On the 14 May I joined a group of interiors afficionados for a workshop on colour with Abigail Ahern. Abigail is a well known interiors designer that embraces eclectisism and her London emporium has been voted one of the coolest places to shop by Elle Decoration. She has been a trend-setter for some time now and a writer of best selling books like "A girl's guide to decorating" (2012), "Decorating with style" (2013) and more recently "Colour" (2015). These are must have books for your interiors library, so off you go click those links and get yourself a copy like I did.
I arrived at the venue all excited as I had not gone out for a few weeks being on constant mom duties after work and in true SeasonsinColour style I had a total meltdown the night before during dinner when precious only child spilt an entire glass of freshly hand squeezed orange juice on dear mommy's jeans. A scream off the decibels chart was heard around my neighbourhood and dear husband, still shocked, could only say "Yes, I think it would be good if you went out tomorrow".
So off I went to Anthropologie Regent street. I cannot recall going down Regent street for a couple years now (sorry Liberty, but online shopping is just as good and I can be at many windows at once!) and I was of course shocked at how it had changed. Regent street is just like a busier, bigger King's road. No high street chain stores here, every shop has a boutique like quality to it (J Crew, Antropologie, And other stories etc), but it is very busy.
Anthropologie Regent street was big and full of new stuff. Attendance was pre-booked with tickets at £20, redeemable against purchases made in the store on the day (mine cost me around £200...). I checked-in and made my way to the second floor having browsed around for a bit. Abigail was already there with husband Graham and photographer Graham Atkins-Hughes (WHO is Clementine??) as well as her two lovely dogs Mungo and Maud (who equally got a lot of attention and were far better behaved than precious only child). There was pulpable excitement in the air and soon the second floor filled up and we could start.
Abigail was animated - not sure there is a word that better describes her state. It's like she lits up when talking about dark colours, go figure. Her enthusiasm was catchy. I was there to measure up reactions to inky rooms as I was planning to re-decorate a ground floor un-used room into dear husband's mancave. and caves are known to be dark and gloomy, so inky colours were going to be needed. I had kind of 'prepared' for the workshop having bought and read her most recent book "Colour" a few days earlier. She used a lot of photos from the book in her slides so it was all familiar territory.
At the end of the session Abigail took questions. Lots of them. She took time to answer everyone's queries and the whole workshop did not feel rushed. Oh, and they were serving free bubbly.
At the end of the presentation, you could buy a book and get it signed by Abigail, so I took mine to get it signed as well. I commented on her gorgeous Yosemite lamp and how reminiscent it was of Porta Romana and asked the designer about the prospect of getting a "big impact" line of lamps (like the Dynamo) at a more affordable price; unfortunately, Abigail confirmed my fear that mass producing any product created by an artisan can seriously hinder quality and that it would not be possible given the time effort that goes in it. Well, I had to ask...
After the event we were allowed to wonder around the shop which was now closed for our private shopping experience. It was lovely to try on new clothes without being hurried and with no queue at the change rooms.
Event: very well organised
Presenter: top marks to Abigail Ahern for being engaging and inspiring. Oh, and so approachable.
Value for money: if you stick to your ticket price, this was money well spent. Remember that Anthro allows you to buy something against the ticket value on the event day. But this being Anthropologie, how could you NOT spend more money on their wonderful products?
Would definitely recommend going with a friend unless you're super social and can start chatting to strangers. After all, you have something in common: love for dark colours!
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