If you’re look­ing for in­spi­ra­tion for your home, Bath is the place to go this month. CHRISSY HAR­RIS finds out more…

Somerset Life - - BATH INTERIORS -

Bath is world fa­mous for its splen­did Georgian build­ings. But there is just as much beauty go­ing on in­side those iconic sand­coloured walls.

This city is good at in­te­ri­ors. Peo­ple here seem to take a real pride in their homes – and why not? There are so many shops sell­ing so many pretty things.

Take a quick walk around and you’ll want to gen­tly weep at the ar­ray of stun­ning fur­ni­ture, paint shades, cush­ions, cur­tains, art­work and or­na­ments on of­fer.

All the big chains (which not many other South West cities get) are here: Gra­ham and

Green, OKA, In­dia Jane and An­thro­polo­gie, to name just a few.

But there is also a fab­u­lous se­lec­tion of in­de­pen­dent shops, full of orig­i­nal ideas and one-off pieces guar­an­teed to make house guests ask: “Where did you get that from?”

This month, the city is host­ing At Home in Bath, a cam­paign de­signed to cel­e­brate the area’s style sta­tus. There will be ses­sions with de­sign­ers, plus work­shops and pro­mo­tions to help in­spire shop­pers.

“Bath is a very cre­ative place to be if you’re into in­te­ri­ors,” says Vanessa Sayce. She set up her award-win­ning com­pany The Mar­malade House six years ago, spe­cial­is­ing in fur­ni­ture paint­ing, in­te­rior de­sign and home styling. “You can get al­most ev­ery­thing you want here and it’s a small enough city to be able get round it all,” she adds. “We’ve got quite a few of the main­stream brands, such as OKA but then you’ve got these unique shops, like Ros­siters, which of­fers a be­spoke cur­tain ser­vice.

“There are lots of peo­ple do­ing slightly dif­fer­ent things.”

As well as sell­ing unique home­wares, The Mar­malade House also of­fers cour­ses and work­shops in in­te­rior de­sign. “Bath is just a mas­sively in­spir­ing space with the way the city is set out on its seven hills,” says Vanessa. “It’s full of space and light, which is great to work with.

“You’ve got these beau­ti­ful Georgian ter­races, jux­ta­posed with more mod­ern build­ings,”

‘Pre­pare for some se­ri­ous house envy in this city’

she adds, ex­plain­ing how she loves work­ing with older prop­er­ties, as well as the city’s more mod­ern homes.

“Any­thing goes and styles are chang­ing all the time,” she says. “Come here in spring and then ev­ery­thing will be com­pletely dif­fer­ent again in the au­tumn. We’re not stuck in a groove here.”

In­te­rior de­signer Amanda Habis­rit­tinger agrees the ar­chi­tec­tural land­scape, plus great shops means Bath is a great place to work.

“There’s a wealth of in­de­pen­dently run places that of­fer a great shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence with flashes of in­spi­ra­tion, sell­ing in­di­vid­ual pieces - you just have to know where to look!”

Amanda – who runs In­spired In­te­ri­ors, based in the city’s

Grade II-listed Bladud Build­ings - works with a range of clients, of­fer­ing full ren­o­va­tion of con­tem­po­rary and tra­di­tional build­ings, as well as help­ing to trans­form rooms and com­mer­cial space.

“I’ve been very for­tu­nate over the years to work on prop­er­ties in the Royal Cres­cent and the Cir­cus,” she says. “Whilst they are all dif­fer­ent in terms of dec­o­ra­tive fea­tures and lay­out, every house pos­sesses the most won­der­ful, vo­lu­mi­nous light­filled space that is truly in­spir­ing!” With so much on of­fer ev­ery­where you look, it’s easy to get caught up in the mo­ment. I ended up buy­ing two great Er­col chairs from Pen­cil Tree in Cleve­land Place af­ter see­ing them out­side the shop as I went past on the bus.

“That hap­pens a lot,” says

Pen­cil Tree’s owner Kirstie Jack­son. “We’ve got quite a busy road out­side and that has its real ad­van­tages. We sell a lot of pieces from the win­dow.”

Kirstie and hus­band Paul opened their much longed-for in­te­ri­ors shop just over three years ago af­ter mov­ing back to the city from Devon.

Paul used to run a night­club in Bath and has a back­ground in club and bar de­sign.

The cou­ple love all things vin­tage and Pen­cil Tree has some eye-catch­ing mid-cen­tury fur­ni­ture dis­played next to Paul’s colour­ful art­works.

“The paint­ings sell re­ally well,” says Kirstie, adding that the shop is be­com­ing more of a gallery, where the fur­ni­ture is used to show­case the art­work.

“It’s re­ally fun be­ing here,” she says. “We love our shop and we have re­ally lovely neigh­bours.”

The cou­ple have re­cently taken on their own restora­tion project, trans­form­ing the mews house at­tached to Pen­cil Tree into a su­per-trendy hol­i­day let (Wal­cot Loft), com­plete with plenty of mid-cen­tury fur­ni­ture.

Even the hol­i­day homes here are beau­ti­fully kit­ted out.

Yes. Pre­pare for some se­ri­ous house envy in this city but con­sole your­self with the fact that you can buy a slice of it. Or at least two trendy chairs. My din­ing room looks bet­ter al­ready.

the­mar­malade­; in­spired­in­te­ri­ors­; pen­cil­

‘Peo­ple here seem to take a real pride in their homes – and why not?’

Nep­tune is a re­cent ar­rival in the city

ABOVE:Lo­cals and vis­i­tors can get in­te­ri­ors in­spi­ra­tion from the many shops and busi­nesses in the city

RIGHT:Top brands, such as Nep­tune have set up home in Bath

LEFT:Ros­siters is one of Bath’s most well­known in­te­ri­ors stores:

BE­LOW: You can browse the lat­est in­te­ri­ors trends in Gra­ham and Green in Wal­cot Street

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