ABOUT JANE MCINTYRE – an Interior Designer with a homeware shop in Winchester
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 and some 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 owns Plas Curig Hostel in Snowdonia which has been awarded 5 stars and I was happy to collaborate with her on the design; Hannah owns a luxury B&B in Winchester, hannah’s, recently received rave reviews from The Times and The Independent newspapers, Conde Nast Traveller and flatly refused to let me anywhere near the design.
Currently I am fulfilling a dream by having my own shop. Just a minute from Winchester High Street, the little Georgian terraced house gives me the opportunity to showcase colour schemes and fabrics while selling an eclectic mix of household wares – luxury couture bedding from California, lamps from Belgium, pottery from France, Italy and Africa, antique closets from India, baths from Dorset, paint from the Netherlands, cabinets from Denmark, collectable artworks and plenty of down to earth artisan products from the UK. Ultimately I hope to bring out my own ranges of furniture, meanwhile I find unique pieces and paint them in some pretty dizzy colours.
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.
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.