Needless to say, we are going to the ends of the Earth (well the UK anyway) to find the most unusual pieces possible. We have not blogged before now as internet service is practically nonexistent. So much so, that I will most certainly have to hold a coat hanger in one hand while standing on the router to get this blog to post.

We started our trip in London and have worked our way up to the northern part of the country. And we currently find ourselves in one of the most beautiful areas in the world –the Yorkshire Dales. And I highly recommend this hotel in which we are currently residing, the Inn at Whitewell.


The Inn at Whitewell where we are currently residing in the Yorkshire Dales.

One of the primary reasons we make these trips is to get a pulse of the design world on this side of the world. We deal with folks this side that sell to the design trade in New York, California, London, Paris, and most interestingly more and more Moscow and Leningrad. We are hearing also that the Chinese trade is competing heavily for the antiques being brought to the market.

What we are being told by so many of the better dealers is that the trade is changing quite a bit with the more important London and Paris designers incorporating accent pieces into a lot of the contemporary spaces they are designing. One of the dealers told us a story that one of his regular designers is almost entirely considered to be avant garde in her design tastes but that she is placing very rustic furnishings into her spaces as a counterpoint to make her interiors more approachable. We are hearing this same point being reiterated over and over. We are also seeing antique pieces with new color applied to them to lighten them up. While many designers have predicted a return to darker wood furnishings the lighter pieces still seem to be most sought by design world. So, we are buying some of both but still erring on the side of lighter woods and finishes.

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An English 1860 pine console/bookcase that has great patina.

Colors here are doing much the same as in the states. I was speaking with a textiles manufacturer from London last night who has an art director on staff of his company whose job it is to research and predict for his company the color trends six to eighteen months in the future. This gentleman’s company sells worldwide. He says that the European as well as the US market is trying to hold onto the grays and beiges as the primary color pallets in their designs. But he says their research, and their dealings with the fashion industry and the taste makers this side of the world point to much more color being used in the near future. His team is designing using lots of deep saturated blues, greens, corals and warmer blacks. His design team is predicting a return to the warmer side of the pallets of colors and a bit of pull back from the colder tones. This is much of what we have seen happening in the states as well.

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1820’s Dutch glazed cabinet with beautiful color that is typical of the lighter pallets that are being used in design now.

So, that is the information we are accruing at this juncture of our trip. I will update with any further information as I find it. We are posting some pictures to our facebook page so take a look at what we are finding. We will be able to upload many more pictures when we get back to an area with more connectivity.