After a sleepless night on the Strand in an eerie hotel that resembled the one from a rather famous horror movie, Sally and I happily got up at 6.30am to make our way across London to DreamVault to begin set up for Crown’s annual press launch. We arrived just after 7.30am and met the girls from Frank who were frantically unloading the vans. The DreamVault is a gorgeous and cavernous space that was once a restaurant and is now one of the most popular venues in the capital for events and functions. We chose it because of its great location and because it is a wonderful blank canvas on which to display all of Crown’s vibrant new innovations!
The morning dashed by in a haze of paint, blu tac and step ladders, with the whole team from Crown rolling up their sleeves. From touching up the paint job on the trends display cubes, to creating the Colour of the Decade area from scratch, everyone worked so hard and were unsurprisingly rather worse for wear by three pm!
With half an hour to spare before the first members of press were due to arrive, we all rather unglamorously decamped to the loos for a transformation session that Cinderella’s fairy god mother would’ve been proud of, emerging butterfly-like in time to greet the first arrivals.
The launch was a great success, with press constantly streaming through the doors and admiring our new photography, colour palettes, trends, RCA stencils and Colour of the Decade area. We even had members of the 2010 trends panel, including Ariane Poole, Helen Morris, Judy Smith and Wendy Dagworthy on hand to meet, greet and answer any questions.
There were many comments about the standard of the images and the styling this year, and as always our trends were mooted as great sources of inspiration for the year ahead. It’s always so great to catch up with all the journalists and stylists that support Crown, and we love to hear their feedback on all our innovations and projects.
By the time of the evening event, the room was buzzing with anticipation about who would be triumphant in our annual Crown Interior Stylist of the Year Awards. This year’s entries were stronger than ever, showing confident and inspirational uses of colour – the exact things we are looking to champion. We were thrilled to present the prizes to Marisa Daly – Best Newcomer (Homes & Gardens) Harriet Paterson – Best Innovator (Living Etc) and Ali Brown (Homes & Gardens) – Crown Interior Stylist of the Year.
With the event over and done with for another year, we headed off to Villandry for a well earned celebratory dinner and it was past midnight by the time we ventured back to the hotel. After a long but fantastic day with great positive feedback about the event, I had no trouble getting to sleep – even after Sally swore she heard a tricycle in the hallway!