I was happy to present the Best Open House Award on behalf of The Latest last week, although it was genuinely a very tough decision. Artists’ ‘open houses’ vary so dramatically, and the longlist decided by the public was strong across the board. How can one compare a house with finely crafted jewellery with another purely devoted to painting for example?
I won’t spoil the surprise for the winner of the Best Open House award and the three houses shortlisted because I like the image of you excitedly scrambling for Latest Homes on the reverse of the magazine to find out. Turn to page 7 of Latest Homes on the flip side of Latest 7 to read about the winners.
I’ll highlight some of the good things I encountered on my Latest judging travels to illustrate what you can get out of an AOH wander however. At Villa LVI there was some colourful, attention-grabbing paper floristry from Rebecca Martin. I bought a brilliant dinosaur/Brighton make up bag (I think it’s a make up bag) from Mc Cready Bags at The Flamingo House, whereas Alan Rankle’s paintings at John Constable’s Studio were stunning.
There was a range of bath salts to peruse at The Stanley Road Store, and Salon Des Sources had some beautiful stained glass and some admirably pointed Trump pin cushions. Milton House had some vibrant fluorescent cushions, and subtle spray paint on wood, while Red Brick House had some fantastic paintings by Sophie Wake. My partner and I both enjoyed Sophie Wake’s work and it was nice to see that Handmade at Amazon clearly agreed: by giving her the Best Newcomer Award.
Thanks to Artists Open Houses for putting on a great awards night at My Brighton Hotel too, and I look forward to gamboling in people’s houses next year.