Tag Archives: pattern

PaperBoy: paper and patterns for children’s rooms

I’ve been keeping my eye out for wallpaper, fabric and bedlinen patterns that will get the all important parent/child double seal of approval, and one such independent designer/maker is PaperBoy.

Created by Victoria Cramsie, the mother of boys herself, PaperBoy has been all about great patterns suitable for children’s rooms since its launch. As you’d guess from the name, there are plenty of designs for boys to choose from but also many that would appeal to girls and look great in games / play rooms.

My current favourite is this ever-so-slightly edgy Stripes design, with its graffiti-style spray paint effect:

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It’s a Puzzle, below, also has a graphic look:

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For the pictorial papers, such as The Final Frontier, below, the artwork is detailed: there’s lots to look at, yet the clever colour choices help the papers avoid that headache-inducing busy-ness of so many kids’ interior products:

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These dashing Spitfires are given a modern splash in warm scarlet:

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 [All images, PaperBoy

The designs come as wallpapers, and now as fabrics by the metre too, with each one available in a choice of colourways. Click here on PaperBoy for more information.

On trend for summer 2013: coloured weaves

Just posting these pictures puts a spring in my step, as this summer’s emerging trend for colourful weaves gathers pace. First up are the wonderful baskets by Swaziland’s Gone Rural; set up by Philippa Thorne over 20 years ago, Gone Rural now supplies grass and textile woven products created by women in Swaziland to many hundreds of retailers all over the world. With many shapes and sizes to choose from, each basket will bring welcome pattern and colour:

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Click Gone Rural to read more; to shop for their products try Shake The Dust, a new ethical design brand (shipping currently within the UK only).

On the high street, John Lewis‘s blue toned Navajo armchair and footstool (or side table) are perfect for a sunny afternoon:

John Lewis Spring Summer 2013

And Habitat‘s spring/summer range includes more than a nod to this trend.  If you’re quick you can still catch their Interwoven exhibition which celebrates the art of weaving for interiors, including vessels and baskets by Gone Rural alongside work by recent graduates from Central St Martins College of Art & Design. (Interwoven runs until 28 April at Habitat’s King’s Road showroom, London SW3). And in addition, Habitat’s Summer 2013 collection includes their own designs of woven furniture, baskets and vases:

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Shades of a rag rug: I love the multi-coloured woven surface of this day bed…

Whilst the Ormond hurricane lanterns and tea light holders are decorated with lacquered metal ribbons, woven and wrapped around glass.

And there are plenty of baskets in shades of fuschia, cherry and lime green for a splash of bright colour….

At Laura Ashley, the colours stay neutral, but these simple seagrass storage baskets with their fashionable dip dye look are perfect for muted, country schemes:

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Here’s to summer!

Let the sun shine: Spring 2013 trends at Marimekko

Happy post-Easter week to you all, and on this, another, grey grey Friday I’ve decided to go hunting for Spring, as it looks as though it won’t find me this year. For sunny, cheerful fabrics that make you and your rooms smile, Marimekko is hard to beat, and so if you’re as fed up with grey skies as I am then dive into their new Spring 2013 collection.

With a global fanbase that’s been increasing since the 1960s, Finland’s iconic Marimekko has done it again this year; their new fabric and home decor collection zings with colour and bold pattern. I’ve taken a shine to their cheerful fruit-filled Kompotti fabric; you also find elements of this design on a new tableware collection:

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And everyone’s favourite floral, Unikko (originally designed in 1964 and still one of their best-selling fabrics for both homewares and accessories), is now available in this welcome mix of blues, soft sage green and white:

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Other fabrics in the new collection feature painterly techniques that create vibrant patterns for this summer:

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When it comes to clothes, their fashion is not for the colour-shy, but will any sneaker-lover be able to resist Marimekko’s new collection for Converse?

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Converse’s classic high top and a new, more feminine platform sneaker get the Marimekko treatment, with designs in several of their classic patterns available through Converse and at some Marimekko stores from this spring,

Shop for Marimekko fabrics and home decor at their standalone shops or concessions: check their website for suppliers close to you (currently there are no online sales through their website).

Let’s hope the sun shines soon, and happy weekends to you all.

Decorating a cottage hallway; some of the best patterned fabrics

Back to the house, I’m determined to bring in colour: and so transform the walls here from their current dull, battered, beige/magnolia existence:

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Susie Watson‘s deep, rich Ramsbury Red colours the walls of the adjacent room (I’ve mentioned it before here)  and with it in place, the hall colour had to follow. The random mix above includes some icy blues / stone-grey shades both from Susie’s paint chart (the column of neutrals on the left of the picture above) and Fired Earth, with the walls finally painted in Teresa’s Green from Farrow & BallAs the wonderful Ben Pentreath mused the other day, it’s become fashionable in some circles to diss Farrow & Ball paints for their coverage, but their colours continue to be interesting, adaptable and versatile in both dimly lit and bright spaces…

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Next task: choosing curtain fabric to hang in front of the draughty stable-style back door and to bring some pattern and softness to the room (the black and white floor tiles, here and in the room beyond, were inherited with the house). With London Design Week in full swing (now open to the public; catch it till this Friday 22 March, at Chelsea Harbour) it’s a great time to celebrate the best in fabric design from both British and International designers. I’m searching for an eclectic pattern in lively shades:

Interior designer Penny Morrison‘s luxurious fabrics include fabulous patterns and interesting colour mixes for a relaxed, country-living vibe; the designs start life in her studio on the Welsh borders:

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All swatch shots above: Penny Morrison

Another favourite is Rapture & Wright: Based in Gloucestershire, their motifs are contemporary and occasionally geometric in nature, and successfully designed to suit all sorts of interiors:

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All images: Rapture & Wright 

All the fabrics shown above come in many other colourways, and of course there are other patterns too; take a look and let me know what you think.

More lovely details from Denmark: Tine K Home

I watched the final episode of Borgen 2 on catch up last night….so to cheer myself up now the series is over for me for another year here in the UK (Borgen 3 is only just airing on Danish TV) and to continue my little Danish style fix, I’m sharing with you the chic Danish interiors brand Tine K Home.

Eponymous owner Tine K favours interiors accessories in cool colours: Here’s my pick of the best of her new spring/summer products for 2013….

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Textured tumblers…. (in that favourite ’80s colour combo of white, pale grey and peachy-pink)….

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Stylish bamboo furniture is one of their strengths: also bamboo gets a big thumbs up from a sustainability point of view…. Great baskets, too….  

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I use monochrome  at home with caution but it definitely has its place: especially when spiced up with splashes of coral, as on these cushions here: though I hesitate, as it’s really not my usual colour combination…. but there’s something about this mix that is right for now…. 

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Love the greys, dusky pinks, and linear black/white patterns on their china…. And the bronze pitchers? They stand out, with their unusual shapes, amongst the simple, pared-down china…. 

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Deep greys and blacks bring the white elements to life….

MMMMM love this bamboo bench….

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Cushions in monochromes, browns, creams with on-trend geometric, tribal patterns…. 

And wonderful deep baskets for everything from bread at the dining table, to folded piles of towels in the bathroom….

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Tine K Home is sold through various independent shops in the UK; however unlike their compatriot House Doctor (of which you’ll know I’m a fan) you can buy online through the Tine K website.

To be square, or not to be square? Creating pattern with tiles

All these posts about pattern have got me thinking about new tiles, especially for the kitchen splashback, which is currently fashioned from emerald green tiles (surprisingly, the Colour for 2013 according to Pantone), including some embossed with herbs and vegetables…..

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Fired Earth are the go-to place for decorative tiles that look fresh and modern, yet would also suit a rural kitchen:

I’m thinking of creating pattern in this space by choosing plain tiles with unusual shapes, such as these Marrakech Bahia tiles. Their muted, cool tones also appeal:

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Above: Marrakech Bahia tiles, suitable for both walls and floors, Fired Earth

Or these fan shaped Paris Cabaret tiles, in this mix of blues, make for a fabulous wall pattern:

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Above: handmade and hand decorated terracotta Paris Cabaret tiles, suitable for both walls and floors, Fired Earth

For traditional square tiles, this sophisticated blue and white Marrakech design comes in a choice of subtle patterns which look great mixed and matched: a fab way to introduce pattern without looking too unconventional….

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Above: Marrakech hand-decorated tiles, Fired Earth

Whilst these highly patterned Andalucia tiles will transport any bathroom wall to sunny Spain….

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Andalucian tiles in Jerez, Fired Earth 

The other tile shop that’s a must-visit is The Reclaimed Tile Company, who source reclaimed vintage tiles and antique terracotta from across Europe. Their beautiful, colourful ‘Tapas’ tile combinations are perfect for those of us who can’t decide on one pattern. A bathroom or sun room floor would look heavenly tiled in one of their mixes:

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For those who prefer a more organised approach to tiling, they have hundreds of reclaimed patterned tiles to choose from.

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All tiles above from The Reclaimed Tile Company

And of course, there’s always scope for simple, chic white, as seen in these Fired Earth washrooms….

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Which do you prefer? Let me know….

Earth houses in Burkina Faso

A quick, visual post, sharing pictures of these inherently, necessarily practical; beautifully and intricately decorated earth houses in Burkina Faso:

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Made from a mix of clay, soil, straw and cow dung, the mortar is layered to create walls thick enough to withstand both extreme heat and rain. What’s so immediately attractive are the intricate patterns: painted onto the walls with coloured mud and chalk, these give each hand-crafted house a unique character.

All pictures courtesy of Design Boom; see more pictures and text here

Furniture with a hint of summer, from our friends in Australia


Researching for a feature on garden furniture for a June issue (this is why I can never remember what month it is) I stumbled across a new brand called Bowerhouse: Australian-based, I love the quirky yet covetable rattan furniture, delicate tableware and colourful, patterned, eclectic cushions…

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Looking closely at the credits, I discovered the images were styled by an old friend and colleague, Jo Carmichael. I got in touch: we both started out together shooting features on (long gone) BBC’s Changing Rooms with designers Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Linda Barker, amongst others….

Now based in Australia, talented Jo has set up a styling agency, working with clients such as Bowerhouse to bring her signature fresh, relaxed look to the products she’s working with. You can find out more about her work here.

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These drum rattan stools are some of the nicest of the many I’ve seen recently: am I the only one to notice stools and poufs are everywhere right now?

I’m a newcomer to Pinterest but I have plans to create a board devoted to low stools and comfy poufs there, alongside posting here too. 

Bowerhouse mainly ships within Australia to Australian addresses but they can ship some of their products internationally: they’re happy to chat so do get in touch.

All images courtesy of Bowerhouse; styling Jo Carmichael, photography Jody D’Arcy 

Indigo; blue and white patterns, part I

Maybe because my grandmother was an avid collector of Willow pattern china (she was constantly searching antiques shops for details such as Willow pattern mustard pots), I’ve always had a fondness for blue and white as a colour combination.

This spring, Indigo as a decorating colour is everywhere, which is fab news for me: I keep on finding more and more wonderful products in a mix of indigo, or deep and royal blue shades. And instead of dull plains, everything is covered with bold and/or intricate patterns: a great trend. 

First up is this Sardine Run china, with its streamlined fish motif: inspired by Vietnamese antiques and made by the talented team at Jersey Pottery, it’s stocked at Liberty.

Jersey Pottery,Sardine_Run Jersey Pottery, Sardine Run Charger Plate, £29.95 from Liberty Jersey Pottery, Sardine Run, Ceral Bowl, £14.95 from Liberty Jersey pottery, Sardine Run, Pitcher £39.95

All items are available at Liberty (do check out their exciting homes department: you’ll find many interesting, quirky brands, of which more in future posts)…..

Emerging Textile Designers, Sofa.com

Whether you are personally involved with textile design or simply shopping for curtain fabric in John Lewis, there’s no escaping how many fabrics there are in existence.

The constant challenge facing designers, from textile students to global companies, is to create new, original fabrics. Whilst fabric house archives are fantastic for initial inspiration, the new design must push boundaries, whether those are of colour combinations, pattern intricacy or behind-the-scenes production methods, whilst simultaneously remaining a design that we’re going to want to live alongside.

So Sofa.com‘s latest competition is great news: they’re celebrating the best emerging textile designers with their current competition to choose a fabric design that will become one of the latest upholstery fabric options for their sofas, chairs, beds and footstools.

Alongside the main judging panel, there’s also People’s Vote for shortlisted nominees, giving us the chance to vote for our favourite fabric from their final selection of 15 (plus there’s a chance to win £1000 to spend at Sofa.com)

I’ve narrowed mine down to a shortlist of four, see below…

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Isabel Crossman (above) was inspired by Slim Aarons’s images of the 1960s jet-set…

Natalie Raines (below) also looked to the 1960s, siting the bold yet simple Swedish designs from this period as her inspiration:

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Sarah Victoria Roberts (below) coral-inspired fabric is a repeat pattern in easy-to-live-with modern neutral tones

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Emily Thompson (below) mixes the bold colours of Morocco with motifs sourced the Arts & Crafts and Art Deco movements.

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Which ones do you prefer? You can see all the nominees and vote for your favourite directly on the Sofa.com website here