Mad About . . .

On My Radar: What’s new in Interiors

23rd February 2021
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Having started this slot towards the end of last year I missed out January because there was basically nothing on my radar! With the country (and parts of the world) in lockdown it felt like we were all hibernating. Now, as I posted yesterday, the doors are beginning to open at last and my inbox is flickering back into life. So here are some snippets you might find useful.

dining chairs by pierre greenway

dining chairs by pierre greenway

Pierre Greenway works in the architecture industry (making scale models of building proposals) and is based in Birmingham in the Midlands. Following stints in Western Australia and Copenhagen, he has returned to the UK with a fiancée and a baby daughter and a passion to make furniture. These rather fabulous dining chairs can be made to order in walnut or ash (£620 or £500) and his first collection also includes a coffee table with mid-century overtones or a rather fabulous wooden macbook case. Do check him out and support by following on instagram, spreading his work or even ordering something.

Staying with handmade furniture and this is Bench Studio based in east London. Benjamin Bill (who also spent time in Copenhagen) and Charlie Haslem, make bespoke furniture to order and while I love the stools (tall and short) I also think this mirror is rather brilliant. There is a shorter version too which would go over a basin too and a shelf is always handy.

large walnut mirror by bench studio

large walnut mirror by bench studio

Now let’s move onto print and pattern with this fabulous jungle paper by MissPrint. This mother and daughter team have been going since 2005 with their colourful designs that all have a mid-century feel to them. All their designs start out hand-drawn in notebooks and all the wallpapers are FSC or PEFC certified, printed with water-based inks and largely made in the UK. Since the wallpaper beginnings the range has expanded to include lampshades, cushions, fabric and curtains.

missprint pioneer jungle wallpaper is perfect for those who prefer their prints colourful but more scaled back

missprint pioneer jungle wallpaper is perfect for those who prefer their prints colourful but more scaled back

Still on family businesses, and onto Print Sisters Archive, which I wrote about when sisters Alexia and Claudia set up a their company releasing limited edition prints from the largest privately owned archive of textile artwork designs. They have now expanded into cushions and throws, while still keeping the rotation of prints fresh and limited. Make some coffee you might be a while. Each cushion is a one off and sets are limited to to the amount of available fabric (sometimes a contrasting backing is used to make a run go further). Everything is made in the UK using vintage fabric and eco anti-allergy hollowfill fibre.

golden leaf cushion by print sisters using vintage fabric and eco filling

golden leaf cushion by print sisters using vintage fabric and eco filling

Onto Hadeda, a collective of home and lifestyle products sourced from artisans and co-ops across Africa including Karu, MADWA, Indego, Clementina Ceramics, African Jacquard, Tensira and  Sidai. We’re going to stick with textiles and cushions but add ruffles as that is a look that is coming to your sofa very soon and this, which have the joyousness of a ruffle in a more sober colour for balance might be just the thing. The fabric is made by independent makers in Cape Town.

shweshwe ruffle cushion from hadeda

shweshwe ruffle cushion from hadeda

Staying with Africa and now to Akojo Market, another platform selling homewares by independent African designers. Read more about them here. This cotton throw is made by Martha on her hand loom in Zambia.

hand woven cotton throw from akojo market

hand woven cotton throw from akojo market

Now here’s something you might find useful. On the basis that not everyone can sew, or has access to a sewing machine, it can be hard to create your own individual items for the home. Enter the Samuel & Sons, the passementerie – a shop selling frills and furbelows – or tassels and ribbons. Now you can add a row of pompoms to that rather plain Ikea blind (and if you can’t handsew you can probably use a staple gun) or a ribbon to a boring cushion, even a tassle to the edge of napkin. Take a look at their inspiration gallery for ideas for adding embellishment to curtains, cushions and even chairs. And yes there is a leopard print.

borders from samuel & sons passementerie

borders from samuel & sons passementerie

Finally, the news was launched in the US last week so in case you missed it, the American Interior Designer Kelly Wearstler, a favourite of many of you, has collaborated with Farrow & Ball in a first for both of them to produce a collection of eight shades paint inspired by the colours of California. So expected sun bleached terracotta, soft yellow, faded greens and blues and warm neutrals including Tar, Sand and Salt. The collection goes on sale on 4 March.

farrow & ball x kelly wearstler paint collaboration

farrow & ball x kelly wearstler paint collaboration



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  • Reply Melanie 23rd February 2021 at 11:47 am

    This all looks very pretty but unfortunately, it’ll be unaffordable for ordinary people on an average income. I know you have been mindful of this predicament in previous blogs, but it’s just so frustrating that many good quality items will simply never be affordable and aesthetically pleasing at the same time.

    • Reply Chemaine 25th February 2021 at 11:57 pm

      Yeah, I counter balance those moments, to really think about investment pieces/buy less but buy good choices. I also use looking at these pages to inform my high street shopping choices/second hand. It helps sharpened my eye for what’s a good deal or on trend.

  • Reply Cemre 23rd February 2021 at 8:49 am

    They are so pretty. I love them

  • Reply Clare 23rd February 2021 at 8:19 am

    Does anyone know where the rug in the first image is from? Rather liking how it looks with the green walls!

    • Reply Elena Christodoulou 23rd February 2021 at 10:02 am

      Oops my response landed in the wrong comment-I think it’s a ‘Tate and Darby’ rug

  • Reply Joanna 23rd February 2021 at 7:31 am

    Dear Kate,
    Thank you for your blog and the great research you do. One thing that would be wonderful for your far-flung subscribers, is if, where easy, you indicated whether the sources of your finds ship globally. Many thanks, Joanna

    • Reply Melanie 23rd February 2021 at 8:22 am

      Just ask them 🙂

    • Reply Miriam 23rd February 2021 at 10:01 am

      Hi Kate
      Thank you so much for all the research you do and for the inspiring blog and podcast. As one of your many worldwide followers, I have to echo Joanna’s request. I am living in the euro zone and I have definitely become more wary about ordering anything from UK based companies since the start of the year. Having just completed a large renovation. I am currently in the market for new homewares and furniture, but whereas in the past I may have ordered something from the UK without a thought, I now find myself checking out your links and if I really like the item, trying to find something similar locally. I’m aware it’s a period of change for everyone involved, and I’m hopeful the chaos will be sorted soon. In the meantime, I’ll continue to be inspired by your invaluable information. Regards, Miriam

    • Reply Elena Christodoulou 23rd February 2021 at 10:01 am

      Looks like a ‘Tate and Darby ’ rug or at least it’s very similar – very pretty rugs

      • Reply Chris 23rd February 2021 at 11:11 am

        Thank you for commenting on the rug. Need a new rug and have just looked at their website, they have some really lovely ones!

    • Reply Esther Matthews 24th February 2021 at 1:43 am

      Agree 🙂

    • Reply Kate Watson-Smyth 24th February 2021 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Joanna, I hear what you are saying and if I can I will but already producing four posts a week plus everything else I do would add another layer of work to each post and I don’t always have the time. Most of the big brands do and you can usually ask a smaller brand if they will ship to you as it’s easy to have a conversation directly. As a general rule I don’t include brands where I know they don’t ship internationally but with our current issues of B*x*t and customs duties and imports, any information I do share is likely to be out of date or wrong in a short space of time.

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