IF YOUR thoughts are turning to Christmas shopping, books are a perennial favourite and, for the enthusiastic interior decorator on your list, there is one must-have this year.
Paint expert, Annie Sloan, has produced more than 20 inspiring books on paint, decorative techniques and colour but her latest, the Annie Sloan Work Book, is an original concept. A wire bound and elastic strapped book, it is part notebook, part planner, part diary and part sketchbook with drawings and tips by Annie herself.
As we become more careful of both the planet and the purse, revamping furniture and tired interiors has taken off as a popular decorating trend and the Work Book helps you work alongside Annie, picking up hints, tips and suggested projects, at the same time allowing you to collect inspirational magazine cuttings, and paint and fabric swatches in handy pockets.
If your recipient loves hands-on creativity, there are a number of interiors and furniture classes around and many offer gift vouchers. The Laurel Gallery in Edinburgh’s St Stephen’s Street runs workshops, including Painted Furniture using Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paints.
For Kevin McCloud fans, try his newest offering The Best of Grand Designs published by Collins or look for Kit Kemp’s lavishly photographed A Living Space (Hardie Grant) for hours of inspirational dreaming. If Kirstie Allsopp doesn’t grate too much, you might look at her latest book, Kirstie’s Vintage Home (Hodder & Stoughton) which accompanies the Channel 4 series, while the retro-loving nester would appreciate Tif Fussell and Rachelle Blondel’s Granny Chic: Crafty recipes & inspiration for the handmade home (Kyle Books).
Pat Elliott, The Borders Design House. Visit our website for design services, courses and workshops.
Start a new career as a Homestyle Advisor or learn to ‘Be Your Own Designer’ with our distance-learning interior design course (07765 057 409, www.thebordersdesignhouse.co.uk)