• Posts Tagged ‘textiles’

    Meet Stephanie Cole

    by  • 13/08/2014 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments


    Designer-illustrator Stephanie Cole creates quirky home textiles and art prints inspired by her love of the British countryside. She splits her time between the flat she shares with her partner in Helsinki, Finland and her family home in the Cotswolds.

    Tell us a little bit about what you do.
    My designs all start from hand drawings. If I want to screen print I will paint the design in black ink, otherwise I’ll paint in gouache and watercolours. A little tweaking on my laptop and it’s then sent off to small UK manufacturers. It’s important to me that it’s all made here in the UK – I like to support companies and have more control over the quality and work conditions.

    What inspires your designs?
    A real mix of ‘happy places’ ­– the British countryside and coast, an interesting proverb or quote, unexpected colour combinations and pattern.

    What do you love about the countryside?
    I love the seasons the most; each has its own beauty. Living in Helsinki, I’m starved of country fields, animals and hedgerows, so I love to go for long walks when I’m home.

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Whimsical, illustrative and cheery.

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    Country style setter: Hinchcliffe & Barber

    by  • 09/07/2014 • Country business, Country style • 1 Comment


    True Blue mugs, £18, jug, £30. Dorset Delft cockerel jug, £27.50; all Hinchcliffe & Barber.

    We talk to the designers who are defining the latest looks for our country homes

    We chat to Georgia Hinchcliffe whose father, John, and mother, Wendy, set up design brand Hinchcliffe & Barber in the 1980s. After the untimely death of her father, Georgia joined the family business and now works alongside her mother, splitting her time between their two studios in Dorset and Wiltshire. Having made the change, she feels she’s finally found what she was always meant to do.

    What techniques do you use in your work?

    Every piece is created using a variety of traditional craft techniques. For example, our new range of printed cushions was made using a block print, and our new ceramic ranges involve a mix of potato print, paper cut and wax resist designs. It’s important to continue using original techniques, otherwise everything will look too computer generated – there’s definitely a balance to be had.

     How does the countryside influence your designs?

    My late father was a real countryman. He walked every day, loved his garden and observed the seasons carefully. This is reflected in his glorious designs that focus around the sea, flowers and animals. In many ways, I’ve inherited his appreciation of nature and feel soothed by open, empty spaces and long views.

     What’s your working space like?

    My husband and I have just bought a new house, nestled in the Wiltshire countryside, with an old chapel for me to convert into a studio and showroom. My mother and I need lots of space to work – we’ve folders and folders of work from the 1980s, so much of the time we play around with older designs, updating and reworking them for today.

     What’s next?

    It’s an exciting time for us. Our new range featuring mugs, jugs, aprons and other kitchen textiles, in four new designs, launches this month at Harrogate Homes & Gifts Show in association with our licensee MyGiftsTrade. Working with another family business has been fantastic. With their input we’re in a position for the first time in 10 years to supply our products to retailers however small or large. We’re already working on our next collections so watch this space!

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    Country style setter: Sarah Watkins

    by  • 25/06/2014 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments


    Embroidered linen cushions, £45 each from Salt and Buoy.

    We talk to the designers who are defining the latest looks for today’s country homes
    A prison manager by day, Sarah Watkins initially launched Salt and Buoy as a creative release. Each cushion design is hand-sketched and then translated into embroidery, resulting in two nostalgic collections inspired by Sarah’s love of all things coastal. She lives with her boyfriend and two chinchillas in Kent.

    What seaside memories inspire your designs?
    My ship collection is based upon Christopher Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria. I would sit by the sea when I was little and watch the ships sail by, imagining all the adventures they were having. My promenade collection is inspired by what I see on my Sunday afternoon walks along the coast in Whitstable and Herne Bay.

    What sparked your passion for textiles and sewing?
    After a particularly stressful day at work, I decided to bring my mum’s old mustard sewing machine down from the loft. Not knowing the first thing about sewing machines at the time, there was an awful lot of trial and error! I became hooked on immersing myself into a world filled with beautiful fabrics and happy memories.

    What do your products say about you as a designer?
    I always make sure I love what I do – if a design doesn’t make me feel happy it doesn’t make the cut. I’m all about experimenting with colour and love to have a bit of fun with my ideas. I definitely don’t take myself too seriously!

    Sum up your creative style in three words…
    Colourful, intricate and nostalgic.

    By Tara King.

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    Country look: bright kitchen textiles

    by  • 13/06/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Sophie Conran has teamed up with Norfolk Kitchen for a second time to create this bright and beautiful new range of kitchen textiles. The Norfolk-made range of soft linen and cotton accessories now comes in the new shades of sunny yellow, classic navy and sophisticated grey – to join the exisiting pink, white and blue!

    Which colour would you choose?


    Linen aprons, £32.95 each, Sophie Conran for Norfolk Kitchen.

    The new colour-ways mix seamlessly with those in the previous collection; the chic grey looks particularly pretty teamed with pink, the blues perfectly compliment one another and the yellow becomes it’s most vibrant when paired with classic white. All are sure to make you smile and add a little ray of sunshine to your kitchen.


    Linen double oven gloves, £19.95 each, Sophie Conran for Norfolk Kitchen.


    Cotton placemats, £12.95 each; Napkins, from £14.95, all Sophie Conran for Norfolk Kitchen.



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    Country look: pretty patterns

    by  • 09/05/2014 • Country business, Country style • 1 Comment

    Duckydora is the home of exclusively designed textiles and ceramics, by talented sisters Sally and Judith. The aspiration behind the brand is to create accessories that are beautiful, practical and (where possible) ethically made by British artisans.

    Duckydora accessories on Country Days

    Look glamorous and stay safe! Oven gloves featuring the Amalfi stripe, Florence floral & Sienna print, £18 each, Duckydora.

    I’m always intrigued by the fabulous names given to so many country businesses. So I asked Sally… ‘the name was the easy bit,’ she told me, revealing that the sisters were affectionately called duckydora by their beloved granny. With a homely feel and personal touch, it was simply the perfect name.

    Here’s more from their charming collection…

    duckydora accessories on the Country Days blog

    Breakfast is served. Amalfi placemat; Amalfi bowl; Sienna side plate; Sienna mug, all £8 each, Duckydora.


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    Reader event: KLC country design day

    by  • 30/04/2014 • Country craft, Country style • 0 Comments

    Join us on the KLC School of Design’s Modern Country Decorating Course to learn how to decorate in modern country style to create a relaxed and stylish home. The exclusive one-day course on Wednesday 18th June is held at the KLC School of Design in London’s Chelsea Harbour.

    Expert tutors will develop your interior design skills through a series of short lectures, talks and workshops; providing practical suggestions on how to get an understanding of the theory of colour and its effect on our psychology and environment.

    You will learn how to use a modern country colour palette, textures and patterns; with tips on where to look for fabrics, furniture and lighting, and how to draw all this together effectively, to create a beautiful country interior.

    Modern country design day with KLC School of Design

    Modern country style

    On the day

    9.30am Arrival & coffee

    10.00am – 12.30pm An introduction showing how interior designers use colour, texture and pattern in country homes and Interiors.

    Colour Theory and psychology and the country colour palette. Colour Workshop. An overview of texture and pattern and how to use these with colour to develop a scheme

    12.30 – 1.30pm Lunch.

    1.30pm Colour, texture and pattern workshop, Sourcing tips. How to put all your ideas together on a sample board.

    2.30pm Practical Workshop: Creating your look – putting together a sample board

    3.45pm Q&A

    4.00pm The event ends

    To reserve your place, please call KLC on 020 7376 3377. Tickets cost £120 and include a take-home sample board, lunch and refreshments on the day

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    Country style: pastel stripes

    by  • 16/04/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment

    Welcome a refreshing touch of spring into your home with on-trend shades of pastel.

     pastel stripes on the Country Days blog

    Pastel perfection

    Pairing simple patterns with a palette of soft blues, greens and pinks is the perfect way to achieve that classic country look. This photograph was taken for our ‘Pastel Stripes’ feature in the latest issue of Country Homes & Interiors. Here’s how to get the look in 3 simple steps…

    Choose a sofa with a relaxed stripe pattern from Sofa Workshop and match it with pastel floral cushions from Cloth & Cover.

    Accent the patterns by adding simple decorative china pieces from Emma Bridgewater.

    Pull the whole look together by adding a rustic coffee table from Nkuku or a fun patterned rug from Woven Ground.

    Oh and, if you’re a fan, the wallpaper is Ditton Stripe by Colefax and Fowler.

    by Alexandra Wallace

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    Country look: charming little birdies

    by  • 11/04/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    May I introduce you to the world of Lil3birdy, the home of beautifully illustrated homewares and stationery. We love the colourful patchwork birds and scattered flower designs, perfect for adding a feel-good spring vibe to your country home.


    Colourful birds and floral coasters, £12.50, Lil3birdy.

    Lil3birdy offers coasters, placemats, mugs, tea towels, notebooks and greetings cards all decorated with simple nature-inspired drawings, all the work of designer Clare Shields.


    Chicks tea towel, £10, Lil3birdy.

    In addition to pretty birds the collection also features more classic country favourites; dogs, cats and foxes…


    Dog and Fox ceramic mugs, £7 each, Lil3birdy.


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    Country look: simply beautiful

    by  • 04/04/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment

    ‘Love how you live’ is the endearing sentiment behind new online homeware and gift boutique Dimity Fayre. The handpicked collection of ceramics and textiles are all chosen to make the everyday objects beautiful and functional in equal measure.

    Celebrating the tradition of the artisan – they are working with UK designers to create individual pieces to bring a touch of joy to your home. We love the sophisticated yet rustic charm of Rebecca Callis’ ceramics (below).


    Tea cups, from £18; Blue Knives napkins, £28 set of 4, all Dimity Fayre.

    Another favourite from the collection is Jessica Hayes-Gill’s quirky cutlery designs (above & below), all hand-drawn before being hand-printed onto natural cotton and linens.


    Civilised Cutlery apron, £39, Dimity Fayre.

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    Country look: Woven layers

    by  • 31/01/2014 • Country style • 3 Comments

    Behind every beautiful product there’s an equally beautiful story, Tori Murphy’s collection of cosy blankets and cushions was inspired by childhood memories of exploring West Cork beaches.

    ‘Blankets were essential, whether shading from the sun or more likely for keeping warm,’ she remembers. ‘I would take the blankets to school still smelling of the sea. They reminded me daily of family and friends back home. The feeling of being enveloped by love left a deep impression and marked the beginning of my passion for textiles.’ As the weather turns colder let’s all be sure to wrap ourselves up in a little love.


    Chevy woven cushions, from £65; Murphy woven throws, from £250, all Tori Murphy.

    Using a muted colour palette, along with a contemporary approach to pattern her collection of homewares is perfect for adding a hint of on-trend monochrome and subtle geometric prints to the modern country home.

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