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Great Interior Design Show

Sarah Moore talks to Gift Frippery

It was a huge honour that Sarah squeezed a moment into her busy schedule to have a chat. We’ve all seen her on the television and many of us have read her gorgeous books but I wanted to find out a little bit more about her. Sarah is the first of a mini series of interviews. Here we go!




1 Tea or coffee?

One big bucket of organic coffee made with about a pint of frothy organic milk. Caroline Zoob beautiful large cup. Anything else and I get a bit stress!

2 You were crowned winner of  BBC2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge. In the challenges, you were pushed quite far from your vintage comfort zone. Were you surprised at your own ability?

I used to design kit and service equipment for a big London Event company. Lovely glossy stuff made out of perspex or spray painted sheets of metal. Big white banquettes topped with funky cushions. Hanging installations and galvanised ducting:  so floral and old fashioned was not always my style. What was really surprising was how much easier it was to do stuff when you didn’t have to run a house, look after three children, do the school pick ups and everything else that comes with running your own business. The whole process was really inspiring and it was great to dig deep and find out that i had ideas and solutions to cope with most things. 

3 What did you do when you first left school?

I trained as a chef and set up my own business in London, cooking for companies and in peoples homes. I then did ten very busy years running a big team of chefs cooking in London’s leading venues and big party places. Lots of fun, great team work. 16 hour shifts day after day and night after night. It really helped me when I was filming back to back for five weeks doing the GIDC. I was used to being on location, used to running a team and not tired out be a long days work. I didn’t really want to win, but I didn’t want to go home before the series ended filming.  

4 You’ve just moved house! I love every picture I’ve seen of your new place. Do you intend to hold more workshops now you have all that space?

Lots of potential projects: I just can’t decide what to do first: We have space for workshops and masterclasses. I love the idea of having a winter market with a stall in every stable. First priorities are making it safe and sound as it is a bit of a wreck and there are holes in the roof in a couple of places and it just needs about a weeks worth of dusting just to remove all of the cobwebs from the barns. 

5 Fabric is clearly a real favourite with you. What’s the story? When did this love affair with fabric start?

It has been such a gradual process and it stills comes as quite a surprise that I have quite so many folded up little pieces of floral fabric. My first purchase was a lot in the local auction where I grew up. I was about 20 and bought a country houses’s linen collection. We still use the tablecloths and sheets and i have cut up the doilies for projects and pieces over the years. The big blowsy floral stuff is like an addiction. I like lots of colour and lots of pattern and more always seems better. I am a third generation hoarder along with my late grandmother and uncle; We like the things we like and we like to have LOTS of them. 


6 Be honest! What does your table/ desk look like? Are you in the messy camp or the tidy camp?

Super tidy please: I can put off really working for a whole day or week if the studio needs to be tidy. Nothing pleases me more than pots of scissors, boxes of ready made stock and piles of very neatly colour matched fabric. 

7 Marmite! Love it or hate it?

Big love for marmite. The children ask for a normal amount of marmite so they don’t get a thick brown slick on their toast.

8 What’s is the first thing you ever remember sewing as a child?

I made my teddies some clothes and I had lots of binka that I used to make into bookmarks and tiny purses for presents for my family. They were not sophisticated and my mother still laughs at my self taught methods.

9 You’re a busy lady. What’s your favourite way to unwind at the end of a busy day? Mojito?

I love a cocktail, but rarely drink if i have a tomorrow that involves children, work or having to do anything. I have only two speeds: full on or asleep. I love a quick nap though, and often get sent to bed at the weekend for half an hour if i am looking like I won’t make it through the night if we are going out late. I still really love cooking so having friends over is a great way to unwind. And as I used to cook professionally i feel that there is no pressure to cook impressively. I can cook dinner for several thousand if I need to, but people tend to get the best Bolognese I can make or a really good chicken casserole unless it is a special occasion. I have a few TV programs that I really like too: Mad Men, salvage Hunters, Grand designs and a few others and one chilled beer end most days.


10 Please share your links (website etc) or you can find us on twitter @SMvintage or instagram sarahmoorevintage or Facebook at Sarah Moore Vintage.