Stardust 66-503-51 Platinum

Stardust 66-503-51 Platinum by KOTHEA
Stardust 66-503-51 Platinum, a photo by KOTHEA on Flickr.

Bored with wallpaper? Wallcoverings come in many foms. KOTHEA are now releasing 7 Raffia Wallcovering Designs each in a range of colourways.

Stardust is a classic weave of 100% natural cellulose. Suitable for residential or contract usage – if properly treated. At 106cm wide each standard roll is 36m long with a cut-length service available.

Via Flickr:
Raffia Wallcovering. 100% Cellulose. 106cm untrimmed. Can be FR Fire Treated. KOTHEA Luxury Fabrics @ www.kothea.com

Stardust 66-503-47 Black Hole

Stardust 66-503-47 Black Hole by KOTHEA
Stardust 66-503-47 Black Hole, a photo by KOTHEA on Flickr.

Bored with wallpaper? Wallcoverings come in many foms. KOTHEA are now releasing 7 Raffia Wallcovering Designs each in a range of colourways.

Stardust is a classic weave of 100% natural cellulose. Suitable for residential or contract usage – if properly treated. At 106cm wide each standard roll is 36m long with a cut-length service available.

Via Flickr:
Raffia Wallcovering. 100% Cellulose. 106cm untrimmed. Can be FR Fire Treated. KOTHEA Luxury Fabrics @ www.kothea.com

Stardust 66-503-48 Diamond

Stardust 66-503-48 Diamond by KOTHEA
Stardust 66-503-48 Diamond, a photo by KOTHEA on Flickr.

Bored with wallpaper? Wallcoverings come in many foms. KOTHEA are now releasing 7 Raffia Wallcovering Designs each in a range of colourways.

Stardust is a classic weave of 100% natural cellulose. Suitable for residential or contract usage – if properly treated. At 106cm wide each standard roll is 36m long with a cut-length service available.

Via Flickr:
Raffia Wallcovering. 100% Cellulose. 106cm untrimmed. Can be FR Fire Treated. KOTHEA Luxury Fabrics @ www.kothea.com

Fabric Awards 2011 – Homes & Gardens

Alpaca-wool.
Image via Wikipedia

23 September 2011, Decorex and Homes & Garden Magazine will be looking for the most inspirational fabrics and wallpapers that are launched in Spring or Autumn 2011.

There are several awards that may interest readers including

Here is a link to the 2010 winners. See if  you are inspired. On the whole we weren’t.

Interior Design With Russian Oligarchs (Guardian.co.uk)

Interiors: The new bling

In a world far removed from cuts or recession, the super rich are spending like never before – investing their millions in mansions and art. ‘I don’t think there is a higher end,” says John Lees of his work as architect to the super rich. A distinction must be made, he says, between the merely vulgarly rich (ie, footballers of the Cheshire belt or the mere-millionaires of The Bishops Avenue) and the world of obscene wealth that Lees inhabits.

“I don’t think there is a high end”

He creates homes for the Russian oligarchs and Chinese business moguls who run the global economy and who continue to inhabit a land untouched by cuts and recession. In fact, their extreme wealth is buoying the fine-art market: Andy Warhol’s Coke Bottle sold for a record $35m in New York in November, the same month a Chinese vase sold in London for an unprecedented £48m to a Chinese businessman.

billionaires are currently spending “without restraint”

Sources in the art and property markets say these billionaires are currently spending “without restraint”. In response, developers in London are creating a new crop of luxury homes, dripping with original Picassos and swimming pools, to cater for this profligate class, including a vast development in Cornwall Terrace being sold for £29m upwards. Likewise for Lees, business is booming.

“Our big-scale jobs are £40m-£125m,” he says. “I work for private individuals and I’ll be doing their country house, their London house, one in Hong Kong and another in, say, the south of France. We recently did a dacha outside Moscow for £174m, for someone who entertains Putin.”

“On our current job, the accessories budget is £2m,”

 

Which makes it all the stranger that Lees is sitting in the scruffy offices of Lees Associates, near Borough Market in south London. The stairs are rough concrete, the shelves dusty, but the computer screens rotate with virtual tours of excessive luxury. “On our current job, the accessories budget is £2m,” he says. “That’s teaspoons, glasses, plates. Towels and linen is a separate budget. Each bed costs £20,000. We are a very specialised market at the very highest end.”

So what does an oligarch require in his home? Not the classic markers, such as banks of TVs (“We put some televisions in, but we hide them”), gold-plated taps or swimming pools shaped like a shell. Wealth at the hard-to-imagine end of the spectrum is “subtle”. Creating a truly, deeply wealthy home becomes more about rarity and materials: imported stone, works of art, grand pianos and libraries.

At Cornwall Terrace, Lansdowne’s development of eight mansions, two show homes have just reached the market, luring the super rich with original Francis Bacons, Murano glassware and furniture from Portofino. Everything is bespoke: the paints specially mixed; the hardback books handpicked. Lees is similarly aware of the hunger for provenance. “At that level, your bathrooms will be made of heated, solid stone carved in Brac, an island off the coast of Split in Croatia, which produces a particularly white limestone.”

Click To Read More Interior Design Articles
Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

A spokesman for Knight Frank, an agent operating at the top end of the market, says the super rich “have moved their money away from bank deposits and stock markets into alternative investments such as luxury property and art.

It is increasingly normal for Christie’s to deliver a painting to a potential buyer’s house so the owner can see it on the walls.” These gliding swans of houses, occupying only the best London addresses, have layer upon layer of service floors from the basement down. The traditional family kitchen might be above ground, for coffee or a snack, but below ground there are catering kitchens with a dozen chefs ready to entertain a party of 100. Lees says these subterranean floors “contain all sorts of service departments, catering kitchens, gymnasiums, collections of cars. We’ve made swimming pools where the floors come up to become ballrooms. There’s no noise in the pools and no smell of chlorine. We have projected dolphins on to gymnasium walls – hologram images behind glass. We put a bowling alley in one house.”

Bathrooms have become the most expensive rooms, he says, with their requisite body jet showers, warmed toilet seats and timed bathwater heaters that maintain supply at a specific temperature.

But wealth and power create problems of their own. A house full of staff means no privacy. Owning homes all over the world means a fragmented family life. Lees is asked to, if not solve these problems, then at least mitigate them. “The family kitchen is incredibly important, because they all live dissociated lives. You want to find a home, don’t you? The fundamental thing is the family.”

Children have suites, dressing rooms and all the latest toys. And Lees adds “secrets” for the children to discover: a doll’s house full of make-up or stepping stones in the garden that set off a fountain. “There is a sense of loneliness these children have, and that’s a great shame.”

Does he ever feel contaminated by these monuments to consumption? Or envious? Isn’t it odd to return to life as a working London architect? “Happiness isn’t driven by anything you’ve got. It’s inward. I’m not sure I want all those things myself. It’s the sheer hard work in having them. They need these tools in order to play the public persona. I find it’s bad enough having just one house.”

Super rich must-haves

• Direct access from road to underground parking complex, with lift directly into the residence.

• James Bond-level security including CCTV, infrared scanners, panic room, bomb-proof garage doors, bomb-resistant lift and bulletproof windows.

• A home office complete with a communications system that would please a Royal Navy destroyer.

• A master suite the size of a one-bed flat with his-and-hers ensuites, walk-in dressing rooms, day rooms, exercise area and TV lounge.

• A subterranean basement containing bar, nightclub, hairdressing salon, gymnasium, sauna, spa, swimming pool and private 3D cinema (with seats that move with the movie).

• Staff quarters, separate from the main residence.

• A show kitchen above ground and a basement industrial kitchen that can cater for up to 300.

Surce: guardian.co.uk

Cashmere Prices Set To Rise

Cashmere prices set to soar after harsh winter in Mongolia: The cost of cashmere sweaters and coats is set to soar after harsh winter weather in Mongolia wiped out a quarter of the country’s wool producing goats. The especially soft yarn, which is used by a host of retailers including Marks & Spencer and Burberry, comes from the coats of the shivering goats.

A herd of goats in Mongolia Harsh conditions: The mercury plunged to -45C in the region during the winter The animals produce the cashmere to keep them warm from the chilly conditions. But the mercury plunged to -45C in the region this winter freezing a quarter of the goats which either died from exposure or were eaten by hungry locals. Experts say the lack of supply and increased demand could drive up prices by as much as 40pc. It is the latest blow to Britain’s fashion retailers who have already said High Street prices may rise 8pc due to a spike in cotton prices. Victoria Stapleton, founder of cashmere retailer Brora, said: ‘Cashmere prices will have to go up between 10-20pc. It is terrifying for nomadic herdsmen whose whole livelihood is based around the goats.’

From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1352665/Cashmere-prices-set-soar-harsh-winter-Mongolia.html#ixzz1CoZmc9jD

An interview with KOTHEA’s founder

Notting Hill Carnival 2007 (London, UK)
Notting Hill Carnival 2007 (London, UK) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

London based Lisa Parsons supplies fabrics to the hippest and most exclusive UK designers. The founder of KOTHEA, her Spring2011 collection-in-progress is about to take Velvet to a new level of opulence.

With no time to think I would paint my walls withKelly Hoppen’s “Perfect Taupe”. Her colours are fantastic and, in this case, it does what it says on the tin.

My favourite piece of furniture is … an old chair I picked up in a local junk shop and I had it recovered in one of my fabrics; LeapFrog.

The car’s almost full in that small space I would pack … The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, I’ve just started it and a spot of holiday reading beckons.

Guests to my house are intrigued by … this bizarre surveying tool I have in the corner of my lounge. It’s a measuring stick used with a theodolite and it adds a bit of height and interest to a corner of my room. It also detracts from a piece of my husband’s artwork which, although good, I have to compromise on putting on show from time-to-time.

I am … passionate about my fabrics and design; I am always inspired by many of today’s amazing yacht interiors, Terence Disdale is fantastic.  I would love to be in a position to commission him.

The hardest thing about work is … keeping my beautiful fabrics at home clean whilst having three children and their 30 sticky fingers. Gulp.

In my spare time … I just said I have had a third child; what spare time! I do love yoga though, with headstands being my forte. I have also designed and made many pieces of jewellery. Chris Farrow made this one up to my design, it has 3 rotating rings with a semi-precious stone on which rotate around a larger holding ring also with a set stone.

The trendiest colour is … hmm, trendy. Difficult one, KOTHEA operates at the top end of the market and I would have to say that the desirable colours there have varied little over the last ten to 15 years. Lower down the market it is different.

My favourite designers are … well I’ve mentioned a few already. I would certainly look at Gotham (Notting Hill) for furniture. John Hutton did amazing chairs and I was privileged enough to sell a few when I worked at Donghia in the 90s. Nick & Christian the famous Candy brothers have done some amazing things just look at One Hyde Park.

The best technology is … I suppose I should say Apple but I love my Blackberry as it helps me stay in touch with everyone and everything.

The most iconic British designer is … without a doubt, Terence Conran. His massive influence has probably been understated.

A plug for your company?…We mostly deal with the very top interior designers; not all of them but many of them. That’s the market we are in and intend to stay in. We know it pretty well and we like to think our fabrics meet their needs. A case-in-point is our new velvet collection. Opulent Cashmere and Italian Silk velvet.

Most interesting use of your products? … Some of the yachts they are specified on are pretty interesting! We’ve supplied some pretty interesting pop stars and celebrities (if you are into that sort of thing). One interesting client came through a Mayfair yacht broker and temporarily wanted his ‘fishing boat’ fitted out wall-to-wall with faux leather. All I can say is that it must have been a pretty large fishing boat and certainly not what I had in mind when I think about fishing boats!