All posts tagged: Pattern

Farrow & Ball new wallpapers

Farrow & Ball new wallpapers + factory tour

We all know and love Farrow & Ball’s paint, but did you know they also do beautiful handcrafted wallpaper too? They’ve been creating their signature paint colours in Dorset since 1946, but it was only in the 1990s that they started to introduce wallpaper. Using traditional trough and block printing methods, and of course their own paint, they’ve built up a portfolio of charming designs, from contemporary stripes and bold botanical shapes to pretty florals and more traditional paisley patterns. This week I was very lucky to get invited down to the international launch of 3 new designs at their headquarters in Dorset with the Amara blog awards. In celebration of Farrow & Ball’s 70th anniversary, they’ve been reflecting back on their early origins and have taken inspiration from the 1940s for the new collection. Each design – the retro scallops of ‘Arcade’, the quaint countryside scenes of ‘Gable’ and the dazzling geometrics of ‘Enigma – embrace the paradoxical feel of the post-war period, says Farrow & Ball, when people were simultaneously ‘looking forward while …


Eley Kishimoto x Roam

As part of its Autumn/Winter 2015 fashion collection, entitled A Wallflower’s House Party, pattern expert Eley Kishimoto has collaborated with Scottish knitwear company ROAM on a selection of cosy lambswool blankets. Based in the heart of the Scottish Borders, ROAM was set up in 2007 by Sonia Ambrosano and Lachlan Munro. They have a studio and micro factory in Galashiels where they dream, craft and create the softest knitted products from a handful of natural and sustainable materials. Their vision is simple: ‘to create warm, soulful products that express our collective imagination, inspiring and evoking wonderful thoughts of travel and distant places’. For this collection, the patterns, which range from bold, psychedelic swirls to muted, architectural brick-like shapes, have been taken from Kishimoto’s wallpaper collection, originally inspired by the studio’s fashion archives of over 22 years. The studio sees no distinction between garment, wall surface or home decoration, all can be adorned with the same pattern under their lovely motto “Print the World”. The blankets, for example, are designed to be both draped over a sofa or over your own shoulders; I don’t know about …


10 must-have Spring cushions for the home

It definitely feels like Spring is just around the corner, the sun’s beginning to show it’s face, it’s getting lighter in the evenings and Spring bulbs are starting to crop up everywhere. During the winter months, the balcony of my flat might as well not exist, but after a little trip to Columbia Road flower market at the weekend, a cluster of hyacinths and daffodil sprouts are quietly making their home there. If you’re anything like me, you’ll like a Spring clean inside too. One of the easiest, commitment-free (compared to an entire wall of wallpaper for example) and sometimes cheapest ways to spruce up a home, in my opinion, is with a good old cushion. Here are ten lovely, Spring-like cushions to get you in the mood for sunshine and fresh breezes; my favourites are the cool blue tones of Marimekko’s Meriheinä cushion (3) and Nautical objects cushion by Rosie Moss for Heal’s (8). Inspired by mid-century textiles and British vernacular art, the cushion mixes maritime motifs in a charming print (who doesn’t like a Breton …


Introducing… Shedquarters

Followers of my Instagram might know that I fell in love with these lovely porcelain espresso cups from alissa + nienke (two designers who joined forces after having met at Design Academy Eindhoven) during my last trip to Amsterdam. They’re almost too good to use everyday. So, I was delighted  when I learnt that British homeware shop Shedquarters was selling them in the UK, partly just in case I wanted to add to my collection! Shedquarters is an online shop selling contemporary homeware and accessories that feature bold patterns, colours and textures. It was started by Hayley Pryke and Ross Frame last year from a shed. Here, they answer some of my burning questions… How did you start Shedquarters and where did the name come from? We set up the online shop last year after deciding it was the right time to leave London and start our own business. It’s something we had always talked about and had the dream to work for ourselves. We moved to Cambridge and spent some time converting a shed into a studio, which is where …


Origami Workshop using Betty & Walter’s retro prints

SMUG is a lovely kooky lifestyle shop in Islington’s Camden Passage, which I always pop into if I’m in the area. Run by founder Lizzie Evans, it sells a beautifully curated array of homeware, stationery, accessories, vintage furniture and kitchenware by designers such as Thornback & Peel, Donna Wilson and a favourite of mine, Mae Engelgeer. She recently opened a cafe in the basement, offering Ozone coffee, pastries made locally by Yeast Bakery and lots of other yummy homemade treats by Lizzie herself, all served up on 1950s Formica tables (there’s also a small, quiet courtyard when the sun shines!). It made the perfect location for the launch of Betty & Walter’s new Autumn/Winter collection of bags, purses, kitchenware and accessories last week. Betty & Walter was set up in 2011 by Central Saint Martins graduate Lisa Stickley and now sells prints that look to the mid-century for inspiration, including her aunty Betty and Uncle Walter, the perfect 1950s muses. Lisa starts each print by hand, tweaking each artwork before scanning it onto the computer and having it made …


The work of California-based designer Julia Kostreva

Julia Kostreva is a California-based designer who creates beautiful products in her studio in San Francisco. (I previously featured her work as one of my favourite calendars of 2014, see it here). She sells her home goods and accessories on her online shop and this summer they include black and white wanderlust posters as well as more colourful iPhone covers (my favourite is the ‘Stay Foolish’ poster!). For these she uses a mixture of hand painting, patterns and photography to create simple yet uplifting designs. She says: My designs are one part joy, one part exploration, one part craft. I draw stories from textures found in nature, vintage patterns, and colour combinations from world travels. A lot of my pattern designs are created by hand through painting with sumi ink. Then I scan the artwork into the computer and go through a design phase where I construct the artwork into a pattern, bring in colours, make repeats. Everything starts black and white, and eventually turns into something colourful. You can check out her shop here. …


Student Shows: The colourful designs of Abbey Withington

Using primary colours and traditional printmaking techniques, Leeds College of Art graduate Abbey Withington creates colourful and graphic designs, that remind me of Marimekko and all the other Scandinavian designs I’m fond of. She studied on LCA’s Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design and has already started designing gift cards for Marks and Spencer. This collection consists of wallpapers, hand printed fabrics and artists prints that document the exotic fruits and corals found on Darwin’s first voyage around the world. She says: I take influence from Finnish textiles, vintage children’s books and generally anything with a lovely nostalgic feel to it. I’m quite old fashioned in the way I create prints and patterns, I enjoy doing everything by hand and only really use digital devices near the end of the design process. Screenprinting is the main process I use within my practice as I feel it achieves a nice textural aesthetic quality. Good quality materials are important to my work, I love printing onto durable fabrics including linens and cottons. I spotted her work at …


Jenna Rose textiles

Canadian designer Jenna Fenwick creates hand printed textiles in a small barn converted to a studio in the Lanark Highlands. I particularly like the organic cotton and linen baskets, which have leather handles and would be perfect for storing old newspapers and magazines around the home. Using her surroundings and daily life as inspiration, Jenna draws each illustration and pattern by hand and screen prints the textiles in small runs using water based pigments on natural materials including organic cotton, linen, and hemp. Jenna holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from NSCAD University where her focus was screen printing and drawing. He work is a reflection of her love for these processes and her passion for creating handcrafted textiles. Check out her website here and her online shop here.


The Scandinavian retro prints of Gunna Ydri

While trawling the internet for ideas for my new living room, I discovered these fantastic retro prints by London-based Danish textile designer Gunna Ydri on Etsy. She graduated from Chelsea College of Art & Design as well as the RCA and specialises in printed textiles and illustrations, including my favourite design of hers- a cushion featuring a graphic dachshund print. She also designs a range of frames, brooches, screen prints and other equally cute accessories. Commenting on her design process, she said: “I have always been inspired by the constant change of the city which contrasts with my rural upbringing in Denmark where I spent most of my childhood. I have a natural passion for Nordic folklore designs and ethnic patterns, which constantly inspires and infuses my work.” Don’t forget to check out her Etsy page here and check out her blog too. For the cushions, Gunna uses water based non toxic pigments and the cushion covers are hand screen printed.   

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House of Hackney, Shoreditch High Street

House of Hackney has opened its long-awaited flagship store on London’s Shoreditch High Street. Founded by life and business partners Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle in 2011, the brand has built up a cult following through its luxury stockists and website. The new store, conceived by MRA Architecture & Interior Design, features the brand’s full range of fashion and interiors, plus new sleepwear, accessories and stationery. The shopfront is also home to a special Wild at Heart flower shop inspired by the collections inside (you might recognise Nikki Tibbles’ wild posies and sweet smelling bouquets from the florist at Liberty off Regents Street). There is a butler sink with brass taps for the florists, backed by bespoke tiles to the back of the counter top and a display of vintage bottles and vases. The 2,000 sq ft store, arranged over two floors, is devised as a series of themed rooms: Garden, Fabric and Fashion. First you pass the aroma of Tibbles’ creations, which compliment the House of Hackney’s trademark floral wallpaper, and meet the marble top …