Directorio Deco by Gloria Gonzalez

In Conversation

In Conversation: Pepa Yuste

After graduating in History & Geography in Madrid, Pepa Yuste moved to London and shortly thereafter started working in private banking for Citibank and Morgan Stanley. After banking, her love and passion for art, antiques and beautiful things lead her to a role at Sotheby’s London where she worked until she moved back to Madrid two decades ago. Since then, Pepa has worked as interior stylist., helping people reimagine their homes through pattern, colour and artwork. A self-confessed lover of table settings, she shares her passion for one of a kind tables on her Instagram account. In today’s conversation,  we discover a bit more about Pepa’s life, home and work.Pepa Yuste

 

Dear Pepa, when did your passion for interiors start?

It must have been during my childhood. My favourite game was to rearrange the furniture in my own room. I also think it was my mother’s “ fault”; she was an avid collector of objects to decorate the house. Our house was in constant change. Cushions, bedspreads, curtains and rugs would be changed with the seasons. She would also repaint the house and the garden furniture in different shades mostly every year. Under those influences, I guess it was difficult not to succumb to liking interiors so much.

Years later when I visited the British Galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London for the first time, it must have been at the age of 16, I knew my passion for Interior Design would accompany me all my life.

Although I spent some years in banking in both Madrid and London, my background in History of Art took me to Sotheby’s London where I spent the happiest moments of my professional life. Every day was like going to a museum with the advantage that objects would change rapidly at the rhythm of the sales.

I have always been very interested in works of art and the decorative arts, but it was during those years in that great auction house that I trained the eye and learned to love Interiors even more.

 

pepa yuste madrid apartment

Pepa Yuste’s Madrid Apartment

In terms of decoration, how would you describe your style?

I like to consider my style as fresh, uncomplicated and contemporary but with sound references to traditional interiors. Interiors that are alive, where things can be changed or moved effortlessly, that are full of books and fresh flowers, and objects. I love arranging a collection of objects to enter into a dialogue with a modern painting or to refresh an antique piece of furniture. That is the part of decorating that I enjoy the most: styling and restyling.

Sometimes my job is to go to a client’s house, that has already been refurbished by interior designers, but with the task to reposition all the paintings and objects. On these occasions, I try to be respectful with the client’s belongings and do my best to make the most of them and give then a second opportunity.

I love interiors where you can guess the owner’s personality and interiors with soul.

pepa yuste Madrid Home

pepa yuste madrid apartment

Pepa Yuste Madrid ApartmentDetails at Pepa’s Madrid Apartment.

Manolo March Madrid home decorated by Pepa Yuste Manolo March Madrid home decorated by Pepa Yuste Manolo March Madrid home decorated by Pepa YusteManolo March’s Madrid home decorated with the help of Pepa Yuste. Photography Telva Magazine, Uxio da Vila.

Why do you think a beautiful, well-set table is important.

Whether it is for a supper with the family at home, a dinner party with friends, a garden party, a celebration or a formal dinner, I think that the atmosphere that you create is far more important than the food that you are serving. It is not just setting the table. It is setting the mood for the occasion. It is all about pampering your guests and to show them how much you care for them.

I love creating different table settings, as many as I can. To me, it is the only thing in the decoration of your house that you can change every day.

It is important to dedicate time to it, it is very rewarding as you can be so creative.

I believe that due to the strange circumstances that we are living at present, we are going to entertain more and more at home.

I like going out for dinner to a nice restaurant but to me, nothing compares to a dinner party at a friend’s house where they have put all their love and effort into entertaining you.

Pepa Yuste tablesetting

table by pepa yuste my vintage corner

Pepa Yuste tablesetting

Pepa Yuste Tablesetting

pepa yuste tablesetting

Favourite thing you have at home

That is so difficult to answer. I would say my family, but although I am trying no to be very materialistic these days, I have so many things that I would like to take with me if I were forced to go to a desert island. Maybe I will cheat and say my china cabinet, which sounds as if it is one thing only but in fact it is full of my beloved heirlooms from the family and all the dinnerware I have collected over the years.

Pepa Yuste China cabinet

Pepa's china cabinet

Where do you find inspiration for your tables and designs?

I am a great fan of textiles, and believe that fabrics are one of the things that make tables look interesting. I have been collecting fabrics for as long as I can remember. At first I would buy fabrics to reupholster chairs, sofas or other pieces of furniture, but after a while I realised that I would have to live several lives to use the amount of material that I have been acquiring over the years. That is when I started to make most of the fabrics that I had accumulated over the years into tablecloths to create different table settings.

I have probably inherited the inspiration from my mother who used to set tables with antique bed spreads and even a pair of old curtains from the dining room, and her tables would look amazing.

I am a very observant person and find inspiration in many places – mostly from my travels but it can also be in a painting that I see in an exhibition or in a nicely arranged bunch of flowers.

I very much like experimenting by placing some of the plates from my china cabinet on top of some of my different tablecloths and think about combinations. I mix and match a lot, don’t like to follow trends or fashions. I prefer to follow my heart and my own instinct.

I had a go at designing “The Collection by Myvintagecorner”, including several designs of tableware. Although it was my first incursion in the world of design it was very successful. The pieces were all limited Editions.

I may consider Part II in a while.

A plate designed by Pepa and part of My Vintage Corner Collection

Pepa Yuste Madrid Home

Pepa Yuste Madrid Apartment

Pepa Yuste Madrid Apartment

pepa yuste madrid apartment

Thanks so much, Pepa!

For more information visit http://www.instagram.com/myvintagecorner

In Conversation: Alfred Newall

After training at the Building Crafts College and working for Plain English Design Ltd, Alfred Newall established his Cabinet Making workshop in London and Sussex. Designing and making furniture inspired by historic pieces using traditional methods of joinery, his focus has always been on the qualities of simple design and proportion. Each piece is approached with a sensitivity towards the natural qualities of the wood, combining functionality, longevity and sustainably sourced materials.

Discover  Alfred’s inspiration, dream projects and what a day in the life of a modern craftsman looks like in today’s conversation.

Dear Alfred, first of all, I would like to know when did your love affair with wooden furniture start?

I always loved making things as a child. Furniture making then came whilst I was at school. I made friends with a technician who taught me to turn wooden bowls on a lathe from lumps found in local woodland. This then went on to become furniture making. I remember the excitement this gave me, being fully engrossed in a project and not able to think of much else during my other lessons!

alfred newall workshop with bobbin tables

Can you describe to us what a day in the life of a modern craftsman looks like?

A year ago my wife and I moved to Sussex where I set up a studio and workshop at the foot of the South Downs. We live 2 miles away and I bicycle along an ancient coach road each morning. I meet with my team at 8am and we have coffee and talk through what each maker has planned for the day. It’s great working with others and seeing multiple pieces of furniture come alive. We work on individual pieces but often help each other along the way. I spend the first couple of hours at my desk working on drawings and emails but try to get down to my work bench as soon as I can as that’s what I enjoy most. The days whizz past fast – making furniture occupies me mentally and physically in a lovely way. I aim to be back home with my wife and two little children at about 5.30pm, very dusty and ready for bath time.

What are the pieces you enjoy the most working on? What are the one or ones that have challenged you the most?

The variety of my work is refreshing. Bespoke pieces often bring challenges and overcoming them is satisfying and gives a sense of achievement. I also love developing new furniture and products. For the last couple of months I have been developing and prototyping a rush seated chair, working with a local rush weaver. I especially enjoy the collaboration element.

alfred newall collaboration with the new craftsmen

alfred newall collaboration with the new craftsmenAlfred Newall collection for The New Craftsmen

Alfred Newall Bobbin tableMy Bobbin table by Alfred Newall – one of my favourite pieces at home!

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration for me is in good supply. I am always seeing things I like and admire. It can be in local sale rooms, antique dealers‘ websites, historic furniture and design books or just catching a glimpse of something in the background in a film. In fact, I made a large oak table for a private dining room based on a table I’d seen in a set from The Crown.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

For me the reward is in seeing the furniture come together and look great. There is research and preparation before the method. The material has to be treated with respect and carefully handled. Quite often many components come together to make one piece and they need to be worked independently. It really is exciting when it comes together as one. It is also of course great when your client is happy and gets pleasure from the work.

alfred newall bobbin shelves octavia dickinson
Alfred Newall’s bobbin shelf in Octavia Dickinson London Flat featured in House & Garden. Rachel Whiting photography. 
Beata Heuman utility room
Utility room by Beata Heuman with cupboards by Alfred Newall. House & Garden. Paul Massey photography.

 

Alfred Newall Bobbin mirrorAlfred Newall’s new bobbin mirror  (available in any size or finish.)

What would be your ultimate dream project?

I really love ancient buildings. I feel my furniture looks best as a sum of parts in an environment or space. Whether it be the architecture of a building or works of art on a wall or other furniture in the room, if it all works together it’s a wonderful thing. My wife and I bought a 16th Century timber framed cottage and we plan on decorating it together with my vernacular furniture and her beautiful decorative painting – I’m really looking forward to that!

Tess NewallAlfred’s wife, Tess Newall hand-painting the medieval beams of their cottage. Tess is a wonderful decorative artist. Talk about a talented couple!

tess newall lampshades and alfred newall bobbin lampBobbin lamp by Alfred Newall and hand-painted lampshade by  Tess Newall.

In Conversation: Jorge Perez Martin

Spanish born Cotswolds based, Jorge Perez Martin started his career as an Antique dealer 20 years ago. What was born as a hobby is now Brownrigg, a successful business run by Jorge and his partner David Gibson. Their store in Tetbury is a treasure trove for any lover of beautiful things, with a mix of sought-after antiques and decorative pieces.

With a loyal UK and international clientele and a strong social media presence followed by thousands, they have become a go-to destination for interior designers, decorators and private clients alike.

In today’s conversation, we discover more about the dynamic life of an antique dealer, the joys of Instagram and real advice for anyone who wants to make it in the industry.

Jorge Perez Martin and David from BrownriggThe Brownrigg team: Jorge Perez Martin, David Gibson and Nora.

Dear Jorge, what prompted you to start a career as an antique dealer?

It was when I first came to England in my early twenties and a good friend introduced me to the joys of weekend antique searches. It all rather took me by surprise and within no time I was hooked and an unexpected redundancy a couple of years later gave me the push and opportunity to open my first small shop. The rest is sort of history…like many, I had my fair share of financial wobbles, as buying temptations got the better of me! It is only in the last 15 years that we’ve been able to scale the business up and develop it properly as I was forced to admit that my creative spirit can be a dangerous skill and somewhat powerless without the ability to manage and control the business side of things. Never perfect harmony but it works for us and hopefully our clients find things that enrich their lives and homes.

Have you always been interested in interior design and antiques when you were growing up?

 Looking back there were early signs in childhood but very limited with much hidden beneath the surface. I think this is how it starts for so many of us in this industry…..especially if you are not fortunate enough to have grown up in an environment filled with antiques and art. In some ways, this is a blessing as it means you do not have quite the same pre-conceptions of what is right or wrong.

What catches your eye when you are looking for new pieces for your shop.

The variety has no bounds and continually surprises us both. I think I’ve found the perfect piece or look and then something completely different comes into sight and its ‘all change’! I hope this never ends as it’s what gets me going every morning.

For the last four years, you have been renovating your home in the countryside with your partner David. What was the most challenging part and the best lesson you’ve learnt in the renovation process? 

I really have to come clean on this. I might take the pictures for Instagram, but a renovation, architecture and design are really not my strengths and David has been the lead and creative on the Gloucestershire house; having cut his teeth on his London house and our old place in West Sussex. I’m afraid I struggle to sit through one architect or project management meeting……let alone think about details around lighting, plumbing, bathrooms or kitchens. The house is part Georgian and part C18th and having spent three years with builders we are now really getting started on the interior. My forte is styling and together it works…..naturally I am trying to muscle in on everything now its got to the fun bit!

You are an avid Instagram user- has this platform been helpful to grow your business?

Definitely. It has been a fun and productive addition to our social media presence and very much an area where I have been able to build on a visual and creative platform that benefits and supports our website.

What is the best advice you can give to someone who is starting their career in the Antiques field.

Be brave and follow your gut instincts as those who are lucky enough to have a ‘good eye’ will find it a richly rewarding experience. I am always telling David how lucky he is to have the benefit of my ‘good eye’…….at which point he raises his ‘good eyebrow’ and presents me with a Zoom invite to meet with our accountant and a draft VAT return to check though……….

Thanks so much, Jorge!

All images courtesy of Brownrigg.

For more information visit:

https://www.brownrigg-interiors.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/brownrigguk/

https://www.instagram.com/shopatbrownrigg/

Brownrigg – 14 Long Street, Tetbury
Gloucestershire GL8 8AQ