About Us

ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS SHOWROOMS: OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK Our beautiful new showrooms have opened in the Pantiles Arcade, 49 Lower Walk, The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 5TE. We are open there Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am – 5pm and on Sundays 11am-4pm.  We offer fine quality Art Deco, Arts & Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau, with a wide range of furniture, lighting, sculpture, art, glass and ceramics. In addition, we sell designer 20th century jewellery. The Pantiles Arcade – homed in the historic Corn Exchange – opened in July 2021 with our colleagues’ arcades stocking 20th century from the Eric Knowles’ Collection, Georgian silver and glass, fine quality clocks and paintings and early English and Continental porcelain. The Design Gallery is also proud to offer the work of Malcolm Appleby MBE, Britain’s leading silversmith-engraver.

MARSH GREEN, EDENBRIDGE SHOWROOM AND WAREHOUSE:  AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT The 3000 sq.ft. showroom and furniture warehouse is located at Unit 1a Starborough Farm, Starborough Road, Marsh Green, near Edenbridge TN8 5RB in the delightful Kent countryside. Here you will find mostly unrestored furniture, as well as a wide range of original Art Deco and Arts & Crafts Movement lighting, metalwork, glass and ceramics.  We can organise polishing and upholstery to your own requirements.  The spacious 3000 sq.ft. Showroom and Warehouse is socially distanced, masks and sanitising station are available, one way system in operation. LOCATION: Located near London, just outside the M25 between junctions 5 and 6. You can take the train from London direct to Edenbridge or Edenbridge Town stations, both are less than 10 minutes by taxi to Starborough Farm.

PERIOD DESIGNS BESPOKE FURNITURE  We also offer a fully bespoke furniture making service. The cabinetmakers and polishers who have restored our original furniture for over 15 years now have specially-purchased machinery to make the Period Designs pieces, using 21st century techniques. The highly successful Art Deco Contemporary Collection can be adapted to your own needs with a wide range of solid woods, veneers, finishes and upholstery services available. You can also commission furniture to your own designs. A selection of these pieces are on display in the Royal Tunbridge Wells and the Marsh Green showrooms.

TRAINING  Trained in the Decorative Arts 1850 to 1950 at Sotheby’s Institute, London, John and Chrissie are acknowledged specialists in Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts Movement, Aesthetic Movement and Gothic Revival. John is a former Treasurer to international banks. He was the Honorary Treasurer of the Decorative Arts Society for 8 years. John has appeared with Eric Knowles (pictured above), Catherine Southon, Mark Stacey and Jonty Hearnden on BBC television antiques programmes. Chrissie is a well-known magazine editor, having worked on the staff of Cosmopolitan (Health & Beauty Director), Hello! (Beauty Editor), The Times (fashion stylist/correspondent), The Daily Express (fashion stylist and features journalist). She contributed to Country Living Magazine and has written five books. Two chapters of the book ’20th Century Design’ by Judith Miller were written by John and Chrissie. She secured sponsorship for a world record-breaking event that raised £1 million for The Royal Marsden Hospital and has produced and contributed to many charity events.

John and Chrissie’s passion for these periods of progressive design has brought them clients from all over the world. Call John’s mobile: 07785 503044 for an appointment. Email: sales@designgallery.co.uk

PLACES TO VISIT IN KENT, SURREY AND SUSSEX 

Hever Castle, Hever, Kent  Hever Castle is a medieval castle of great historical significance. The oldest parts of the castle were built in 1270 but much of what we see today was built by Geoffrey Boleyn, great-grandfather of Anne Boleyn, in 1462. It is possible that Anne Boleyn was born at the house although this is a matter of some contention. What is certain is that Henry VIII stayed at the house while courting Anne and the house still contains one of his private locks which he took to every house he visited in order to ensure his security.  Around 10 minutes’ drive from the Starborough Farm gallery showroom and warehouse.

Chartwell, Westerham  The home of the man selected as the greatest Briton of all time in a BBC poll in 2002. Winston Churchill “bought Chartwell for that view” which is an unparalleled view of the Kent Weald. Visitors can explore the house, which is decorated as it was in the 1930s when Churchill was raising his family and see Churchill’s studio in which he painted over 500 canvasses many of which are still at Chartwell. Additionally, there are fantastic walks through “that view” and a café which serves hot food throughout the day.

Quebec House, Westerham   Childhood home of General James Wolfe, a noted military leader most famous for winning the Battle of the Fields of Abraham against the French in Quebec. A mere five-minute walk from the shop Quebec house offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time to the Georgian period and learn about the life of one of Britain’s great military leaders. Arguably the most notable son of Westerham, General Wolfe’s statue can be seen from the shop.

Emmetts Garden, Ide Hill, Kent   Located in Ide Hill, a ten-minute drive from Westerham, Emmetts Garden has an astonishingly varied and beautiful garden. From the rock garden to the rose garden visitors are delighted by the charming seasonal floral arrangements and landscaping. Many walks can be had through the Kent Weald including a popular circular walk that takes you through the Weald to Chartwell.

Down House, Kent  Visit Down House, the home of Charles Darwin and the place where he wrote his seminal work On the Origin of Species. Visitors can enjoy a tour with an audio guide from Sir David Attenborough as they look around the gardens that inspired the most important biologist in history. The study is a room of particular note as one can see the place in which the book that created the biggest paradigm shift in scientific history was written.

Chiddingstone, Kent  An historic village that the National Trust owns large portions of and has carried out extensive conservation work in. Chiddingstone is one of the oldest villages in Kent and visitors can see an extraordinary range of Tudor and medieval buildings. Highlights include Chiddingstone Castle, a 400 year-old manor house, and The Castle Inn, a medieval pub first mentioned in 1420 which serves local ales and hot food.

Eltham Palace, Mottingham, near Eltham and Greenwich  Eltham Palace is a must see for anyone interested in Art Deco. Originally a Tudor Palace in which Henry VIII grew up, the Palace was purchased by eccentric millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in 1933. The Courtaulds transformed the palace into an Art Deco masterpiece. A unique building, Eltham Palace provides visitors with an unrivalled journey through history via architecture and design.  We exhibit at the popular Art Deco Fair twice a year in the Great Hall, usually held every May and September. Check the gallery and the English Heritage websites for details.

Red House, Bexleyheath  Just up the M25 and the A2 towards London and about 20 minutes’ drive from Eltham Palace, Red House should be a site of pilgrimage for any Arts and Crafts enthusiast. Designed by Philip Webb for William and Janey Morris, Red House is often considered to be the pinnacle of Arts and Crafts design. Those who visit Red House will not be disappointed at the wide array of Morris designed interiors on show as well as Pre-Raphaelite paintings from artists that Morris had a relationship with.

Ightham Mote, Ivy Hatch, near Sevenoaks  Ightham Mote is truly one of this country’s greatest architectural achievements. A moated medieval manor house with a staggering range of design styles reflecting the changing needs of the owners. Acquired by the National Trust in 1985, it has become one of their flagship properties and underwent a 15-year, £10,000,000 restoration project.

Standen, East Grinstead  Standen is a Philip Webb-designed Arts and Crafts house located a short drive away in East Grinstead. Considered to be one of the most important and beautiful Arts and Crafts houses in the country, Standen was built in 1894 and decorated by Morris & Co, arguably the greatest design company of the Arts and Crafts movement. It was one of the first houses to be lit by electricity, with fittings manufactured by William Arthur Smith Benson. A large collection of furniture, metalwork, plus pottery by William de Morgan. There is an extensive garden designed at the same time as the house and visitors can purchase fresh seasonal produce from the kitchen garden.