Edi­tor’s Let­ter

Period Living - - Editor’s Letter -

Keep­ing both sides in a re­la­tion­ship happy is not al­ways easy when it comes to home de­sign choices. For some cou­ples, there is one party who is so pas­sion­ate about what they want, that their easy-go­ing other half just lets them get on with it. But of­ten there are con­flict­ing tastes: one is drawn to bold pat­tern and colour, while the other wants to keep things sim­ple and neu­tral; one craves the char­ac­ter of pe­riod homes, while the other han­kers af­ter a mod­ern new build. What should you do in such cir­cum­stances? You could please your­self at the ex­pense of your spouse, but this can breed re­sent­ment if you don’t give them free rein over the next project. Al­ter­na­tively, you can do what my hus­band and I re­sort to in such dead­lock sit­u­a­tions and go for some­thing that you both find in­of­fen­sive – al­though I can’t re­ally rec­om­mend this route as you end up with some­thing that nei­ther of you love, and then no one is happy.

Of course, there are the lucky ones: those matches made in in­te­rior de­sign heaven, where two like-minded souls with com­ple­men­tary styles some­how man­age to har­mo­niously com­bine be­long­ings and em­bark on a life­time of suc­cess­ful dec­o­rat­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions. One such cou­ple is Jo Dav­i­son and Alis­tair Hax­ton, whose Ge­or­gian apart­ment in South York­shire is fin­ished with dark, dra­matic shades and eclec­tic fur­nish­ings, plus a per­fect mix of junk shop gems and qual­ity an­tiques that give the whole scheme a sense of grandeur (page 38). There were in­evitably com­pro­mises to be made, and some of their beloved pos­ses­sions didn’t make the fi­nal cut, but the end re­sult proves that when you work to­gether, you can achieve a beau­ti­ful, happy home that you both truly love.

Else­where this is­sue, we cel­e­brate the long her­alded ar­rival of spring with a look at how to cre­ate a cut flower gar­den (page 119). Not only will grow­ing your own blooms add in­ter­est to your out­door space, but it will save you money on buy­ing bou­quets, at­tract ben­e­fi­cial in­sects, and fill your home with colour and scent. You may even dis­cover that you have a flair for flower ar­rang­ing. And where bet­ter to put your freshly picked stems than in a dec­o­ra­tive vase? We asked An­tiques Road­show ex­pert Marc Al­lum to pro­vide a pot­ted his­tory of this man­tel­piece sta­ple (page 29), from its an­cient roots to mod­ern artis­tic in­ter­pre­ta­tions. It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing read, and will cer­tainly make me think more care­fully about the next vase I buy.

Fi­nally, this month we take a look at the less glam­orous – but cru­cial – sub­ject of doors and win­dows. I al­ways feel an­noyed when I pass a lovely pe­riod house with chunky, gleam­ing white plas­tic frames – the orig­i­nals for­ever lost. From page 100 we re­veal some of the best new de­signs, then Roger Hunt pro­vides a guide to car­ing for orig­i­nal me­tal win­dows. En­joy! Melanie Grif­fiths Edi­tor, Pe­riod Liv­ing

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