Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AUSTERITY WITH A TOUCH OF CLASS; WRAPPED UP AND READY TO GO; Susie Watson Couldn't Find Homeware She Liked So She Set Up a Company and Made It Herself, Says Katie Law

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AUSTERITY WITH A TOUCH OF CLASS; WRAPPED UP AND READY TO GO; Susie Watson Couldn't Find Homeware She Liked So She Set Up a Company and Made It Herself, Says Katie Law

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Law

AUSTERITY chic will be high on everyone's agenda next year and no one does it better than homeware designer Susie Watson. The energetic 61-yearold grandmother of 10 -- who used to buy and sell property in Notting Hill when the area was still edgy and affordable -- continues to hit the spot with her burgeoning ceramics and textiles business, which is based on pared-down simplicity and a limited range of pastel colours.

"It's amazing what you can do with a few sprigs of holly and some stripy redand-white cotton ribbon," she says as she adjusts the bow on a Christmas wreath.

"The colour combination of the green with the red and white works so well. You can do it with ivy or willow, or any other branches from the garden," she adds, as she prepares to invite her entire family over for Christmas at her home, while at the same time running Susie Watson Designs.

The look is pure austerity chic: cosy and comfortable yet understated and elegant, a mix of her own pastel colours -- faded reds, duck egg blues and washed-out teal greens, with just the right amount of hand embroidery on cushions, curtains, table linen and ornamental hangings. As she says, the colours are inspired by nature and the materials are all natural.

Home for Watson and her husband of 40 years, Hamish, is a Grade II-listed house near Hungerford in Wiltshire.

They bought it in a poor state six years ago and have carefully refurbished it in line with English Heritage requirements, while adding their own design.

They had to rebuild and restore the original framework, parts of which date from the 16th century, before decorating the interiors in pastel colours, using a combination of paints that Watson herself mixed and furnishings she designed --part of her range of ceramic tableware, bedlinen, quilts, blankets, glass and candles.

The scene for Christmas lunch will be in the conservatory, which the Watsons built using reclaimed bricks and ceramic tile flooring.

For our visit she has laid the table with her duck egg blue tablecloth and matching napkins tied with frayed red and white striped ribbon. She has mixed and mismatched her own spotted plates and added plain glass goblets and tumblers.

On the day she will light her bestselling handpainted stripey red and white candles -- which have sold so well she is having to courier more over from India to fulfill all her orders -- and finally she has hung her etched and painted glass baubles and ceramic pendants on to branches of twisted willow collected from the garden.

"I want it to look a bit magical as people arrive. The house should be welcoming. The baubles are inexpensive, lots of candlelight is essential -- I love the smell as you snuff them out. And I always buy little pots of pink and white cyclamen which are so cheap and seasonal. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.