What to expect
Northern Quarters Interiors Festival promises an inspiring day for the North East’s homeware addicts, budding renovators and dedicated decorators.
Bringing together key players from the region’s thriving interiors community – from creative interior designers and small, independent businesses, to furniture-makers and stylish online influencers – it will give guests a chance to mix and mingle with likeminded space-transformers, pick up expert hints and tips and see (and buy) some seriously good-looking works.
Where to go
The action will be taking place at St Mary’s Heritage Centre – a unique and breathtakingly-beautiful visitor attraction-turned-events-space – in Gateshead on 18 November.
Sitting high above the River Tyne, close to Sage Gateshead, the Grade I-listed building used to be a church, but following a £1.2 million makeover, it’s now open to the public and runs an exciting programme of creative, arty exhibitions throughout the year.
Who to see
The festival will shine a light on homegrown talent during five fun-packed hours, filled with carefully-curated exhibitions and inspiring talks from North East natives doing big things.
Local names showcasing their work include Newcastle-based artist/designer, Susi Bellamy, whose luxury fabrics, cushions, wallpaper and lampshades are adorned with her vibrant paintings, and Sarah Piper, who utilises driftwood and seaweed to create cool ceramics, inspired by the North East coast.
One of the region’s biggest Instagram-influencers, Kerry Lockwood, will be sharing her success story, while Cathy Dean of Cathy Dean Interiors will be dishing out expert tricks of the trade and hosting a not-to-be-missed Q&A session.
Guests will also get to meet upcycler and blogger, Cheryl Lumley, who, together with the folk from Re-styled by St Oswald’s Hospice (the charity’s upcycled furniture boutique in Newcastle), will be sharing ideas on how to get creative with second-hand, planet-saving pieces.
Meet the organisers
Lucy and her husband, Paul, set up their website, fortheloveofthenorth.co.uk, in early 2017, to showcase locally-made gifts, cards and prints. They opened their first store, under the same name, in Whitley Bay, a few months later, and now stock work from over 50 different North East creatives.
“We’re regularly approached by local people who would like to be stocked in the shop, but unfortunately not all of their amazing work fits in with the vibe of the shop, which pictorially celebrates our wonderful region.”
“I became more and more aware of just how many creatives there are working within our region, producing amazing stuff, often related to interiors. I wanted the opportunity to work with them and showcase their talents – and, so, the idea to organise a local interiors festival was born.”
Katie is a freelance photographer, specialising in interiors. She lives in Earsdon, not far from Whitley Bay, and spends her days shooting gorgeous homes for national interiors magazines, such as Real Homes, 25 Beautiful Homes and Ideal Home.
“Through my work, I meet a lot of people from the interiors world and they always say that nothing ever really happens in the North East; there are no big events dedicated to interiors and no real opportunities for local people to showcase their talent,” she says.
“Through Northern Quarters, Lucy and I want to encompass the whole interiors community; mixing professional designers, artists, local makers and shop-owners with the general public and bringing everyone together under one roof. The festival will be one big celebration of what the North East has to offer to the world of interior design.”
If having a nosey around someone else’s home sounds like your idea of heaven, then you’ll be delighted to hear that guests will have the chance to visit some of the amazing homes transformed by Kerry Lockwood and Cathy Dean, and photographed by organiser, Katie.
After opening the doors to their prize pads, owners will give guests a tour of their favourite rooms, nooks and crannies, showing off their most-loved furniture, accessories, bits and pieces. A chance to meet the people behind the homes – and the Instagram snaps.
Interiors fans and aspiring lifestyle bloggers can also meet Kerry Lockwood at Fenwick Newcastle on 30 September.
Head to BoConcept, on the Second Floor, where Kerry will be hosting a presentation and inspiring talk about how to run a successful Instagram page and the latest interior design trends. The event is from 6pm-8pm and tickets are £25, redeemable on selected purchases. Head to fenwick.co.uk for more info.
Northern Quarters will be taking place at St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Gateshead, on 18 November. For more information, or to book tickets, visit: northernquarters.uk