Expert advice on offer at Olympia Fair

With the Art & Antiques Fair Olympia returning to London later this month, visitors will be able to gain inspiration and expert advice from some leading figures in the world of interior design, alongside art and culture.

To give you a taster of what visitors can expect to learn, we’ve pulled together an overview of the various speakers and the topics they’ll be covering.

Douglas Mackie Interior DesignerDouglas Mackie, Interior Designer
Topic: Interior Insight
Hugely respected interior designer, Douglas Mackie, will be sharing his expertise on the latest trends in the interior world and tips on how to style your home as part of the new Interior Design Talk Series. In 1995 D MACKIE DESIGN LTD was established in order to combine his architectural experience with a passion for furniture, textiles and colour. The company has built up a loyal clientele internationally and projects cross a variety of periods combining the contemporary and the antique.
Douglas says: “The use of Art alongside antiques and contemporary furniture is at the core of my work. I see interiors as a balance of many different elements, and ultimately as a setting for our clients collections.”
Douglas Mackie will be speaking on Tuesday 27th June at 14.30.

Emma Burns interiorsEmma Burns, Interior Designer from Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler – in conversation with Giles Kime, Interiors Editor at Country Life
Topic: Ancient and Modern, using antiques in decoration today
Well-established Senior Designer, Emma Burns, trained with Charles Hammond before joining the UK’s longest established interior decorating firm, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler in 1984. Emma ran the Brook Street fabric showroom and worked with the hugely innovative talent, Roger Banks-Pye before establishing her own interior design team. Inspired by her love of art and design, Emma is an avid collector of new ideas seen and noted on her worldwide travels. Her ability to absorb the new and to re-interpret it in a classically elegant context has won her an international following of new and returning clients.
Emma says: “The most important thing for a home is for it to have soul. I am a passionate recycler so for this, antiques are fulfilling and provide not only an aesthetic solution but a deeply pleasing one too.”
Emma Burns and Giles Kime will be speaking on Wednesday 28th June at 12.30.

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill interior designerHenrietta Spencer-Churchill, Interior Design
Topic: Incorporating Antiques in Design
Henrietta Spencer-Churchill is the founder of interior design company, Woodstock Designs which has premises in Woodstock and Fulham. Specialising in the renovation of country homes, Henrietta’s team undertake commissions worldwide, both in the domestic and commercial field. Henrietta is a member of the BIID and is a past President and Fellow of the UK Chapter of the IIDA (International Interior Design Association) and past Region Director for Europe. She is also on the advisory board of the New York School of Interior Design and teaches there and at other schools in London.
In 1986, she formed Spencer-Churchill Designs to specialise in designing and producing furnishing fabrics and wallpapers.
In her talk, Henrietta will be exploring different ways of collecting and reasons to buy antiques, offering top tips on the best places to source them depending on your budget and taste.
Henrietta says: “Not only are antiques excellent value but they instantly add character and personality to a room. They make a house feel like a home and can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. My top piece of advice when shopping for antiques is buy what you like and when you see it, don’t be afraid of buying at auction but make sure you have viewed the piece first to appreciate the scale and condition it is in.”
Henrietta Spencer-Churchill will be speaking on Thursday 29th June at 12.30

Grant Pierrus interiors bloggerGrant Pierrus, Founder and Editor of Interior Style Hunter
Topic: Interior Insight
Grant Pierrus is an Interior Designer, Stylist and founder of the award winning interior design blog, Interior Style Hunter. Set up to share his passion and knowledge of interior design by helping individuals to be more confident in creating beautiful spaces in their homes, the blog receives a huge international following.
Grant will be sharing his interior insight at the Fair. He says: “I believe that everybody should have access to good design. And you don’t always need a designer. Sometimes when you move into a new home you might feel a little lost and not too sure what to buy for your space. I always suggest starting by looking at both the period style of the property as well as the locality. Take inspiration from the style and geometry of the property and its surroundings and use these elements as inspiration when buying furniture or selecting patterns for fabric etc.”
Grant Pierrus will be speaking on Thursday 29th June at 14.30.

Caroline de Cabarrus interior designerCaroline De Cabarrus, Interior Designer from Hotspur Design
Topic: Decorate your house in a day
Caroline De Cabarrus has over 30 years of experience in the design and antiques world, having worked across the globe advising on how to decorate the likes of important Georgian town houses in Mayfair to art deco penthouses on Fifth Avenue in New York.
Caroline will be talking about buying and placing antiques, advising on how to decorate houses from a variety of historic periods and discussing how antique furniture can multi-task for small spaces and how different styles can combine for contemporary living.
Caroline De Cabarrus will be speaking on Saturday 1st July at 14.30.

BIID interior designersSusie Rumbold, Christopher Vane Percy, April Russell and Simone Suss – a selection of top experts from the BIID
Topic: Mixing Antiques and Contemporary
World-renowned interior experts who are all members of the prestigious BIID will discuss how to mix the traditional with the contemporary to create a cohesive and balanced scheme. Chaired by the President of the BIID, Susie Rumbold, the panel will discuss the art of mixing the old and the new to create a stylish interior.
Christopher Vane Percy is the founder of CVP Designs with a huge wealth of experience. Recent projects include the refurbishment of Trinity House, a Grade I listed building in the City of London and the
re-designing of a large Victorian country house in Cumbria.
April Russell has gained a stellar reputation on both side of the Atlantic for her utterly unique interior designs and ability to capture each client’s individual vision. She has a longstanding practice in Chelsea that has been running for more than 20 years where she accompanies her clients on an inspirational journey from inception to completion.
Simone Suss studied at the Inchbald School of Design and is a member of the British Fashion Council Fashion Trust and a Patron of the Royal Academy of Arts. These interests in both the art and fashion worlds inspire her designs. Her portfolio includes residential developments in Hampstead, Knightsbridge, Soho and the South Bank as well as well-known fashion houses to help translate their brand vision into premium retail spaces.
The BIID Panel will take place on Friday 30th June at 12.30.

Dr Kim Sloan, Curator at The British Museum
Topic: Drawing Landscape: A Curator’s Introduction to ‘Places of the Mind’
Dr Kim Sloan will be giving the inside scoop into the hugely popular Places of the mind: British watercolour landscapes 1850-1950 exhibition that is taking place at the British Museum. The first exhibition devoted to landscape drawings and watercolours by British artists in the Victorian and modern eras, it celebrates the work of British landscape artists during the hundred years following the death of J M W Turner. It demonstrates how they worked in many different styles and techniques on paper – not only in watercolour, but also in mixed media using bodycolour, pastel, chalk and pen and ink – to interpret the changing landscape of the period.
Dr Sloan says: “British art has evolved tremendously over the past 100 years as they have reacted to the changing social landscape. Artists such as John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, Paul Nash and Henry Moore to name a few – are hugely popular in the modern era because of their technically brilliant, virtuoso and imaginative response to the artistic, cultural and social upheavals of the time that create such an eye-catching statement in a home.”
Dr Sloan from The British Museum’s Talk will take place on Tuesday 27th June 12.30 – 13.30.
Places of the mind: British watercolour landscapes 1850–1950 is at the British Museum until 27 August and is free. The exhibition is supported in memory of Melvin R. Seiden.

Clare BarlowClare Barlow, Curator at the exhibition ‘Queer British Art, 1861 – 1967’ at Tate Britain
Topic: What is Queer British Art?
Go behind the scenes of this exciting exhibition featuring works from 1861 to 1967 relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer identities. Marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England, Queer British Art exhibition curator, Clare Barlow, explores how artists expressed themselves in a time when established assumptions about gender and sexuality were being questioned and transformed.
Dr Barlow says: “The aim of our exhibition is to celebrate the diversity of British art like never before. Choosing art and antiques for your home has always been a way of expressing your identity and many of the objects in the show helped to forge community at a time of oppression. Together they reveal a remarkable range of identities and stories, from the playful to the political and from the erotic to the domestic.”
Clare Barlow from Tate Britain’s Talk will take place on Wednesday 28th June 14.30 to 15.30.

Pip Durell, Tatler’s Watch & Jewellery Editor and Jessica Wyndham, Sotheby’s Head of London Jewellery
Topic: The Tatler Jewellery Event
Pip Durell and Jessica Wyndham will be sharing their top tips on what’s hot in jewellery right now – giving advice on what to look out for at the Fair and which items will stand the test of time.
The Tatler Jewellery Event will take place on Thursday 29th June at 17.30.

Mark Hill antiquesMark Hill, Antiques Expert, Author and TV Presenter
Topic: Undressing Antiques
Mark Hill is one of the UK’s leading antiques experts having co-written the international Collectables Price Guide with Judith Miller (2002 – 2017) and founding his own publishing company where he has published over 12 books on 20th century design. He is a well-known face on TV being a regular expert on the BBC Antiques Roadshow and co-presenting four primetime series on antiques, collecting and interiors for the BBC. He is also a NADFAS-accredited lecturer, a member of The British Antiques Dealers’ Association and a Freeman of the City of London.
Mark will be giving a persuasive introduction to purchasing antiques and integrating them into today’s contemporary homes. He will look at the current trends and what future generations will be buying.
Mark says: “The appeal of antiques should never be underestimated. My top piece of advice when shopping for something unique – buy when something speaks to you – when it makes you smile, or remember something happy or cool. Open your eyes, drop your preconceptions and let these eloquent objects tell stories of your life, and what makes you the person you are.
“Mixing and matching, and discovering your OWN style, is way more fun and rewarding. Antiques have been loved and collected for centuries and, in these worrying and unstable times, they offer the perfect antidote to the saturation of mass-production. Come find the passion!”
Mark Hill will be speaking on Saturday 1st July at 12.30.

Daniel RobbinsDaniel Robbins, Senior Curator, Museums, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – Leighton House Museum
Topic: Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity
Daniel Robbins is Senior Curator, Museums with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and is responsible for Leighton House Museum and 18 Stafford Terrace, two of London’s best-loved house museums. He has organised many exhibitions and has contributed to numerous catalogues and publications around nineteenth-century art, architecture and design, including the authorship of the companion guidebook to Leighton House Museum published in 2011. He was also responsible for leading the award-winning project to refurbish and restore Leighton House, completed between 2008 and 2010.
He will be discussing the brand new exhibition Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity which runs from 7th July until 29th October. This is the largest exhibition devoted to the celebrated Victorian artist to be held in London since 1913 and will explore Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s career and his fascination with the representation of domestic life in antiquity. Daniel says: “This is the largest exhibition that Leighton House Museum has ever put on. It is only appropriate that the works of Alma-Tadema, his wife and daughter are regrouped and shown in surroundings that would have been familiar to all the family members. Leighton’s home and their life in London provides a missing piece of the puzzle in understanding the work of this great Victorian artist.”
Daniel Robbins will be speaking on Friday 30th June at 16.30.

IvanMacQuistenIvan Macquisten, Independent Adviser, art market analyst, pundit and former Editor of the Antiques Trade Gazette
Topic: ‘The men who shot liberty’s balance’ – appearance and reality in the art market
Writer, art market analyst and pundit, campaigner, collector and blogger, Ivan Macquisten spent 30 years as a journalist – 15 of them as Editor of the Antiques Trade Gazette. He now runs ImacQ, his own business, media and public affairs consultancy.
‘Powerful’, ‘secretive’, ‘awash with money’ and ‘lawless’ – the art market has been compared to the Wild West in the media by those raged against it. But how accurate is that picture? Ivan will be confronting the gritty topic of the art market today, lifting the lid on some of the myths, looking at where the real problems lie and outlining some ideas for industry change.
Ivan will be speaking on Friday 30th June at 14.30.

All the above talks will be taking place in the Club Room, Gallery Level, Olympia London from 27th June until 2nd July.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit

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