Our ex­pert Celia Rufey an­swers your in­te­rior de­sign ques­tions and dec­o­rat­ing dilem­mas

Homes & Gardens - - CONTENTS - PRO­FILE Celia Rufey has been the Homes & Gar­dens dec­o­rat­ing ex­pert for more than 30 years. She has a wealth of in­te­ri­ors knowl­edge and has also de­signed her own range of fab­rics.

Celia Rufey an­swers your queries.


I’m mak­ing a bed­cover to co-or­di­nate with cur­tains but can’t find cot­ton lin­ing fab­ric in a match­ing shade. Is there a com­pany that sells coloured lin­ings in fur­nish­ing widths? DW, New­bury, Berk­shire.

Sis­ters Cather­ine Merrick and Re­becca Day, who share a love of cur­tain-mak­ing, set up Merrick & Day, 01652 648814,, which sup­plies its own range of 100 per cent cot­ton lin­ings in more than 60 colours, 137cm wide, £5.04m. The duo are known in the dec­o­rat­ing world for their soft-fur­nish­ings work­room as well as their se­ries of ac­claimed man­u­als – a new will be out soon. Their cat­a­logue of cur­tain-mak­ing and soft­fur­nish­ing es­sen­tials be­gan as a way of sat­is­fy­ing their own sewing needs and then for the stu­dents join­ing their cour­ses who re­quired prod­ucts in small quan­ti­ties. Ev­ery­thing in their vast col­lec­tion, from poles, portiere rods and lead weights to a full reper­toire of lin­ings, is of the qual­ity they use in their work­room, and is de­liv­ered from their own ware­house.


With a house­hold of two adults and two chil­dren, I need to re­or­gan­ise how we hang all of our coats in the hall. Do you have any so­lu­tions? AM, Kil­marnock.

Con­sid­er­ing most peo­ple own more than one coat, the ma­jor­ity of rails aren’t long enough for the av­er­age fam­ily, and the hooks are of­ten too close to­gether. Base your cal­cu­la­tion on al­lo­cat­ing each per­son a min­i­mum of three hooks, and fac­tor in more if you of­ten have vis­i­tors. The shape of the hooks is im­por­tant, too; those with a good up­ward curve and pro­jec­tion will hold cloth­ing bet­ter than pegs. If you have space to hang racks in tiers, one for adults above one for the chil­dren, try two Nordal six-hook racks, L110xw9cm, £36 from Bell & Blue, 01455 558677, bel­land­ A bet­ter idea would be to have the re­quired num­ber of hooks fixed not less than 25cm apart on a home­made, or join­ery made, painted or stained board. Broughtons, 0116 234 1888,, has a wide range of hooks, with Hol­loways of Lud­low, 01959 565818, hol­lowaysoflud­, and Relics of Wit­ney, 01993 7046111, relic­sofwit­, also of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of styles.

“Try fit­ting a wool broad­loom car­pet with sub­tle stripes to let the room’s colour theme work up from the floor.” HEATHER TAY­LOR, floor-cov­er­ings buyer, John Lewis, 0345 604 9049, john­


Are there any com­pa­nies that sup­ply con­tem­po­rary wooden bath mats that will blend in with the wood ac­ces­sories in our bath and shower room? PY, Lon­don SW18.

As teak is nat­u­rally water-re­sis­tant, a bath mat made from this wood is likely to be more ro­bust and keep its looks for longer. Ba­lineum, 020 7431 9364, ba­, of­fers a selec­tion in­clud­ing the At­lantica teak square shower mat with rub­ber feet, 50cm sq, £88; the Teak mo­saic bath mat, 100x55cm, £85; and the Sablon white-washed teak bath mat, 100x55cm, £96. An­other at­trac­tive op­tion made from ob­longs of solid teak, but in a dark stain fin­ish, is the Mesh bath mat (be­low), 63x49cm, which costs £30 from Habi­tat, 0344 499 4686, habi­


I’m try­ing to track down slumped painted glass splash­backs that I once saw in a kitchen in H&G. Can you help? RT, Be­nen­den, kent.

This tex­tured glass comes un­der a va­ri­ety of names, but Richard Cox at Glas­sol­ogy, 01235 850518, glas­sol­, calls it kiln form­ing. He de­scribes the process as heat­ing a flat glass panel in a kiln to the point just be­fore it be­comes molten, when a tex­ture or de­sign po­si­tioned be­neath will be­come em­bossed on to its sur­face. Glas­sol­ogy made the splash­back in this kitchen (left) by Mowlem, 020 7610 6626,

mowle­ You can also try Miguel Hur­tig of Nero De­signs, 020 7737 8021,

nerode­; Wow Glass, 01708 555133, wow­; and Deco Glaze, 020 8569 8585,, where the sys­tem is de­scribed as hand­made moulded and comes in six de­signs. Not all slumped glass can be tough­ened af­ter this pro­ce­dure, so check with the man­u­fac­turer. If it can’t be tough­ened, don’t fit it be­hind a hob as it will be li­able to frac­ture.


I stay four nights a week in my studio flat in Lon­don and need a sofa bed with a high-grade mat­tress. How can I as­sess qual­ity? GA, Salisbury.

Many sofa beds are de­signed for oc­ca­sional guests and wouldn’t stand up to reg­u­lar use. But com­pa­nies that make mat­tresses, such as Gainsborough, 01225 779137,, are likely to pro­duce bet­ter-qual­ity sofa beds. Most of its 12 mod­els have sprung slat­ted bases and come in three mat­tress grades, in­clud­ing 10cm-deep pocket sprung, with a choice of sofa arms, feet and fab­ric: the 2.5-seater Metro is around £1,200. Wil­low & Hall, 0845 468 0577, wil­lowand­, di­vides its range into oc­ca­sional and every­day use, with the two-seater Chir­ton (above), which is sprung slat­ted with a pocket-sprung 14cm-deep mat­tress, at £1,189. The four op­tions at The Sofa & Chair Com­pany, 020 8752 8935, the­so­faand­, are 10cm deep and pocket sprung: the 2.5-seater Spencer costs £2,780 plus 13m of fab­ric. John Lewis, 0345 604 9049, john­, also stocks a good selec­tion.

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