Let our editor introduce you to the September Issue


Don't want to go to the shops? Download House & Garden on your , ,  or  device now or subscribe today. 

We are currently looking at plans to do redo our loft and ringing in my ears, as my husband pushes us to seek planning permission as quickly as possible, is the advice our columnist Rita Konig imparted in her talk at the recent House & Garden Festival: 'Take time over your plans, sit with them, show them to other people. The longer you spend on the plans, the more exciting the spaces become, and more comfortable. And those little spaces and nooks emerge that make a house interesting.' For anyone in the same position as me, Rita has helpfully written a whole column on this subject, which will feature in next month's issue. The possibilities with our loft are fairly limited, but even so it feels right to spend time thinking how we shall use the spaces and what they will feel like.

This is something I imagine Graham and Emily Bizley did a lot of before building their wonderfully light, airy and thoughtful new house in Somerset (from page 74). As you walk from the entrance into the kitchen, with its wrap-around view, soaring ceiling and vast windows, your spirits respond immediately. It is an uplifting place to be and clearly a comfortable, even health-enhancing, place to live. The architect Giles Vincent shows equal imagination in the transformation of his Chelsea town house (from page 82) - columns, a vaulted ceiling and a double-height conservatory elevate the spaces beyond the expected. 

It is interesting that the planning of a house and the architectural side require a perfectionism that can almost be a hindrance when it comes to decorating. While the planning of bespoke joinery or furniture requires precision and a good curtain maker can make the cheapest of fabrics look smart, it is often the happy accidents that make a room appealing. It has taken me a bit of time to realise that carefully coordinated fabric and paint swatches make for a satisfying scheme in my hands, but don't necessarily make a room sing in reality. As Rita points out in her column this month (page 54), it is the accumulation of things that gives a room charm, as they become part of your story.

This month, our decoration director Gabby Deeming, fresh from a three-month sabbatical in India, brings new life and inspiration to decorating with florals (from page 102). The influence of India is subtle but palpable - the colours, the use of patterns, a certain spirit. We've also started a new feature: 'Wise buys' (page 23). Each month, our decoration team will choose pieces under a price ceiling that, while not cheap, won't make your tummy churn as you pay. The first highlights lamps for under £200. Combine these sort of buys with Rita's junk-shop finds and a few really good pieces, and you will be well on your way to a comfortable, not necessarily perfect, but pretty and personal mix 


more from Banch

More from House

Go back up

Haven't found something you were looking for? Try searching...