You may or may not be wondering what these colourful little tabs are for ?
Well, I’ve tried out the new ‘ Stack ‘ recycling separation system by Joseph Joseph and part of their design is colour coding each of the units to ensure you put the right type of recycling in the right unit.
The slimline units can be stacked on top of each other or side by side, depending on your space and have sliding lids and removable inner buckets that you can pop a bin liner in to, making removing the contents really quick and simple.
The sets can be bought in 2s or as a 3 if you want to also get the ventilated food waste caddy which has an odour filter. I’ve recycled things for a long time but have never tried anything like the caddy before but I really do like organising the bits in to different compartments for recycling while doing our bit for the planet.
As you know, I am already a fan of Anthony and Richard AKA Joseph Joseph and all their colourful multi functional designs, having written about them recently and am definitely really like this new addition. They are working this year with award winning studio PearsonLloyd to collaborate on different recycling solutions for all different sizes of households.
This one will be available on their website anytime now.
Are you an avid recycler ? What do you think of their latest product ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog … Would love to hear from you..
These past few months I have slowly been making some new cushions, blinds and curtains for the living room. I wanted to lighten the room as although it is South facing, it still needs some help with light at times.
The sofas are both pink ( luckily Andy likes this colour) and I love to put pinks and greens together, so my first choice for some of the cushion fabric was Santiago in mint from Designers Guild. I made up some envelope cushions in it – it’s a plain weave made from polyester. It’s very sturdy and easy to sew with.
I also love, love, love stripes – especially on silk, so chose from the Franchini collection – Noir. Again very easy to work with, surprisingly so, actually considering it’s silk. The cushions are so crisp and tactile. I have plans now to use the turquoise colour way on another home project.
When I first saw this digitally printed print by french fashion designer Christian Lacroix for Designers Guild, I was kind of mesmerized. It’s very clever because as you can see, the butterflies almost look 3D with their shadows. It creates movement on the cotton and the palettes used are really vibrant and striking – I had to have this design in the mix because it’s so intricate and it feels like adding extra artwork, but just on cushions instead.
Talking of artwork, I hope you like our new print on canvas by the lovely artist Jessica Zoob ? I have been a fan of Jessica for a long time and was lucky enough to meet her last year at the Amara Awards. She was as sweet as I thought she would be. Totally in love with it. It’s called ‘ Feeling Good ‘ and it makes me feel that every time I study it.
Back to the curtain making … I used a corduroy ribbed velvet in ‘ Snow ‘ – it’s lovely to touch, very soft and rich. I’ve used this before for a bedroom and would recommend it for blinds or curtains. It comes in so many shades. Bliss !
It’s the first time I have made such big curtains. I added to widths of fabric to each side and was please that I did as it added extra volume which I think you need for the cosy effect. Of course, to use less you could make eyelet ones, but I like pencil pleat ones the best.
The blind has turned out well and I was really happy to finish them and rest my fingers as with both the curtains and the blind my thumb had gone numb with all the hand stitching !
Putting all of these different textures together has added warmth to the room but the colours have lightened it. If that makes sense ?
What do you think of the fabrics ? Do you like my updated living room ? I hope so. Do leave me a comment under the post – I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you want to have a look at some more gorgeous Designers Guild fabrics and their collaborations, wallpapers, paints or gifts – have a look here and feel free to ask me any questions of you are tempted to use of them yourself.
I was sent fabric by Designers Guild for this post. All opinions are my own.
One of the very best things about my interior design course studies – is that it encourages you to go looking for inspiration. Not that I need any excuse – but it has also reminded me that there are many interesting places nearby that are full of history, shape and colour. Talking of which – I am doing colour theory next on the course, so can’t wait to tell you al about that very soon.
In the meantime, I visited Lavenham yesterday, which if you don’t know already, is a very quaint, historical village not too far from Sudbury. Many of the buildings are timbered and as you will probably see in some of the photos – quite wonky ( it’s not my photography, honest .. ).
The impressive Guildhall building above is around 500 years old and is now looked after by The National Trust. Inside there are stories of its past and exhibitions. It was a prison at one point. Can’t imagine that now !
There is also a very cute cafe with amazing cake and lovely staff – and a gift shop.
Although it’s not a huge place, it feels like big as the roads take you off up and down higgledy piggledy streets. It feels much like being on the Harry Potter set, which funnily enough, this door that I spotted is was used as his birthplace in the films. In fact they used some other areas too. I can’t think of a better location as it really is medieval and unspoilt.
I noticed there are a lot of homes painted in orange shades and also Suffolk pinks. I love the steps leading up to the doors. It made me wonder why they are like this ? Have they been added afterwards or was it all the rage to have steps to your home 500 years ago ?
There is a fantastic hotel called The Angel and other very tasteful award winning places to stay and eat. I can’t wait to go back and try out an evening meal sometime soon.
How cute is this window box ? The people who live in this village all seem to work very hard to keep it looking spectacular.
I felt quite spoilt just being there for the day !
On the way home, Had to stop the car to photograph this beautiful old thatched, lemon coloured house with pink blossom tree outside. Pretty, hey ?
I found a book for my Mum about the different seasons at the National Trust shop in Lavenham which is really beautiful.
They have lots of new items at the moment including this colourful throw. So I sat outside in the garden when I got home and read the book.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the pics. I’m looking forward to sharing other places I visit along the way while completing my course. If you have anywhere to recommend then please do leave me a comment under this post. Or just say hi anyway – always good to hear from you. I’m also on snapchat now as lucylovesyablog. Another way to keep in touch.
Have a good day.
I was sent a few items by The National Trust to review. All opinions are my own.
It only seems like yesterday that I was writing about Easter last year but a whole year really has passed. I can’t wait for a little break and a few lie ins. It is definitely time to crack open some chocolate eggs and celebrate all things chocolate ! How about you ? Are you taking some time out ?
Today, I have some photos to show you of one of my favourite brands LSA International. I’m often drawn to their glassware and porcelain in stores. It’s maybe because they do stunning colourful glass ranges and they look and feel such good quality.
It wad hardly a difficult decision to collaborate with them. I feel very honoured to do so, especially as it is their 50 year anniversary this year. LSA International started out, back then, using enamels and soon moved on to leathers, porcelain and wood. The glassware in all its glorious shapes and sizes is what they are best known for, now in 2016.
It’s good to see though, that they still incorporate their initial materials in to their designs today. Like the STILT Vase / Tealight Holder and Ash Stand above with it’s stand made from natural ash wood. The legs are turned. The glass is all blown and they fit in to carved stands in the base. It’s versatile as it can be used in many different ways or you can use the holders separately and it comes gift boxed and is £125.
It feels so good to have the sun shining through the window on to the roses and to smell the scented candles. I love Spring.
This Serve Circle Platter is such a good idea for serving up load of different things but of course I had to christen it with a home made white chocolate dip ( chocolate, butter and slowly melted and then single cream folded in, just in case you’re wondering … ) and some naughty sweet treats.
You could also fill it with it fruit and the central section cream or vegetables or even prawns and put houmous in the middle ?
Either will be a big hit here. The glass is handmade and its £50. A really handy thing to have in the cupboard for last minute get togethers.
I have always wanted some champagne glasses in this coupe shape, created to overflow in to the glasses below. There’s something really special about sipping a sparkling drink from a delicate glass. So vintage and stylish – and this shape is also used nowadays for certain cocktails too.
But seriously, you have to show me some love for achieving what this set of 10 glasses is designed for – being called Champagne Tower Set ! All placed very carefully while Andy stood close by, saying ” Careful, careful … “. Actually, it was quite easy to be honest. If you need some in your life the set is £80.
They’re lovely aren’t they ? Something special for family gatherings and Summer soirées.
All in all, loved up with these gorgeous items and hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post.
Have a good day – and have a really Happy Easter.
This is a collaboration with LSA International. All opinions are my own.
I’m really pleased to tell you that this week I am guest curator, over at the lovely Wayfair online store. I’ve selected some lovely colourful items that will be revealed on a daily basis.
There were absolutely loads of items to choose from such as furniture, lamps, artwork, kids bedroom furniture .. so I had much fun doing my research. I don’t want to show them all off today so have put together a handful as a little taster for you.
What I will say is that I was quite taken by the Scandi inspired pieces at Wayfair that have on offer and the fantastic low prices. I would say there is something for everyone’s budget.
So please do hop on over and have a look at today’s picks …
You can also have a look at an interview that I did with Wayfair about my inspirations, how I felt about winning the Amara Interior Blog Award late last year and why I love colour so much.
But that’s not all ..
Wayfair also asked me to offer some tips for introducing colour in to your home. If you fancy a read then you can find it here.
Hope you enjoy the event and if you follow me on my social media ( buttons at the top and side of my blog ) then you will be able to follow the daily links to some really cool goodies.
Have a happy week !
This is a collaboration with Wayfair. All opinions are my own.
As well as wanting to share with you, my belated Birthday gift of a Birds of Paradise framed picture, which I LOVE – I also want to tell you about the company who made it and how, because I have so much respect for people who come up with an idea and then go and turn it in to a really cool reality.
Bertie & Jack aka Becky and Emma started their cut out personalised artwork in 2010 on a market stall in Bath. They used what savings they had to start up a market stall, pay the first month for the pitch and buy the materials needed. They worked really hard to build their business up – which paid off when John Lewis spotted them and ranged Bertie & Jack in 2013. It’s still growing with friends and fellow parents now being employed … and Becky and Emma’s husbands.
They produce the work by cutting out their hand drawn illustrations from mount board and layering patterns and prints behind the cut out shapes. They were the first to use this method and they do it so well ! All of their designs are created in – house and all made in here in the UK.
The name Bertie & Jack was inspired by their children. They’ve made a lovely little film about their Mum’s business which you can watch here. It’s ever so cute ! You can also the different collections here that you can buy framed or unframed – from Magical to Typographic to Woodland and also the Boutique artwork which includes my Birds of Paradise one – loads to have a look at. The also make cushions – my personal favourite is the Happy Family one.
This beauty will be going up in my craft / study room which I am about to repaint – the stained glass effect of the birds will be incredibly inspiring. The sun shines really beautifully on to the gold and silver birds and makes them shine and shimmer.
Thank you Bertie & Jack, very much, for my artwork. We clearly have a mutual love of colour and birds !
What do you think of the cut out wall art ? Hope you like it as much as I do. Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
I’m currently working hard at home on my interior design course and will soon be doing colour theory section so can’t wait to write all about that.
Have a good one.
I was sent this piece of art for this Bertie & Jack collaboration. All opinions are my own.
It has been quite a while since I offered up a giveaway here on my blog. I’m a big fan of kitchenware brand Joseph Joseph though and jumped at the chance to work with them and their innovative and contemporary designs and thought you might be up for winning a colourful Elevate Wood Carousel for your home.
But first, I want to show you a few other Joseph Joseph items that might tickle your fancy from my own kitchen because I am always fascinated by the ideas they come up with and how they combine it all with such style.
What I find with Joseph Joseph, is that the items are often multi functional and practical , saving space but also really well made. I’ve had some pieces for years and they still work just as well. Their brand always stands out in kitchen shops to me, with aesthetically satisfying designs in bold and beautiful shades along with their neutral colours.
They have some lovely new pastel coloured goodies arriving too in their store in the iconic designs. Good timing for Mother’s Day.
This double sided bread and cheese board is brilliant for sharing a little bread starter with oil or houmous and then flipping the wood board over to have some cheese and grapes at the end of the meal.
It’s really handy and easy to tidy away. I can’t wait to use this when we next have friends over. I’m so in to chilli cheese at the moment so it will be used in front of the tv before then too !
The selection of glass worktop savers Joseph Joseph are pure joy to a colour lover. They’re so fun and really practical also because they are odour and stain resistant and perfect for putting a hot pan on. It would be very hard to pick a favourite but I obviously love this pastel palette one and also the record player worktop saver on the website.
Do you love this ‘ Hands On ‘ salad bowl with built in servers ? I just think it’s such a good idea but looks so cool too. The bowl itself is a good size and sits proudly amongst the other dishes on the dining table.
I do find that the more I get in to cooking, the more products like these ones are important for an overall ‘ look ‘. I used to serve food up in whatever I could find in the cupboard but now I look forward to having friends here and making them feel special.
Now, the giveaway. The Elevate Wood Carousel ! A set of 5 made from beech wood and heat resistant silicone, it has all the 5 utensils needed in any kitchen with a trusty stand that rotates making for an easy life and especially when you’re busy at the stove and need everything all at once ( or maybe that’s just my style of cooking ) … ;)
I can recommend it – tried and tested. It is £55 RRP usually and worth every penny. But, you can get yourself entered here on my Rafflecopter giveaway to win one for yourself free … courtesy of Joseph Joseph.
It’s the first time I have used Rafflecopter and it’s so easy for you to use. You can enter below, nice and swiftly. This giveaway is open to UK residents only and I will email the winner at the end on March 6th 2016 and also announce it on my social media.
It was my Birthday a few days ago and am I’ve had a lovely time with family and friends. Although I tell my self each year that it’s just another day – it really does feel special to see them all and celebrate a little. Any opportunity to do so ! I felt thoroughly spoilt.
Now, as promised, a lovely new batch of gorgeous images by fellow instagram colour lovers. I find it quite astonishing when I click on the hashtag #InspirationIsColour on instagram and see more and more fab pics being added – by some of my favourite accounts too.
I don’t really need to say anymore, except, that I am really chuffed that people are joining in and adding such wonderful images from around the world. It’s so good to connect with them all.
Maybe you’d like to add some of your bright photos too on instagram ? I’d love to see them and hopefully share them on my next #InspirationIsColour blog post. Please do and also leave a comment here to let me know which of these pics are your favourite. You can click on the links to take you to the accounts and see moods more inspiring, colourful images.
Keep a look out for a rather superb giveaway coming next on Lucy Loves Ya. I’m rather excited about the collaboration as I”m a big, big fan of the company !
A couple of weeks ago, I arrived at an exclusive building called The Albany ( so much so, that you’re not even allowed to photograph inside ) Full of interesting history and with name plaques on the entrance walls of past residents that turned my head and nestled in the heart of London, set back a little from the busy streets of Piccadilly. It was all quite hush hush and has been until today.
It was to meet with the Farrow & Ball team and a handful of other UK bloggers and journalists for a preview of the new Farrow & Ball paint colours.
Let’s face it, I am a colour geek and so an afternoon in such interesting company and for such an exciting reason was going to be right up my street. It is not something they do on a very regular basis, so it felt very exciting to be part of this all.
After chatting for a while and enjoying the beautiful and regal surroundings, we all sat down for the presentation by Joa Studholme, International Colour Consultant for Farrow & Ball.
Now, finally, I can share with you, the new colours, as today is the day they have become available online and in stores. I can also tell you a bit about the inspiration behind each name. Yippee ! Let’s do it …
Firstly, Shadow White. No. 282. Named by the soft tone created when whites are used in shaded areas and good for lovers of light neutrals, both for walls and woodwork. It is a lovely contrast for Shaded White No .201. A paint that suits any style of home.
Then comes Drop Cloth. No. 283. Slightly darker than Shadow White.
It’s relaxing, easy and muted. You could use it with Shadow White No 282. It’s not too yellow or grey. Very easy on the eye, I would say. It is one 4 of their key colours for 2016.
It’s name is a nod to painters and decorators because ‘ Drop Cloth ‘ is the traditional name for their dust sheets which this colour embodies.
Worsted. No. 284. belongs to their ‘ Easy Neutral Family ‘ stronger in tone than its counterpart ‘ Purbeck Stone ‘ but lighter than Mole’s Breath ( I never tire of their lovely names ). It works well with colour schemes Wevet. No. 273 and Cornforth White No. 228 for instance or with a stronger palette of Cook’s Blue No. 237 and No. 286.
Does this colour remind you of city suits made from flat woven fabric ? It is named Worsted after the village in Norfolk where the yarn was originally woven.
I love the softness of this hue. Cromarty No. 285 is a lighter version of and works well with Light Blue No. 22 or with both the colours Pigeon No. 25 and Blue Gray No. 91.
Inspired by sea mist and named after the Cromarty Fifth Estuary, a place of swirling mists mentioned daily in The Shipping Forecast. Conjures up some very vivid images for me. How about you ?
Peignoir No. 286 is absolutely perfect, in my opinion. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. Very soft pink with a huge dose of grey. It works with red based neutrals and darker tones such as Brinjal No. 222. It could also work with Cinder Rose No. 246 and Charlston Grey N0. 243. It is also one of Farrow & Ball’s key colours for 2016, picked for being serene and east to live with.
I think you might love what this colour name is based upon – chiffon gowns in which ladies traditionally brushed their hair in boudoirs. Vintage and very romantic.
Here’s another of my favourites and I can’t wait to try it out on something soon. YeabrigeGreen No.287. It is fresh and very uplifting. What do you think of this ‘ avocado ‘ colour ? I am pleased that it’s another key colour for this year.
It was inspired by a palette shade found in a gun cupboard and also lush colours in a field nearby. It works with many shades. I particularly like the combination of it with Cooking Apple Green No. 32 and Off White No. 3.
Okay, here is my absolutefavourite new colour. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I like teal. The richer the better and Vardo No. 288 is just that.
I think quite rightly, the word ‘ flamboyant is mentioned by Farrow & Ball ‘ regarding this one. Joa recommended Down Pipe No. 26 or Pavillion Gray No. 242 to go with this which think would be stunning. Or Raddicchio No. 96 – wow, can you imagine ? There are also the neutrals too, obviously.
A colour aimed to make people smile and a colour brings out the light side of us. I like the sound of that. Aptly named after classic romany gypsy caravans from the late 18th Century. You know, the horse drawn ones ? Apparently a similar colour was used in the intricate patterning of these vehicles, often over a red shade. Seen as an important cultural high point in decoration.
The clever thing about this wonderful Inchyrya Blue No. 289, which as you can see is an aged blue grey, is that it can read more grey, blue or even green depending on the light. An alternative to charcoal it can be used add a hint of colour in to a very contemporary home or a more moody feel with my beloved Vardo No. 288 or Black Blue N0. 95.
First used at the classic Georgian Inchyra House to work with moody Scottish skies, it can be found on the exterior doors of their barn which sits at the bottom of a rather grey and ‘ imposing ‘ hill. This colour needed to have depth and work sympathetically with the dramatic natural backdrop.
A chocolatey hue. Sounds great does’t it ? Salon Drab No. 290. It’s an ‘ informed tone ‘ that colour experts use. Really rich and can sit with Arsenic No. 214 and Rectory Red N0 217 – two other fab colours. It offers a calmness and feels historic but I think would work in a modern setting. I love that is the fourth key colour for 2016. Hope to see it in lots of homes.
Combining ‘ Salon ‘ which is the small outer room off a drawing room with ‘ Drab ‘ a term favoured by colourists – it describes a colour as lacking in brightness.
So, there we have it. The new colours. Joa explained how Farrow & Ball really wanted for the new additions to happily blend in on their colour charts well and not stand right out. I think they have achieved this so well and it is clear to see the love and passion that has gone in to the 9 colours. It was quite an honour to be part of their unveiling and to listen to someone so inspiring and clever.
If you want to get hold of a new colour chart then have a look at the website or pop in to your nearest stockist.
I’d love to know your thoughts on them and which might be your favourite ? Especially now you know mine :) Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ..
If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know very well how much I love Liberty London Prints.
So, can you imagine my surprise and excitement when the lovely people who represent Sarah Campbell got in touch for a meeting with her ?
Sarah and her sister, Susan founded textile design company Collier Campbell in the 60s, collaborating with Liberty, Habitat, Marks & Spencers to name a few. They also inspired Yves Saint Laurent on his first off the peg clothing line.
Today, Sarah is working with West Elm, Michael Miller Fabrics and also teaching workshops in London.
There is also an exhibition with many of their prints, currently running at The Fashion and Textiles Museum, exploring Liberty’s impact on British fashion …
How did you originally become a textile designer ?
I grew into it, almost behind my own back ! My sister, Susan Collier, had already begun her career as a textile designer in her early twenties and was also a mother of two small girls; she ‘ got busy ‘ and asked me to come and help. As I could draw and was an obliging younger sibling – I did. I was a teenager, and had no ambition to be a designer, or even anything ‘ artistic ‘ at all, but it turned out well – I had a feel for it – and we continued our working partnership for 50 years.
You’ve had an incredible career so far with Collier Campbell and now working as Sarah Campbell Designs, spanning over 5 decades – what have been your highlights and challenges since you first started ?
Yes, we had a wonderfully productive career together and with our marvellous studio. Maintaining a business based on ‘ creativity ‘ is quite a challenge in itself, and the fact that there were two of us to withstand and share the slings and arrows was definitely important.
Some of the highlights have come as awards from our peers and the industry, the most prestigious of which was The Duke of Edinburgh’s Design Prize in 1984, given for our Six Views Collection. We were the first women to win this, and apart from one other, the only ones in its 52-year history – which is rather shocking.
There have been many feelings of achievement, and many knock-backs too. Looking from where I am now I think the whole collaboration with my sister and our extraordinary body of work is a tremendous cause for pride. There is a lovely book published about our years and work together – ‘ The Collier Campbell Archive ‘. I meet all sorts of people who tell me about patterns of ours that they’ve lived with and cherished over the years, and I feel very pleased that those fabrics went out there and did their jobs so well!
My challenge now is to continue solo, as I have been since Susan’s death in 2011, to invent and celebrate new and interesting patterns – I’m fortunate to be doing just this, and long may it last !
How have you managed to keep your feet on the ground with such a busy life and so many high profile collaborations ?
I’m not sure that I have always kept my feet on the ground … I think that maintaining busy-ness and good working relationships probably requires one to balance the fabulous flights of fancy with being pretty down-to earth; that takes acrobatic experience ! Children are helpful – watching the saturday football matches in the rain is an excellent exercise in remaining steady – especially when it’s muddy ! Susan and I saw ourselves as jobbing designers, which is a service as well as an inspiration – we earned our living by painting patterns, and I still do; as such income is determined by customers – generally very good levellers ! Success is so exciting and heady – but things can change quickly and there are no laurels upon which to rest for very long …
Collier Campbell inspired Yves Saint Laurent’s first ever ‘ off the peg ‘ clothing. What was it like working with one of the greatest ever fashion designers ?
I have to clarify here: the original company Collier Campbell company wasn’t formed until 1979 / 80. All our work prior to that ( Liberty, early Habitat, Soiries Nouveautees etc ) was produced under our own names. When it came to YSL – he was an established customer of Liberty of London Prints, the then wholesale arm of Liberty. Having said that, it was incredibly exciting when the European salesman Gilbert Saada told us that St Laurent wanted our prints. We had done a series of very freely painted folk-inspired patterns, and one in particular – patterned bands with a bird – took his fancy. It suited the Gipsy look that he was developing for his first off-the-peg collection – very Matisse and Russian blouse. But he didn’t want the birds ! So we repainted it, and made a little group of designs to be printed on Liberty’s lovely Tana lawn cotton; these then formed an integral part of his first famous ready-to-wear fashion collection. We loved painting those patterns, and went to it with gusto – and lots of singing and dancing ! The fact that one of the greatest French couturiers wanted our designs was a tremendous confirmation of our belief in the hand-painted, spontaneous look that we were developing ( among many others ).
Has your design process changed over the years ? If so, how ?
In essence I still hand-paint my designs in repeat as I always have done, and for the most part I use gouache on paper. But added to that – for one of my customers I often send sketches, constructions and ideas in different mediums for them to work up for their own particular needs and products.
The process of translation and reproduction has changed: when we started, each colour would be hand-traced by the engraver to make each separate screen or roller. In the early days we often had to stop engravers from ‘ tidying up ‘ our paintbrush marks ! Every colourway was painted and balanced, and the skilful eye of the printer in matching was integral to the success of the cloth. Nowadays designs are scanned, separated and colour-matched by computer – though in the case of my work the starting point remains the same – the hand-painted mark. One of the advantages of digital printing is that each nuance of colour and gesture can be translated onto the cloth should one wish it, whereas traditionally conventional printing is about understanding flat colour and screens. These are different skills – but all worthwhile and full of adventure.
Where do you find your inspiration ?
Everywhere really; I can’t stop things jumping into my eye, or setting me off on a train of investigation. New briefs can send me seeking new materials – brushes, papers, techniques, types of paint – which in themselves bring their own inspiration. And particular requests often require research. But there’s nothing like just starting with a clear surface and the hint of an idea waiting to grow – they can push me down all sorts of self-inspirational alleys !
When working on projects for brands – are you generally given a free rein with your ideas ?
Customers each have their own particular identities and needs, their place in the market and their history. I think people come to me for a fresh point of view about colour and pattern, and a skill in its execution – to see what I’ll make for them. Customers often say one thing, but in the course of a conversation may be unconsciously stroking a piece of paper with quite another thing on it – that’s the pattern they’re really drawn to ! It’s worth remembering – and listening very hard – in order to be able to use one’s skill to bring it all together and take a step forward at the same time. And if someone can never sell green, for instance, it’s a good idea to take note… but not necessarily to leave it at that …
The Liberty in Fashion Exhibition is celebrating 140 years of the company. How do you think Liberty have had such a strong impact for so long, with their fashion and interior prints ?
It’s an interesting question; certain names hold their magic for a long time through thick and thin, the ups and downs of fashion and the market. To start with, the word itself – liberty – has special meaning and significance, a freedom to which we may all aspire.
The first Mr Liberty began his company with a clear position – providing beautiful cloth, interesting patterns, considered design, artistic integrity. He had a real feel for his customers and from the start he appealed to a particular clientele who shared these values. The company also achieved the remarkable feat of selling cloth, via both retail and wholesale, to everyone from your granny to Yves St Laurent – as the exhibition shows so well. But I think the secret of their success is that they have maintained their standards in design, quality, colour and have stood by their original commitment to excellence in cloth and pattern, newness and tradition – and there are very many customers who feel the same way and want to be able to be part of that.
What are you currently working on ?
Yesterday I sent off the latest batch of ideas and sketches to WestElm in Brooklyn for their spring / summer ’17 ranges; for the last three years or so I’ve worked for them for ten days each month developing new ideas and solutions to their briefs. It’s a really lovely collaborative job, and so exciting to see what they make of my work.
Today on my table is the new collection for Michael Miller Fabrics, actually for this summer; it’s our third together, and I’m busy completing the repeats just now. These gorgeous cottons are sold into the home-sewing and quilting market and are available worldwide; I so enjoy making a range and seeing the yardage coming through with its different colourways. I’d like to have the time and wherewithal to make some quilts myself – I’m often sketching plans for them; we have made some adorable art dolls with the fabrics though.
I’m also completing the preparations for teaching at West Dean next week; running short courses and workshops is something new I’ve been doing in the last few years and I really enjoy it. This one will be exploring pattern – how it works and how to make it. I teach painting directly onto cloth as well, both silk and cotton, and have several courses lined up at Bradness Gallery in the spring and summer, and at Morley College in the next academic year. And I’m invited back to Guadalajara to teach there again later in the year – exciting. Oh, and I’m hoping to run a flag-&-banner-making workshop in the Herefordshire woods later in the year…
Then there’s the next blog to write and illustrate – something I do every three weeks or so and due any day now. And a commission to hand-paint some curtains; I have to admit this has been waiting its turn for some time and now I’m just about ready !
I’m planning a new collaboration specifically with upholstery in mind using both printed and hand-painted linen on particular pieces. And I’m always sampling new products for our on-line shop – scarves, cards, painted creatures …
And although the design work for this range was done a little while ago I’m really looking forward to our new collection of ceramics and homewares coming on the market any minute now. It’s called Viva ! and brings an abundance of colourful geometrics to the dining table – and the tea – tray.
Can you give any advice to anyone wanting a career in textile design ?
Love pattern, listen to your customer, enjoy being useful !
Thank you so much to Sarah for sharing her inspirations and advice. Do you have a favourite print ?
Hi. I’m Lucy. Nice to meet you.
Welcome to my blog.
I love to share my home projects, unique finds, interesting trends and my interviews with inspirational well known designers, musicians and artists.
I design, sew and am crackers about colour, kitsch and vintage inspiration.
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