KATIE CHARLESON

Screen Printed Homewares & Bespoke Textile Design

Homewares

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!

An Ode to Greenery: How to use "Nature's Neutral" in your Home

Interiors & Homewares, Homewares, Inspiration, PrintKatie Charleson1 Comment

As the winter months continue & we gain small improvements in the weather and daylight, I am finding myself more and more drawn to green in all its shades.

Here at Katie Charleson I have an ongoing love for green in all its hues. From the Palmhouse Collection with its deep racing green silk velvet reverse, to the soft eau-de-nil (literally translates as "water of the Nile") I enjoy using over and over. The colour to me brings a soothing, natural vibe, and feels luxurious without being brash or flashy. It's also my mother's favourite colour! From the bathroom to the living room to the bedroom, there isn't an area of your home that won't take a hint of green.

Bespoke Prints // Culinary

Print, Tea Towels, Inspiration, Homewares, Collaborations, BespokeKatie CharlesonComment

Things have been busy of late at Katie Charleson; there was the fantastic Princes Trust pop up shop in May and with lots of workshops, bespoke pieces and commissions in development I've been printing like crazy.

With the run up to summer over (although not reflected by the weather) and a lovely break coming up, I thought you'd like to see some of the bespoke prints I've been working on in the first half of 2016.

 Bespoke culinary print developed as an extra special gift, made into kitchenware

Bespoke culinary print developed as an extra special gift, made into kitchenware

This project was a print developed by a dear friend and myself for an equally dear fiery Scottish redhead with a love of all things charcuterie. For an extra special birthday gift, we wanted a fun, hand drawn feel to the illustration, in sharp colours to reflect her excellent sense of humour and her flame coloured hair. Needless to say, Frances Bacon was an inspiration.

 Screen print in progress

Screen print in progress

 Second colour layer being printed

Second colour layer being printed

 2/3 colours complete

2/3 colours complete

The resulting three colour print was wonderfully wild, lively and expressive and just a little bit abstract. The final design was printed as a repeat onto 2 metres of crisp white cotton, which was then developed into an apron and tea towel for her culinary exploits.

 The final three layer print

The final three layer print

You can take a look at the inspiration for the bespoke print on Pinterest here, and see some other Katie Charleson inspiration and ideas too. If you have an idea for a print that you'd like to develop, as a personal project or a special gift for a loved one, you can get in touch with me here, I'd love to help you develop something personal and exciting!

Stay tuned for more posts about bespoke prints and collaborations over the next few weeks! 

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.

KMJC FOR HEALS 3.jpg

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.

KMJC FOR HEALS 11.jpg

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 Artwork

Inspiration, Kew Gardens, HomewaresKatie CharlesonComment

PALMHOUSE

 

THE ARTWORK

The photographs taken at Kew Garden's beautiful Palm House in crisp, bright February inspired me to try and create vital, dynamic drawings and compositions.

I especially loved the density of the botanics and greenery, and the way the Laurel Clock Vine (which would become an essential element to the collection) ran along the piping and girders overhead.

I employed techniques such as mono printing and mark making with a palette knife to create movement and immediacy within the drawings, layering up inks and oils and pastels to juxtapose the different qualities of line and colour. I wanted the resulting prints to jump off the fabric.

The original photographs helped me create compositions that would become the final designs; snapshots of the Palm House contained within a compact space.

Each of these drawings and paintings would lead to the beautiful screen prints for the PALMHOUSE collection. By meticulously screen printing and hand painting directly onto each sumptuous design, every piece in the collection becomes a unique and inimitable work of art for the home.


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!