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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.