They all appeal because they are contradictions, and as you may know, I love a good contradiction, visual or otherwise. It is the unexpected I like and a tricky thing to get right in design. But to give an example, today I saw a heavily-carved 19th Century ‘throne’ (actually just an armchair, but it looked like a throne) from the Black Forest. For recovering , I suggested not the obvious brown leather or dark velvet but something fun e.g. turquoise ikat, or even pink. Why not?
“How can you style an urban cottage” I hear you say. Well it depends what you put with it.
So to my African Decorative Arts. Yes they come from Sub Saharan Africa but they have global appeal….at least I think so and ‘slottable in-able’ to any interior, including those labels above. In our living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, even on our walls. We have so much “stuff”, we may as well store it in something beautiful. A waste paper basket? Yes sure, but also a deep pot to hide an boring vase with a massive bunch of flowers inside, dried or otherwise.
As many of you know, I recently held the second of my pop ups. My intention was to show, as much as possible in a short space of time, how to use some of these handwoven goodies, so I styled them with the sort of items we might have in our homes. Hence you will probably be wondering why a geometric platter from Zimbabwe sits alongside a tartan rug. Or why a rubbish bin woven by the Xhosa tribe (yes, the clicky one) is hanging out with candlesticks and floppy linen from France via eBay. Oh and my new favourite which I just had to get in there, Balazuc Trefoil, from Inchyra which you may recognise.
So here area a few pix to inspire you.
To see the goodies in situ, pop along to the House & Garden Fair, Olympia, London from 20-24th June.
Stand P35. I am the one with the woven geometric baskets all over the walls. Hopefully you’ll be SO inspired, you will want to take a few home to your rustic chic Scottish bothy, your modern country warehouse conversion with exposed brickwork, or in my case, your urban cottage Victorian semi.
Oh and one more thing….watch this space for online sales. Coming soon but in the meantime, do get in touch if you are interested in anything in the pix.
All styling by Interior Spy
All photography by Alessandro Tear