Monday, June 4, 2012

Tea with an English Rose, in New York

This beautiful David Austin rose is the John Betjeman,
 named for Lucy Rose's Grandfather
 the poet laureate of England from 1982 to 1994,
 and is blooming on her terrace in New York

I was supposed to meet a Rose at the
 Jerry Pair showroom in 
New York's D and D Building on
 Memorial Day Friday.

We planned to rendezvous about 1:30, but
when I arrived just ahead of her, the showroom was already closed for the holiday.

I quickly placed a call to the Rose 
to let her know, catching her just 
as she was arriving in the building.

I had never met the Rose before, but she didn't hesitate to invite me to 
her place to see her fabrics.

One of Lucy's showrooms full of her wonderful English fabrics

My disappointment quickly turned to excitement as I rode the elevator down to the lobby to greet her for the first time,
my Facebook friend and 
interior and garden designer and 
purveyor of lovely English fabrics
Lucy Rose Singh. 

Lucy Rose in her "English Garden" on her terrace in New York
Of course, I HAD to tell her that she reminds me of another
beautiful and talented English woman Julie Andrews,
 whom I have adored since the original Mary Poppins

I immediately fell in love with lovely
 Lucy Rose and shortly thereafter,
 once we reached her apartment, with her fabrics.  

We walked a quick few blocks and entered her apartment where a lively mix of color and pattern, which Lucy Rose is known for, as well as her sweet pooch Buddy, a wonderful antique French writing bureau, and a few decidedly English accessories, greeted us.

Lucy's foyer with a set of wonderful hand tinted 
architectural illustrations of London buildings
 Lucy discovered them stowed under her grandfather's bed.  

Lucy's dog Buddy

Colorful and fun wallpaper from Lucy's collection
"Dandelion Mobile"

with an 18th century French antique writing bureau
Lucy keeps her hats close at hand for gardening or lunching
on her terrace!

  In celebration of Prince William and Kate's wedding

I was immediately charmed!

Lucy explained her 
design aesthetic to me saying,
"My mother has always kept beautiful gardens overflowing 
with roses and apple blossom.
 And the houses I grew up in had rooms painted in good strong colors or with big patterned wallpapers; 
nothing timid or quiet and always ahead 
 of their time, quite original."

Ah, yes, I thought, a bird of my feather!
She is inspired by the land
 where she grew up.

This wonderful Russian rug, so full of color, sets the stage for a 
wonderful and vibrant mix of Lucy's fabrics
and the collected, authentic decor.

And of course, I love all the books.

The chair is covered in "Mandalay" from Lucy's line.

The drapes in Lucy Rose's living room in her "Phoenix" pattern
A friend of Lucy's made the pottery to match her fabric

This wonderful textile is from India's Kulu Valley in the Himalayas.
Lucy's grandmother took her on a summer long train trip from North India to South India, trekking through hills and temples as far South as Mahabalipuram,  when she graduated from high school .  Lucy credits this trip as part of the reason she loves color and pattern so much.

In her bedroom, Lucy is recovering the headboard with one of her fabrics.
I love the blissful, watercolory 
fabric she has chosen.

Lucy's headboard is soon to be covered in her
lovely, ethereal, watercolory "Rosetta"

And the view from her bedroom
 windows is unsurpassed.  I am ALWAYS a sucker for a good gilded orb.
(See my gilded orb HERE!)

Central Synagogue as seen from Lucy's bedroom

Lucy's office is ultra-organized.
(I wish I could say the same for mine!)
All the notebooks contain
 swatches of her fabrics.

Lucy is working on a new fabric design.  
I am always inspired by other designer's 
inspiration boards.

Lucy describes her fabrics as FRESH, COLORFUL, and GARDENESQUE.
 I love that coined word "GARDENESQUE".

We moved out to see the L shaped terrace with still more English inspired plantings and 
fabulous views.

The Lipstick Building looms just behind 
her roses!

Lucy offered me a cup of PG Tips tea which she explained is know as
 "Builder's Tea", often served to workmen.
It was delicious.

(From Wikipedia: Builder's Tea is an English colloquial term for the sort of strong, inexpensive tea often drunk by construction workers taking a break. It is usually served in a mug, with milk and more than one heaped spoon of sugar, usually one of the common brands such as Tetley, PG Tips or Yorkshire Tea.)

Lucy's favorite, decidedly British tea tidbit is Flapjacks.
I want to try that next time, Lucy!

While we chatted over tea, Lucy told me about her grandfather John Betjeman, 
a writer and the former
 poet laureate of England.

Lucy's English friend designed this mug in celebration of
her grandfather's 100th birthday.

Growing up, Lucy spent her childhood seaside holidays at "Trebetherick",
 just as her grandfather and mother had done before her, and her grandfather's work by the same name is quite special to her.

"We used to picnic where the thrift
Grew deep and tufted to the edge;"

I also thumbed through some of those big notebooks from her office with all the swatches.  I was so tempted to take pictures of every fabric, fabric hound that I am.
But, alas it was time to go, at least for now.

"Up the Garden Path" from Lucy's Collection

"Dawn Chorus"  from Lucy's collection
Oh yes,  Lucy IS a bird of my feather!
(Click HERE to read my original "Bird of My Feather" post)

"Lollipop" by Annabel Grey is a typically British pattern
which inspires Lucy

Thank you so much, my friend Lucy Rose for your English/New York girl hospitality toward the girl from the hospitality state. 

I hope we can take tea again soon!

See more of LUCY ROSE and her 
lovely English fabrics:

Follow Lucy Rose on Pinterest HERE
Follow Lucy Rose Designs on Facebook HERE 
Follow Lucy Rose on Twitter HERE
Visit Lucy Rose's website HERE
A brand new site is coming soon!
I can't wait for more Lucy Rose!

photo credits:  Lucy Rose Design, via Chicago Home, Marilyn Trainor Storey


  1. Marilyn, I really, really enjoyed that and I also loved that you enjoyed your visit with your Facebook friend. I hope to meet you one day too! This cheered me up a little bit and I sure needed cheering up. I've been feeling blue. All the colors and flowers and prints were just what I needed. I also have a beautiful garden. I'm planting purple and lavender flowers now because they were my granddaughter's favorite colors. I've dedicated my garden to my angel Layla. Margie

  2. What a great post, thank you for taking us along with you:) Happy Tuesday! Brenda

  3. You rally do lead a charmed life! I loved all of the English stories and the fabric 'Up the Garden path.' Have a wonderful week!

    xo, Lissy Parker

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