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Intelligent interiors

Intelligent interiors

In the fast-paced world of interior design, we are constantly surrounded by new products, technological advancement and a sense of the impermanence of our choices. To a large extent, design has become a fashion industry. But what if we took the time to reflect and consider design decisions? To invest for the long term; to use sustainable materials; to commission bespoke furniture that would be loved and treasured by succeeding generations?


Bespoke cabinetry and upholstery from British master craftsmen  was used for the sofa in this sound insulated cinema room

Blanchard, a London-based interior design company set up by Diana Blanchard in 1991, is one firm that is becoming more conscious of the precious resources on our fragile planet and has an increasing interest in designing for longevity with as little environmental impact as possible. The company has spent the last decade sourcing English manufacturers who work ethically and responsibly – and provide luxury goods with a green tag.  A lot of Blanchard’s joinery comes from Linum, Somerset’s first carbon neutral cabinetry company, while much of its upholstery is from Nottinghamshire, where the furniture is made true to traditional methods.

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A pure white kitchen installed by Linum in a basement conversion in Hampstead (left), while sustainable oak Versailles parquet flooring and an antique French bath from Drummonds create a timeless design in this luxurious bathroom (right)

Blanchard also utilises the amazing talents of British craftspeople: glass blowers who make stunning lamps, artisans who do impossibly wonderful things with metal, weavers who spin gorgeous fabrics and specialist painters who create fantastic illusion on the blank canvas of walls and ceilings. The firm uses natural silks, velvets and linens, wool carpets, organic paint and – for period properties – as many antique floors, fireplaces and artefacts as they can lay their hands on.

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These beautiful chairs were designed by Blanchard Ltd, traditionally upholstered in Nottinghamshire and covered in natural velvet, and the alabaster sculpture is from British artist Katusha Bull; (right) a bespoke wine cellar uses the earth’s natural insulation of the basement location

And then something quite unique happens. All of the carefully considered layering of past and present, which includes modern day comfort allied with precious heirlooms, fuses together to create a beautiful home that is imbued with a subliminal sense of harmony and ‘rightness’.

Who says it’s not worth going green?