I went to Rita Konig’s one-day interior workshop and it was terrific. Let me tell you about it.
I arrived at her house (her actual house) at 10.30am and was greeted with a cup of coffee by her appropriately slim and dazzling assistant. The place was packed! There must have been ten of us sitting in Rita’s beautifully proportioned and light-filled living room (despite a gruesome dark day outside). A fire was crackling in the grate and a Jo Malone triple-wicked candle flickered on the coffee table.
The first part of the day covers buying a property and building work, how to think about laying out the rooms of a house in a new or different way, moving walls, not being afraid to put things back to front and so on.
We poked around the house, taking photos of pretty corners, flashes of mad wallpaper; we quizzed Rita about paint, different shades of white – the domestic politics but the absolute essential-ness of sometimes painting an entire room pale pink.
Then we looked at pictures of inspiring interiors on a large screen in the living room, which was hooked up to an iPad. Now this was great. Real proper bliss. Sitting with a load of interiors-obsessed women and our high priestess, flicking through pictures going “ooooohhh… ahhhhhh”.
Rita would sometimes say things like “Can you see here how the yellow tiles accentuate the cornicing while concealing this rather narrow area here?” and we’d all nod and go “Mm yes. We see.” It was a bit like being a bunch of doctors sitting about looking at tricky X-Rays with a very senior consultant. Well, that’s what it felt like to me.
And then we had an incredibly delicious lunch of chicken and vegetable soup, with some amazing cheese, the name of which I forgot to ask.
In the afternoon we lazed about, lotus-eaters, discussing colour, the importance of Pinterest, the perils of pushing all your furniture against walls, (guilty), and alternatives to having a huge kitchen island. Here I sank very low into my chair as my kitchen island is the size of Barbados.
Towards 3.30, when things wound up, I felt like Rita worried she was boring us. Little did she know that I could have sat there all day. I wish that I had gone on this workshop at the start of re-doing my current London house or the one in Gloucestershire – I would have dodged lots of bad decisions, which are now very difficult (read expensive) to undo or change.
If you are half-thinking about doing this workshop and have a house renovation project coming up, go. Do it. Rita will have answers and clever ideas to any and all of the millions of questions you will inevitably have.
I stuffed a last slice of lemon cake in my mouth, swilled down the ends of my tea and went out into the cold, dark afternoon, vowing to one day have a pink room.
There are two places left on the late March workshop – book here. At £375 it’s not cheap, but it will save you from making expensive mistakes.