Monday, 23 September 2019

Interior designer recycles house and garden show

Interior designer recycles house and garden show

THE Henley House and Garden Show will return for a third year in the spring.

Organiser and interior designer Niki Schäfer wants to involve schools, shops, charities and families in the event, which was last held in 2016.

The show will be held on Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3 and will feature more than 65 exhibitors of high-end interior and garden goods and services, experts offering advice, trade stands, talks and interior designers.

The venues will be the town hall, King’s Arms Barn and Market Place.

Mrs Schäfer, who held the first show in 2015, said the theme would be “butterflies and bees” and the focus would be on conservation, upcycling and recycling.

Mrs Schäfer, of Walton Avenue, Henley, said: “I’m pleased that I’ve had a couple of years off because it’s an enormous ask but I’ve missed the collaboration.

“It’s key to get as many different parts of the town involved.

“The whole point of the show is to make Henley a winter destination. The early part of the year is when the town is dead and this is an opportunity to bring people in. It’s also when people are beginning to think about giving their homes and gardens a makeover.”

There will be a marquee in Falaise Square with furniture, lighting and kitchens as well as demonstrations, including cookery.

The town hall will have smaller exhibitors offering items such as art and photography, tea towels and ceramics.

In King’s Arms Barn conservation specialists Love Old Buildings will be offering advice.

Mrs Schäfer said: “There’s that underlying theme of sustainability and conservation.

“It’s about making sure we’re looking after the buildings we have been handed down as they last a lot longer than we do.” Each day in the town hall council chamber there will be two sessions with a panel of speakers. On the Saturday there will be an architect, a sustainability expert, an interior designer and a garden designer.

On the Sunday there will be an “interiors masterclass” with antiques expert and TV presenter Jonty Hearnden, furniture restorer and TV star Jay Blades and interior designer Lynne Lambourne who will discuss how to give old furniture a new lease of life.

Both sessions will be in aid of the Chiltern Centre for disabled children, off Greys Road.

Mrs Schäfer will approach primary schools about children taking part in an art competition around the show theme and the winning entries will be displayed over the weekend.

She said: “We also want retailers to be involved and to have window presentations and displays.”

Other highlights will be champagne teas in the town hall and a ladies’ lunch a Phyllis Court Club before the event.

There will also be a flashmob dance where children will be taught a dance to The Greatest Show, from the musical The Great Showman.

The music will be played for one minute on the hour, every hour, during the show and the youngsters and their families will be encouraged to dance. Mrs Schäfer said: “The thing about Henley is that everybody loves their homes and gardens — there’s no doubt about that — and we have got some really great professional people and artisans in this region.

“It’s great to collaborate and bring them into the town centre and give people a show of inspiring ideas.

“We want to create a buzz throughout town, to encourage families to come and get involved as well as house and garden lovers to enjoy all the wonderful products and services being showcased.

“Henley is a town that knows how to have a good time but we needn’t reserve that just for the summer months. Get involved!”

Mrs Schäfer, who chairs the Henley Business Partnership, chose not to hold the show in 2017 in order focus on her business and remodel her house.

She wanted to stage the show this year but had difficulty booking the square, town hall and barn.

The show, which is sponsored by Niki Schäfer Interior Design, Phyllis Court Club, Mercers Solicitors and Towergate Insurance, will run from 10am to 6pm on the first day and from 10am to 4pm on day two.

If you would like to get involved, call Mrs Schafer on 07782 256444 or email her on

For more information, visit

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