So what’s it like to teach art to two national treasures? Telegraph journalist, Ros Belford, talks to her friend, artist and interior designer, Alicia Zimnickas.
When Cambridge artist Alicia Zimnickas was asked to give a painting lesson to Great Canal Journey presenters, Gyles Brandreth and Sheila Hancock, she said ‘Yes,’ then rang me and asked if I’d ever heard of them.
‘Do you know what a National Treasure is?’
Alicia has lived in Cambridge for ten years, but she was born in Poland, and despite speaking perfect English ‘Just A Minute’ had apparently passed her by.
I called by after the filming to see how it went.
‘So how were they as students?’
‘I think it was good I didn’t know how famous they were,’ said Alicia, ‘if I’d known them from TV and radio, I would have been far more nervous. As it was, Sheila treated me exactly as if I was an old friend, and Gyles started joking straight away. They put me completely at my ease.’
‘It was cold, windy and rainy and the weather was absolutely horrible. I had started painting before they arrived, and I remember Sheila looking at my painting, which had yellows, blues, grey, even violet, and then looking at the sky and asking how on earth I could see those colours in the grey. That did make me think. I realised that my attitude to life is always to try to be positive, and so when I paint, I can probably see beyond the superficial dullness to what is brighter. If you think about artists like David Hockney, he can see bright pinks, purples, turquoise in a muddy brown Yorkshire field. Or Turner, the artist of light. Being an artist of light is probably what I aspire to.’
‘Sheila was so cold and wet. I realised she is the kind of person who expects herself to do the things she does really WELL. She looked at what she had painted, and said ‘People like you should paint, not me. I don’t do mediocre.’ Gyles was completely the opposite. He was dying to have a go, and he threw himself into it, laughing and joking despite the weather. He was confident too, and I was quite amazed at the result — it was really beautiful. Is there anything this man can’t do? I looked at his website…WRITER, SPEAKER, BROADCASTER, ACTOR, MP…do we now have to add ARTIST to the list?’
‘And what do you remember most about the day?’
‘Sheila’s hypnotic blue eyes. I don’t usually do portraits, but how I would love to paint the light in Sheila’s eyes. ‘
AZ INTERIORS, interior designer company in Cambridge awarded "BEST OF HOUZZ 2021" for DESIGN and SERVICE
AZ INTERIORS, an interior designers company has won a 'Best Of Houzz 2021' award for 'Best of Houzz Service 2021' and 'Best of Houzz Design 2021' on Houzz, one of the best platforms for home renovation and interior design. This prestigious award recognises interior design professionals on the Houzz platform.
The Best Of Houzz badge is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design awards honour professionals whose work was the most popular among the Houzz community. Customer Service honours are based on a pro’s overall rating on Houzz and client reviews submitted in 2020. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognised with the Photography award. We are delighted to announce we have received Best Design and Best Service Houzz awards
“The Best Of Houzz awards are an emblem of trust and credibility for home professionals across the U.S. and around the world, and we are excited to celebrate this year’s winners,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical need for people to feel comfortable before inviting pros into and around their homes, and the Best Of Houzz badge is a powerful way for pros to communicate the trust that homeowners have in their business. It’s just one of many tools on the Houzz platform that help pros to communicate their unique expertise, and homeowners to find the right professionals for their projects.”
You can see more of AZ INTERIORS interior design work on Houzz at:
Publishing Date: Monday 23 August 2021
Sheila Hancock and Gyles Brandreth embark on spectacular canal journeys across Britain. To kick off Season 13, Episode 1 on Channel 4, More 4 is featuring Cambridge based artist and interior
designer, Alicia Zimnickas of AZ Interiors, Gyles and Sheila explore the waterways of
Cambridgeshire and Ely and look at the Fens through Alicia's eyes.
Alicia has been painting since the age of fifteen. She was raised on the Polish border with Lithuania on
her parent’s farm, and has lived in Cambridge, UK for the past ten years, Alicia grew up
surrounded by nature and still draws her inspiration from the landscape, water and light.
Her paintings capture the natural beauty of the meadows and water around the village of Grantchester, where she lives. She is endlessly fascinated by the light, trees, big skies and the River
Cam, the main river flowing through Cambridge in eastern England.
Ideal Home magazine described Alicia’s work 'as vibrant paintings that provide splashes of colour and
texture in neutral schemes'.
In episode 1 of the Great Canal Journeys, Alicia teaches Sheila Hancock and Gyles Brandreth
how to paint The Fens near Ely with acrylic on canvas, giving her new students hints on her secret techniques.
Tune in on Channel 4, More 4 on Wednesday 25th August at 9 pm to watch the full episode.
Deciding on the right curtains can be a valuable piece that transcends the feel of a room. But many times, it can go very wrong. AZ Interiors realise that many people face a struggle in finding curtains and blinds that suit their living space. Picking the ideal curtains & blinds can be a headache at times as people take into considerations many different variables. This can include the light intensity, fabrics, lining and how the curtains impact the atmosphere in a traditional or contemporary looking room just to name a few.
Additionally, all of us know, especially those who have gone through the process of finding good curtains that are made to measure can be cost intensive to invest in. Therefore, if you curtains are delivered with an unsuitable fabric type, if the look of the curtains have a feel you don’t want in your room or the light intensity let in by your curtains isn’t at your desired level, you cannot return it as they have been custom made for you and that can be an irritation experience and financial burden to carry with you.
Natural light is also a critical factor in making an alluring living space. However, because people believe they do not need any assistance in asserting an atmosphere through their curtains and blinds, they spend inappropriate sums of money to make an atmosphere they think they want, when seeking professional guidance from expert designers could have been something that saved the hundreds if not thousands of pounds, but never considered it as a liable option.
Alicia from AZ Interiors noticed people struggling in this complex sector of interior design and started providing a bespoke curtains & blinds service which measures, makes and installs the quintessential curtains and blinds for her costumers.
What distinguishes the assistance received by Alicia’s costumers in the customising of curtains and blinds in comparison to other designers that provide a similar service is Alicia’s attentiveness to the effect curtain’s appearance throughout a room. This includes the light that is allowed to enter when they are closed, complementing materials and shades with furniture pieces already in the room. Alicia will also come with fabric samples during the start of the customisation process to get a rough idea of the foundations of the look and feel expressed by the appearance of the blinds or curtains. This is what Alicia prefers to keep her focused on instead of exclusively paying attention to the fit with the window itself which has considerable downsides. However, this still means the curtains and blinds are made and installed at a premium level of fabric quality and professional making.
We are also proud to announce that we are partnering with Cambridge Upholsters who are located on 46 Mill Road in Cambridge. This is causing a sizeable improvement to the way we carry out our service. You are welcome to visit the Cambridge Upholsters workshop on Mill Road, view our display samples of fabrics and curtain tracks. You can see the quality of materials used in our bespoke curtains & blinds service if you wish to book an appointment with Alicia and begin the journey to make any room that much more elegant. If you would like to do so, please contact us through our e-mail. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Our email: email@example.com
During interior design consultation at your home period, you are free to have any questions you have about your visions for your home answered and you will be able to hear insights about how your interiors can be improved from the perspective of an experienced and skilled designer. This can be questions about the atmosphere, furniture, lighting, flooring, kitchen, bathrooms, living rooms or any other inquiries you may have and to get the most out of your consultation. We suggest to think of questions beforehand so that you can get as much from the session as you possibly can.
Secondly, receiving suggestions about your project from the view of a proficient and knowledgable interior design is that it can save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds. For example, many people who refuse to seek help from professional are more prone to order rugs that are too small, or sofas that do not fit with the room’s layout just to name a couple of the 100s of variable that could cost you lots of money in altering the size and style of the items you chose to buy. This is why many of our costumers feel relieved after award winning interior designer Alicia Zimnickas has finished interior consultation as by that point, they do not need to be worrying about what best suits your home. You will seemingly know what you should to change the semblance of home and what you shouldn’t do. These are the main reason why this service has gained more traction in recent times and why a high percentage of clients often call Alicia back to work with them more frequently because they realise the usefulness in what we do.
More information about At Home Interior Design Consultation in Cambridge and surrounding areas :
At AZ Interiors, we understand the importance of people seeking professional interior design advice about their living space and all the benefits that come along with it.