Posts Tagged ‘chelsea textiles’

Like any sane person, I love my bed, and if you don’t love your own bed, there’s a good chance it’s because you haven’t been treating it right. A good bed consists of more than just a nice frame and quality mattress, and though these are essential to getting a good night’s sleep, your bed and its surrounding area shouldn’t just be a matter of function. Kitting your bed area out in the perfect accessories that suit you down to a T will help to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling when you walk into your room and see your bed. From throws, cushions, headboards, linens and even the surrounding furniture, everything plays an integral part of making the space feel like your own and turning it into an area that you can’t wait to get into at night and leaves you feeling happy when you wake up in the morning. Making cosmetic improvements to your bed is a great way to give your room your stamp of personality, while also creating an inviting and relaxing space. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what you could change and how you could change it, with both high and low budget pieces, so you can treat yourself without upsetting your wallet.

‘Crushed Linen Duvet Set’ from Volga Linen’

That feeling of getting into bed when you have fresh sheets on is lovely, but what’s even better is having a brand new set altogether. It’s a quick and easy way to give your bed a boost in comfort and style. As a personal preference, I like to keep my covers simple to make way for more decorative pieces later, a pastel or white can be the perfect way to lay some foundations when it comes to covering your bed. For high quality, Volga Linen has some wonderful sets in some amazing colours. For linens that still look beautiful, but are a fraction of the cost, H&M Home have some wonderful designs up their sleeve. For the same simple look, the washed linen set are a must-have, and are a good price so it means you can invest in a few sets, in different colours.

‘Washed Linen Duvet Cover Set’ from H&M Home

Adding a headboard to your bed is a great way to give your space a sense of glamour and elegance, turning your bed into to a distinctive feature in your bedroom. Last year we combined a headboard from The Dormy House and fabric from Pierre Frey to create a gorgeous headboard for the master bedroom for one of our clients; the outcome turned an average looking bed to one of my favourite features in the house.

‘Regal Shaped Headboard with Stud Piping’ from The Dormy House with ‘Watom Juane Fabric’ from Pierre Frey

For something that has the same effect as a headboard, but is a lot cheaper, there are some easy ways to create a dramatic look for your bed without the dramatic price tag. With a little DIY you can create a beautiful head for your bed with a pole and a pair of curtains. An example of this is taken from Pinterest, which shows how a simple piece of sheer cloth can add a huge amount of glamour and style to a bed.

Taken from ‘MyDesignerMom’ via Pinterest

Above the designer has used a plain white fabric, but if you want to add in a bit of colour or a pattern, making sure that the fabric is light will mean that the overall look doesn’t get too heavy. These curtain panels from Anthropologie could be a great design to use in this way.

‘Adalet Curtain’ from Anthropologie

Creating a collection of cushions and a throw is a great way to tailor your bed to your own taste; whether that is piles of colourful cushions, or just a few understated ones. If you don’t want to break the bank when you comes to filling out your bed with cushions, many high street home stores have a great range in some interesting designs. I like these pastel, kilim style cushions from Urban Outfitters, they have a contemporary bohemian feel about them and will keep your bedroom looking light and relaxed.

‘Andanda Kilim Cushion’ from Urban Outfitters

To go the full nine yards when it comes to cushions, getting some custom made from some designer fabric will give you bed a luxurious feeling and a personal touch. By choosing this option you can also make sure that you have the exact design you want. There are an abundance of designers out there to choose from, for fun and colourful designs head over to Osborne & Little, they’re fabric patterns are perfect for making a few elaborate and eye-catching cushions; I love these styles from their new Masque collection, the Pageant, Carnival and Jester patterns are great for adding some vibrancy to your bedspread.

From Left to Right: ‘Carnival, Pageant and Jester fabric cushions’ from Osborne & Little

For that extra warmth in the winter and that extra style all year round, the addition of a throw will make your bed look and feel complete. It’s worth investing in a throw that will actually keep you warm as well as looking good on your bed, which needn’t mean spending the earth. Wool, Mohair and Cashmere are the best materials to use, and you can find good quality versions of these for reasonable prices. These Mohair Wool throws from Trouva have wonderful oversized fringing and look super cosy.

‘Cozy Living Forest Green Melange Mohair Wool Throw’ from Trouva

For super high quality and luxuriously soft throws, Biggest Blanket have got a beautiful selection. This Stafford throw has some rich, romantic colours and is perfect for curling up in when winter rears its ugly head again.

‘Stafford Wool and Mohair Throw’ from Biggest Blanket

Placing a rug underneath your bed will help to create a defining area, it can give your bed more of an impact in a room, plus it’ll be a nice treat for your feet in the mornings. Size is key when it comes to rugs, it’s important to make sure that it isn’t too small or it won’t sit right within the room. For high quality and beautifully designed rugs, The Rug Company never fails to impress, I love this Spider design by Neisha Crosland; the pattern has a careful balance between simplicity in colour and intricacy in design so that it will remain a staple and stylish piece in your home.

‘Spider by Neisha Crosland’ from The Rug Company

Unfortunately the bigger the rug, the bigger the cost, and if you don’t want to spend a huge amount of money you’ll need to find a company that can offer you a good sized rug at a reasonable rate. Swoon Editions have some lovely rugs in their collection in decent sizes that can help make the perfect bed area. This Kankare rug has a small pattern in a faded denim colour that can work a few different schemes to create a foundation in the bed area.

‘Kankare Rug in Indigo’ from Swoon Editions

A pair of beautiful bedside tables can frame a bed, adding structure and style to your bedroom. For a mid-century treat, a new addition to Chelsea Textiles furniture collection is this gorgeous piece; it’s elegantly designed with a timeless style that’ll last you for years.

‘Bedside Table Two Drawer, Wicker Handle, Brass Trim & Legs’ from Chelsea Textiles

If you want to save a bit of money, but still maintain some style, there are loads of less expensive options to choose from; this Ikea piece in a bright yellow will make a sweet touch to a bedroom, adding a splash of fun colour.

‘Hemnes Bedside Table in Yellow’ from Ikea

Finally, the way to finishing off your dream bed area, is with some lighting. The bedside lighting needs to be suitably chosen, having to accommodate functional needs like reading, but also creating a relaxing atmosphere as you get ready for bed. Keep things simple with this modern looking lamp from Habitat.

‘Dylan Table Lamp in Natural’ from Habitat

If you like things a little more flamboyant, this playful lamp from Graham & Green could be just the thing needed to complete a fun and bohemian styled bedroom. The birds are a wacky edition that will proudly show off your style.

‘Volieres Bird Cage Lamp’ from Graham & Green

When it comes to decorating your bed and its neighbouring areas, you have the luxury of getting to be a little selfish. It’s a place that’s just for you, or you and your partner. Many other spaces in the room have to accommodate guests, other family members, or be styled in a way that suits everyday life, but as for your bed, you can turn this area into a space that’s your perfect hideaway, just the way you want it.

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Inviting to look at and still room to sit comfortably. Chair, cushion and delectable fabrics all from Vanessa Arbuthnott.

There is a battle raging in our households and it concerns the quite intense emotions elicited by the humble cushion. Many sane, sensible and fair minded couples that I visit in my capacity as their interior designer can quickly lapse into not only passionate opinions but also surprisingly petty bickering when the subject of cushions is mentioned. I am going to horribly generalise now so please forgive me if you don’t fit into my unsubstantiated gender stereotyping, but seems to me that it tends to be us girls that love cushions and it’s the boys who really don’t.

My investigations into anti-cushion behaviour have found some recurrent themes. The first and most virulent relates mainly to cushions on the bed. “Where do they go at night?” the boys cry “we have to throw them on the floor”. Ok, I understand, they need a place to go when they are taken off the bed and the floor is not it. A simple solution would be a chair, window seat or ottoman at the end of the bed that they could reside on over-night.

The second complaint is normally about the number of cushions on the sofa. “We can’t even sit down without taking some of them off and throwing them on the floor” (are you seeing the ‘throwing them on the floor’ pattern emerging?). It’s a valid point, you need to be able to sit on your sofa, but this very rarely means you can’t have any cushions on it at all. Really, have you felt the comfort a cushion offers?!

Even I have to admit (and on a personal level you may have guessed that I am an extreme cushion lover) that the purpose of cushions in adornment. Some comfort for sure but primarily adornment and is there anything wrong with that? The key really, as with all things interior related, is the balance of style and functionality. A contemporary muted minimalist space will be spoilt by brightly coloured highly patterned cushions but will be enhanced by a limited number of plain cushions adding a layer of texture and comfort. Similarly a room that is verging on the bland can be hugely improved with a burst of colour, pattern, texture and a visual hit of inviting comfort.

Cushions do have an advantage that they are easier and cheaper to purchase than larger items such as a sofa or carpet. However, this does not mean that you should not take the time and effort in choosing your cushions, or that you should opt for cheap if you are not sure. A ‘make-do’ cushion is a waste of money as it is highly likely that you will want to replace it almost as soon as you get it home. If you buy a cushion you really love you may well have it for life so it represents much better value for money whatever it costs.

Contemporary cushions from Andrew Martin bring colour and comfort to a grey scheme.

Fortunately, there is now a very good selection of ready-made cushions available on the market. One tip I would give you when looking for off the shelf cushions is to find a fabric or accessories company that you really like and see what cushions they have on offer. I find that high street store cushions are often incredibly middle of the road and quite depressing because of it, whereas a company that isn’t trying to offer all styles to all people can be a lot more inventive. For example, Chelsea Textiles (www.chelseatextiles.com) have a wonderful range of cushions for those of a more traditional bent and Andrew Martin (www.andrewmartin.co.uk) have lush designs on offer for those of a more contemporary sensitivity.

If you do go down the route of having cushions made (and I warn you now, it is an additive business), you have a world of opportunity at your fingertips. Key decisions include size and shape, fabric obviously but you might want to use a couple of different fabrics, say one on the back and a different one on the front, or a different fabric as a side or decorative panel, and then of course there are trimmings. Trimmings are the interior addicts’ sweeties and are a joyful business to pick and often are what makes the cushion special. The key with having cushions made (and actually any bespoke item) is to find the right craftsperson and make good friends with them. As with many needlework tasks, cushion making sounds very simple but to get it right is always more complicated that you think. You need to find a soft furnishings maker who knows what they are doing, will listen to what you want and has a good level of patience. Thinking through the design before starting is vital and no detail should be overlooked, as cushion disappointment is not pretty.

As I write, I suspect that those amongst us who have yet to realise the true worth of the cushion may be feeling slightly light-headed, if not enraged, by my encouragement for spending hard earned cash on the decorative end of the soft furnishings palette. I would say sorry but I wouldn’t mean it so what I will do is to send a grovelling apology to any man who really does appreciate a cushion. That said, I do believe it is thanks to the female of the species that the cushion thrives. Without us the boys would all be sitting slightly uncomfortably on their sofas wondering why their rooms look just a tiny bit bland.

This article first appeared in Cambridge Magazine, April 2017

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My email inbox has been alive this week with sale notifications and I have to say, there are some good bargains to be had for the discerning shopper (like your good selves of course!) Here are just a few of the sale items from our favourite suppliers that caught my eye, although a word of very serious caution before you view which is to do as I say don’t do what I do – whilst writing this blog I have just purchased a cushion for myself from the Chelsea Textiles NON SALE area (don’t you hate it when that happens!)

Niki Jones

I love Niki Jones’ style – all the products on this site have a different look whilst being usable products that will fit into a range of interior schemes. The sale is on now with some items up to 50% off.

Roger Oates

These are just the best stair runners you can buy and the clearance section of the website has some real bargains. There are also some great pieces of runners made up into rugs. Really worth a look.

Graham and Green

Graham and Green is one of our firm favourites so a sale is just the cherry on the cake. I’ve had a quick look and the sale looks promising but I can’t spend too long on this website – it’s just too dangerous!


Good news – it’s not out of business! but sadly the Cambridge store is no more. There is still lots to buy on the website and happily, some of it is on sale. Long live Habitat!

Chelsea Textiles

I had notification of the sale and apparently there is lots in store to look at. As normal, their gorgeous cushions are available to buy online and this is where the problem started – the sale items are mixed with the rest – buyer beware!

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Mid Century Modern is a trend that has been around for quite a while, inspired perhaps by the popularity of the ‘Mad Men’ TV series and a nostalgic wish for  simpler time. And now, with the forthcoming ‘Pan Am’ TV show set in the early 1960’s about to hit our screens, the trend is having a second revival. We look at some of the best modern interpretations of the era.

(This post first feature in Cambridge News)

This hand painted and hand carved chair by Chelsea Textiles is a great example of the paired back but elegant shapes that epitomised the era. Teamed with a simple but unusual metal lamp this room could have been taken straight from the 1950s but has a simplicity that works just as well today.

The mid century modern colour palette was a bold and vibrant one, perhaps due to a need for warmth and colour in a post-war society.  if you want to capture some of this spirit, Fired Earth have bought out a specific mid century modern paint range with some very strong, eye catching shades.

The punchy yellow from the Fired Earth range makes a real statement as a backdrop to a muted grey and wooden desk. The vintage typewriter is fabulous and much nicer to look at that a modern laptop!

But if a whole wall is too much for you, a simple pop of mid century colour such as in this image, has just as much impact when teamed with a soft grey backdrop and one or two stand out pieces of furniture  from the era.

These nesting metal tables are the stand out feature in this room for me, the pared back shape of each table is fuss free, but beautifully designed and the soft muted colour palette is restrained and beautiful.

Images: Chelsea Textiles and Fired Earth

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Turn your bedroom into a haven with fresh tones, crisp textures and a dash of luxury. We bring you decorating ideas to suit any style.

zimmer and rohde

In the summer you want your bedroom to be cool fresh and inviting, so make sure it’s kept tidy and clutter free.  The bed, styled by Zimmer and Rhode is wonderfully glamorous with a textured bedthrow,  fabric covered headboard and velvet cushions piped in hot pink. Teamed with a simple side table and a soft blue wall it looks cosy and calm.

For a bit of drama why not make a statement with an oversized upholstered headboard. This one by Chelsea Textiles might be a bit extravagant, but you can adapt this idea to suit any sized room, just choose a fabric that you love and be bold.

deisgners guild bedlinen

Or keep things light and airy with zingy accent colours. This lime green bedthrow, bright towels and simple flowers are all the decoration this bedroom needs.

For a gorgeously rustic look, try using linen bedsheets rather than cotton. The Linen Works is our favourite for this and the beauty of linen is that the more scrumpled it looks the better!

pink throws and blankets

When the evenings start to get cooler you’ll appreciate a soft throw to drape over the bed and Melin Tregwynt have the best selection of throws and blankets in a gorgeous range of shades and patterns. They are all made in Wales and are a firm favourite at Angel + Blume.

Image credits: Zimmer + Rohde, Designers Guild, Chelsea Textiles, The Linen Works, Melin Tregwynt

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