joan Crawford in her Haines designed living room in the 1930s…

haines crawford one

…and again, in the 1950s, where Haines’s signature tufted upholstery can be seen on the ottoman, and the upholstered chairs show Haines’s talent for simple but comfortable furniture.

haines crawford 2

Here’s another friend, Carole Lombard, in her 1930s living room — an early Haines Hollywood Regency design, complete with antique crystal chandelier and swagged curtains. The perfect glamorous frame from a glamorous client. Even at this early stage we can see his affection for tufted furniture.

lombard house haines

My favourite Haines designs came later in his career, in the 1950s and 1960s, when he really came into his own with his timeless furniture designs which sat perfectly in the more stream-lined interiors of the day — and which still work so well in contemporary interiors.




haines interior


haines interior 2


Some of his most famous furniture designs include the Brentwood chair, where he took inspiration from the ancient Greek klismos chair…

brentwood chair haines

…the Malibu chair and ottoman…

haines malibu chair

…the Seniah chair (Haines spelled backwards), which came (and is still available through ) in several models…



…the Elbow chair, which Haines designed so that women in ballgowns could sit on then sideways without crushing their dresses…


… tufted armless chair — a design classic…


…and the Valentine sofa, designed in 1950.


You can read more about William “Billy” Haines in the terrific book by Peter Schifando and Haines’s long-time assistant Jean H. Mathison.

haines book

William Haines, another design great.

Posted in architecture, Colours, Contemporary Design, Hollywood Regency, inspiration, Interior Design, Interiors, Living Rooms, William Haines | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment
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