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Posts Tagged ‘chelsea textiles’

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!

Habitat

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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