Mad About . . .

On My Radar: Women in Interiors

20th April 2021
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Once a month I dig back through my inbox to see what’s new in interiors and what you might like to know about from events to product launches and this week the first five emails I came up with were for businesses run by women. So I have decided to go with that as this month’s theme. And I will be introducing you to more newness on Thursday when it’s Earth Day, so I have kept back some of the eco new until then.

Julia wallpaper by Elizabeth Ockford part of The Garden range inspired by amazing women

Julia wallpaper by Elizabeth Ockford part of The Garden range inspired by amazing women

Right, first up (and the press release which kicks it all off) is this new wallpaper range from Elizabeth Ockford which was inspired by the women who inspired each design. The Garden is a collection of hand-drawn floral  designs including Sadie, named for Elizabeth’s mother, who rescued unloved orchids and nursed them back to life. She came “from a poor working class background and never stopped trying to improve herself which I suppose has endowed me with my strong work ethic,” says Elizabeth.

Marianne wallpaper by Elizabeth Ockford part of The Garden range inspired by amazing women

Marianne wallpaper by Elizabeth Ockford part of The Garden range inspired by amazing women

The collection was first previewed on International Women’s Day with Kamala (no surprises for guessing who inspired that) a pattern of multi-coloured butterflies swooping and soaring and “bringing a breath of fresh air”. Marianne, a mix of paintings and drawings, came from Marianne North, the Victorian botanical artist whose work is now in the Gallery of Botanic Art at Kew Gardens while Eleanor (Roosevelt) the longest serving US First Lady and UN representative who championed civil rights in the US was painted in Elizabeth’s own garden during lockdown.

Beryl wallpaper by Elizabeth Ockford part of The Garden range inspired by amazing women

Beryl wallpaper by Elizabeth Ockford part of The Garden range inspired by amazing women

I rather love Beryl, named for the artist Beryl Cook, whose rotund bingo playing ladies are somehow quintessentially British, and Julia (Margaret Cameron), a pioneering photographer and one of the most influential photographic portrait artists of the 19th Century.

Next up, an amazing woman indeed but we will mention only briefly as it’s possible that the Diane von Furstenberg collaboration with H&M will have entirely sold out by the time you read this. It launched on 16th and, as is often the way with the store’s celebrity partnerships nothing hangs around for long. That said if you want it keep an eye on eBay as you never know. Also set up a Google Alert if there is something you particularly want that appears to have gone as you never know when someone might decide to sell down the line.  The collection includes this vase below, styled in Diane’s own home, as well as cushions and candles and lots of her signature zebra print.

vases by Diane von Furstenberg for her collaboration with H&M Home

vases by Diane von Furstenberg for her collaboration with H&M Home

I found my original Anya Hindmarch I am not a plastic bag the other day and when they launched they were fetching hundreds of pounds on resale sites.

So onto something you can buy and that is a collection of vintage textiles by Chloe Jonasson  A curtain maker by trade Chloe recently launched a “side hustle” of cushions and lampshades as well as vintage Suzani quilts. There is lots of gorgeous colour and pattern to rummage about it.

vintage textile lampshade by chloe jonasson

vintage textile lampshade by chloe jonasson

Now Edinburgh-based Gilly Nicolson has recently relaunched her business offering bespoke bedlinen. For many years she worked with interior designers creating designs to their specification but has now branched out to offer to everyone. With a stock of 400 corded colours and 60 ribbons you can choose the material, colour and thread count. Gilly also has a towel service and monogramming and embroidery is available.

bespoke bedlinen from gilly nicolson

bespoke bedlinen from gilly nicolson

I have never really fallen for the whole personalisation thing which has been fashionable for so many years but having had a distant cousin whose napkins were discreetly monogrammed in white on white, I have to say it feels very swish and at a time when our kitchens have become our restaurants this might be just the touch. Or just having your pillowcases edged (see above) in a colour that matches the curtains or the headboards might just create that perfect finishing touch. There is no minimum order either so you could do a single pillowcase as a present or a full set for yourself.

textiles from eleanor bowmer

textiles from eleanor bowmer

Sticking with textiles, I have said before that tea towels can look great framed and are a really affordable way to find new art for your walls. So meet Eleanor Bowmer, whose floral tea towels and zebra print aprons (who needs DVF for zebras?) are gorgeous and colourful. The 33-year-old, who has done work placements with Zandra Rhodes and Liberty, started her business on instagram posting her designs to her 180 followers (mostly mates). As sales began she invested the money into creating a pink leopard tote bag which sold out. Now she has mugs, tablecloths, cards, cushions, prints and wallpaper.

And, as I said at the top, come back on Thursday to see some more new designers for Earth Day.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Alexis Smart 21st April 2021 at 4:56 pm

    Kelly Wearstler. Probably one of the most coveted and famous interior designers of our times, Kelly Wearstler designs the interiors everyone wants.

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