In celebration of Summer, I’ve collated this pretty palette of pinks, greens, blues and whites. This palette is gorgeous, and for those of you who know me well, will know it’s one of my favourites.
I’m constantly inspired by the effortless combinations in nature; uplifting summer skies with wild flower meadows work together to make a joyous combination.
Here I’ve used our Wisteria sky 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. You might have noticed that I have sneaked in a new pinstripe fabric in the photo. This will soon be available in several colourways and I’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile enjoy this lovely weather!
If you are looking for a bespoke colour to match your decorating scheme, we are very happy to do that for you.
Here in the studio, we’re able to tweak any of our fabrics to match your decorating scheme or paint choice. This photo shows a recent project where the background of our popular Wisteria fabric has been adjusted to match the paint. We need a good size sample of your chosen colour, I usually pop out and buy a match pot if we’re matching to a paint. The studio will spend time adjusting the colour and when we think we’ve got a good match, we print a fabric sample for you to approve.
Our wisteria design is very appropriate on this project because the customer has a wisteria just coming into flower growing round all three windows to be dressed! I love the idea of Wisteria inside and out!
We charge an affordable one-off fee, which covers our studio time and fabric sampling for one colour change (normally the background). If you’ve looked everywhere and you can’t quite find the right colour, this could be the answer. Please contact the studio for more information – we love anything a bit different!
BITA is the voice of British Interiors & Textiles and aims to inform, support and promote all aspects of the Interiors & Textiles Industry. As an organisation, BITA promotes all areas of the British Textiles and Interiors industry and helps to represent our work and products throughout the UK and abroad.
Launched in 2017, the BITA Awards celebrate excellence, originality and hard work across the sector.
I am so excited to have been nominated as a finalist in the Best Fabric Brand category for 2018.
Finalists and winners are chosen by their peers from across the interiors and textiles industry here in the UK, which is a great accolade. I understand that there have been a huge number of nominations this year, so I feel very proud to be in the finals.
The finals will take place later in the year at a Summer Garden Party…..so fingers crossed.
Along with the votes themselves, BITA members and customers have given feedback about the company and my fabrics – here are some of the generous comments:
“So lovely to receive a personal message.”
“Love the softness of your colours – beautiful.”
“Thank you very much for being so attentive”
“Can’t thank Jacqueline Milton enough for her help, the fabric was recoloured and printed railroaded specifically for our project.”
When we think of lavender, we often think of the purple fields stretching into the distance in Provence. But lavender is grown commercially in this country too and the lavender we use for our lavender bags is grown locally in Somerset. That’s the bit that I find particularly exciting!
Talking to the local growers, I learned so much about this wonderful herb.
There are lots of different varieties of lavender, some are used for culinary purposes and other varieties are better suited for beauty products and fragrance. Because of its versatility, lavender is a hugely popular plant. I love growing it because it attracts the bees and butterflies; in fact, our path can be quite noisy with the sound of buzzing in the summer!
This ancient herb was used as far back as the Greek and Roman times to scent the bathwater and its name derives from the Latin word lavare, meaning to wash. Over the centuries it’s been grown in gardens for its many uses around the home.
Lately it’s seen a revival in the culinary world and there are lots of delicious recipes to explore (something for a future post).
Lavender’s medicinal properties are well known but I was surprised at how many different remedies it can be used for. The flower has been infused as a tea to soothe headaches, calm nerves, ease flatulence, dizziness and halitosis. Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is the most versatile of all essential oils. Most commonly known for its relaxing effects on the body, therapeutic-grade lavender has been highly regarded for the skin. The essential oil has antiseptic properties and can be used on insect bites and stings. Blended for use as a massage oil in aromatherapy, it can be used for throat infections, skin sores, inflammation, rheumatic aches, anxiety, insomnia and depression. In fact, the list goes on!
Around the house the dried flowers are loved for their insect repellent properties and long-lasting fragrance.
Used for centuries, I can see why lavender remains such a popular garden plant, from cottages to stately homes; it should be in every enthusiast’s garden.
The idea behind the photo shoot is to showcase a selection of our designs enabling you to visualise our fabrics in your home. A huge amount of pre-planning goes into the day, to try and create homely scenes with ornaments and everyday objects.
To make it easier on the day, I draw up a visual plan of the scenes. This is useful for reference on the day of the shoot and also for creating a list of items that will be needed for the photo. For example a bedroom photo will need bedding, cushions, lampshades, throws, flowers…….the list goes on. In fact, it is like moving house!
The day has arrived and I’m getting quite excited as we drive down the windy Devon lanes; we eventually pull up outside ‘Susie’s House’, a lovely old farmhouse. It’s so charming with oodles of features including a fabulous stone spiral staircase; every corner is a photo opportunity, but I have to remember we’re here to soot my fabrics.
Armed with cushions, fabric and all manner of props, we take over this delightful home!
Once all the items are in place Deborah Schenck gets to work with her lighting and makes final tweaks to the display. What looks good to the onlooker, doesn’t always work as a photo. Deborah is our fabulous photographer for the day and such fun to work with. She is patient, enthusiastic and bursting with ideas; far too many to cram into one day! My role throughout the day is to change the scenes, make cups of tea and anything else that’s needed.
I’m delighted with the results and I hope you enjoy spotting some new photos across my website.
Here’s a little peek behind the scenes…
The October Interiors Show is just around the corner and I’m hugely excited to be exhibiting alongside many leading brands and artisan crafters.
The show is hosted by the Curtain and Blind Makers Friendly Forum (CABMFF) and held at the world-famous Cheltenham Racecourse.
If you’re a fabric and interiors professional, this is one for the diary. Click here to pre-register.
We look forward to showing you the full collection along with a couple of new additions for the autumn.
Open from 10am – 4.30pm with unlimited free parking. Cheltenham Racecourse, The Hall of Fame, Cheltenham GL50 4SH.
The first samples of our NEW design, Maxine, are here in the studio and we thought you might like to see what’s coming…..
The inspiration for Maxine is an obvious one, the roses in our garden have been absolutely fabulous this year and if you follow our social media sites, you will have seen lots of floral imagery through the changing seasons.
Choosing colours is a difficult process because the possibilities are endless. We’ve settled on 2 colour shades – faded red on natural stone linen and blue on oyster linen.
Other new additions for autumn will be 4 new colours to our popular Mollie fabric. These will mix and match with our existing fabrics and of course our new Maxine collection.
Our new fabrics will be available in October but you might like to sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know.
A timeless combination that never fails to create fresh and elegant interiors, it remains one of the most popular combinations in interior design. Blue surrounds us; sky, water, flowers, and we feel comfortable with it.
Mixing blues and cream gives a clean, cool look, perfect for these warm sunny days. Keep it calm with chalky blues, and for something a little different bring in other pastel shades such as pink and green. Soft shades can be used in abundance without clashing and they will give the scheme depth and interest. In fact they can be treated a little like neutrals and work well layered up.
Choose a pretty floral fabric and accessorise using the accent colours in the print to pull the scheme together. Try mixing different textured fabrics such as linens and velvet. Modern furniture will keep this scheme up to date whilst painted wooden furniture will give this look a more traditional feel. If this is all too calm for you add accent colours in stronger tonal shades.
There are so many exciting ceramics around at the moment, go for a selection of shapes and sizes and dot them around the room to complete the look.
Have fun and enjoy the summer!
Tomato and Mozzarella Tart with Roast Pepper Pesto
This time of year I look forward to picnics, summer lunches and garden parties. I enjoy cooking for other people but I try and keep it simple, that way I can enjoy the day. This delicious tart is so easy to make and is always a hit. For a healthy lunch serve with a green salad. I happen to love potatoes, so I also make a potato salad. The herbs in my garden are still very tender at this time of year and add a variety of flavours to the salads; I like to add chives, basil and parsley.
375g pack ready rolled puff pastry
85g/3oz coarsely grated Parmesan
450g whole jar of roasted red peppers
4-5 medium ripe tomatoes
2 x 15g packs of mozzarella balls, drained
Olive oil for drizzling
Basil leaves for scattering
Ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to fan 200C/220C conventional/gas mark 7.
Line a baking sheet with the ready rolled pastry and prick lightly with a fork.
Scatter all the Parmesan over the pastry base. Drain the peppers and pat dry with paper towels (make sure you do this thoroughly, so as not to make the pastry soggy). Lay the peppers width ways across the pastry base. Bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is puffy and golden.
Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and lay alternating in rows over the peppers. Drizzle with olive oil, scatter with basil leaves and a grind of black pepper then serve while the pastry is still warm.
Serve with salads and chilled white wine, delicious!
I love this time of year, not only is it my birthday, but the garden has really woken up and starting to burst into bloom. The colours are vibrant and the foliage is still very lime fresh. This little corner is particularly pretty this time of year. The Daffodils and Grape Hyacinths are first to show, followed by the Lungwort, Forget-me-nots and Bleeding Hearts.