Mad About . . .

Monday Inspiration: Checks and Stripes

4th October 2021
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A mix of things I did and saw this week which seems to have shaken out into autumn colours with stripes and checks. I never start off with a theme but one often tends to emerge; this was inspired by a trip over to west London to the Anya Hindmarch Home pop-up and an email from a friend with vouchers to spend at Soho Home.

jarret rug by sohohome

jarret rug by sohohome

So let’s start there shall we? Because I keep seeing this rug below and imagining what it would look like under my kitchen table. We have (reluctantly on my part) shelved the idea of tiling the whole floor in checkerboard pattern for the time being. It would be enormously disruptive, not to mention expensive, and I’m not sure how the cupboards would fare with being lifted up and set back down again. The logistics are giving me a headache so I have parked that idea (for now) and started pondering rugs.

nadine rug by sohohome

nadine rug by sohohome

This is the sort of thing I mean as shown in this gorgeous kitchen by Heidi Callier Design. I love a rug under a kitchen table and for those of you shouting about it not being practical, I have had a vintage Persian one there for over 10 years. It adores red wine being tipped over it, has no problem with crumbs and dollops of cheesy pasta and hides every stain you care to throw at it.

The main issue is that we bought it cheaply as it was old, faded and had a couple of holes which have now widened and it’s time for it to go to the repair shop. This will be expensive and take time, so I’m looking at alternatives to sit in its place while it’s away. Sadly I think the Soho Home will be too expensive for something that might have food thrown at it, so I’m hunting for something washable or wipeable. And yes I found found one and no I’m not going to tell you just yet in case you all go and buy it and it sells out before I can finish my ponder.

Sticking with stripes in shades of rust and cream and we come to this bedroom by Rachel Chudley. We have been here before but then we were looking at fabulous headboards. This is how to do a feature wall and make it count. Basically a feature wall can look like Billy No Mates unless you introduce it to the other walls. This can be done by painting the woodwork to match it (or one of the colours) but you can also use it on the ceiling. In this case it works brilliantly on a sloping ceiling and note how the bedhead also angles to match that so the whole scheme becomes considered and clever and “ooh look interior design” but take inspiration from it and take a few minutes to think about your own rooms and how a simple detail can make all the difference.

stripes by rachel chudley

stripes by Rachel Chudley 

Staying with stripes and some very un-Madlike blue ones in the Anya Hindmarch village which I visited this week. Anya has collaborated with 8 Holland Street to put together a pop-up shop launching her own homeware collection (I’d use this term loosely as it’s mostly things you wear at home – pjyamas, throws and sleep masks rather than home furnishings) against a backdrop of small makers and vintage pieces, or what she has called a “dynamic edit of curiosities. The store, which will be open until 16 October, was influenced by the artist David Shrigley, whose works adorn the walls and it’s open to anyone. If you go over there I highly recommend a trip to her gorgeous cafe afterwards.

I love the look of hand-painted wobbly stripes and checks and this is something you could totally do at home. Note also how the pale stripes on the wall are darkened and thickened in this Buchanan Studio chair, which has been a bit of an instagram hit in her ruby and ivory incarnation. This is the indigo version and there is also pale pink and white. We don’t often see stripes on walls but relaxed, thin ones like these can look great.

anya hindmarch home pop up until 16 October

anya hindmarch home pop up until 16 October

Here are some more, this time paired with some paisley florals in a design by Arent Pyke Studio. Now it’s no secret that I don’t tend to use blue but I love the pattern combinations and I would totally have this in a pale pink stripe with similar bold florals.

blue and white stripes by @arentpykestudio shot by @smartanson

blue and white stripes by @arentpykestudio shot by @smartanson 

If striped walls are still too much for you then how about using them on a headboard as seen at the Wiltshire pub The Bradley Hare. Here the scheme is minimal with neutral walls and dark wooden furniture but you could either take this as inspiration or as a starting point for your own room. Adding a bolder wall colour or even wallpaper to build it up.

A note on the picture on the wall. It’s clearly too small to hold this wall on its own so you must either add it to a larger gallery wall or hand it low and close to something else to create a sort of tableau. This is the perfect way to treat small pieces of much loved art. The table, lamp and picture all work together and nothing is left hanging out on a limb. The rest of the wall is then bare which not only highlights the picture and gives it more weight (despite its size) but also gives an overall impression of a calm and restful space – which is, after all, what you want in a bedroom. Gallery walls are great but they can be busy and unrelaxing as every picture is shouting for attention.

the bradley hare in Wiltshire image via @aconsideredspace taken by @_martin_morrell

the bradley hare in Wiltshire shot by @_martin_morrell

Finally, back to a warmer colour scheme in this kitchen by edit 58 and her latest collaboration – a striped lampshade with Alice Palmer & Co with a base by Kelmscott Studio. If cupboard skirts aren’t your thing (and The Mad Husband has put his foot down on this) then you can add a little ruffle on a lampshade instead and these loosely shaped versions are so pretty and make a change from the rigid shapes we are used to. I’m also a huge fan of a lamp that would traditionally be seen in a sitting or bed room making its way into a kitchen or bathroom where its soft fabric can contrast with the hard edges and straight lines.

image via @edit58 of yellow kitchen and stripe lampshade collabo with alice palmer and co

image via @edit58 of yellow kitchen and stripe scrunchie style lampshade by alice palmer & co 

There we have it. I hope this post has given you inspiration for your own places and spaces.

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  • Nicky Hufford 5th October 2021 at 8:55 am

    Check rug idea…I have made one for my bathroom from a canvas floor rug blank which I painted and then covered with two coats of mat varnish. It is many years old now and has worn well…I just mop it over from time to time. It would work well under a table and can , of course be made to any size.
    I’ve posted a picture on my Instagram…nichuff

  • Catherine 4th October 2021 at 5:58 pm

    My 10 year old daughter has just got black and white geometric checked bed linen. She calls it ‘asthetic’ style and apparently it is all over Tik Tok! The next generation has arrived! And to me and my husband it brings back so many memories of 1980s bedrooms!

    Also I have invested in one of the Pooky rechargeable Matthew Williamson lamps. We are using it to effectively soften the light in our harshly lit (that old chestnut of a grid of down lighters) bathroom. I think it’s a future design classic and will hopefully justify the hefty price tag. Lovely alternative to changing all the electrics.

  • Patricia 4th October 2021 at 4:18 pm

    Are FLOR rugs tiles available in the UK? They’re absolutely fabulous for under a table — can handle anything thrown down at them. Very affordable — completely customizable — and you could almost certainly be able to create the checkerboard effect you’re after.

  • hng23 4th October 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Ikea has a striped rug that’s a classic; it’s inexpensive, comes in a couple of colourways & would suit admirably under your table.

  • Pia 4th October 2021 at 12:46 pm

    I think stripes is having a bit of a thing right now. I noted that I started to look at striped duvet covers and perhaps a striped headboard. Not the hard contrast of blue and white or black and white but more of a gren/beige, red/off white or brown/beige. Or brown/pink! That would be lovely. Hard to find good striped fabrics here in Sweden. Looks like Sue that commented earlier has better luck 🙂 But definitely something that is having a moment.

  • Sue 4th October 2021 at 10:16 am

    I love stripes, probably too much. I have an oldish blue & white striped duvet cover in our bedroom, a new cream & red striped linen duvet cover from Secret Linen Store in the spare bedroom, Melin Tregwynt bracken, rust & cream coloured striped woollen cushions in the living room, have some green & cream striped material waiting to be made into curtains for our bathroom, and own at least 6 Breton tops, one of which I’m wearing now. A hopeless case!

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