ABOUT JANE MCINTYRE – an Interior Designer based in Hampshire
I have been designing interiors since 1980 – terraced houses for first time buyers, flats and town-houses in London, country farmhouses, large and small family houses, bachelor pads and teenage bedsits. Some of these have been in the form of personal property development for rental or sale, some have been favours but most have been for clients. I have fully re-designed, project managed and refurbished a 30 bedroom hotel in the New Forest – Stanwell House, which I owned and ran for eleven years. During that period I also designed the set and costumes for two plays – one in the West End by Ben Elton and one at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – and co-ran a designer fashion shop in Lymington, Stanwells boutique.
I qualified as a fashion designer but after three years in the industry and freelance I changed direction to set up an entertainments company with my partner and long time love, Phil McIntyre. From very humble beginnings, in 1974, with an office at the dining table of a tiny terraced house in Preston, the business grew to become one of the foremost in its field of producing, promoting and representing artistes. I was privileged to work with some of Britain’s top comedians including Rowan Atkinson, Dave Allen, Billy Connolly, Steve Coogan, Ben Elton, Ade Edmondson, Harry Enfield, Lenny Henry, French & Saunders, Reeves and Mortimer, Victoria Wood and the very sadly missed Rik Mayall. Then there were bands such as The Smiths, Metallica, Culture Club, New Order and Iron Maiden, but my highlight has to have been producing the Torvill and Dean ice shows over a period of six years.
Wonderful memories, but the need to travel a lot and be based in London was not conducive to family life, hence retiring from that to live in the very beautiful and atmospheric New Forest. Unfortunately it was also the end of Phil and I, but we had two lovely girls together, Amy and Hannah, both now independent business women in their own right. Amy bought a run down YHA hostel Plas Curig Hostel in Snowdonia which she totally refurbished, was awarded 5 stars and became known as “the poshest hostel in the UK”. I had a wonderful time helping her with the colour schemes once she had redesigned the footprint and that area of Wales will always hold a special place in my heart, even though she has since sold the property. Hannah owns a luxury B&B in Winchester, hannah’s, has received rave reviews from The Times and The Independent newspapers, Conde Nast Traveller, Delicious magazine and flatly refused to let me anywhere near the design!
The last five years have been spent curating items from around the world to sell in my shop in Winchester and online. The sad decision has been made to close the shop and concentrate on interior design, but some items will still be for sale on the website, as and when my travels and moods inspire me to find interesting and eclectic items. Ultimately I hope to bring out my own ranges of furniture, meanwhile I find unique pieces and paint them in some pretty dizzy colours. Meanwhile I am concentrating on my clients and trying to finally finish my house, which has been ongoing for 12 years! Once a home for our combined family of 7 children, it’s now down to just the 2 of us and a lot of space that needs bringing into adult territory once more.
As a designer, I believe I have the ability to absorb the personality of the client and place it into a compatible environment, be it workplace or home. Structural problems, lack of space and difficult briefs are my specialties, along with an inherent sense of colour. I can design the full project or just give advice on colouring a room and I am always happy to source furniture and furnishings. My only reservation is that I don’t do Magnolia walls and when in doubt my mantra is “More is More”.
I live in the New Forest in a beautiful house once owned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who I keep hoping to meet in the dark upstairs corridor. I have horses, chickens, four dogs and a very lovely man.