I spoke the other week about September being the start of the new year for many and we talked around how you can update your home without spending any money. But the other thing that comes with the new year is new launches, and, as London whirls itself into a frenzy of fashion and design this week, I thought I would share a few of the new collections that are about to land. It’s partly a feast of all the gorgeous colours – I am firmly in the Autumn camp when it comes to seasonal personalities – and partly about seeing the new directions and products that are coming.
Let’s start with the walls and Farrow & Ball are about to launch a collection of 16 new colours as part of a collaboration with The Natural History Museum. Colour by Nature was inspired by Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, an 1814 classification of colours in nature that was used by scientists and artists of the time – Werner helped Charles Darwin on board the HMS Beagle.
The collection, which includes three shades of white – snow white, orange white and skimmed milk white, is in addition to Farrow & Ball’s 132 colour chart and will sit alongside it. As you can imagine there are rich greens and deep browns as well as warm yellows and pinks and even an imperial purple shade. The colours are more intense and jewel-like than their usual fare.
Farrow & Ball aren’t the only company to have been rummaging around in the Natural History Museum’s drawers. A few weeks ago Made.com launched a collection of botanical inspired prints taken from the archives. Some were drawn by a 19th century tea inspector called John Reeves who visited China and made accurate drawings of the things he saw. Many of his drawings were then filed away and have never been seen since. Others are by an Austrian botanical artist called Ferdinand Bauer who travelled to Australia with the English cartographer Matthew Flinders as a botanical draughtsman.
The range includes fish, birds, plants and coral. I particularly like the double fish print below. There is also a double of parrots but there are others you can buy singly.
One word on these prints; they arrive framed – you can chose black or oak – with acrylic glaze on them. This is easier to transport than glass as it’s less likely to break and it’s also much lighter so you can fix them on the wall with command strips. Now I asked about this because I thought “wouldn’t glass be better” and was told that acrylic glaze is actually more expensive than glass and is optically the same as glass. So I’ll just clear that one up before anyone asks.
Next up and it’s all the autumn cosiness for the first furniture collection from Frances Loom. Founder Kelly Vittengl is a London-based New Yorker who sells beautiful vintage rugs and has now created a limited edition range of cushions and upholstered furniture from old cinema sets to chaise longues and other great pieces. These are the statement things that you buy once and love forever.
A spokesman for the company said: We were inspired to create this collection while visiting the amazing European markets and will make plenty more going forward.”
The cushions are part of a new permanent collection that will be frequently updated: “Each of these have been hand-cut and carefully repurposed from partially damaged rugs and antique linens making each one unique and made in Britain.
The fourth reason to love Autumn isn’t a completely new story but more of a new way of shopping for Zara home accessories. Their homewares are particularly strong this season – this teak and rattan chair is one of the stand out pieces of the collection – but the company has also added the Home Collection to the main Zara.com website – which basically means that you can chuck a dress and a cushion in the basket and check out once rather than having to go to two different sites. Like I said, it’s making it all a bit easier to part you from your money. This is due to launch today, by the way so don’t, as they say, @me if it’s not up and running by the time you read this post. It will be soon.
The collection revolves around organic shapes, soft textures and natural materials. Lorena Martin, the director of Zara Home, said it was about using warm colours and natural materials to create a minimalist feel. They are talking, interestingly for a high street fashion brand, about buying less but choosing with care. See their entry on my Do Less Harm for more details on what they are doing to lessen their impact on the planet. It’s a tough one for stores like this who exist to sell us stuff.
So there’s a little taster of what’s new so far this season. Have a browse and let us all know what you think in the comments below.