Simply Stripes

Stripes are one of the oldest patterns emanating from early weaving techniques. They are smart, versatile and add a relaxed homely feel to a room.

They work beautifully on their own and are an excellent choice for curtains and blinds where a room requires understated decoration.

Luca sage stripe curtains

Mix stripes with florals – this is a personal favourite combination of mine, it’s the ultimate in relaxed country décor.

Stripes can be added as borders, trimmings or piping. In the photo below my Pinstripe has been used to back the cottage pleats in these pretty bedroom curtains.
For a totally luxurious curtain or blind, why not have them lined with a coordinating stripe.

Hydrangea fabric curtains with Pinstripe pink

My Pinstripe is so fine, it’s almost a plain, but it just gives an element of texture. It’s available in 11 useful shades that work with my floral fabrics.

Pinstripe fabric

If you’re looking for a bolder stripe, Luca might be the answer. It is a classic pencil stripe that works on its own or mixed with other fabrics.
Have a look at my stripes page for more inspiration.

Love your Greens

With each shift in the season, nature delivers a new colour palette, and this is particularly noticeable with greens. Spring brings forth tender shoots of fresh lime green, followed by Summer’s jewel-like vibrant greens and finally the more subdued olive greens of Autumn. As in nature, green goes with everything. As in nature, greens go with everything and are a joy to live with, they are calming, fresh, inviting and energising.
Green paint, pot plants and botanical prints are a popular way to bring nature into our homes.

I have put together a selection of my green and botanical fabrics which are perfect for bringing the outside in.

Left to right: Pinstripe green fabric, Field Study green fabric

‘Pinstripe’ is a fine hand painted stripe that’s almost a plain and perfect for co-ordinating with my other fabrics. It’s available in several shades of green and many other useful colours.

Botanical prints are great for creating a fresh, outdoorsy feel. ‘Field Study’ is  based on a collection of my drawings from  the fields and lanes whilst out walking in the countryside.

Left to right: Apple Blossom green fabric, Meadow Grass green fabric

If you look up under the canopy of an old apple tree, this is what you see in late Spring. ‘Apple Blossom’ is a gentle design that’s available in several pretty shades.

‘Meadow Grass’ is a great way to bring foliage into your home. Silhouetted grasses printed onto natural stone linen give this fabric a lovely rustic feel.

A subtle print of leaves gives a hint of nature. ‘Kitchen Garden’ in green fabric is a delicate leaf print from my runner bean plants. This pattern looks great made into lampshades, blinds and curtains.

Kitchen Garden green fabric

I have quite a few greens 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.
Let me know if I can help.

A professional finish

When it comes to curtains and soft furnishings it’s such an important decision. In order to get exactly the look you want, it’s best to use a professional curtain maker unless you have the skills to make your own.

Pompom trim adds a touch of luxury

The perfect fit
The perfect fit makes all the difference. Sometimes a roman blind or curtain needs to fit into a recess, and curtains often need to be the perfect length to accommodate a radiator or piece of furniture below the window.

The perfect fit

The perfect look
Bespoke blinds and curtains open up a whole range of styles and exciting trimmings. I love adding pompoms or a fan edged trim – there are some gorgeous trimmings available and they add a little va-va-voom. They can be added to the leading edge of your curtains, across the width of your blinds or round cushions and lampshades, the possibilities are endless.  You can also decide whether your curtains are sill length or puddle luxuriously on the floor.

A quality finish
When curtains and blinds are made especially for you, you can choose the right lining. A curtain maker will be able to advise you on all the different options.  Good quality lining will not only lengthen the life of your curtains by protecting them from sun damage, but it will ensure the curtains look thicker and hang nicely.

Peony cottage pleats

Choose your own accessories
Whether you make your own or use a professional curtain maker, one of the fun things is the vast array of accessories you can add.  Things like tiebacks, cushions, valances or pelmets can be made in your choice of colour and style.  You can also order extra fabric to cover a favourite piece of furniture, to bring it up to date and keep it as part of your new colour scheme.

If you are looking for a curtain maker near you, please have a look at my stockist page and type in your postcode and the distance you would be prepared to travel. I can also help you with makers who offer a remote service and delivery.

Optimistic yellow

We associate yellow with happiness and optimism. It’s the perfect colour of the moment and one of the choices for Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2021.

With the country slowly emerging from lockdown we are all looking for things to make us feel good. The sunshine and outdoors plays a huge part in the feel-good factor, but we can also add shades of yellow to our home to create an uplifting, cheerful environment.

I have put together a selection of my sunny saffron fabrics, perfect for making cheerful, happy interiors.

Clockwise from top left: Honeysuckle saffron, Mollie saffron, Wisteria warm saffron, Lace Flower saffron

Into the Mix – a guide to mixing pattern

Mixing pattern is easy but making the end-product look good can be a challenge.

Mixing patterns in a room is a great way to add interest, colour and depth while giving it your own unique look. Bear in mind that the various patterns and colours don’t need to “match” each other, they just need to “go” together. When it comes to mixing patterns it’s important to trust your own instincts about what looks good.

The key to getting it right is to vary the scale. Use at least three patterns in a room. One large, one medium, and one small; or one large and two different mediums for instance. Remember you want your patterns to complement, not compete.

Fabrics clockwise from top: Summer Garden stone, Mollie denim, Mollie faded red.

Large patterns work best on large pieces (wallpaper, curtains) and small patterns work best on small pieces (cushions, accessories).  Sometimes, small patterns can look busy when used in large amounts.

One approach to building your mix of patterns is to choose one large pattern as your ‘anchor’.  It should be the biggest, boldest and incorporate ALL of your colours in your colour scheme.  From there, pick a different, medium-sized pattern (about half the size of your large pattern) that utilises SOME of the colours.  Lastly, the small pattern can be in just one or two of your colours.

Another way is to use colours that are the same intensity. Different patterns can often work together if they’re of the same hues.

Distribute patterns evenly throughout the room. If the majority are all on one side of the room the whole space will look unbalanced.

Use solid colours to add areas of calm – too many patterns might feel chaotic.

Patterns don’t have to be full of different colours. Tone-on-tone patterns can still give a room depth and character while remaining elegant. Adding texture will also add interest and depth.

Fabrics from top: Wisteria French blue, Mollie denim, Luca Stripe French blue

Here I’ve used my Wisteria French blue as the lead design and mixed it with smaller scale designs to add interest. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different patterns in the same room, it’s unlikely they will be right next to each other and choosing a different scale adds interest.

Many of my patterns have been designed to mix and match. Start by gathering samples and creating a mood board; it’s a great way to see how your colours and patterns work together.

Please contact the studio if you would like any help.

Colour of the year 2021

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.

Wisteria Warm Saffron

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.

 

Wisteria – New Colour Additions

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.

Life in the Slow Lane

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.

Salad Days

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.

Ingredients
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!

Method

  1. 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.
  2. Add the lettuce and potatoes and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Ladle into warmed bowls and, if you like, top with swirls of cream and chopped herbs. Delicious!

Summer vibes during lockdown

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.