Quality Handmade Curtains, Blinds and Soft Furnishings throughout Tunbridge Wells, West Kent and surrounding areas

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Welcome to my blog

 

Here you will find my latest musings and news from Silk Interiors. Please feel free to leave comments - I love to receive feedback and know what you like or dislike.

By silkinteriors, Feb 20 2015 02:16PM

Both myself and Paul have lived in Kent all our lives. I expect many of you reading this blog have too, but just how many of us know much about our great County - The Garden of England?


It's so easy to get to London from where we are, or to the Sussex coast, the New Forest, that I expect there are great swathes of our County that we haven't explored. And that is why we should all buy and read the Kent Life Magazine.


Packed solid with news and features on our towns, and great articles on the people that live there too, Kent Life Magazine is produced monthly. Take the March 2015 issue out now - going through the index there are features on Tonbridge (hurrah), Canterbury and Deal; articles about The Kent Wildlife Trust, and Radio Kent DJ Andy Garland; and so many others including hotel reviews, cooking and gardening advice, and features on the bosses of many local companies.


And, I am very honoured to say, I was also interviewed for a little feature this month too, entitled My Town. What an honour for a humble little curtain maker!


I was contacted by the lovely Sarah Sturt, Editor of Kent Life Magazine and such an enthusiastic lady, who arranged for a photographer to come round. Those of you who know me also know this is one of my biggest dreads - I always try and get out of any photos, but I had no choice.


Check out my Publicity page where you can download a pdf copy of the article. I urge you all to go out and buy an issue - not to read my article, although that would be nice - but to learn more about our County and perhaps inspire you to take a visit to something new to you.

By silkinteriors, Jan 27 2015 04:25PM

There’s a list of things in my head that I’ve always wanted to have a go at making, but being so busy I don’t often get the chance to test my making skills.


But just before Christmas I decided to try one. My eldest daughter’s birthday is just before Christmas, and as she has moved her obsession from horses to ducks, I decided to make her a duvet and pillow cover set featuring ducks. Well, this was after trying to find one to buy, without success.


You can see the result here, but needless to say I was rather pleased. As she was too! Obviously a lot of the success is down to finding the right material (Cock-A-Leekie by Prestigious), but I was rather proud of my first attempt.



Handmade Duvet Cover in Duck Material - Silk Interiors
Handmade Duvet Cover in Duck Material - Silk Interiors

Single duvet covers are easier to make as you can fit in one width of fabric, but double duvet covers would be more problematic. Either we would have to source some double width material, or perhaps do panels sewn together.


I’d love to offer this as an option to sell to you via my website, but I’ll be honest, it’s not very cost effective. You need 3 metres of fabric, and my making costs would be at least £20. But if you do REALLY want to get a duvet cover made, then feel free to contact me and we can discuss the options.



By silkinteriors, Dec 12 2014 11:51AM

And so it came to the day itself. Paul took the day off from his day job to come and be my assistant – well, I didn’t want to carry those heavy curtains myself! I think actually he just didn’t want to miss out.


We had been advised to arrive at the set at 11, so I had some time to do some more work for other clients. By 10.30 we’d loaded the car up, and could wait no more. It’s only a 15 minute drive in traffic, so we pulled up to the road early. Much to Paul’s amusement we were parked next to the catering truck. He does like his food…


Knowing we were early we hung around for a few minutes but could wait no longer. We went to find the team and soon met Charis (who had also been sending emails) and were introduced to Linda. Well, she was as lovely in person as she had been on email and the phone. A real character.


Linda took us to the house and we were introduced to Simon, who was in charge of the work inside. He took us into the house, which was a hive of activity. There were people everywhere painting the walls and the ceilings. Simon confirmed with us what was going where, but it was obvious that despite being there since 7.00 in the morning, there was a long way to go before our furnishings would be up.


Back to the car to collect our goods, and take them to the house. Simon took us and the playroom door curtains to measure up where he needed to attach the pole brackets, and then we deposited them outside. We were then led through to the garden and introduced to John Amabile, who had been filming a shot to camera. He was charming, funny, and posed for a couple of photos with Nicky. He explained what was the inspiration behind the makeover too, and we got to see the design board.


He took us back to the front of the house and we got to meet Peter. He was surprisingly down to earth, and after rescuing a spider from Linda’s hair, we had a discussion comparing insects and snakes in England and Australia.

After posing for photos with Nicky, Peter then filmed a scene outside with John, discussing the use of cushions. The cushions Nicky had made. We were allowed to stay and watch but didn’t want to get in the way for too much time, so soon left them to it. But watching them film, with several takes as they were having so much fun, discussing Nicky’s work, was a moment we will always remember. We wished them well and off we went, back to work on our other clients work.


That wasn’t the end for the day though. It wasn’t long before we had a call from Linda – the person supplying the blinds for the bifold doors had let them down. Could we supply blinds for each door within 3 hours? As good as Nicky is, it was just not possible, so we advised where they may be able to pick up some ready made blinds…


Just before 2.00 we treated ourselves to lunch out, and marvelled that whilst we sat eating just a mile away in a Hildenborough back road, there was a TV show being made with a worldwide celebrity – and no-one else in the pub garden knew!


By silkinteriors, Dec 11 2014 02:11PM

Nicky was invited to go and measure up at the house, to make sure that the measurements were correct. So off she went with notepad and trusty measuring tape. She was asked to measure for curtains to cover folding doors to the playroom, kitchen windows, and bifold doors out to the garden. Also, they would like Nicky to make a couple of cushions.


The house was one of a number affected by floods in Tonbridge and Hildenborough around Christmas 2013. In fact, Christmas Eve saw widespread flooding to the area – our own house was lucky to escape, but just the other side of the railway line we live next to houses were badly affected. Some houses near to the river were so bad that they are still being worked on now, 12 months later.


Measurements done, and Linda was in constant contact, advising which materials John had decided to use. Nicky was asked to confirm how much material she required, and this was duly ordered from Prestigious Textiles, for delivery to us.


Soon the fabric arrived, and we had great pleasure in opening up and seeing what Nicky had to work with. As with all Prestigious Textiles fabric it was lovely. And so it was time to really get down to work.


The date for filming was Thursday 26th June. Just 2 weeks to the day after the initial phone call. Which gave Nicky just a few days to make what was required, once the material arrived. No rush then…


So just what was required? A full length set of curtains for the folding doors to the playroom. Curtains for the kitchen windows, with a wooden box pelmet. And 7 cushions (a bit more than a couple initially mentioned). Thankfully it was decided to put venetian blinds at the bifold doors to the garden – and this is something we can’t supply. So not much pressure then.


Nicky got to work straight away. But of course, she was already working on several clients’ work – and these were not put to one side. So cue several long nights of working, ensuring that not only were her current clients receiving their requested items, but this great opportunity was grasped. As all business owners know, there’s nothing like a bit of hard work…


By silkinteriors, Dec 10 2014 10:07PM

Once in a while, you get an opportunity arise that you wonder should you take. The old me would have shied away, but I have tried to be more positive, and put myself out there a bit more to see what happens. This change over the past couple of years has at times been scary, but also quite exciting.


It all started one early Summers Day. It was lunchtime, and I was talking to Paul on the phone – he likes to check up to make sure I am eating and working. I’m not sure which is more important… My other phone started to ring. Now, quite often I would let it go to answer phone, listen to the message and call back, but as Paul didn’t have much to say, I decided to pick up. I’m so glad I did.


I called Paul back about 20 minutes later, full of excitement. The call was from a lovely lady called Linda, a researcher from Shiver TV for Peter Andre’s 60 Minute Makeover! They were doing a makeover for a house in Hildenborough that had been affected by the flooding last year, and would we like to help. Well, apart from the obvious excitement of “TV”, we love to do our bit in life, so the answer was a simple one – “yes please”.


Linda was soon in touch by email, confirming what the show’s requirements were. They wanted someone to make some curtains, a pelmet and some cushions for the family. She also advised which designer would be working on this episode, and whilst Paul had been hoping for Linda Barker (no prizes for guessing why), we found out it was John Amabile.


We’ve seen John on various shows and loved his cheeky style, so that was great news. If you can’t picture him, he’s the Scottish designer, balding, has a penchant for black shirts, and always looks tanned and healthy. In 2002 he was voted the tenth most eligible bachelor in Scotland too! Paul quickly turned to Twitter and Facebook and found out that John was ill with ‘flu. Oh no! It turned out it was also his 50th birthday – what a way to celebrate! Thankfully by the time it came to the day, John had just about made a recovery, and on the day was a bundle of fun and energy.


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