London: Traditional with a modern twist BY PÄIVI YLÄNEN I n the UK, decorating and refurbishing are national hobbies and traditional English-style interiors are never out of fashion. London's period houses lend a fitting backdrop to fine antiques, sparkling chandeliers and gilded mirrors, but the hottest trend in interiors is to fuse traditional with contemporary. Uniform rooms are out; freedom to express individuality is in. There are a vast number of interior outlets in London and more antique dealers than in any other city. Those with money to spend head to Pimlico Road (SW1). The street is lined with 40 fine antique and design shops. Along trendy King's Road (SW3, SW6, SW10) there are several tempting interior shops. The unashamedly traditional Rubens Hotel (Buckingham Palace Rd.), the Ritz Hotel's great art deco and Rivoli bar (Piccadilly) all offer inspiration in classical English style. Guinevere. Essential addresses Mark Ransom Guinevere Lots Road Auctions 62 Pimlico Road (WS1) One of Europe's leading antique dealers. Lord Lindley 574 King's Road Beautiful showrooms with a great selection of antiques. Christopher Wray 71 Lots Rd. (SW10) Great for bargain hunting. Designer Celia Birtwell 60 Pimlico Road (WS1) The son of the late Princess Margaret is a renowned furniture maker. Nicolas Haslam 592 King's Road Fabulous lights. Conran Shop 71 Westbourne Pk. Hill (W2) Beautiful textiles and wallpapers, combining the traditional and the contemporary. Aria Holbein Place/Ebury St. Two shops featuring work by the celebrity interior designer Nicolas Haslam. Habitat 81 Fulham Road Style guru Sir Terence Conran's shop houses the best range of contemporary furniture and accessories in London. Grays Antique Market Barnsbury St. (N1) An ultra-modern lifestyle shop. Labour and Wait 208 King's Road Contemporary high street store with a sister store, Heal's, at 234. Designer's Guild Davies Mews (W1) A labyrinth of 200 small shops. Alfies Antique Market 18 Cheshire St. (E2), near Brick Lane Traditional, new and vintage items for kitchen and home. For inspiration Design Museum 277 King's Road Synonymous with luxurious fabrics and wallpapers. The Furniture Cave Church St. (NW8) Over 100 dealers representing all periods. The Old Cinema Shad Thames (SE1) Geffrye Museum Celia Birtwell's Sky chair. 62 BLUE WINGS JUNEAUGUST 2008 533 King's Road Twenty antique dealers, offering everything from large pieces of furniture to brass door knobs. Chiswick High Road (W1) Lovely selection of retro and reproduction pieces. Kingsland Rd. (E2) Period room settings from 1600 to the present day. Haymarket Hotel, Suffolk Place (SW1) A classic John Nash building with a fantastic contemporary interior.
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