Decorator’s Notebook at Downing Street!

Bethan John and Joe John from Decorator's Notebook at Downing Street

We were just finishing work for the day when the phone rang: “The Prime Minister is holding a reception at Number 10 for successful startup businesses on Monday… would you like to attend?” Well, it’s not exactly an invitation you receive every day, so of course we said yes!

After much debate over what to wear (I eventually decided on my favourite dress from People Tree while Joe opted for a suit) we packed up a selection of our textiles and hopped on the train to London. It was very strange to be allowed inside the gates at Downing Street and, after passing through security, the famous door opened and we were invited inside. We weren’t sure quite what to expect from the interior… Joe joked it would be ‘just your average terrace’ while I hoped for something a little grander! I think we were both surprised by how lovely it was. Elegant without being over the top, with beautiful original fireplaces, ornate ceilings and heritage colours. We ascended the famous staircase watched over by signed portraits of Prime Ministers past and down a corridor decorated with modern art, including Henry Moore sketches and – a little surprisingly – prints and neon signs by Tracey Emin. The reception was held in three of the upstairs rooms overlooking the garden of Number 10 with Horse Guards Parade beyond.

Decorator's Notebook at Downing Street

We were one of twenty businesses to be invited, including two of our friends from School for Creative Startups – bespoke tailor Pip Howeson and cocktail queen Frankie Snobel from Tipplesworth – which was lovely. We chatted first to James Caan and Lord Young, before David Cameron arrived. He particularly liked our Cob Weave Welsh blankets and Indigo Shibori cushions and was very impressed with our ethical sourcing.

When you run your own business, you get so immersed it can be hard to take a step back and recognise how far you’ve come. Being invited to Number 10 made us realise all we’ve achieved and it was fantastic to think that Decorator’s Notebook had been chosen from so many worthy UK startups. We really enjoyed ourselves and it was an evening we won’t forget in a hurry!

[Photographs: courtesy of 10 Downing Street / Start-up Loans]

If you enjoyed this post please hit a button to share with a friend
Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditBuffer this pageEmail this to someone
How to make winter simmer pots - Decorator's Notebook blog

5 ways to cosy up your home for winter

Fill your home with seasonal scents Ditch cloying air fresheners and make a Simmer Pot from real ingredients instead. Half-fill a saucepan with water and add seasonal herbs, spices, fruits and essential oils. Warm on the hob over a very low heat (topping up with water when needed) and enjoy the aromas drifting through your… 

Read More »

Alice makes Fair trade African baskets in Kenya for Decorator's Notebook

Meet the Artisan: Alice from Hadithi African Baskets

There’s something extra special about knowing who made the things you have in your home. When I discovered Hadithi African Baskets, which are handwoven by members of 15 women’s co-operatives in Kenya and come with the maker’s name and photo, I knew straight away they would be perfect for our new fair trade home collection…. 

Read More »

Pumpkin and ricotta gnocci recipe

5 of the best pumpkin recipes

Nothing says autumn has arrived like the sight of children clinging proudly onto their pumpkins, trailing (happily for once) around the supermarket behind their Mums and Dads. As much as I love an afternoon spent pumpkin carving, it’s a bit of a shame that after all those months of growing, the tastiest part of the… 

Read More »

About Decorator's Notebook

Why we’re re-launching Decorator’s Notebook

You might have noticed things have been a little quiet here at Decorator’s Notebook recently, but we’ve got a good excuse! Over the past six months we’ve been scouting out some of the very best home accessories from all over the world made by inspirational projects, charities and social enterprises. To make sure we bring them… 

Read More »

Ecos Chalk Flowers

Learn the truth about eco friendly paint

I’m sure that every one of us has woken up in a freshly painted room with ‘decorator’s headache’ at some point in the past. Conventional paints can contain all sorts of nasties, including formaldehyde, ammonium, titanuim dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Although recent EU regulations have imposed limits on the levels of harmful chemicals… 

Read More »

Garden makeover on a shoestring part 2

Garden makeover on a shoestring: part 2

A few months ago we started work smartening up our new garden and it’s time to show you our progress! Click for a quick reminder of how it looked before. After tidying up I wanted to start adding some plants as soon as possible to brighten up the borders. We’re lucky enough to have a… 

Read More »

Decorator's Notebook Birthday Giveaway

Birthday giveaway!

Decorator’s Notebook shop is one year old today… it’s gone so fast! We want you all to celebrate with us so we’re running a giveaway to win a goodie bag of lovely stuff from our collection… This is officially our biggest competition ever, with a total prize value of over £120 all for one lucky… 

Read More »

Decorator's Notebook The Good List - Rubies in the Rubble

The Good List: Rubies in the Rubble chutney

Welcome back to The Good List, our guide to brilliant businesses making a difference to people and the planet. Today I’ve been chatting to the lovely Jenny Dawson about her company, Rubies in the Rubble. Two years ago, she made a dramatic career change, leaving behind her lucrative job in a hedgefund to make posh… 

Read More »