This year PANTONE® has selected two shades for its official Colour of the Year for 2021 – ‘Illuminating’ yellow and ‘Ultimate Gray’.
Colour of the Year is described as ‘A marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting’.
If you like to be on trend, I have plenty of fabrics to fit the moment. But whether you’re seeking the latest trend or not, you still might like to consider decorating with greys and yellows.
Mixing neutral greys with shades of yellow creates cheerful and sophisticated interiors, they complement each other perfectly. Grey on its own is very soothing and extremely versatile but for stunning results, mix it with shades of yellow.
Pattern helps to bring this combination alive. For retro and Scandi enthusiasts remember to keep the lines clean; simple patterns and geometrics work best.
If you are aiming for more of a country chic look, then try adding some floral prints to the scheme.
Always try out different paint samples and fabric swatches before you make your final selection. The light will change throughout the day and this will affect how the colours appear in your room.
Accessorise with chunky knits and ceramics and don’t be afraid to mix textures because this helps to add interest to the room. I’m a big admirer of the chunky knits and rugs that are around at the moment, they work with so many different styles and just add a little bit of cosiness.
We associate yellow with happiness and optimism.
Curtain made using Wisteria warm saffron fabric
Left: Wisteria warm saffron Middle: Mollie slate Right: Meadow Grass saffron
I have quite a few yellows and greys across my fabric collections, here are just a few of my favourites, but there are plenty more fabrics to choose from and they all look gorgeous made into curtains, cushions and blinds.
Ta-da! My new fabrics are finally here.
It’s always an exciting and busy time launching new fabrics. After months of testing, I love the new colours and I’m very happy to bring them into the fabric family.
Today I’m introducing two new colours for my popular Wisteria fabric. The colours are French Blue and Smoke blue, designed to mix and match with my existing fabrics.
Have fun planning your new scheme and let me know if I can help you.
As many of us rediscovered the comforts of home and embraced nature during lockdown, a rising lifestyle trend called cottagecore emerged to the fore. It’s not a new trend but has certainly gained popularity over recent months.
Simply put, cottagecore it is a trend that celebrates simplicity, the home and rural life. There has been time to rediscover traditional skills and crafts including things like baking, gardening, knitting and sewing. And for many there has been a return to nature, a craving for cosiness, and a yearning for a slower, sustainable and more soulful way of life.
Recent events have also made us look at our homes and has led to a huge rise in re-decorating. Try getting paint during lockdown! The need for cosiness and safety have become high on the agenda and as a result the cottage aesthetic has become increasingly sought after.
The cottage look has always been popular, but people are actively seeking to ‘cosify’ their homes. It’s all about creating an inviting, wholesome, rural feel whether you live in the country or the town.
If you like the idea of creating this look, start with simple elements such as neutral colours, muted tones and rustic carpentry. The look embraces feminine, floral patterns and the clutter of life, with things like dried flowers, jugs, plates and photos.
Warm whites, soft pinks and duck egg blues are perfect for the walls. Layer the look with cushions, floral linens and textures like knitted items and crocheted blankets to give a cosy feel. Pottery, baskets and life’s treasures will add to the nostalgic, country look.
Back in March we were facing lockdown, and like so many people I turned to the garden.
I love growing vegetables, but somehow this year it seemed really important. Watching the young seedlings emerge gave my days a real sense of purpose. Gardening is never straight forward, and a late frost meant I had to start again, but despite all the challenges by June we were enjoying delicious salads with lettuce straight from the garden. I’ve grown it in pots and in the flower borders instead of my usual flowers.
Now in July, we have an abundance of lettuce and it is starting to bolt. Not one for waste, I decided to make lettuce soup. It’s delicious served hot and equally good chilled for a light summery meal.
Serves 4 – 6
2 tbsp oil
1 onion finely chopped
250g/9oz lettuce leaves, trimmed, washed and thickly sliced. Any salad leaves will work.
400g/14oz potatoes, cut into small chunks of about 2cm/¾ inches
800ml/1⅓ pint chicken or vegetable stock
100ml/3½fl oz milk (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Rasp of nutmeg – this really makes it!
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion for 5–6 minutes, or until softened and beginning to brown, stirring regularly.
- Add the lettuce and potatoes and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover loosely with a lid and cook for 10–12 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pan from the heat and blitz using a stick blender until smooth. If the soup is a little thick, add a splash of just-boiled water. Or for a creamier tasting soup you can stir in the milk just before the end of cooking. Season to taste with plenty of salt and pepper and a rasp of nutmeg.
- Ladle into warmed bowls and, if you like, top with swirls of cream and chopped herbs. Delicious!
If we can take one positive from recent weeks, it has to be the time we’ve spent connecting with nature, whether it’s in our gardens, a walk in the park or venturing into the countryside. We have noticed the birdsong, the busyness of insects and the onset of summer.
If you follow my social media stories, you will know I love the changing seasons and studying the flora and fauna. This year some of my plants, like the clematis and peony have been the best they’ve ever been, and they give a lot of joy.
Nature plays a huge part in my design process. I have a couple of hardy fuchsias in the garden. The delicate flowers can really pack a punch of colour and that’s what I wanted to try and reproduce in my Fuchsia pattern. As with all my fabrics, it has been printed onto a soft cotton linen, which is perfect for curtains, cushions and blinds.
Beautiful curtains can instantly transform a room from drab to fab. But it’s not just about the fabric, curtain headings also play an important part in the overall look. There are many different styles of curtain headings and they all give a different effect.
I thought I’d share some of the popular styles of curtain headings that have been used with my fabrics. It might give you a little inspiration for your next project.
There’s no right or wrong style, it’s all down to personal choice, but some styles might suit your room better than others.
Pencil pleats are the traditional standard heading for curtains and suit all types of track and pole and most fabrics, patterned and plain. The pleats are gathered evenly across the top of the curtain using a drawstring tape. Simple and versatile, pencil pleats create a smart, formal window dressing but opened up a little, also suit a relaxed setting. They are suitable for most styles of room making them a popular choice.
Pinch pleat curtains have groups of structured pleats separated by flat sections; the hooks are then inserted at each pleat. Pinch pleats give a more formal tailored look and the curtains tend to hang in more uniform folds. It’s a very popular style, but I wouldn’t recommend attempting this if you are new to sewing; it’s definitely one for the experienced curtain maker. Pleats can be double or triple as shown below, and it’s worth bearing in mind that this style requires more fabric to achieve the look.
Eyelet or ‘ring top’ curtains give a clean, modern look. Eyelets can work with slightly less than double fullness, although double fulness is recommended to give a nice ‘wave’ when the curtains are closed.
Cartridge Pleats are another way of creating a chic, modern look, giving a stylish ‘wave’ to the curtains.
Cottage pleats give a pretty, soft gather and are made by setting the curtain tape a few inches below the top. This style suits a traditional country setting and florals are a perfect choice.
The top frill can be short or long. The longer it is, the more it will fold over. For added interest you can sew a coordinating band of fabric along the top.
If you are looking for a curtain maker near you, please have a look at my stockist page, they will be more than happy to help you with your next project.
When it comes to colour, one of the all-time interior classics is set to become a huge buzz in the year ahead – and it’s blue.
Earlier this year, the colour trend-forecasting company Pantone, announced their 2020 ‘Colour of the Year’. And this year it’s Classic Blue; a wonderful rich blue reminiscent of the evening sky at dusk. It sits between royal blue and navy blue and is a perfect colour for the home. It gives a room a feeling of sophistication and luxury whether it’s used in fabrics, on the wall or as a statement piece.
Blue is associated with calm and serenity, which makes it ideal for bedrooms. It’s the kind of colour that sets a relaxing tone.
It’s also a popular shade for bathrooms and coastal properties, reminding us of the sea and the sky.
I have quite a few blues across my fabric collections – there’s something for every room whether made into cushions, blinds or curtains.
Spring is the ‘classic’ time to start planning your decorating schemes, so please let me know if I can help. It’s time to have some fun!
It’s been a busy time in the studio, working towards a new collection of fabrics. It’s always an exciting time seeing the painted designs emerge as fabrics.
The patterns are now in their final stages of colour selection, although the darker evenings aren’t very helpful with this process because you really need natural light to see their true colours.
Choosing the colours is fun, but it’s also the part that I find most difficult. The temptation to add oodles of different colours is huge, but as a small, niche company, I can only bring you what I think are the most enticing choices.
My new collection will introduce a couple of new colours and in this photo, you can see my new raspberry shade. I’m very excited about this colour and I’m looking forward to using it in my own dining room.
If you’re not familiar with my design process, take a look at my short video which takes you behind the scenes in my studio.
There’s a definite shift in the seasons. The nights are cooler, seeds and fruits are starting to show in abundance, and the hues in the landscape are changing. Autumn is a season of exceptional beauty and we can look to nature for colour combinations that work perfectly together.
Highlights from Maison & Objet 2019 Design Fair are showing a trend for warm harmonies, such as mustards and burgundy.
Using warm yellow shades in the home boosts optimism and happiness, and they can be balanced with more subtle colours such as neutrals, greys and soft pinks.
Autumn is the perfect time of year to plan a room makeover. Planning a new look doesn’t have to be a large-scale project; it’s surprising how a few small changes like cushions can give the room a whole new feel.
I’m always happy to put fabric ideas together for you, so please get in touch if you would like some help.
Blue sky and summer flowers can’t help but lift the spirits.
I’ve put together some of our pretty fabrics to get you in the mood for Summer. They mix and match beautifully, just like the abundance of happy annuals in our gardens.
If you’re a little unsure about mixing patterns, try using my Pinstripe fabric. It’s a delicate hand painted stripe that’s almost a plain: perfect for co-ordinating with other fabrics. Our fabrics are also arranged by colour to help you with your selection.
I hope you’re enjoying the Summer.