KATIE CHARLESON

Screen Printed Homewares & Bespoke Textile Design

Colour

Embrace Eclectic: How to Nail Eclectic Interiors in your Home

Colour, How to, Inspiration, Interiors & Homewares, Trends & InspirationKatie CharlesonComment

Eclectic interiors- we love to love them, but the natural, layered look is deceptively hard to pin down. By looking at a range of ways different interior designers interpret the elusive style, I'm going to help you get the look in your own home, with a handy list of tips and tricks to make your living space sing. Ready? Lets take a look at some beautifully curated and balanced spaces.

 Ferney Hall by Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay. Photo credit  House & Garden  

Ferney Hall by Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay. Photo credit House & Garden 

 A beautiful collection of eclectic artwork and objects in Ferney Hall, balanced with colour and shape. Photo credit  House & Garden

A beautiful collection of eclectic artwork and objects in Ferney Hall, balanced with colour and shape. Photo credit House & Garden

Eclectic style is defined by the mixing and matching of design ideas and features from a variety of eras and periods, hopefully combining to create a cohesive, layered feel to a space.

Designer Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay's Ferney Hall was a huge design project- a Shropshire country house derelict since before the war and had very few original features. While not many of us could dream of renovating such a beautiful, large space, you can see from this lounge in particular the expert use of balance in the choice of colour, artwork and furnishings.

I wanted to bring the house into the 20th Century while respecting its historical roots. It was a house that would need to showcase many different styles and eras and show that when well curated they all work well together. - Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay

Fitzwilliam-Lay has revived the original Victorian woodwork and ribbed plasterwork ceilings, but then has made reference to a wonderful range of periods and styles; from the sixties artwork to the ceramic lions flanking the fireplace. She achieves this tricky feat by using colour to hold the mix of textures, patterns and styles in perfect balance.

Different textures in the wallpaper; the rich velvet of the couch juxtaposed with the sheen of the glass coffee table and the rich mix of artworks all lend this space a depth which could easily be emulated in a more modest space.

 A bedroom in Martyn Thompson's loft, featuring his own wallpaper and pillowcases made from his fabric designs. Photo originally from a 2015   New York Magazine   shoot.

A bedroom in Martyn Thompson's loft, featuring his own wallpaper and pillowcases made from his fabric designs. Photo originally from a 2015 New York Magazine shoot.

And now for something completely different... Martyn Thompson is best known for his photography of still-lifes and interiors; work he has translated into his collections of Jacquard woven textiles, furniture and wallpapers.

His live/work Manhattan loft is a constantly changing landscape of new artworks, murals and found objects, depending on what project he is working on. But the unifying feature in this eclectic interior is the richly textural fabrics; artistic splatters in subdued colours sit pretty with photographic representations of flowers in similarly subdued tones; all adding up to a patterned feast for the eyes.

Combined with soft linens, Indian quilts and roughly woven rugs, his tapestry-like textiles are used to create cushions that are odd, pebble like shapes which add to the organic, raw mood of the space giving a classic, lived in feeling.

Although the initial impression is one of chaos, Martyn Thompson uses soft, worn fabrics of a similar weight and tonal quality to bring his every changing apartment into a sensual equilibrium.

  Dimore Studio 's Salone del Mobile 2017 showroom apartment. Photography: Paola Pansini

Dimore Studio's Salone del Mobile 2017 showroom apartment. Photography: Paola Pansini

 Making the most of moody lighting in  Dimore Studio 's Salone showroom. Photography: Paola Pansini

Making the most of moody lighting in Dimore Studio's Salone showroom. Photography: Paola Pansini

Eclectic doesn't necessarily have to mean cluttered- Dimore Studio (always a favourite of mine!) reference '70s glamour, Art Deco, post futuristic references (those carpets!) and a mix of materials and textures all in this one space at Salone del Mobile this year.

Their showroom apartment in Milan was a genius mix of all of the above styles but in a pared back, thoughtful and balanced way. A masterclass in control and flair.

Once again, colour is key to making this space work. The designers have used colour from floor to ceiling in these rooms, even covering the door frames and skirting boards, and designing the carpets to sit beautifully within each room's colour scheme. The effect is cocoon-like, and quiet which one would not expect from such an eclectic collection of styles, objects and accessories.

Equally the accessories lend themselves to not making the colour too overwhelming by the fact that the combinations are so unexpected; the colour and the selection of styles balance each other out to perfection.

To recreate this look in your own home and make the concept more "liveable", look to the moody lighting, rich colours and clashes of materials and textures.

You can read my blog post about how to use dark wall colours in your home here, and there will be more to come soon about using seemingly clashing colours in your home. 

 A wicker chair, a fan shaped lamp, polished metal console and deep carpeting and walls in sage and pink all combine to make a most surprising but satisfying composition in  Dimore Studio 's Salone del Mobile 2017 showroom apartment. Photography: Paola Pansini

A wicker chair, a fan shaped lamp, polished metal console and deep carpeting and walls in sage and pink all combine to make a most surprising but satisfying composition in Dimore Studio's Salone del Mobile 2017 showroom apartment. Photography: Paola Pansini

Tips & Tricks: How to get the look in your home

 An example of a beautifully balanced bedroom, using colour, pattern and texture to pull the design together. Originally seen in  House & Garden

An example of a beautifully balanced bedroom, using colour, pattern and texture to pull the design together. Originally seen in House & Garden

  • Aim for layered and collected not busy and distracting.
  • Use colour as a unifying factor throughout your design. All of the designers we've looked at use colour in some way or another to bring different styles together.
  • When picking colours for your walls, paint them onto boards or card not straight onto the wall. Colours together can completely change the way they look and make it more difficult to choose the best tone. Also these boards can be taken with you as swatches when shopping for fabrics and furniture- useful!
  • Eclectic accessories are having a moment right now and are great for providing a focal point in amongst all your layered pieces! Playful ceramics, hand-me-downs and fleamarket gems feel so at home when layered, if carefully curated
  • When choosing accessories and artworks look for details that will link seemingly random objects together. A colour; a highlight; a shape or scale.
  • Combining different textures adds depth to a room. Contrasting smooth, lustrous velvet with a chunky knit or textured weave adds interest. More in the coming weeks on how to choose different textiles for different spaces so stay tuned!

Would you try eclectic styling in your home? Do you struggle with balancing the clutter or do you embrace the mix of decorations? See more ideas for eclectic interiors on this Pinterest board and anything that you would like to ask me let me know in the comments below!

An Upholstery Project: How to use Fabric to Transform your Furniture

Bespoke, Inspiration, Interiors & Homewares, Colour, Creative Fulfilment, Homewares, How toKatie CharlesonComment

Upholstering a well- loved armchair, adding your own cushions to a muted couch, or changing the seat of a kitchen chair is a great way to add your own taste and define a style within your home. Here's a closer look at a recent upholstery fabric commission I have been working on.

 The midcentury modern armchair, before (featuring a  Sunny Todd  cushion and a visualisation of the upholstery fabric after.

The midcentury modern armchair, before (featuring a Sunny Todd cushion and a visualisation of the upholstery fabric after.

Those of us who rent and might not be able to paint or wallpaper walls might feel restricted as to the style statements we can make in our homes. But fear not; fabric and textiles are a wonderful way of expressing your style "handwriting". A chair upholstered in your own fabric, whether you design the pattern yourself or you work with a designer to translate your ideas onto fabric for you, can be taken wherever your home is as 

an instant expression of your personality and style in a space.

I've recently been working on designing some upholstery fabric for a client, and I wanted to share how we have used colour, shape and print to come up with a design that will enhance the original chair frame and the space it occupies.


 Midcentury modern chair, before being re-upholstered

Midcentury modern chair, before being re-upholstered

The armchair itself is a midcentury modern occasional chair with a wooden frame, which used to belong to the clients grandmother. The client enjoys considered, graphic patterns and was keen to use expressionistic colours and shapes, and complimentary tones from all over the colour wheel.

The room in which the chair will live  has high ceilings and large bay windows so a large scale design will sit very happily in this space. A small, ditzy pattern might get lost and wouldn't make as much impact. The light and situation of a room is always important to remember when decorating, but bear in mind this also applies to the fabrics and textiles you choose. Bold, expressive shapes can really make a dynamic statement in a room, but if you are looking for a more soothing, cosy vibe in a room you might choose small, repetitive patterns or "ditzies". I will write more on how to choose textiles for different interior designs in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more!

 Close ups of some of the original bespoke print designs for upholstery

Close ups of some of the original bespoke print designs for upholstery

 Bright, cheery colour samples in progress

Bright, cheery colour samples in progress

My first steps when working on a new commission is always to start with painting or drawing based on the clients ideas. I tried some different fluid, expressive brush marks and shapes collaged and juxtaposed into compositions that sat well together. We originally thought to use a navy base with some spicier pink/ red/ orange tones to provide a complimentary colour clash to the living room's current scheme of creams, chalky yellows and accents of green and blue. We also tried a cheery, zingy turquoise so the overall feeling would be sunny mediterranean rather than Northern European. More on how to choose colours from opposite ends of the colour wheel and still make them work and enhance your home in the coming weeks!

Taking these ideas to the print table for sampling means that you can really test out and visualise what your final design will look like- so important for understanding how the colours, textures and shapes will work together and how they might sit overall.

 Sample prints and colours in progress

Sample prints and colours in progress

And as if to prove to prove the above statement- the samples made us see that actually what the client wanted was cooler tones of duck egg blue, creams and whites with khaki to really ground all the brighter colours and bring an earthy quality.

I think while the really bright colours could have been fun and zingy, the pattern still sits well in this new colour palette, making the large, expressive marks and shapes look more natural and will sit very happily in the clients existing living room, while still being a real statement piece. 

Stay tuned for more pictures of the final design being printed, and the chair finally restored to its original beauty with a bold expressive print on it in the coming weeks!

 A visualisation of the new colours, which will sit well with the clients existing colour scheme while still being a real statement piece.

A visualisation of the new colours, which will sit well with the clients existing colour scheme while still being a real statement piece.

What do you think? Would you try designing your own print or choose clashing colours to make a statement in your living room? Would you go XL with your homewares or strip back and keep it simple? Anything I've missed out about or that you would like to ask me? Let me know in the comments below!

Belgravia Living Room Design: Small Space, Big Ambition

Homewares, Inspiration, Inspiring, Interiors & Homewares, Trends & Inspiration, ColourKatie Charleson3 Comments

At the start of 2017, I started working on redecorating the living room of a new build apartment in Belgravia.

 Mood Board for the new and existing features of the living room redecoration, Belgravia

Mood Board for the new and existing features of the living room redecoration, Belgravia

The apartment is in a new build estate with one bedroom, and the chosen room we are starting with is the living room. This is a long, narrow space which is open to the kitchen and features full length windows and a Juliet balcony.  

The client wants to separate the living space from the kitchen area a little more and make it more of a distinct space for relaxing and entertaining.

Not a huge amount has been done to the space since moving in; the floor has been changed to a dark wood but the walls still feature the vanilla cream of the original design.

However the owner has a few distinctive and eclectic pieces which display his personal taste. We want his eclectic collection of designs and styles to be brought together in coherence (but still be fun and expressive!)

 Green leather Chesterfield couch already installed in the living room

Green leather Chesterfield couch already installed in the living room

 "Jeeves & Wooster" Pendant hat lights from Graham & Greene existing in the apartment

"Jeeves & Wooster" Pendant hat lights from Graham & Greene existing in the apartment

 Midcentury side board & greenery: a winning combination

Midcentury side board & greenery: a winning combination

As you can see from the mood board above, I am planning on keeping the eclecticism going but drawing all the elements together with a dark, moody wall colour and select pieces of midcentury furniture (which will also provide much needed storage space). 

I want to introduce a darker wall colour to make the space more personal and cosy. Not much natural light gets into the space because of the aspect of the building, but this can be tackled with well placed  mirrors. 

A colour like Dulux's Breton Blue will make the space moody & dramatic yet still sophisticated & comfortable. The living room is mostly used in the evenings so introducing a cosy, dark neutral to the walls will create a soothing, calming space. (The trend for dark neutral wall colour is growing, thanks in no small part to the queen of moody interiors Abigail Ahern, which I'll be looking further into in the next upcoming blog post!)

 A beautiful example of eclectic style plus dark walls by Dabito on oldbrandnew.com

A beautiful example of eclectic style plus dark walls by Dabito on oldbrandnew.com

Shade loving plants will grow happily in the living room as the apartment is very warm (a side effect of the building being, for some inexplicable reason, clad in metal), which will bring vitality and texture to the room, not to mention oxygen and a sense of wellbeing.

Finally, introducing a gallery wall can break up the solid colour, as seen above in this glorious composition by Dabito on oldbrandnew.com.

Touches of grubby gold (again, my love for dark neutrals and pops of fresh colour is ongoing), & cobalt or teal blue. I may even be able to sneak some blush pink in too (shhh) through accessories. 

I've been toying with the idea of introducing some fun printed textiles to tie all the colour selections and eclecticism together. This could be in the form of drapes, scatter cushions or even a throw in a loose geometric, expressive pattern design.

 A three colour screen printed colour idea.  Click here  to see more bespoke colour ideas

A three colour screen printed colour idea. Click here to see more bespoke colour ideas

Potential colour palette for the living room decoration.

So all of this adds up to lots to be getting on with! The first step has been to install a lovely teal blue midcentury sideboard, already providing the space with much needed storage space and colour. I'm continuing to look for a great room divider: G-Plan or midcentury in style, which will again provide storage without blocking the natural light to the kitchen area. Stay tuned for some before photos, plus work in progress reports!

See more ideas for this redecoration project on this Pinterest board. Anything I've missed out or that you are excited about trying? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below!

Design your own Tote with Katie Charleson

Collaborations, Heal's, Homewares, ColourKatie CharlesonComment

To celebrate Heal’s Craft Market 2016, I’m going to be at the inspirational Tottenham Court Road Flagship store once again, teaching lovely clients to screen print their own K//M//J//C tote bags. Take a look at the excellent creations and find out more below:

Screen printing workshop no1 with K//M//J//C Designs. Can’t wait for the next one!
— Lea G, Katie Charleson Customer

This is the 3rd such event I’ve done with Heal’s and I’ve always come away so happy to have shared skills with absolutely brilliant printers-in-the-making.

 Action shot with the K//M//J//C For heal's limited edition tea towels on display in the background

Action shot with the K//M//J//C For heal's limited edition tea towels on display in the background

Using the bold, dynamic shapes and bright, summery colours that feature in the K//M//J//C for Heal’s limited edition collaboration of printed Tea Towels I help customers to design their own 3 layer print and teach them the fundamentals of silk screen printing. All in a speedy half an hour’s work!

 Another excellent design, this time 4 layers of colour

Another excellent design, this time 4 layers of colour

Workshops will be at the Heal’s Flagship Store throughout Monday the 4th and Tuesday the 5th April, and again Monday the 11th. If you fancy learning yourself you can book on the Heal’s website here or email hello@katiecharleson.com for more information. 

 Drop by and say hello!

Drop by and say hello!

If you’d like to go a step further and really get to grips with designing and creating your own textile prints, I’ll be doing upcoming classes at Bainbridge Studios. Join the mailing list for more information and stay tuned for some exciting news about an upcoming pop-up shop!

K//M//J//C For Heal's

Homewares, Inspiration, Colour, Texture, Heal's, CollaborationsKatie CharlesonComment

K//M//J//C For Heal's

A limited edition collection of screen prints for the much-loved store

ARTWORKS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT, K//M//J//C’S VIBRANT PRINTS EVOKE THE WILD STYLE OF POST MODERN DESIGN

For the last few months I have been working on a very exciting & special project with Heal's, creating a collection of exclusive limited edition printed tea towels.

Inspiration came from collecting different lines, brushmarks and shapes, then collaging and layering them. The most important element, as always, were the colours and how they sit together to create beautiful juxtapositions.  

My first love is screen printing and I really enjoyed the process of maximising the tactile quality of screen-printed textiles, coming up with designs that were vibrant, colourful and fun.

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The prints, although functional as Tea Towels, I also see as fun, vital and vibrant artworks in their own right. The different marks and shapes give the pieces energy and the colours make them fresh and summery.

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This limited edition collaboration with Heal’s was about finding the shapes and colours that combined to create the most sunny energy and vibrancy. I love combining colour in unexpected ways, using tone to make potentially jarring colours work together, creating designs that one would want to keep as a piece of art, as well as being a functional item.

The designs are in store this weekend, when I will be at the Tottenham Court Road Flagship Store, teaching some lovely customers how to screen print their own K//M//J//C tote bag. I'll be doing classes from 11:30am until 4:30pm Saturday the 6th and 20th of February. There are still spaces for classes on the 20th, so sign up and come learn the technique for yourself!

PALMHOUSE Collection: The Inspiration

Colour, Cushions, Print, Tea Towels, Texture, PALMHOUSE, Inspiration, Photography, Homewares, Botanic Gardens, Kew GardensKatie CharlesonComment

I have always loved Victoriana and Botanic Gardens. There is something intangibly fascinating about containing something so vital and wild within something so rigid and structured. This is never more true than at the Palm House in Kew Gardens, where I found such beautiful compositions I was inspired to take out my camera that chilly, crisp, February day!

Screen Printing Process

Cushions, Print, Colour, TextureKatie CharlesonComment

This week a lot of time has been spent screen printing orders for cushions and tea-towels in my studio space in Bermondsey; Printall Studio. Central to K//M//J//C is the hands on, tactile nature of screen printed textiles. I love layering up colours and textures intuitively and screen printing allows me to do this while balancing the composition and tone of the piece. I can use screens to make one off, limited edition samples or set up a production line to make the same design repeatedly.

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    One-off compositions that will be used to create limited edition products

 

One-off compositions that will be used to create limited edition products

    Tea-towels in repeat production

 

Tea-towels in repeat production

Pigment printing is the most fundamental form of screen printing, and this is the medium I have been working in most lately. By pushing ink through the unexposed areas of mesh stretched over a screen, you can transfer an image onto different surfaces.

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Emerald Oil is a completely screen printed piece of work. Although this is a feature of the design in itself, what makes it really special is the number of colours used. Emerald Oil features 5 colours, not including the base fabric, mixed by eye. Each colour requires its own layer, and therefore its own screen, meaning each cushion cover or tea-towel is printed on 5 times before it is finished. 

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I am so proud and happy to be able to put this level of care, skill and attention to detail into every product I make. And to be able to do it in surroundings that inspire me is the biggest bonus of all! Just look at these gorgeous textures and patinations found in the studio.

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K//M//J//C is born of a love of colour, a fascination with texture and a passion for print.

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