A New Beginning


Well hello! and big welcome to my very first blog and my brand, sparkly new online shop.

It’s been a long time coming and a labour of love (though I’m not sure my designer and my photographer would use exactly those words) but I am very proud to be able to show you inside our Marmalade world, and what we do.

Being thoroughly passionate about interiors is a terrible affliction, as it means you can’t go anywhere without noticing  your surroundings and mentally changing or ordering things you see. Your head thumps when you find yourself somewhere where the colours scream at you, and yet you want to curl up and settle down for a good couple of days when you find somewhere calmly and mindfully styled. Oh how I have wished to be released from this shackle many times, and just not care what goes where or how things look. Granny’s curtains will do! But sadly, it is inherent and whilst my home and lifestyle is lived in and chaotic most of the time, it still has to be .. well styled, I suppose.

‘Oh God, no more furniture please!’ Begs my ever-patient husband. ‘No, we are NOT stopping in that dingy old shop Mum!’ Say my children: ‘There’s just no room in the boot – eye’s left!’ They have borne my affliction for years; suffered room changes and new wall colours more times than they can count, and put up with colour charts and itsy bits of fabric all over the place, for most of their young years.

They have grown up used to having a slightly painted mum collecting them from school, and having to apologise to their friends not being able to eat in the kitchen, because a new dresser is in bits all over the table waiting for a revamp.

But all this was nothing compared to the day I decided to turn my hand to Chalk Paint and pay Annie Sloan a visit in Oxford. Oh dear. Her beautiful paints and unique way of conveying her style had me instantly hooked to the world of interiors, in a new and hugely exciting way, all over again.

‘Will you please now go and do this for other people’! Despairs my husband. ‘There’s surely nothing left to paint! We have no space left!’ And so I took him at his word. And Marmalade House began.  The name was decided after we inherited a pantry full of Marmalade jars dating back to 1920 in our current house, that none of us dared to open. “Marmalade’ also has the connotations of comfort, Englishness, country and home and above all approachability. My company embodies all these things.

Five years, two shops and countless pieces of furniture painted, and places designed later, I am now able to share my style with the pieces I have found and painted, designed and created or simply discovered and curated. Here is a collection of things I love, and colours I feel comfortable with.

I am heavily influenced by colour – and of course the beautiful paint I love to use – and my style embraces texture yet simplicity. It is a mixture of rustic and  contemporary and is both elegant and  raw at the same time. It is  entirely intuitive and I often remind myself of  the quote by Jung that ‘colour is the mother tongue of the subconscious’ It really is.

I am inspired by people, places and things, concepts and ideas, but at the end of the day, style has to come from the soul, and my intention for this exciting new direction for Marmalade House is that this will always remain the heart of my business.

So welcome to this new beginning.  I hope you come with me on this exciting  journey and share the fun, trials and tribulations along the way. My home and Marmalade world is a slighlty crazy one, as you will find out. But in the meantime I  hope you can just enjoy this first collection I have developed, painted, and styled for you.

The biggest and most heartfelt thanks go to my superb designer at Redfoot Works and my talented sister at Walk Tall Media, both of whom have helped beyond measure, and made this transition possible.

And so it begins…

2017-12-14T12:55:07+00:00 December 7th, 2017|6 Comments


  1. Sarah December 9, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Wonderful, fabulous, inspiring – Vanessa I’ve witnessed your interior passion over the years and watched your ever loyal husband (and children) deal with the constantly changing colours and influx of new pieces….. it’s been so worth it, you are a total natural, never fazed, never frazzled (if you are it never shows) interior inspiration and I love your work, musings and talent with colour. Keep doing what you do, it’s fantastic.

    • Vanessa Sayce December 9, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Oh Sarah, that is the lovliest comment. Thank you so much for your support and your really kind words. You have the most fabulous style and energy too and your posts are always a treat. I’m always fazed by the way – Finn will tell you xx

  2. Colette Doughty December 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Good luck in the exciting next step of your adventure. I’ve no doubt the shop will be a huge success…who wouldn’t want your creations? The bowls and wooden painted delights you’ve sent us over the years are much admired in New Zealand. I hope you’re going to be doing worldwide delivery (preferably hand delivered) 😊 Coly

    • Vanessa Sayce December 9, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      Thank you Coly! It’s all very exciting and I would so love to hand-deliver to you all – that would be amazing xx

  3. Sara Keane December 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    So pleased all the beautiful things you used to stock in your shop are now available online, and I wish you every success with this new chapter. I had such a wonderful day back in October on your How to Paint Furniture course – which I can highly recommend to anyone who is thinking of doing it. It was lovely to catch up with you the other day during your Annie Sloan gilding wax demo in The Loft. Keep blogging!

    • Vanessa Sayce December 13, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah. It was lovely to see you too and I’m so glad you enjoyed the course. We’ll stay in touch, but thank you for your good wishes – all very exciting!

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