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4 Editor’s Letter
32 Charity Pages:
Art for Heart’s Sake
Fashion, beauty & health
8 Pale and Interesting
21 WIN! At Rainbow
16 West End Live
with Greg Kane
19 Top Things
23 Restaurant Review:
Art & culture
24 Writer’s Reveal:
with Gordon Kerr
28 Cover to Cover
Women by Design
41 Retro Fushion
43 Elegant Glamour
4 | www.westendermagazine.com
This edition’s interiors articles take
inspiration from our ‘neutrals’ fashion
shoot for this autumn season. As we
move back indoors in anticipation of further
inclement weather, our interior spaces
exercise a huge impact on our mood.
Susan Robertson looks at designs sent to
calm and revitalise after a busy day working
and studying (starts on page 41).
Design is also the theme for Pamela
Palongue’s business article on page
34. Pamela interviews three West End
businesses with interior design at their heart.
Different routes through life inspire different
business outcomes, each one a success and
providing that, eagerly sought, work / life
Our charity feature by new Westender
writer, Mike Findlay, looks at wall art in aid
of Marie Curie and CHAS. An annual event,
Art for Heart’s Sake, takes place at The Store
Interiors in Anniesland early this November.
Arun and Ashoke Pasi are local business men
with big hearts inspired by their mum who
has always made time for and donated to
charity. Head along to the preview event on
the 7th of November for a glass of prosecco
and a leisurely browse (P.32).
Another new writer to Westender is Lenny
Smith who interviewed Glaswegian author
Gordon Kerr, prior to Gordon’s appearance
at the Blairgowrie Bookmark Festival this
October. Gordon’s work of fiction investigates
an under reported movement in Italy during
the Second World War. Read Lenny’s
account on page 24 and prepare to be
inspired by freedom fighters in Italy’s Alps.
Westender regular, Brian Toal, rounds up
the best of this autumn’s reads on page 28.
Brian may have written his reviews solely
based on my reading taste – honest, I didn’t
know. Chris Brookmyre is one of my fave
all time authors and his new novel, Fallen
Angel, sounds like a real page turner. Author
Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy was
a major stand out for me during my OU
Literature degree and I’m delighted to see her
new book, The Silence of the Girls, reviewed.
Dealing with a difficult subject matter, I know,
of all authors this topic is in the most capable
So thanks Brian, that’s my next reads
sorted out. And West End resident Limmy’s
autobiography is definitely one for my other
half – he loves his shows. I feel a trip to one of
our West End bookshops coming on…
www.westendermagazine.com | 5
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Westender by Tuesday 29th September.
OUT IN WEST END LOCATIONS FROM MONDAY 19TH OCTOBER.
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// Glasgow’s brilliant FREE bi-monthly magazine
// Great editorial features: fashion, dining out, health & beauty,
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MIKE FINDLAY, AMY GLASGOW,
GREG KANE, TRACY MUKHERJEE,
SUSAN ROBERTSON, LENNY SMITH,
HAIR & MUA
WESTENDER MAGAZINE IS ON
Publisher: Westender Magazine
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SLIP INTO NEUTRAL
photography GREGOR REID
stylist jacki clark
mua terri craig
www.westendermagazine.com | 9
Dress & Jacket, COS. SHoes, daniel footwear
Jewellery, Nancy smillie
10 | www.westendermagazine.com
Trousers, top & shoes, NEXT. Bracelet, liquorice tree
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COAt, ted baker. Dress, next. Shoes, daniel footwear
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suit, topshop. shirt, cos. bag & jewellery, liquorice tree
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jumpsuit, french connection. necklace, monsoon. shoes,next
14 | www.westendermagazine.com
photography gregor reid, gregorreidphotography.com
stylist jacki clark, jackiclark-stylist.co.uk
MUA terri craig, terricraig.co.uk
model katherine lee
model courtesy of
superior model management
t-shirt & trousers, Topshop
www.westendermagazine.com | 15
SHOES, daniel footwear
jewellery, nancy smillie
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Thursday 5th September 7pm
Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno (aka The
S.L.P.). See what he did there? I think
everyone should prefix their initials
with a 'The', I could be The G.P.K.
sounds good to me.
He is a founding member, guitarist
and main songwriter for the English
Rock band Kasabian who have enjoyed
extensive mainstream success since
2004. I’ve always had a soft spot
for Kasabian’s low fi, D.I.Y. attitude
towards making music. They convey a
real sense of honesty in everything
they do, which is commendable. But I
guess that’s just not enough for Sergio
so in a 'band gap year' he has created
side project The S.L.P. to be a vehicle
for his obvious Classic Chicago House
lustings and it’s not that bad a stab
at it either. Sparkly face paint optics
should grab the attentions of the
kids and the pounding jazzy piano
chords should keep the 80s dance
Choice Tracks: The S.L.P. 'Nobody Else'
The Ninth Wave
Saturday 21st September 7pm
The Ninth Wave are a noise pop
duo from Glasgow, taking their
influences from 80s new wave and goth
pop. Formed around the long termfriendship
of singer/bassist Millie
Kidd and singer/guitarist Hadyn Park-
Patterson in 2017 they have already
played at the SSE Hydro (supporting
Chvrches) and this year performed at
the influential SXSW music festival in
Austin, Texas. They released the first
part of their debut LP, Infancy, at the
end of April 2019 – with the second
half coming in November. The decision
to split up the 12 tracks was 'less a
creative one and more informed by the
way people consume music now' says
Park-Patterson. 'The way the world
is, listening to music, everyone gets
bored, easily. We took a year to make
it, so it should take a year to put it
out, I guess is what we felt.' Such a
wise head on young shoulders will
serve them well. And this maturity
extends to their music too, which is
some of the best I’ve heard come out of
Glasgow for ages.
Choice tracks: The Ninth Wave
‘New Kind of Ego'
Monday 23rd September 7pm
Òran Mór, oran-mor.co.uk
Marika Hackman is an English
and songwriter raised in Devon by
parents who's day jobs as animators
lead to an unconventional upbringing
encouraging creativity. Lucky girl.
But thankfully she didn’t rebel
against them and now her work is much
lauded by such exulted contemporaries
as Alt-J and Laura Marling, which
should give you an idea of where the
music comes from.
There’s lots of swearing in her songs
though and whilst studying her
Spotify listing I thought her recent
album was actually called EXPLICIT.
But it’s not, her fourth album is
called Any Human Friend, and was
released in August this year. All
very confident, poised, complex and
beautifully executed alt/indie/pop.
Choice track: Marika Hackman
www.westendermagazine.com | 17
by Greg Kane
Wednesday 23rd October 7pm
Hug and Pint, thehugandpint.com
Samana are music duo Rebecca Rose
and Franklin Mockett who’s music
emanates from their all analogue
studio in the remote valleys of Wales.
Here’s how they describe their sound,
(But do it in a Welsh accent for full
effect) '… born from the interpretation
of dreams, the study of ancient
rituals, philosophies of love, loss
and death, and the quintessence of
interior discovery that results from
personal experience …'. Couldn’t
have put it better myself. It’s all a
bit crusty, road trip to Europe in
camper vanny, new agey, Hippy Dippy
but Rebecca Rose has one of the most
beautiful Contralto voices I’ve heard
since Ruth Pointer (Of The Pointer
Sisters). The deep tones of her voice
are supposed to put you off but in
actual fact they do the complete
opposite. Reminds me of a young KD
Lang too. I can’t stop listening to it.
Choice track: Samana 'Harvest'
Wednesday 30th October 7pm
SWG3, Galvanisers Yard, swg3.tv
Benjamin Gerard Coyle-Larner, known
professionally as Loyle Carner, is
a multi-award winning English hip
hop musician. Carner's debut album,
Yesterday's Gone, was nominated
for the 2017 Mercury Prize and his
sophomore album, Not Waving, but
Drowning, was released in April
2019 and perfectly exhibits how
soul and jazz sensibilities can
work with hip hop. But unlike most
rappers he has a deep and heartfelt
respect for all womankind which
he puts down to being raised in an
all female environment, mother and
grandmother, who encouraged him
to always communicate and show
respect. He also professes a love of
bands you wouldn’t expect a young hip
hopian to have, The Cure, Bob Dylan,
Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, and how
he describes himself tells you a lot
about where he’s at, 'I’m not a hero,
I’m a weirdo'. A classy guy.
Choice Track: Loyle Carner
Jo Jo Siwa
Wednesday 30th October 5.30pm
SSE Hydro, thessehydro.com
Joelle Joanie 'JoJo' Siwa is a 16-yearold
American dancer, singer, actress,
and YouTube personality and if like
me, you have a pre-teen kid then
you’ll know every word of every
song. My aging body and lack of hair
prevents me from extending this to
the dance routines and the over sized
bows (JoJo's Bows) on my head but my
daughter and I have enjoyed many a
window down singing at the top of our
voices car journey home with Jo Jo
Siwa blaring LOUD from the stereo.
She brings so much joy to so many
hence the size of venue for this gig
which will host 13,000 screaming
pre-teen Siwanatorz in one room… the
stuff of nightmares. So please spare a
thought for the accompanying parents.
Fortunately our 'always there when we
need her' babysitter has stepped up to
the plate. Thank you so much Tina, you
are the best X.
Choice track: Jo Jo Siwa
'Kid In A Candy Store'
18 | Westender www.westendermagazine.com
by John Parker
t’s been a fantastic couple of months for
us here at Rainbow Room International.
Dylan, from our George Square salon, is a
finalist at the Scottish Hairdresser of the Year.
A fantastic achievement and we look forward
to the award ceremony in November!
We recently had our Assistant Show
at the SWG3 Club in the West End.
A fantastic event, it is a great platform for
our assistants to show off their skills and
work to their families and an assessor from
our Academy. Students have to find their
own makeup artist, styling, music and
visuals. It was also another opportunity for
us to celebrate our salon group’s 40-year
Our Assistants in GWR, Cari and Roxy,
have applied for our Swedish Exchange
opportunity, where one of our trainees will
go to Sweden for two weeks to work and
learn from their Scandinavian counterparts.
The exchange programme is a great
opportunity and we also have a Swedish
student coming to work with us, allowing
them to learn from our salon and take the
experience back home with them.
WIN! Rainbow Room International
are offering one lucky reader a hair
makeover in their Great Western Rd
salon. For your chance to win go to
westendermagazine.com and click
on competitions by the 31st Oct ‘19.
Rainbow Room International
607 Great Western Road G12 8HX
0141 337 3370
UNITE AND BIKE
Kerala Cycle Challenge
25 Sep - 4 Oct 2020
Cycle 350km through the beautiful
countryside of India and raise funds
for people affected by cancer.
Contact us on 0141 337 8199 or email
R e g i s t e r e d C h a r i t y : S C 0 1 2 8 6 7
www.westendermagazine.com | 19
Top Things To Do
in the West End
by Tracy Mukherjee
My, how time flies! Autumn is upon us, with
its cascade of colour and ever changing light.
So let’s take a look at the harvest of events that
are sure to brighten the darkening days.
Top For Heritage Trails
Doors Open Days are celebrated across Scotland
each year in September. Scotland’s largest
free festival celebrating the architecture and
heritage of our beautiful country is now in its
30th year. Nationwide there are over a thousand
free venues to visit. Of course Glasgow will yet
again be trailblazing a path through over 200
historic buildings; what goes on behind the
facades of some of the cities most well-know
iconic structures? The programme once ran
over a weekend, but such is the richness of our
architecture that this is now an annual weeklong
event. Love the theatre? Why not take a
look behind the scenes and see what goes on
when the curtain falls. Have a favourite tipple?
Some of the city’s distilleries are opening their
doors (not their bottles) to the general public.
The event is organised by the Glasgow Building
Preservation Trust and is co-ordinated nationally
by the Scottish Civic Trust. Besides the glorious
libraries and numerous listed buildings for adults
to explore, there is also a children’s programme
of activities throughout the week. With guided
walks, talks and exhibitions, Glasgow Doors
Open Days Festival is always a highlight in our
Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival,
Mon 16th – Sun 22nd September,
various venues citywide. Programme
brochures are free from local libraries.
Top for Setting Sail
It's two years since the first Clydebuilt festival
reached the shores of the Riverside Plaza on
Clydeside. The river festival celebrates all things
boaty and is diverse in its mix of land and sea
events. On the water, there will the chance to
try canoeing, the ever popular Castle to Crane
Race from Dumbarton Castle to the Finnieston
Crane and an inaugural small craft regatta.
On the Sunday there will be a new event as six
Dragon Boats take to the Clyde with a fabulous
race filled with colour. Each boat comprises
of 10 team members plus a drummer keeping
everyone in time. With heats running throughout
the day, the fastest fire-breathers will compete
in the grand final. Who will be crowned Dragon
Boat Racing Champions and receive the Dragon
After all the drama of the high seas, on land
there will be a chance for some well deserved
R & R. Take a stroll through the riverside
markets, settle the kids down for some
storytelling or grab yourself a pint and listen to
the fiddles and sea shanties wafting over the
waves. The Clyde has been an artery, the life line
that runs through Glasgow; it really IS something
Clydebuilt Festival, Sat 21st – Sun 22nd
September, Riverside Plaza, Clydeside
Top for Fizzy Fundraising
When we think about supporting our favourite
charity we might consider a little bit of training
before an ever popular 10K. Why not body
swerve the sweat and tears (for this month
anyway) and do your bit with a lovely glass of
fizz and lunch with your favourite girly chums?
Cancer Support Scotland are holding their
Annual Ladies Lunch in October with a packed
event filled with fun and sparkle. On arriving at
Glasgow’s Radisson Blu Hotel, there will be a fizz
reception followed by a sumptuous three course
lunch. During the day, STV celebrities Emma
Cameron and Laura Boyd will be joining in the
20 | www.westendermagazine.com
Top Things To Do
in the West End
by Tracy Mukherjee
fun. With plenty of opportunities to raise more
funds, the event will have entertainment galore,
fundraising games and stalls to peruse. Last year
the event raised over £15,000 which provided
help with counselling and complimentary
therapies for those affected by cancer and their
carers. Tickets are priced at £50pp and tables of
8 - 12 people can also be purchased. So glad rags
on ladies, all in aid of a fantastic cause.
Cancer Support Scotland Fizz and
Sparkle Ladies Lunch, Sun 6th October
Radisson Blu, Glasgow
or email lucy.kirkland@cancersupport
scotland. org / 0141 337 8199
Top for Tripping the Light
When GlasGLOW launched last year at the
Botanic Gardens, who could have known it would
be the phenomenal success that it became? Well
I for one, as a parking space could not be had
outside my home! With 75,000 attendees, the
Botanics had an ethereal glow for the duration of
Halloween 2018. But GlasGLOW 2 is purported to
be even bigger and better. The 2019 route around
the gardens is longer, running to over a mile.
Word has it that there are nine immersive worlds
to explore, setting the sky above the West End
alight. There will be lots of interactive stations
as light and sound surround you in the gardens.
The marshmallow toasting is back, with even
the possibility of a hot toddy or some mulled
wine (subject to licence) to settle your chills.
And those chills may not be down to the crisp
autumn nights… rumour has it there will be some
rather spooky goings on; so get ready for some
spine tingling, rib-rattling frights!
GlasGLOW 2, Botanic Gardens
Fri 25th October – Thurs 31st October
Top for Fright Night
There can’t be an autumn Top Things round up
without a holler for Halloween! This year there
seems to be a huge variety of scary shenanigans
afoot. At Websters Theatre, Fright Night sees
four of the most famous ghouls unite to solve
a mystery. Inside Dracula’s castle the Count
himself, accompanied by Dr Frankenstein’s
Monster, The Bride and The Mummy, combine
their questionable brainpower in trying to find
out 'who done it'. Brought to you by the Movaro
Theatre Company this frightful comedy gives a
nod to the great horror genres of old.
Staying with Count Dracula but moving to the
Stand Comedy Club, it’s now one for the kids.
Where’s Dracula: The Mystery at Phantom
Manor, sees Dracula’s mum getting the audience
involved in her annual Halloween party. With
plenty of other ghosts and ghouls in attendance,
the show has plenty of fun, laughs and a mystery
to solve. The kids are encouraged to wear fancy
dress with a prize for best costume.
For a classical Halloween, take a trip to the
Nutty Professor’s lab as the Children’s Classic
Concerts team in partnership with the RSNO
present Weird Science. In participation with
Glasgow Science Centre, artistic director of CCC
Owen Gunnell is the mad scientist in question
(with a little help from the Science Centre guys),
presenting live experiments on stage and fizzing
through electrifying music as the concert erupts
in this explosive musical event.
Fright Night, Websters Theatre
Thurs 24th – Sun 27th October
Where’s Dracula: The Mystery at
Phantom Manor, The Stand Comedy
Club, Woodlands Rd, Sun 27th October
Weird Science, Sat 26th October,
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Westender www.westendermagazine.com Magazine Promotion | 21
with Gail Richardson
Image I Gregor Reid
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feel would make them happier, but it is much
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or behaviour patterns and make those
changes, with the right help.
Anyone can benefit from hypnotherapy.
It’s a brief, solution-focused therapy where
most issues can be dealt with in around
three sessions (even less for habit breakers
like smoking cessation) and the sessions
themselves are relaxing and pleasant.
I recognise everyone as an individual with
their own unique context and issues so
sessions are tailored to meet a person’s
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I have a Hypnotherapy Practitioner
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0141 337 3307
Need help with feelings of stress
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22 | www.westendermagazine.com
CRAFT BEERS & ALES
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0141 334 4312
Reviewed by Amy Glasgow @theglasgowdiet
You know that song from Cheers, ‘Where
Everybody Knows Your Name’? That’s
what it feels like every time I walk
through the doors of Eusebi Deli on Park
Road. It’s the kind of place that you keep
going back to time and time again because
it offers not only some of the best Italian
food in Glasgow, but a warm and welcoming
atmosphere that I imagine is not dissimilar to
a hug from your Nonna.
Day or night, owner Giovanna can often
be found waiting tables, pouring drinks and,
more often than not, stopping to catch up
with the many regulars that frequent the
restaurant. Her attentive nature and her love
for every person who walks through the door,
regular or not, is what sets Eusebi Deli apart
– although the food plays a major role as well!
If you are anything like me, when you think
of Italian restaurants your mind conjures up
images of over-populated menus, lack-lustre
pizzas and repetitive dishes. At Eusebi Deli
you won’t find any of that. In fact, their menu
changes with the seasons in an attempt to
champion seasonal produce and the true
flavours of Italy.
You’ll certainly find both pizza and pasta
on the menu, but whatever you do don’t
ignore the incredible array of small plates,
boards and snacks on offer. Their current
summer menu includes a number of fresh
and vibrant dishes but the champion for
me is the charred octopus with pickled
cucumber, olives, capers and lime aioli.
The octopus is slow cooked for hours to
ensure it is incredibly tender, before being
charred to give a delicate, smoky flavour to
this zingy dish.
When you do make your way to the pizza
or pasta portion of your meal, don’t expect
www.westendermagazine.com | 23
a big round pizza or mass-produced pasta.
In their Pasta Laboratory, the chefs at
Eusebi’s make pasta from scratch daily, while
the Pizza Romana dough is proved for 72
hours before being hand shaped, giving a
unique, crispy edge but remaining soft on the
Unable to choose between the numerous
dishes, I chose to order two – yes, you can
order two smaller versions of two different
pasta dishes if you desire, which I so often
do. My first choice was the ravioli carne,
classic house-made meat ravioli served with
sugo. The ravioli were beautifully made, the
pasta the perfect thickness with just the right
bite. The meat inside was tender and melted
in the mouth and the light tomato sauce was
bright and fresh.
My second choice, and the big hitter,
was the gnocchi cacio pepe with foraged
mushrooms. This classic sauce is made
by emulsifying Pecorino Romano in water
(traditionally the seasoned cooking water
you boiled your pasta or gnocchi in) and
seasoned heavily with fiery black pepper.
The addition of foraged mushrooms was a
welcome one and the gnocchi were plump
little pillows of joy.
If, after all that, you still have room for
dessert, I highly recommend trying one.
The menu boasts a selection of beautiful
patisserie made by pastry chef and Bake
Off Crème de la Crème winner, Helen Vass.
I can confirm that the chocolate, caramel and
praline tart is a wonder to behold.
152 Park Road G4 9HB
0141 648 9999
24 | www.westendermagazine.com
meets Gordon Kerr
What would you do on discovering
that your recently deceased partner
who you loved dearly had, in fact,
been having an affair? This is the distressing
situation in which journalist Michael Keats
finds himself in Glasgow-born writer, Gordon
Kerr’s debut fiction thriller, The Partisan
Heart, before deciding to channel his grief
into discovering the truth.
This quest will take him away from the
fast-paced London Evening Post newsroom
in bustling High Street Kensington to
Northern Italy, in order to track down the
owner of an expensive jacket left in a hotel
room his late wife, Rosa, had booked with her
credit card. Michael’s editor, keen to keep his
talented writer at the newspaper, hands him
an italian kidnapping assignment that has the
WORDS LENNY SMITH
world media gripped and asks him to ‘dig (it)
up’. That digging goes deeper than Michael
imagined, as we learn of secret acts of love,
betrayal and violence amongst the Partisans
during the Second World War whose
consequences permeate the present, 1999.
Kerr’s extensive historical insight from
penning numerous non-fiction titles enables
him to depict a clear picture of what the
partisan movement would have been like
in 1944. Combined with a natural flair for
storytelling, Kerr balances the tricky task of
juggling grief and betrayal with adventure,
stoicism and even occasional wit, where the
search for truth – and where the search for
truth needs to find a suitable conclusion –
is at the heart of this story. I caught up with
Gordon to ask him more.
www.westendermagazine.com | 25
Congratulations on your crime fiction
debut, Gordon. How did the original
idea for the story come about?
Thank you very much. The story of The
Partisan Heart grew out of many visits to the
Valtellina, a beautiful valley in Lombardy in
northern Italy, situated to the east of Lake
Como. My sister-in-law married a man from
the valley and my wife and I travel there once
or twice a year to see them. There were older
members of my brother-in-law’s family who
had fought in the war as partisans or, if they
had been particularly unlucky, had been
transported to Germany to work.
My brother-in-law’s father, for instance,
was one of these – a ‘gastarbeiter’, as the
Nazis euphemistically termed it. These men
were generally silent, appearing like ghosts
at family celebrations and saying little.
Gradually, although they never spoke of the
war, I picked up a few stories and the idea
for the book took shape in my mind. I have to
say, too, that the Valtellina is so beautiful I felt
I had to write about it.
Your crime fiction debut follows widower
Michael Keats on a personal journey that
takes him from London to the Italian Alps
– via Scotland – and spans five decades.
How do you approach structuring such an
intricate, complex plot?
I’ve said before – and I know it’s probably
hard to believe – the story almost came to me
fully formed. George Harrison, when asked
about how he wrote songs, once said that
he didn’t write them, the songs found him.
I know it’s pretty fanciful, but I feel as if this
story found me, arrived in my head almost
complete. There were many things to work
out, of course. As you say, the plot is pretty
complex, and in the editing process I was still
finessing it right up to the end. But the basics
of it were there very early on. One of the most
important elements was getting the timelines
exactly right in both strands of the story. I did
this by creating a kind of bullet-point timeline
for each, down to hours of the day for the
modern strand featuring Michael. I drove my
publisher mad, but it was worth it in the end.
And how long did it take you to complete
The idea was stewing in my head for a long
time before I actually began to commit
words to paper. It’s hard to say how long it
took because of that. Because of my day
job, writing non-fiction, I stopped writing it
for quite long periods. But even then I never
stopped thinking about it and working out
the twists and turns of the plot. I would say
it probably took five years, in the end. I hope
a follow-up can be written much faster than
that which is why this autumn and winter the
world of non-fiction is going to have to get
along without me.
Having written several historical
non-fiction titles over the years, how
enjoyable, or challenging, was the process
of writing fiction?
Writing fiction is way more enjoyable!
And I have been very struck by the reaction of
people on hearing I’ve had a novel published.
I’ve written quite a lot of non-fiction books
in a variety of genres but people seem to
view the creation of a work of fiction as a
much greater achievement, for some reason.
In fact, a lot of people seem to be a little in
awe of it. Writing about history or art, as I
have done, is challenging because it has to
be right. It’s facts, sometimes, of course, with
an element of interpretation, but it happened
as it happened and you mustn’t get that
wrong. Fiction, on the other hand, is makebelieve.
You create worlds, people, situations,
some of it quite fanciful. And it’s great fun.
I used to look forward to going to bed at night
because that’s where I did a great deal of my
thinking about the plot and the characters.
Can you tell us more about the ‘ruggedly
beautiful’’ Italian valley, Valtellina.
The Valtellina today is like most other places,
with supermarkets, shopping malls and
a motorway slicing through the middle.
But when we first visited, at the end of
the nineteen-seventies, it was still quite
backward. Supermarkets were rare and the
people more or less lived as they had for
hundreds of years, growing their own food,
making their own wine and rarely venturing
outside the valley. The houses in the village
near where my family lived were ancient
and crumbling back then. Now they have
been bought and renovated, often used as
weekend escapes by people from Milan.
For a boy from East Kilbride and Glasgow,
back then it was an exotic and atmospheric
world and I was getting a close view of it
through the lives of my family there.
26 | www.westendermagazine.com
Were there any challenges in writing
violent war scenes between the partisans
and the Nazis?
As a life-long vegetarian pacifist, it was,
of course, difficult to write such scenes.
But this was a brutal time in Italian history.
There was a huge amount at stake and
there was a great deal of pent-up anger and
hatred. Ordinary people did extraordinary
things, as they always do in war and I felt I
had to express that in some way. There are a
couple of violent scenes but, although these
events do colour everything, I hope they don’t
overwhelm the story.
Your sister-in-law and her family live in the
Valtellina, with some of her family fighting
as partisans. How was your novel received
Sadly, there’s not yet an Italian version of the
book, which means that not many over there
have read it, but they’re very proud that their
valley features. Unfortunately, those family
members who fought in the war are now
no longer with us but I’m not entirely sure
how they would have reacted to the book.
Their brooding silence about the war when
they were alive makes me suspect they might
feel that some things are better left unsaid.
Some of your story is also set in Scotland.
Is this a hat tip to where you are from?
I guess I could have located that part of the
story anywhere – the north of England or
Wales, for example – but, yes, I suspect that
somewhere in my subconscious I wanted it to
have a Scottish element, no matter how brief,
because of my roots. I was also very pleased,
however, to allow that part of the story to give
me the opportunity to introduce a Scottish
character in Helen Matthieson. Helen is a
strong-willed, independent young woman
and the fact that she is also Scottish made
her very appealing to me as a lead character.
Helen is decisive, loyal, kind, fearless;
frankly she is formidable. How did that
character form in your mind?
I know a number of women like that. Helen
developed with the plot and to do what
she does in the book, those qualities were
essential. She’s also funny and very human,
I think. Most importantly, I feel, she grounds
Michael who loses it and shows his frailties
a few times, understandably, I guess, given
what’s happening to him. She’s absolutely
vital to the plot of the book, drives it along
and comes up with some good ideas for
What do you look forward to when coming
back to Scotland?
I come to Scotland several times a year.
I am in a band – Elsie at the Piano – of whom
one member lives in Dublin, one in Blantyre
and I live in Dorset. We use the internet to
compose but meet up in Glasgow quite
regularly. We’ve written a song called The
Partisan Heart that can be found on YouTube
and Facebook. Regarding Glasgow, to be
honest, I am astonished by the vibrant city it
has become. The range of restaurants and
bars is amazing and I love my visits there.
I enjoy wandering the streets of the city
centre and looking up at the amazing
architecture. There’s a tip to the people of
Glasgow – look up as you’re walking!
What’s your next literary project?
At the moment, I’m writing a Short History
of the Korean War, part of a series of short
histories I’ve written. When I finish that at
the end of September, it’ll be time to start
work on that difficult second novel which
I’m almost certain will again be set in the
The Partisan Heart is published by
Muswell Press, £12.99. Gordon Kerr will
be speaking at the Bookmark Festival
in Blairgowrie on Sunday 6th October,
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by Chris Brookmyre
BY BRIAN TOAL
COVER TO COVER
I’ve read a lot of Brookmyre, both his more frivolous
and amusing early work as well as his grittier crime
novels. His latest, Fallen Angel, is one of his best and
will keep you guessing right until the end.
The action centres around the
Temple family, a seemingly
successful family with an
academic, conspiracy theorybusting
father, an ex-actress
turned columnist mother, as well as
three successful grown-up children.
However, as with any family, what
you see on the surface or in public
is very rarely reality, and sure
enough, Brookmyre wastes no time
in exposing skeleton after skeleton
in what is a fairly extensive
The setting is the Algarve,
a popular holiday destination
for many Scots, and most of the
action unfolds in the Temple family
villas. The action lurches between
two family holidays – one in 2002,
which ended in tragedy, and the
other in 2018 when all the chickens
come home to roost. Brookmyre
handles the changing times and
vast range of characters with
aplomb, and this intermingling of
disparate narrative voices as well
as timeframes helps to elucidate
and obscure at the same time,
which is no mean feat.
Sylvie Temple is so devastated
by the loss of her baby in
2002 that she changes her
name to Ivy Roan. Controversy
and conspiracy surround the
disappearance of baby Niamh,
as it did with Madeleine McCann,
and Brookmyre alludes to the
McCann case on a few occasions,
although with sensitivity and
a deftness of touch. Max, the patriarch, is an academic thrust
into the limelight through a talk show on which he famously
debunked several conspiracy theories, earning him plaudits and
a loyal following. Is he the straitlaced academic he purports to
be? Celia, the matriarch, rules the family with an iron rod and is
desperately hanging on to her glamorous past and her fantasy
of a warm, loving close-knit family. What will she do to retain this
control? Finally, there is Amanda, the Canadian nanny who by
pure happenstance finds herself embroiled in all this drama? Or is
it pure happenstance?
The twists and turns in the plot from beginning to end leave
the reader breathless as any Brookmyre fan has come to expect.
This is far more than a murder mystery. It sheds a light on British
attitudes towards appearance, reputation, family secrets and
propriety. This will make for a highly entertaining few days – more
so if you happen to be a Brit abroad on holiday – as the family
dynamics, individual culpability and collective responsibility are
reminiscent of An Inspector Calls, where the revelation of the
crime itself is almost the coda to a very fine work of fiction.
www.westendermagazine.com | 29
The Silence of
by Pat Barker
Pat Barker has reimagined
the Trojan War and The
Iliad from the perspective of
those voiceless women, both
Trojan and Greek, who were
slaughtered, raped, taken and
used callously as the spoils of
war, often being traded back
and forth as ‘tributes’ or in
Barker’s achievement is
stunning as the battles are
relegated to the background
whilst the stories of the women
– cooking, cleaning, mending,
weaving, waiting for the return
of their new masters – clearly
dominate the foreground.
is Barker’s use of colloquial
language, bringing to life the
dialogue of the soldiers and
emphasising their brutality.
These women are merely
objects and are often referred
to as ‘it’. They have no agency
at all, and the more power and
status they had before the fall
of their city, the more keenly
felt this change in status.
The main protagonist,
Briseis, gives voice to all these
women. Captured when the
city of Lyrnessus falls to the
Greeks, this Trojan queen
becomes the slave of Achilles,
the most violent man in the
world, who was given her
as a gift by Agamemnon for
slaughtering sixty men in
battle. Thereafter develops
a fascinating relationship
between owner and slave,
where Briseis gradually carves
out some influence, if not
power, over Achilles. As Briseis
says, ‘…make no mistake, this
was his story…and here I was,
again, still stuck in his story,
and yet with no real part to
play in it.’
Limmy is a writer and
comedian from Carnwadric
who exploded into our
consciousness with Limmy’s
Show. He has written books
of short stories and is now
mainly a huge online presence
through his Vines and Youtube
channel. I find him hilarious,
but his comedy is like marmite.
However, he states himself in
his autobiography that he’d
rather a few people found him
hilarious than lots of people
found him mildly amusing.
The autobiography is
subtitled ‘Surprisingly Down
to Earth, and Very Funny.’
I laughed out loud several
times at his anecdotes and
his turn of phrase, but I also
gasped at the frankness
and boldness of his more
He pulls no punches at all
when dealing with his brushes
with the law, his relationship
with drugs and booze, and his
relationship with his partner
and his son.
The book is helpfully
divided into his Primary
Years, Secondary Years,
Student Years, Work Years
and Comedy. He didn’t have
a terrible childhood, wasn’t
bullied or abused, and yet
he clearly struggles with his
mental health. The suicidal
thoughts, the self-harm,
the destructive tendencies
are who he is and there is
no attempt to make himself
look better by glossing over
his mistakes or by airbrushing
the seedier aspects of his life.
Instead, Limmy is as brutal and
candid as it’s possible to be.
I’ve never seen someone so
well known in Glasgow expose
his vulnerabilities like this.
It’s a rare thing for a West
by Brian Limond
30 | Westender www.westendermagazine.com
Words from Ross Leatham, partner at Mitchells Roberton:
If Ross can help please email him at –
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0141 552 3422.
Some lawyers are tempted to sound
high powered. Not me of course.
They want to portray life in the property
world as glamorous with many mega-deals
necessitating the staying up all night to get a
Yes, of course it happens. But the
humdrum is as important too – someone
needs to care about the non-paying tenant,
the high hedges and the common tenement
Currently the Scottish Government is
considering a new regulatory approach to
the polarising subject of short term letting
(Airbnb being the most famous example).
Do you side with the economic benefit that
tourism brings to the West End through
use of short term letting, or are you more
concerned with the apparent uncontrolled
increase in numbers of properties being
made available and the impact on availability
of accommodation for families (as opposed
to tourists) and a seeming lack of control on
antisocial behaviour from guests? This is a
debate for which we have clients very clearly
on both sides.
For property professionals overlooking
this dual interest in the property market,
they do so at their peril. Mitchells Roberton
is Glasgow’s oldest established legal firm
and we have a committed property team
treating our clients as people, giving them the
same status regardless of the nature of the
We do get the big deals and are
complimented by the fact that many
institutional clients entrust their prestigious
work to us. But we also strive to do the
unspectacular, spectacularly well.
A celebratory champagne completion
meeting at 11pm sounds fantastic, but the
less glamorous cup of coffee (perhaps a
biscuit) is often the fuel of choice for the
consummate property lawyer and that combo
has certainly seen me through the toughest
The property world needs a choice if real
quality is to be maintained (beware the one
that claims to subsist on champagne alone!).
We are a bit different and worth choosing.
We wait for your calls and shall start the
kettle boiling (and chill the champagne) in
Mitchells Roberton Solicitors
& Estate Agents
36 North Hanover Street G1 2AD
0141 552 3422
by Bruce Wilson & Simon Murrison
Westender www.westendermagazine.com Magazine Promotion | 31
Why you should manage your household
finances like a business
Whether you are running a business
or a household, understanding the
numbers behind your finances is key
to a stable future (now more than ever).
You’d be amazed how many people
running a successful business struggle
to manage personal finances and tax.
If only they applied their business head to
household accounts they’d reap the rewards.
That’s why if you apply business principles
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Ask yourself where do I want to be in the
future and how do I get there?
Here are 7 steps to manage your
money like a smart business
1. Start with a plan – set realistic
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spending and cut back outlays
6. Create a budget – stick to it
7. Save money – a contingency fund
protects you from nasty surprises
Be brutally honest, are you on track?
If you want to be in a better position
financially run your personal finances like
a business. Organisations and households
are similar – you have assets and liabilities;
income and expenses, taxes and cash flow
Understand the numbers and you are
guaranteed to make smarter financial
decisions. A top tip is to switch to a digital
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32 | www.westendermagazine.com
Art for Heart’s Sake
How a West End interior design store is doing its
bit for charity
ABOVE © M Evans, Torridon Glory
OPPOSITE © M Evans, Morning Glory Bass Rock
If you head along Great Western Road
further west than Anniesland Cross and
towards Knightswood, and take a left onto
Munro Place, you will find a hidden oasis.
This may not be the most likely spot to find
one of the most exclusive furniture stores,
but if you make the journey, you will not be
The Store Interiors is an Aladdin’s cave
of sofas, beds, lighting, mirrors and more.
You name it and they do it. This family run
business has been going for 32 years and is
co-owned and managed by brothers Arun
and Ashoke Pasi. They moved into their
current location in the summer of 1996,
and this impressively sized building offers
three floors worth of gems to get your interior
design taste buds going.
But that’s not all. The Store Interiors is
more than just a ‘store’. For the last few years
The Store has run an art exhibition over one
weekend in November where artists from the
local area, and a bit beyond, sell their work.
The proceeds from this exhibition go directly
to the charities CHAS (Children’s Hospices
Across Scotland) and Marie Curie – hence
why the exhibition is aptly called Art for
Comprising mainly of paintings,
the exhibition also includes other art forms
such as jewellery and sculptures. Argyllbased
artist Lex McFadyn helped to set the
project up as well as exhibiting his own work.
Other well-known names that have exhibited
include: Bill Blackwood, Kirsty Cameron,
Norman Edgar, Margaret Evans, James
Harrigan, Katie Littlefield and Mo Roxburgh.
The exhibition has grown arms and legs
over the years, and boasts about 80 artists.
So far, around £14k has been raised for
charity. It is part of a number of initiatives
that the team at The Store has been involved
with over the years to raise money for good
causes. Previously the management have
shaved their heads to raise funds for cancer,
and have also been involved in the Moon
Walk in Edinburgh.
The inspiration for the project came
partly after a visit by The Store’s owner
Arun to Robin House in Balloch, which
www.westendermagazine.com | 33
is run by the charity CHAS in support of
vulnerable children. He explains, ‘The visit
was incredibly emotional for me and clearly
CHAS is doing some incredible work, which
is why we decided to support them through
this project. Marie Curie Cancer came along
for similar reasons.
‘The other inspiration for me has been
my mother, who has always given money
to charity over the years and I’ve had this
instilled in me from a young age.’
The exhibition will run again this November
and the timing for this is intentional.
Arun says, ‘We decided a good time for
people to buy things would be around
November and December time. We really
wanted a date that was memorable so we
thought around Guy Fawkes would be good
timing because everyone remembers that
date. We have made the preview night the
first Thursday after Guy Fawkes night.’
Many of the artists that have exhibited so
far have found out about the project through
word of mouth from other artists. Art for
Heart’s Sake is now hoping that a number
of artists who are part of Glasgow Art Club,
Paisley Art Club as well as Ayr Art Circle and
Helensburgh Art Club will take part this year.
But the exhibition is as much about
supporting new and emerging talent as it
is about exciting artists. And The Store has
ambitions to grow. Arun comments, ‘I want
us to do more. I would like to be in a position
where we use the entirety of the building to
exhibit artists over a longer period of time,
maybe one full month. This will allow us to
open up the exhibition to a greater number of
artists and ultimately support good causes.’
The preview night is a great way for The
Store to drum up interest in what is exhibited.
I was lucky enough to stumble upon it
by accident a couple of years ago while
shopping in The Store – I was handed a glass
of prosecco and a chance to browse through
the artwork. It was a great experience in the
ambient surroundings of a furniture store.
The preview night has live music and a
raffle takes place with generous prizes – last
year’s prizes included a meal for two at the
Ubiquitous Chip, a two-year subscription to
Homes and Interiors Magazine, a meal for
two at Mother India and a total of 13 different
Arun says, ‘Every penny we raise is given
to charity, we don’t take a penny out of it. In
the future I don’t mind if there’s a 100 artists
or 200 artists as long as more money goes to
charity that is the main thing. All of the West
End is invited to it and we hope to see you
So if you are near Munro Place this
November, I would highly recommend
popping in. And you never know you may
purchase some art, as well as some furniture.
Art for Heart’s Sake will run at The Store
Interiors, 26 Munro Place, Glasgow from
Thursday 7 to Monday 11 November. The
preview evening for the exhibition will take
place on Thursday 7 November between
5pm – 9pm. All Westenders welcome!
34 | www.westendermagazine.com
women by design
www.westendermagazine.com | 35
The importance of our surrounding, really cannot be overstated. It can
make us feel peaceful or chaotic, restful or energised. The light, colour,
form and function of a space can affect our productivity, our energy
levels, and even our happiness. When the right design elements are
blended together in the perfect formula however, our environment can
become a wonderful space that’s a pleasure to inhabit. We spoke with
three women who joyfully create beautiful spaces in which to live and
work, to find what inspires them.
Perhaps one of the quickest – and most
dramatic ways to alter the mood of a
home, is with paint. The walls of our
homes are like giant, blank canvases,
that when painted the right shade,
can complement the art, architectural
features, and fabrics that punctuate the
room. But simply because they make such a
big statement, it can be quite daunting.
Laonie Robertson is a calm presence
who routinely assists clients who are
anxious about overwhelming numbers of
paint samples. She taps into the client’s
introspective taste within, to find what they’re
really seeking in their living space. If the client
is unsure about what they want, she asks
them to choose one thing in their home they
truly love, and then builds the entire room
around that particular element. Other clients
may start by thinking they want a particular
colour, only to learn that it’s actually
something completely different. It’s a journey
on which she is happy to be the wise Sherpa,
inspiring confidence in personal choices.
It’s not just about the colour however,
it’s also about the wonderful, velvety
finish, and highlighting the architectural
elements. In her own home for example,
she has beautiful, original cornice and ceiling
roses which are very ornate. To enhance
the detail she used one of Farrow & Ball’s
Contemporary Neutrals, Strong White, to
create soft shadows, emphasising the depth
of the Georgian period design. In addition to
painting, she also hangs designer wallpapers,
custom cut murals, and even hand paints
murals for her clients.
She deftly combines contemporary décor
within a period setting. In her main reception
room, she chose a modern chandelier with
a twist on a classic design, which allows the
ceiling rose detail to be featured, rather than
being obscured by a large light shade.
Her long love affair with home décor
began when she was still a child. Her father
restored homes that had been ravaged by
fire. Laonie would plead with him to go along
when he would work, and he often relented.
This love of design led to her study of art
and technical graphics. But she preferred
the hands-on approach of transforming
spaces, rather than the world of computer
design. And she’s built a strong business,
1272 Decorating and Design, based upon
repeat business and word-of-mouth
‘I never look at any project as a one-off
job. It’s about establishing a relationship with
your clients’, explains Laonie. She’s made
use of Instagram for displaying her work,
and she enjoys seeing that many women
are now starting businesses in fields that
wouldn’t have been considered a few years
ago. ‘It’s very encouraging to see that’.
Lisa Trainer’s path in design was a bit
different, taking a few meandering turns
before successfully establishing Red Door
Interiors. She completed an honours degree
in interior design at Duncan of Jordanstone
College of Art & Design. However, with four
children, she was quite busy with being a
mother. About six years ago, she decided to
take on some clients who were largely friends
and family. They loved what she created,
and word of mouth quickly spread to include
both commercial and residential clients all
over Glasgow, and then, all over Scotland.
Working from home was perfect with growing
children. But as they began to leave for
university and she took on more clients,
a proper work space was needed.
Her studio sits in Partick, in an
unpretentious building on the corner of
Beith Street. Once you step inside however,
the studio comes to life with colour! On the
foyer ceiling, she has cleverly hung a panel of
wallpaper that looks as though it was painted
directly onto the surface by an artist, with
hues of red, blue and gold. And the studio
itself is an organic collection of interesting
36 | www.westendermagazine.com
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www.westendermagazine.com | 37
light fixtures, tiles, wall coverings and fabrics
– most of which are created by Scottish
designers and artisans. Although many
people might equate Scottish fabrics with
tweed and tartan, there is actually a plethora
of colours and patterns being created by
some of the most talented designers in all of
Europe, who are Scottish.
Bute Fabrics produces textiles made on
the island in almost every hue and weight
imaginable. They’ve recently collaborated
with designer David Irwin, who has created
collections based on the stones and mineral
patterns of the island itself, and another
which features the DNA patterns of the
individuals who create the actual fabrics in
the textile mill!
Lisa’s daughter, Kelly Trainer, is currently
pursuing her master degree in textiles, and
will produce her own unique version of a
process called ‘ice dying’ which creates
a blended, watercolour effect on fabrics.
Each pattern produced is a one-off blend of
colour and shape.
Some other Scottish designers whose
work Lisa likes to incorporate into her
design schemes are wall covering designers
Iona Crawford, Mairi Helena and MYB.
She frequently uses lighting fixtures by One
Foot Taller, a Glasgow-based, award winning
Another favourite is an exciting new
Glasgow company called Mirrl, which
manufactures and designs a solid surface
material which can be used for work
surfaces, food preparation and furniture.
Made from Birch, it’s waterproof and comes
in interesting, organic patterns in either bright
or neutral tones.
Her advice for creatives starting out,
‘If there was one thing I would’ve done
differently, it would’ve been to make a
consolidated business plan and get more
advice and support on setting up a new
Two years ago, Lisa took a leap of faith by
investing in her studio. But the rewards have
been amazing! ‘I feel so lucky to have found
something that I love to do. No two jobs are
ever the same’. Work has not stopped since
she made this decision, as she’s transformed
individual homes and large scale projects.
She recently completed a bed and breakfast
located across the street from the Glasgow
School of Art, which features Scottish
designers, all with great affordability.
One local boutique Lisa collaborates with
regularly for styling and furniture is Hoos
Glasgow. Hoos is owned by Karen Harvey,
a Glasgow native who has a background in
She was the director of a charity for many
years in Great Yarmouth, which helped
children and families, and she was honoured
with the MBE (Most Excellent British Empire)
for her work.
When she returned to Glasgow’s West
End, she decided to follow a lifelong interest
in architecture and design by opening
Hoos. More than just a retail shop, Hoos is
38 | www.westendermagazine.com
a lifestyle store with an intriguing selection
of items carefully curated from the global
marketplace. Offerings from local Scottish
designers sit on the shelves next to Fair
Trade pieces from South American artisans.
And a contemporary Scandinavian
watering can looks perfectly at home next
to handmade felted bowls from Nepal.
This eclectic mix of treasures offers a range
of selection that’s quite unique, and many of
the brands she carries are exclusive to Hoos
in Glasgow, such as the wonderful Normann
Copenhagen line, Ferm Living and Muuto.
Karen also bases her selections on their
sustainability and production process for
minimal impact on the planet.
Inside the store, there is a myriad of
scents from candles, soaps and perfumes
that combine for an aroma that’s light,
lovely and not overwhelming. It’s a place
where you can find wonderful chocolates,
clothing, furniture and even toothpaste!
Hoos is a reminder that shopping is not
a task to complete, but an enjoyable
experience that should be relished. Although
many items are also offered online, a visit to
the store is a sensory delight and a wonderful
way to spend an afternoon.
After three years, she has been quite
successful, and part of that success may
be the personal service she offers her
customers. She’s quite happy to give advice
on growing the house plants she sells,
and sometimes even makes deliveries to
customer’s homes – not exactly a common
practice among businesses of today.
She’s also launching an interior design
service, which will offer her customers
access to the designer lines she carries.
Karen’s advice to women starting a
business would be to get a good accountant
soon after registering your company.
Accountants can relieve a lot of the stress
of running a business, and offer invaluable
advice, allowing more time to focus on the
Design teaches us something about
ourselves through the choices that we make.
Our surroundings truly are a reflection of our
lives and what’s important to us. It’s part
of what makes a house, an actual home.
These Glasgow women are helping people
1272 Decorating & Design, 1272dec.co.uk
Red Door Interiors, reddoorinteriors.co.uk
Hoos Glasgow, hoosglasgow.co.uk
www.westendermagazine.com | 39
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TheStore - HIS - Emma.indd 2 07/12/2017 09:48
Homes & Interiors
www.westendermagazine.com | 41
We all love a meander into the storehouses of our memories to feel a
sense of a bygone day, a childhood home, a style you love from films or
books. We have easy access now to furniture and accessories reflecting
any era, and a wonderful trend of retro designs to choose from.
So, take a trip down memory lane and make a mix tape of your
favourite oldies, bringing touches of the past into your home today.
Apple Green Handblown
£18, CoLab Store
Large Floral Bowl,
£49.95, Nancy Smillie
Cushion by Tom Pigeon,
Dallas Retro Chair,
£768, The Store Interiors
Curved Coffee Table,
£237.50, Nancy Smillie
CoLab Store, 11-13 Dowanhill Street, 0141 570 1766, colabstore.co.uk
Hoos, 715 Great Western Road, 07788 480421, hoosglasgow.co.uk
Nancy Smillie, 53 Cresswell Lane, 0141 334 4240, nancysmillieshop.com.com
The Store Interiors, 26 Munro Place, 0141 950 1333, thestoreinteriors.co.uk
42 | www.westendermagazine.com
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www.westendermagazine.com | 43
Homes & Interiors
This year’s glamorous interiors trend brings us
a sophisticated opulence, but more understated
than iterations of the past. Think less of the
‘shiny’ but rather just a touch of the ‘sheen’. Susan
Robertson makes some suggestions to achieve this
look within your West End home.
There’s a chic confidence in the colour palettes
being used in this look just now, and less of a
tendency to make ‘shouty’ statements with clashing
colours and blingy accessories. Velvet has become
really popular over recent years and remains a
foundational staple for this style now, but rather
than the bold statement colours and the dark greens
and maroons, this season opt for dusky pinks and
soft warm greys.
44 | www.westendermagazine.com
For a living room, select your key pieces of seating
and keep it minimal and matching. Resist the urge
to go eclectic and select a velvet sofa and armchairs
in the same style and colour where possible.
Your room will then build up around these. If
you opt for the dusky rose colour for this, try a
pale mocha on the walls and light cream for wood
features such as window frames and skirting boards.
Be careful to choose the correct warm and pale tones
so that you are keeping it all in balance, otherwise
overdoing the colour in each could run the risk of
you starting to feel like you’re sitting in a box of
If you’re doing this style in a bedroom, you can
probably risk a bit more chocolate in the mocha and
just centre everything around a beautiful big bed.
Make sure you keep it looking and feeling restful
and warm. Go for bold on a large dusky pink velvet
bedhead and layer up the bedding in creamy cottons,
soft rose velvets and warm grey fine woollens.
Resist the urge to splurge on the decadence, it can
be easy to see similarities in this to previous trends
and go off on a glamorous tangent but be restrained.
This look is elegant and minimal so stick to fewer
elements but choose high-end fabrics and a quality
finish at the same time, avoid the faux fur.
Keep furniture simple and functional and avoid
clutter and big chunky items. Small coffee tables,
and marble-topped trolleys work well. Don’t be
afraid to upcycle wooden furniture with a lick of
paint. If you make sure it’s well prepared and use
a quality matt paint, you can create a functional
piece that blends in beautifully with the overall look.
One solid colour looks good and if you’re brave
enough – top off the ends of the furniture legs with
some matt silver paint or just a tiny touch of flat gold.
Get an expert to do it if you don’t trust your
handiwork, or treat yourself to some new or preloved
special picks from the plethora of shops and
boutiques we have on our doorstep.
Lose the high gloss bling and stick to matt
metallics for that touch of understated elegance.
Brass works better in this look than polished gold,
and pewter is preferable to shiny chrome. If you
want to add a bit of a flourish, go for a tassel or
a fringe. It’s not to everyone’s taste but it’s right
on trend and done thoughtfully it can look great.
You can get them incorporated into accessories such
as lampshades or tie-backs and they help to create a
unique extra touch of glam.
If this isn’t for you, you can always try a metallic
touch in a lamp. Perhaps a brass standalone lamp or
a rose gold shade. One statement accessory like this
works well and then keep your other bits and bobs
minimal and plain in soft greys and creams. Try to
match the accessories to each other, and allow them
to recede into the background rather than coming to
the fore, as the velvet opulence will hold its own in
Dark glass or art deco touches can work well as
finishing touches and for me, this style cries out
for fresh cut flowers. Choosing this look gives a
wonderful excuse to buy regular fresh flowers as it is
really pulled together beautifully with chunky pink
peonies or deep purple hydrangeas.
Image on previous page is from items available at
Hoos Glasgow, hoosglasgow.co.uk
Images on this page are of products available from
The Store Interiors, thestoreinteriors.co.uk
www.westendermagazine.com | 45
46 | www.westendermagazine.com
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48 | www.westendermagazine.com
Homes & Interiors
Our homes are our havens, where we can zone out from
the busyness of modern life and find our safe place to
unwind. Susan Robertson looks at how we can merge
calming influences from Nordic design to Mother
Nature without leaving the comfort of the West End.
www.westendermagazine.com | 49
What springs to mind when you think of a calm
environment? It tends to start with the colours
for me. Nothing too vibrant or loud, warm layers
of tones and textures with a smooth transition
between. When we are creating a relaxing
environment to unwind in, we want our eyes to
be able to rest a little as well as our bodies and
minds. So, when you choose a palette for this
type of look, think of varying shades and layers
of similar pale colours. Keep the palette simple
and clean with their initial roots in nature and
warm undertones. Slate grey in different tones,
balanced with warm beiges and soft whites
merge beautifully with deep khakis and pale
pink for this look.
The Nordic style of interior design lends itself
well to the feeling of calmness. It’s characterised
by simplicity and minimalism so start with
thinking of the basic functionality of the room
you’re designing. Make sure you are fulfilling
the needs of the space in the first instance –
how many will you need to seat comfortably
at a time; will the lighting need to function for
reading as well as relaxing; will the room be
sociable and set up for chatting, or is it mainly
for films and reading? Stopping to think about
what you actually use the room for before you
start, will help you to keep the design focused
and functional, which in turn helps to keep that
minimalist feel. If you begin with this basic core
purpose it will automatically inspire your choice
of sofa shapes, seating design and direction,
as well as the lighting moods.
Once you have these underpinning elements
identified, you can visualise the structure of the
space. Think carefully here about storage too
– a minimal look means clutter-free life but that
requires discipline and planning. Use the old
adage to only keep what is useful or beautiful,
and then think through what you want to have
out on display, and what should be hidden away.
This thought process will help to identify if you
need to consider a couple of shelves or a bespoke
storage unit within the room. Be thoughtful
about what you actually need to have there to
hand in that room, and what could be stored
elsewhere in the house. Perhaps you have more
space in a spare room for a new storage unit for
example – keeping everything around you to an
The days of fad trends are behind us
– people are looking for practical ways to
create sustainable long-term environments
that enhance their lives and positively affect
their wellbeing. We are keen to find ways to
Homes & Interiors
50 | www.westendermagazine.com
incorporate sustainable and eco-friendly
alternatives to the chemical-based products
we’ve become accustomed to, and we’re much
more aware of the tactility and sourcing of our
This look is an opportunity to be thoughtful
and selective in its contents. It’s contemporary
but also timeless so it’s a great way to start
in a new home and living in a sense of calm
simplicity allows you to get a feeling for the
space as you live in it over time. This means
you have the freedom to then build different
looks, add dramatic wall colours or statement
furniture pieces if you fancy it in the future.
Start with soft white or pale beige walls, take
some inspiration from our fashion shoot pages
for different tones. Be careful to make sure
you opt for warm undertones, it’s very easy to
accidentally fall into making this look cold and
clinical so you need to avoid blue undertones
and think in tactile layers. Use lots of natural
materials and textures – go for pale white wood
wherever you can, wooden floors are ideal,
and hessians and wools work well for chunky
rugs and soft furnishings.
Aim for keeping everything to a clean, honest
and simple effect. Adding different shades of the
same colour onto furniture items adds depth
and interest to modest shapes and ensure that
you keep the patterns you choose quite basic
to minimise clashing. Cushions with small
geometric shapes layer well against light cottons
and beige linens and help to keep it tied in to the
current trends. Matte white clay pots and slate
coasters look great as finishing touches, you can
also use little splashes of colour in accessories
– but keep it minimal and consistent, so perhaps
a touch of rose gold or a splash of pale pink
to add a touch of interest to a dark corner.
The minimal, low maintenance look lends itself
to some simple cactus plants or silvery ivy to
bring a fresh flourish here and there.
There are always great ways to add a unique
and personal touch to any look. Lamp bases
made from wicker shapes or tree stumps with
big beige shades, create wonderful statements
without being invasive. Simple pebbles collected
from the beach add a depth to the top of plant
pots, or – you can use some matte acrylics to
paint or print a simple geometric design onto
them – or use them as book ends or paper
weights to help to tie everything together.
A bit of creativity goes a long way in
personalising your own contemporary calm,
but you don’t need to go very far to achieve it.
Main: B&Q Bohemian Range, diy.com
Grey painted Nordic style media unit:
Nancy Smillie, nancysmillieshop.com
Zellij Cushion by Niki Jones: Hoos Glasgow,
www.westendermagazine.com | 51
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52 | www.westendermagazine.com