An Interview with Rebecca from Georgia Victoria

Just before Christmas we went to a party and were lucky enough to meet Rebecca, the interior designer behind Georgia Victoria. Not only was it great to meet her but she agreed to do an interview with us – our first ever! So earlier this week we finally got together for a chat.

Because we are nosy, we had to ask Rebecca what her favourite decorative item in her house is and she told us all about this lovely rocking horse*.



It belonged to her grandmother who bought it in the 1920s, although it probably wasn’t new then. It lived in a huge attic with a billiard table, a table tennis table and other toys for the grandchildren to play with and the rocking horse became a place to wait for a turn with the most popular toys. In due course he was renovated and Rebecca eventually inherited him from her grandmother. He now lives in her hallway and although he definitely counts as a decorative object, children – both Rebecca’s own and visiting ones – are encouraged to play on him. So what makes him special? “There are stories to tell about it – stories and memories”.

This is a key point for Rebecca’s work. She has a key piece of advice for anyone starting a design project: “have talking points to enrich the interior for you and your guests”. Rebecca thinks many interiors are ‘safe’ rather than a reflection of the people who live there and she takes pride in working with great upholsters, furniture makers and other craftsmen to create bespoke items. She recommends having confidence – chose things you love rather than things you think will work. (A case in point is that picture of the rocking horse – it’s placed next to an antique settle but look how well they work with the modern painting on the wall!) If you pick things you love then there will always be a common theme that links them and objects you love will stop an interior being bland. A house is to be lived in and should look lived in rather than permanently styled as if for a photoshoot.

Following on from that, Rebecca believes it’s important to be flexible because interior design is an organic process. For example ‘you might plan a new carpet and then find beautiful floor boards under the old one – don’t be afraid to polish the boards, buy a rug and change the plan!” There is a great example of this on the Georgia Victoria website – a client renovating a Victorian bathroom grew to love their original figured rolled glass window par and decided to keep it rather than replace it with modern frosted glass.



Rebecca herself loves Victorian interiors, because there is always something to look at, and one dream project would be to renovate a complete Victorian townhouse from top to bottom for a client who wants an interior ‘full of silk and drama”. But what about her own dream? A bothy! It would be a retreat away from modern city life and electricity; a calm, serene space to connect with nature. And it’s not surprising that she dreams of something simple – the last year has been very busy for Georgia Victoria. The client list is growing (both private and corporate clients) and exciting projects for the future include fitting out a horse-drawn carriage!

So what interior design trends should we all be looking out for in the coming year? The three Ps – pastels, patterns and plants. Rebecca thinks that all the grey interiors that were so popular a few years ago will now need a refresh and that pastels are the perfect way to achieve this. In a similar vein, as we get bored with blocks of colour we will turn towards bold, patterned fabrics (check out the Georgia Victoria Facebook page for ‘Fabric of the Week’ recommendations). And plants, because as Rebecca says “Everybody needs more plants!”

If you have a design project you would like Rebecca to help with, you will find contact details on her web page.



*You’ll have guessed we didn’t take these photos, right? Copyright in all photos owned by Georgia Victoria.

It’s New Year’s Eve!

Wow – what happened to 2015?

It’s been a great year – we’ve been to new places, seen some cool stuff, made a few things, shared some recipes and campaigned to save Norton Folgate in the East End of London. And you’ve dropped by from all over the place: North America, South America, Europe, Australia, China  and the Middle East! Thanks for coming – we love it when you visit (and especially so when you leave comments)! With luck there will be more of the same in 2016 too and we really hope you’ll be joining us. There’ll be some new things too, like an interview with a great interior designer we have lined up for January.

When it comes to you, wherever you are, Happy New Year! Of course, if you are one of our visitors from Australia you’re a couple of hours in already – in which case, hope you’ve had a good start to a wonderful year!




It’s too early!


It is, isn’t it? It’s not us being Grinchy (you know we love Christmas) but it’s only October! Only the first week in October!

That means that there are 11 weeks until Christmas – that’s one fifth of the  year still left to go! The trouble is if we start thinking about Christmas too early, we’ll be bored by the time it gets here. It’s like a kind of systematic desensitisation – it starts with a few baubles appearing in the shops in late September and then builds and builds so that by 25 December, we are so used to it all that the decorations have just become part of the background. The problem is, systematic desensitisation is used to help people overcome phobias and extreme fears – not to help them enjoy ‘the most marvellous time of the year’. (Although if you do suffer from christougenniatiko dentrophobia*, we hope that you are getting some help – but from a proper source, not the mall!)

So we’ll be throwing ourselves into the Christmas preparations, but not until December. There’s too much to enjoy now to be wishing it away:


And there’s only 78 sleeps to go!

*Fear of Christmas trees

Raising a glass to the end of summer

September again! Not quite autumn but definitely the end of summer…

So we wanted to share a memory from our travels – one of the most stylish bar interiors ever. The outside is bright pink with a neon sign but this is the inside of El Floridita, in Havana:

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It was a favourite of Ernest Hemingway (who knew a thing or two about bars) and is supposed to be the birthplace of the daiquiri. (You can see the phrase “la cuna del daiquiri” – “the cradle of the daiquiri” – written behind the bar.) There is even a life-sized statue of Hemingway at his favourite spot in the corner:

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The current decor dates from the 1950s, so slightly later than period in the 30s and 40s when he was a regular. It’s been updated with the odd coat of paint from time to time (and now displays the giant glass used in 2012 to make the world’s largest daiquiri) but still reflects the glamour of the 50s when all the leading Hollywood movie stars popped in at one time or another.

Thanks, summer 2015, you’ve been great. Can’t wait for next year. Cheers!

A tiny purchase

Sometimes you see something you just have to have. It’s not obvious why, or what you will do with it when you get it home. You just have to buy it and owning it makes you happy. It’s a nice, straightforward, simple, satisfying transaction even if there doesn’t seem to be a clear reason behind it. And that’s how we came to own this set of tiny (5cm/2 inch tall) busts of US presidents….

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No, we’d never heard of it either but it turns out that ‘galanthomania’ means ‘obsession with snowdrops’. Love a good new word!

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We thought that they were pretty little flowers that are the first to appear after the winter and generally make us feel happy about the approach of spring. (Sorry if you are reading this somewhere still under feet of snow.) But it turns out that some people are far more passionate about them and comparisons have been made with ‘tulip mania’ in Holland in the 1630s, when tulip bulbs changed hands for vast amounts of money leading to the first recorded economic bubble.

In 2012 a seed company, Thomson and Morgan, paid £725 for one specimen snowdrop bulb. And this month a lady in the UK paid £1,602 to name a new snowdrop variety. At Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire, plants are kept in alarm-protected greenhouses and given security guards when they are displayed in flower. It’s not easy to get into the snowdrop business though – they are covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (Cites) and that means that a licence is needed to sell a single bulb.  Snowdrops are native to continental Europe but they are also very popular in the US, where bulb prices are driven up further by all the paperwork needed to import the bulbs.

On balance, snowdrops are probably not going to provide a sure-fire get-rich-quick scheme after all. But they do look good and now we have the challenge of dropping ‘galanthomania’ casually into a conversation!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We love Thanksgiving – and even if you don’t live in the USA, it’s one to celebrate. What could be better than a chance to reflect over a good meal on what really matters? We’re thankful for friends, family, health and good fortune, obviously. We’re also thankful for original ideas and artwork (see above) and all the amazing, creative people who help make our lives more colourful and interesting. If you are reading this, we’re thankful for you too!
And shells and sea glass, picked up on the beach.
And guilty pleasures like French’s Fried Onions. In catering packs.
And always, a glass of champagne. Happy Thanksgiving!