Libby's Blog

It recently occurred to me that, whilst it may appear that I’ve spent the last 40-odd years decorating houses, what I have actually been doing is solving problems and translating concepts and dreams into reality. No two houses, projects or sets of curtains are the same and so over the years I have researched and experimented exhaustively to achieve the desired effects. The result is a broad ranging and encyclopaedic knowledge!
I hope that you find this series of short articles, drawn from just some of my experience, both helpful and inspiring.


Tips for setting a beautiful table

I think that there are 5 main elements for setting a beautiful table.

CHINA Choose your china to enhance your food. Chefs will tell you that food looks most appetizing served on white china but that is not to say that it has to be entirely plain - a decorative rim or interesting shape can create a sophisticated table. Alternatively, it may be that you are serving food that invites colours or china of a specific style. The main thing is to choose one style of china and stick to it for dinner plates, side plates, bowls and serving dishes.

LINEN If you have a beautiful dining table then it is a crime to cover it with a tablecloth and far better to let the wood shine and just use linen napkins for texture and possible to introduce colour to your table. A less than lovely table benefits from a well-pressed linen tablecloth.

GLASSES Three glasses per place setting (water, red wine, white wine) will reflect the candlelight to create a magical table.

FLOWERS Fresh flowers (ideally from your own garden) introduce colour and personality to the table. Ideally use a bowl or series of low vases - a large vase of floers creates a wall that inhibits cross-table chat!

THEATRE Use beautiful candlesticks and candelabra to light the table and to introduce a variety of heights to the elements on the table.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

I spent an inspiring (if chilly) day at Chelsea last week and was interested that some of the standards of the English country garden were being used splendidly in the show gardens. Notably the very smart box hedging in Charlie Albone’s "The Husqvarna Garden", fabulous clipped (and moving) box in Dairmuid Gavin's "The British Eccentric’s Garden" and roses taking centre stage in Jo Thompson's garden and, of course, the debut of the new Roald Dahl shrub rose from David Austin Roses.

New Collections

We've been sent some beautiful newsletters recently from Nobilis and Bennison. Take a look at their newest collections on and



How to ... Polish Pamments

If your pamments are old then you will need to pre-treat them with a cement grout film remover and then use a dehumidifier in the room to ensure that they are completely dry.

  1. Once dry (this is extremely important as otherwise the product will not be completely absorbed and watermarks may appear on the floor), apply one coat of impregnating protector with a paint roller, in one direction. Leave to work for 10 minutes and then remove any leftover product using a dry, lint-free cloth.
  2. Allow to dry completely and then the floor can then be polished.
  3. Apply a clear wax paste sparingly, using a clean lint-free cloth, in circular or figure of eight motions.
  4. Allow to stand for a few minutes before buffing to the desired finish using a separate dry, lint-free cloth.
  5. One coat is normally sufficient but further coats can be applied if desired. Do NOT over apply!
  6. Finish off with an electric polisher.

Maintenance: twice a year with floor wax and an electric polish is all that is needed.


"I think the orang utans will grow on me"

The best part of our job is when the curtains are hung or the sofa is delivered and we have a happy customer. These are just a small selection of the nice words we've received .....

Curtains arrived safely and they are beautiful, the cushions too. I think the orang utans will grow on me! Always excellent results and service I am so pleased. 

As ever, we are delighted with the quality of the work and very grateful to you all for your care and concern

Delighted with the new version of our ottoman – thank you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you … “over the moon” with our curtains and blinds. From the day we popped in the service you have provided has been 1st class. Not only that but so personal, friendly and really caring.

Thank you so very much for the beautiful curtains you recently made for us. When I arrived at the house and saw them they took my breath away, they looked so lovely – they are truly perfect. Thank you all so much for making our new home look so beautiful and welcoming. We are all delighted.

Just wanted to say how thrilled I am with the curtain, they get lots of compliments but most of all by me! Thank you again for turning them around so quickly and for the helpful advice.

Just a line to thank you and everyone involved for all of the effort and care put into the making of the magnificent huge curtains – the amount of hand-stitching involved must have been somewhat daunting! However, they really do look spectacular – we are thrilled with them.

We would like to thank you and your staff for our wonderful furnishings. Everyone made choosing an enjoyable event and we are both so pleased with the outcome. Your staff are both delightful and so willing, but remain individuals in their specific roles! I will be happy to sing your praises as I proudly show our house to our many inquisitive friends and family.

I wanted to write a note to thank you very much for your help and advice over the last few months. I am delighted with all my curtains, bedspreads, lights and upholstery. They have been greatly admired by everyone who has been here.

The sofa is amazing. Such a treat to sit on it whenever time allows!

I can’t tell you what admiration the whole look of the four poster bedroom and dressing room have had, for the colour of the walls to the bed itself – we are so thrilled!

Thank you for the two sofas – we are very pleased with them. They look fantastic in our new sitting room.

We are thrilled with the effect in both front rooms. When the study is finished we will start the next project – probably the hall. Thank you for your patience and excellent standard of work.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your help. I am delighted with the covers. I take my hat off to the person who has had the patience to make those covers and may I add, certainly knows their job.

I am very pleased to have a replacement blind for my study and a comfortable chair and send my thanks to all who came to help.

I want to say what a pleasant experience it has been for me to have you experienced advice as well as your company on a number of occasions. You have mad thins so much easier for me – especially as the building work has taken so much longer than expected. It has been a great help that your staff are helpful and efficient.

I am indeed very pleased with my newly lined curtains and am sure they will now last me for another 20 years!

Your charming gentlemen came earlier this afternoon to deliver the sofa and curtains. They too time to adjust the hook positioning on the curtain heading so that the curtains hang correctly and the curtains and the sofa look lovely in position. Than you so much to all the team for the time and trouble you have taken with everything for our new room.

Thank you so much for all you did in ensuring the new drawing room looked quite so magnificent in such a short space of time. What a star you were in sorting out the shades so speedily!

A big thank you to you for delivering all the curtains, blinds and valences for the house in time for the party. I was thrilled – it was an achievement.

Thank you so much for all your efforts yesterday. I know you worked so hard and the curtains look amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A thank you to the Margaret Sheridan team for the fantastic re-upholstering of our two chairs. We really appreciate the attention to detail (braid, double-piping, single-piping, wood showing or not etc etc) and the final job is truly professional.

The guest bedroom now looks much warmer than before because of the red curtains. Surprisingly, they do not show any evidence of mending. The plain curtains make the sitting room subtle and balanced. Thank you very much for your great job.

Many, many thanks to everyone for their kindness, speed, efficiency, patience and every other positive attribute you can think of! I had expected all this to be a vast effort but instead it has been great fun.

Quite what I would have done without you all I do not know – probably still be looking our of bare windows!! I must say to know the whole matter was in such professional hands was most reassuring and to say they look stunning now they are all up (especially the arched bedroom window) would be an understatement. I am also most grateful for the speed with which you produced and hung everything, especially bearing in min all the other work you had on.

Thank you to everyone involved in my new curtain – perfect in every way and feels as though it has been there forever!

I am writing to say a big thank you for our lovely new curtains in our library. They look fab. The room has really come together now due to tall the great advice Libby gave me!

A million thanks to you and all the team at Margaret Sheridan for the wonderful work you did for us recently. We are delighted with the results, which will give us many years of pleasure. Will you please convey our gratitude to the team.
















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