The Decorative Living Fair, Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells

All the news from the fabulous H&A-sponsored event on the Kent/Sussex border

All the news from the fabulous H&A-sponsored event on the Kent/Sussex border

No amount of rain could dampen the spirits of the hundreds of dedicated Decorative Living Fair followers who turned up at Eridge Park last Thursday (8th May).

As ever, the pretty gardens were full of beautifully curated stands laden with irresistible homeware, gardenalia, inspirational handmade pieces, fabulous fashions and bold blooms. 

The Old Haberdashery, based in nearby Ticehurst, took the 2014 title for Best Dressed Stand for originality, attention to detail and clever mix of old and new. ‘I’m delighted and a little bit overwhelmed,’ said owner Sonia Boriczewski (left), who celebrated with friend Kirsty Post (right).

In addition to sponsoring the event, Homes & Antiques was delighted to host a selection of talks in the main house given by a panel of inspiring speakers, including our own stylist Kiera Buckley-Jones (keeping warm here in a bobble hat!). She was also on hand to help editorial assistant Alice Hancock (middle) and publisher Marie Davies (left) in signing up new subscribers at the H&A stand.

Trading opposite us was the fabulous Sarah Moore whose bold florals and splashes of colour always stand out. This wonderful bubblegum pink washstand caught the eye of interior designer Lorna Hayes (right), who plans to integrate it into a garden scheme at her Victorian home.

‘I love mixing old with new and this will sit close to a very modern piece of garden furniture,’ she said. Thankfully her shopping companion, Suzanne Sellers (left), was with her to lend a hand carrying it.

Another visitor with a bold sense of style was Caroline Coleman from nearby Tenterden whose home is wall-to-wall vintage. Her kitchen follows a 1950s theme of reds and oranges so, as she said, ‘My bright new purchases will go perfectly.'

Mother and daughter Claire Burchell and Emily King live next door to each other and share a love of shopping for home bits. This painted plant stand, once filled with geraniums, will live under the kitchen window of Claire’s double-fronted turn-of-the-century cottage. Sounds heavenly!

Another family shopping day was enjoyed by Rhoxan Hayes and her mother Diane Kenward, who had a fabulous haul of homeware. Rhoxan bought these vintage lamp skeletons from the H&A stand and told me she plans to keep them minimal. ‘I think I’ll leave them just as they are but will accessorize them with a feature lightbulb and some coloured lighting cable’, she said.

There were some great stands in the main house such as Lisa Brown's Floral Vintage Paintings. Lisa supplied us with the flower paintings for our May cover. Her interest in florals was sparked at the age of ten when her father gave her one of his paintings. ‘It wasn’t particularly good but it caught my imagination and I’ve been collecting ever since,’ she said.

Trader and H&A subscriber Emma Hood showed me her charming display of sardine dishes, which she was inspired to collect for the fair after reading about them in our May issue.

As this fair is as much a social event as anything else, it was great for me to catch up with our wonderful regional agents, Jacquie Robinson (centre) of Kitty’s who was trading at the fair and Suzanne Chopping (right) of Hearts 'n' Kisses who travelled from Northamptonshire to soak up the atmosphere.

The London installment of The Decorative Living Fair will take place at Chelsea Town Hall on Thursday 2nd November.

Here is where H&A will be throughout the country over the next few weeks. Do visit us for magazine and subscription offers as well as inspiring home accessories.


Saturday 17th, 10am-4pm - The Country Brocante Decorative Antiques & Country Home Fair, Wisborough Green Village Hall, School Road, West Sussex, RH14 0DU

Saturday 17th, 10am-4pm - My Little Vintage, Nene Court, The Embankment, Wellingborough, NN8 1DL

Sunday 18th, 11am-4pm - Crystal Palace Antique & Collectors Fayre, Phoenix Centre, 66 Westow Street, London, SE19 3AF

Sunday 18th, 10am-4pm - Hinckley Vintage Fair, The Meeting Rooms, Marchant Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire LE10 OLQ 

Saturday 31st, 11am-4pm - Stamford Vintage Fair, Stamford Arts Centre, 27 St Mary's Street, Stamford, PE9 2DL


Friday 6th - Sunday 8th, 10am-5pm - The Contemporary Craft Festival, Mill Marsh Park, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9AL

Saturday 8th (9am-7pm) & Sunday 9th (10.30am-5pm) - MK handmade and Vintage Extravaganza, The Centre MK (outside John Lewis), Milton Keynes, MK9 3ES

Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th, 10am-5pm - The Decorative Home & Salvage Show, Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6QN

Saturday 14th, 10.30am-3.30pm - Monica's Vintage Fair, St John's School, Rochester Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 2JW

Saturday 22nd, 11am-4pm, My Little Vintage, The Granary Hotel, Fawsley, Northamptonshire, NN11 3BU

Sunday 29th, 10am-4pm, Oyster & Pearl Vintage Fair, Umbrella Centre/St Mary's Hall, Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1DD

Sunday 29th, 11am-4pm - The Vintage Home Show, Victoria Baths, Hathersage Road, Manchester, M13 0FE

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