Fearlessly unique, theatrical and oh, so fabulous the amazing Tina B is like no other. Working at Rockett St George for over five years, Tina has had a colourful career in textiles, design and theatre. Living in a Victorian property in Hove with her two cats, Mrs Kensington and Spanky, Tina’s home was converted into flats in the 1980s and thankfully the traditional Victorian features have remained intact. Never straying from her unique sense of style, Tina’s home is her very own creative playground of vintage kitsch pieces, curiosities and a little bit of naughtiness.
Tina has mixed the traditional with modern in her bedroom with a dose of humour thrown in. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
Featured in the Rockett St George book, Extraordinary Interiors, Tina’s home really is as fabulous as she is! Tina B really is too good to keep to ourselves, so we’ve sat down with her for a quick chat about her career, home and her favourite RSG pieces so that you can get to know this fabulous lady a little better!
Typography signs and religious relics are common throughout Tina’s home, all of which are part of her many ‘collections’. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
1.Let’s start at the very beginning tell us about yourself?
An obsessive, crazy cat lady living by the seaside!
2.You have a theatrical background, what did you do before you joined Rockett St George?
I had relocated from London to Brighton in 2003 and started working at Glyndebourne Opera in Lewes which was a world away from the London West End! I was a customer and a big fan of Rockett St George and so I approached Jane and Lucy with a view to working on a temporary basis over the Christmas period – five and a half years later and I’m still here!
An eye-catching feature, Tina’s handbags hang from a ladder in her bedroom creating an interesting style spot. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
3.You trained in textiles at Central St Martins, how has this influenced your personal style?
I studied printed textiles for three years which was one of my most favourite times of my life. On graduating, however, I discovered that a career in textiles wasn’t for me! Perhaps in hindsight, I should have joined the graphics degree course instead as I love typography and have an obsession with books and magazines.
I greatly respect and admire textile designers such as Zandra Rhodes (who was my idol) and Sonia Delavney and I still religiously visit every fashion or textile exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Tina’s brooch-studded mannequin serves as a reminder of days gone by. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
4.You live in a Victorian property that was converted into flats in the 1980s. What was the flat like when you first moved in and how have you transformed it to suit your style and likes?
I love the Regency style in Brighton and Hove so when I first viewed my ground floor flat I knew I had to buy it as soon as I entered the hall with its impressive high ceilings, original marble floor tiles and the fabulously ornate cornicing and enormous decorative ceiling roses!
The flat had been converted sympathetically and was basically a huge blank canvas. I added a floor to ceiling shelving and storage either side of the fireplace in the living room which was designed to specifically fit certain objects for display and my huge collection of vintage vogues. The heating needed updating so I ordered heritage cast iron radiators and matched the colours to each room: bronze for the hall to complement the original floor tiles and white in the living room and bedroom.
The kitchen already consisted of a fabulous, old, bare brick wall but with ghastly white units fitted on it so I purchased some amazing shelving from a cafe that was closing down in Lewes.
Wallpapering the 30 foot white MDF cupboards in the bedroom is my next project if I can find the ‘perfect’ wallpaper.
5.Your flat consists of many different curated collections such as stacks of Vogue dating back to 1983 and humorous typography signs. It’s clear that you are a collector. What was the first piece /artefact that you started collecting and why?
I have collected every British Vogue since 1983 and I have a large number of vintage and 1970s Vogues. Every time I move I have to consider where my various ‘collections’ are going to be housed! I picked up a quirky Mona Lisa painting at Portobello Market when I was a student which has lead to a life-long quest to fill an entire wall with Mona Lisas – which I have now achieved … well, at least until I move again!
Tina’s famous wall of Mona Lisas. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
6.What piece of art, artefact or furniture piece in your home has a special significance to you and why?
My mothers original 1970’s arkana tulip dining table and chairs are my prized possession. I have photographs of myself as a child sitting at it and I can’t ever envisage owning another dining table.
I’m also lucky enough to own my mother’s collection of Vintage BIBA Storage Jars which are proudly displayed in my cabinet.
Tina B’s cabinet filled with treasures. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
7. For someone who is thinking of redecorating their home, what top tip would you give to them?
Always go with your gut reaction. I’m actually a fan of crisp clean white walls as there is so much colour in everything else that I own. I haven’t embraced dark walls – well not yet! It’s important to be surrounded by your favourite cherished items and not be dictated to by trends. However, I am constantly ‘discovering’ new favourite things so my flat is constantly evolving.
Tina’s living room is filled with theatrical spirit and humour. We particularly love the glass domes full of dolls heads and the gold spray-painted bear tables which are vintage RSG. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
8. You love a city break and visit Paris and New York annually. What must your city break consist of and what city do you want to visit next?
I adore any city that has a ‘history’ and a fabulous flea market! Museums are a must as it stumbling upon the ‘local’ eateries and funky little bars of the beaten track. I’d still love to visit Tokyo though as it is top of my list!
9.You are a creative at heart and spend your free time curating displays, scrapbooking and gardening which you often document on your Instagram account @tinabsparkle. Tell us about your latest creative project?
I have always made cards and collages for friends and am often found with a spray can in my hand customising something that just ‘needs’ to be gold or black. I’m always compiling scrapbooks from the many magazines, flyers and discarded books that I accumulate and I often Instagram the results. Gardening is a new passion of mine I have a very large mature garden which is home to a beloved RSG Cumberland dog bench.
10. Finally, name 3 RSG products that you love!
1. The Om Mudra Hand Chair – I was ecstatic when I first saw the sample at RSG and I KNEW that I had to have one!
2. A Clockwork Bowie Print – I’m a HUGE David Bowie fan so I was delighted when we started stocking these – I have had mine framed in an ornate gift frame.
3.The Palm Tree Floor Light is my most recent purchase. It is amazing and exotic and adds a touch of glamour to my living room!
Quick Fire Questions