I spent yesterday judging our annual Fabric Awards, where we honour the
best new collections. It was an inspiring day and a chance to see hundreds of gorgeous designs, but the true privilege was spending time with the design royalty we had on this year’s panel: colour and pattern queen Kit Kemp, expert in serene sophistication Emma Sims-hilditch, brilliant design author and long-standing H&G friend Celia Rufey and our effortlessly stylish interiors editor Emma Thomas. These tastemasters all brought something unique to the table, and we hotly debated each category to whittle it down to the winner and highly commended list.
While you’ll have to wait for the November issue to discover who won what, one element I will share is the word I’d use to sum up the pieces that caught my eye: joyful. Forget pared-back or retiring patterns; happy, frivolous, confident designs really stood out. It felt like a tonic, an antidote to seriousness. There are a couple of stories in this issue, my first as Editor, that I feel are similarly joyful. I love the spirit of our alfresco autumn lunch on page 91, while I am sure you will smile at our whimsical Sound of Musicinspired new collections feature on page 69 (make note of our design collaboration with Baker Lifestyle). Welcome to the October issue of Homes & Gardens: that’s just a few of my favourite things…