Directorio Deco by Gloria Gonzalez

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

In the mood for yellow

This weekend I’ve realised that lately, I’ve been saving many images of interiors with yellow on them, from mustards to powdery pastels, from classic country homes to contemporary city apartments, they all seem to have an instant uplifting effect on me. But I’m also aware that many people are afraid to use it at home- it’s not an easy colour to get right! That’s why  I’ve rounded up in this blog post some of my favourite interiors that I hope inspire you to use this wonderful colour more often: whether if you opt for a pop of yellow on a lampshade or you want to make a bold statement with a  room a la Colefax and Fowler.

Charlotte and Alexander di Carcaci London home. Near and Far by Lisa FineCharlotte and Alexander di Carcaci London home. Featured in Lisa Fine’s book ‘Near and Far’ Miguel Flores Vianna photography.

Herefordshire farmHerefordshire farm feature in House & Garden. Simon Brown photography.

A Parisian home designed by Renzo Mongiardino in the 60s. 'Renzo Mongiardino, A Painterly Vision' Guido Taroni PhotographyA Parisian home designed by Renzo Mongiardino in the 60s. ‘Renzo Mongiardino, A Painterly Vision’ Guido Taroni Photography

Monet's home in Giverny. Gianni Basso photographyMonet’s home in Giverny. Gianni Basso photography.

Divine bathroom at Hotel Locarno in Rome via Ash New York.

Chateau de Morsan. Normandy

salvesen graham bedroom

Salvesen Graham

Evangeline and David Bruce London apartment decorated by John Fowler. Derry Moore photography.

Hannah Cecil Gurney's west London flat

hannac cecil harden london homeHannah Cecil Gurney’s London flat. House & Garden. Simon Upton photography

A kitchen in Edimburgh designed by Susan Deliss. House & Garden. Elsa Young Photography

Colefax & Fowler fabulous Yellow Room photographed by Oberto Gili for American House & Garden, 2005. 

francois halard arles homeFrancois Halard Arles home

Gianmatteo Malchiodi homeGianmatteo Malchiodi Italian home

Jennifer Laskey and Hunter Hall California homeJennifer Laskey and Hunter Hall California home. Apartment Therapy.  Bethany Nauert photography

Gerard Tremolet Normandy HomeElle DecorGerard Tremolet Normandy Home. Elle Decor. Simon Upton PhotographyJulien Devergnies Brussels home

peter pennoyer and katie kincaid home Peter Pennoyer and Katie Ridder Hudson Valley home. On the walls, Blithfield’s small damask wallpaper and chairs upholstered in ‘Casse -Noisette fabric by Decors Babares

lamp and paper lampshade by Rosi de RuigRosi de Ruig

a Russian bath house by kirill istomin A traditional Russian bath house by Kirill Istomin featured in Elle Decor. Stephan Juliard photography.

The Card Room at Goodwood where the Sevres collection is displayedThe Card Room at Goodwood House where the Sevres collection is displayed. Via James Peill@gooodwood_curator

Bright Yellow on black and white tiles in this kitchen in Merida, Mexico, photographed by @matthieusalvaing for Cabana IssueBright Yellow on black and white tiles in a kitchen in Merida, Mexico, photographed by Matthieu Salvaing for Cabana Magazine

Anna SpiroAnna Spiro

Daffodils at Chelsea Flower ShowDaffodils at Chelsea Flower Show via Alexander Hoyle

Claydon HouseClaydon House

KRB store in NY KRB store in NYThe colourful KRB store in New York

Patrick Frey’s eighteenth-century house in Paris featured in House & Garden in 1994. Simon Skyes photography

A 17th-century farmhouse decorated with integrity by Max Rollitt

A 17th-century farmhouse decorated Max Rollitt, House & Garden, Tom Mannion photography

The Art of Window Dressing Part II

The second part of this blog post is all about fabrics and trimmings – two of my favourite things! I’m sharing the rest of the very helpful information that Emma Stewart has shared with me. I hope you have enjoyed this little curtain masterclass – I certainly did!

Finding the right fabric for your curtains

I would be hard pushed to think of a material I don’t love – they nearly all have a place. My favourite part of selecting fabrics is feasting on the amazing array of fabric houses producing exquisitely produced fabrics. Doyennes of this industry Sybil Colefax and Jean Monro are synonymous with crisp 100% cotton chintz prints that can take up to 180 separate hand blocks per pattern repeat. The cotton chintz holds the dyes well and also its shape making for intricate valances or just a simple long drop to show the incredible designs and how the same pattern printed on a linen backcloth can seem so different is testament to different fabric’s qualities.

Penny Morrison Welsh Country HousePenny Morrison bathroom in her Welsh Country House with Colefax and Fowler curtains. Elle Decor. Photography by Miguel Flores Vianna.

How a fabric will fall and drape is the most important part …. will it do what you want?! Discovering this is a huge part of the selection process and most companies will offer a large returnable sample that you can manipulate into folds showing how it will react.

Asides from the fun aspect of choosing the colour and style there are important things to consider for practicality; will it withstand the UV rays? (avoid silk in direct sunlight unless using a good UV filter film), moisture within a room? (natural fabrics will expand and contract throughout the year with central heating and atmospheric humidity).

Curtain makers worth their salt will be able to wrangle a half drop pattern repeat and also match up the pattern on seams so they are almost undetectable but this can be a bit of a problem with some hand-blocked designs that can run out across the width, making the match impossible. The only fabric I would never recommend is one that isn’t fire retardant for upholstery or a commercial situation. The rest I can’t wait to work with!I

kensington home by Robert KimeKensington home by Robert Kime

It’s what look and feel you want … that’s all. For a light and breezy, relaxed but beautiful style evoking a natural impression I would head to Inchyra who have a wonderful aged linen collection. I have also used textiles that I have bought directly from India which can be an inexpensive option. The fine muslin print and kantha quilts make wonderful curtains but beware that they do tend to fade in sunlight but I have been known to try to give fabrics some ‘age’ by facing UV lights on them or washing them with pebbles with varying effects.

inchyra textilesBeauclerc Stripe linen by Inchyra textiles

There are companies offering extremely low priced fabrics online which are tempting if budget is key. I would suggest checking the fabric thoroughly (with a light behind where possible) as the quality control may be lacking at the site of origin. They may have different levels of acceptability ‘tolerance’ so do check the terms and conditions regarding returns and don’t cut the fabric until you have checked it!

For drama and statement then a large scale pattern such as Soane “Tendril Vine” which can be printed on different backcloths or Hawkeswood by Teyssier which is inspired by an 18th-century flamestitch and is simply wonderful used as curtains and upholstery. Flora Soames prints are a go too for clever colour pairings and thoughtful patterns inspired by her collections of antique textiles.

Flora Soames fabric Flora Soames’s Enid Garland fabric

For an uplifting boost to any home Molly Mahon’s designs are essential. All of the cloths used are super quality and a delight to work with.

It is so hard to choose a favourite as we are extremely lucky to have so many homegrown talents producing heavenly fabrics so it is rather an open book …. you just need to be mindful that the fabric you select will drape or sit in the way you want so grab a sample and give it a work out!

Tips to choose the perfect trim

The trim is my favourite part! You can completely transform your fabric and curtains with a passementerie – the story can be changed entirely with a just a few inches of exquisite embroidery, tassels, braids fringes or frogging – it’s quite  magical!

My tip is to be bold … but certain … there is a balance that you need to get … the trim maybe the hero element – so naturally your fabric needs to be quieter or if you want to ‘finish’ the edges – then look for a trim that compliments the colour and texture and won’t fight with it.

I like to play with the trim samples – I’ll tack my  choices on to a  fabric sample … walk away for a moment or two … and then make my decision when I walk back into the room … often my first choice goes out the window – if you’ll pardon the pun!  The weight of a trimming can be quite something so ensure the fabric can cope with it and will not pull or pucker under the strain.

I always like to hand sew the trimmings on rather than using a machine as you can adjust the tension in the thread avoiding snags and dimples along the way. Samuel and Son’s range is quite extraordinary and I am yet to be disappointed however if you want to get just the right shade Heritage trimmings will match yarns to your fabric and advise on best designs – an incredible service!

Kirill Istomin Window TreatmentKirill Istomin

Alidad Ltd. You can read my article about ‘The Best Decorating Lessons by Alidad’ here.

Bennet Weinstock window treatment Bennet Weinstock window treatment Bennet Weinstock window treatment

Window treatmens in different projects Bennet Weinstock. Images from the book ‘Window Dressings: Beautiful Draperies & Curtains for the Home’  by Brian D. Coleman.

chateau versaillesPassementerie at Chateau de Versailles

bunny williamsBunny Williams Home

Madelaine Castaing inspired suite at the St James hotel designed by Bambi SloanMadeleine Castaing-inspired suite at the St James hotel designed by Bambi Sloan

Alex Papachristidis New York ApartmentAlex Papachristidis NY living room