For more than 100 years it has provided working and living space for an army of designers, artists and craftspeople. Originally conceived as a mews development, it was upgraded in the mid 19th century by Henry Smith to house artists working on the Great Exhibition of 1851. The resulting studios were later granted unique planning status for the exclusive use of practitioners of the visual arts. Living only a stone's throw away, Tricia and Conrad Jameson were offered tantalising views of the properties from the rear of their early Victorian house.
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I'd wanted to live in one of the studios for ages, explains Tricia, but what with the children growing up and our interior design business rapidly expanding, it always seemed like just a dream. ? The couple's business utilised Tricia's design flair and Conrad's architectural skills, and it grew even further when Tricia decided to lease a shop to sell decorative antiques. As well as being a natural extension of her design work, the shop provided Tricia with an opportunity to refine her eclectic taste and indulge in her passion for collecting. Anticipating the revival of country style in the late eighties, her stock reflected a gentler past – with an accent on rural simplicity.
When I took on the shop I based my window display around horticultural implements, such as weathered benches, terracotta flowerpots filled with straw, and wheelbarrows. FINE DINING RECIPES UK People were really worried about me – they thought I'd totally flipped, she laughs. But the trend caught on and customers came to buy her stock from as far afield as France and Sweden.