KATIE CHARLESON

Screen Printed Homewares & Bespoke Textile Design

Trends & Inspiration

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!

When Your Home is EXTRA: LARGE Designs for Maximum Impact

Inspiration, Interiors & Homewares, Trends & InspirationKatie CharlesonComment

I have been thinking about how going extra large not just with your prints but also how the scale of your cushions, throws and soft furnishings adds impact to your interior style.

  Mayfield Throw  by Dora Szentmihalyi for Slowdown Studio

Mayfield Throw by Dora Szentmihalyi for Slowdown Studio

This week with shooting and styling my new giant Hannah Rose cushion and the Rosehip & Poppy throw (with the new wallpaper, more on that soon!) got me ruminating on how the scale of pattern in interior design can affect a room.

My own personal taste, as I work more and more with homewares and interiors, is all about big, bold, gestural shapes and strokes. This is definitely a growing trend too, as a new kind of naive, almost fauvist style is emerging from designers in 2017. Here are my top picks of beautiful bold homewares that embrace extra large print and pattern. 

 Fun, vibrant pieces from  Lisa Todd 's Ndebele Collection

Fun, vibrant pieces from Lisa Todd's Ndebele Collection

Lisa Todd designs beautiful, visual, patterned representations of South Africa, where she grew up. Lisa won the Print & Pattern Award in the Elle Decoration British Design Awards 2016, so I'm in good company amongst admirers. Her Ndebele collection is a summery, sun-drenched assemblage of birch wood trays, kitchen tea towels and XL linen cushions, all decorated with her unmissable bold shapes and bright colours.

Her gorgeous geometric, South African inspired patterns are perfect for layering up and at 60x60cm they are the perfect generous size for a bed scatter cushion. The glorious pastel tones combined with pops of cerise and darker navies and black are a joy to behold. They remind me of one of my favourite styles: Post Modern Memphis which is a sneaky growing trend for 2017 and beyond.

 Atelier Bingo's Hardy Throw for  Slowdown Studio

Atelier Bingo's Hardy Throw for Slowdown Studio

Slowdown Studio's absolutely fantastic selection of artist designed woven throws and blankets are a perfect example of this trend for big, bold pattern in interiors. Each one is a limited edition run; hand woven in the US (free international delivery- hooray for all!).

My favourite collaborations feature gestural, abstract patterns, botanicals and textures (no surprise there). Including Cassie Byrnes, Daniel Fletcher and Atelier Bingo, this shows Slowdown Studio's impeccable taste and ability to curate a trend.

One interesting way they suggest of styling their blankets is pinning them to the wall as art. This is a genius way to display the pieces as it gives movement, texture and vibrancy. All this comes down to the aesthetic of your interiors- if you favour a layered, eclectic style then some textiles on your wall would offer contrast to your printed art works. Otherwise if you prefer a sleek, Scandi look, read on for some excellent screen print paper artworks.

 My favourite blankets from Slowdown studio include artists  Dora Szentmihalyi , and above (l-r): Daniel Fletcher, Atelier Bingo & Cassie Byrnes.

My favourite blankets from Slowdown studio include artists Dora Szentmihalyi, and above (l-r): Daniel Fletcher, Atelier Bingo & Cassie Byrnes.

  Tom Pigeon Shipwreck  screen print set of three

Tom Pigeon Shipwreck screen print set of three

On to extra large screen prints for those who prefer a stripped back, Scandi style in their home; Tom Pigeon have been creating beautiful prints and products since 2014, perfectly expressing form and function with their stationery, jewellery and objet d'art. My current favourite is their Shipwreck print trio; a collection of interconnecting screen prints inspired by beach combing and exploring the rhythm, colour and shapes of objects washed up on the shores of their coastal Scottish town. The screen prints themselves are expertly hand pulled on pretty speckled paper and make a perfect addition to any gallery wall.

Just look at those colours; the dusky pink, grubby gold and moody navy are all about Summer 2017 and have definitely influenced my colour palette this spring. 

What excites me the most about this decorative screen printed threesome is the development into a handwoven kilim rug, launching at Salone del Mobile Milan this week. I will do a post on using rugs in your space in the coming weeks, but this is my heads up for a brilliantly designed and executed piece perfect for bringing colour and form into your living space.

  Tom Pigeon's new Shipwreck kilim rug . Launching at Salone this week, I can't wait to see this handwoven rug on their website soon!

Tom Pigeon's new Shipwreck kilim rug. Launching at Salone this week, I can't wait to see this handwoven rug on their website soon!

What do you think? Do you love extra large cushions or are you flummoxed by mountains of pillows and patterns on your bed/couch? Would you go XL with your homewares or strip back and keep it simple? Anything I've missed out or that you would like to ask me? Let me know in the comments below!

Dark Walls: How to use Dramatic Colour in your Home

Inspiration, Inspiring, Interiors & Homewares, Trends & InspirationKatie Charleson2 Comments

Over the past few weeks I have been researching an on the rise interiors trend for dark wall colours in our homes.

  That  pink sofa via  47parkavenue

That pink sofa via 47parkavenue

As a nation of renters afraid to step outside of the magnolia/neutrals of our surroundings, it excites me to think of using this interiors idea for the Belgravia living room project I have been working on. I really love the idea of carefully selecting a wall colour to create a little dark cocoon. To create a comfy, warm sense of safety and security.

After all, one can always paint over a wall if one grows tired & fancies a change! All at a price cheaper than replacing a bed, couch or kitchen unit. Take a look at my favourite dark interiors and see what you make of my plans for Belgravia Living Room 2017.

  Milano Solferino  Project by Dimore Studio.

Milano Solferino Project by Dimore Studio.

 Dimore Studio's Milano Solferino project

Dimore Studio's Milano Solferino project

I have been obsessed with this Milanese design duo since I came across them on madaboutthehouse.com (lovers of grey and dark, dramatic interiors take note) They combine rich texture and colour but also a faded kind of glamour. Employing velvets and deep colour with pops of bright colour and pattern, the pair evoke a '70's charm without being garish or over-the-top. Their choice of beautiful metallic finishings and accessories evoke a laid back, eclectic luxuriousness that seems to feel found rather than too try-hard or "bling-y".

In terms of wall colour, they seem to use this stunning blue/grey/green across a few projects. Warm yet not saccharine, this colour would take both cold and yellow light (read on for tips on how to choose colour for the direction of a room), and would be perfect for the Belgravia apartments west facing aspect. Note the grubby gold I have an ongoing passion for!

 Dimore Studio

Dimore Studio

 Abigail Aherne's collection for Debenhams

Abigail Aherne's collection for Debenhams

The undisputed UK queen of deep, dark colour is Abigail Aherne. Of dark hues she says:

Dark hues are glamorous, uplifting, endlessly sophisticated & create infinity, tricking your eye into thinking any room looks larger
— Abigail Aherne

And her Bowery Blue is certainly one I shall be trying in the Belgravia project. This colour is just the right side of green that will sing against the existing furniture and accessories in the making.

 Abigail Aherne's collection for Debenham's

Abigail Aherne's collection for Debenham's

And so, finally to what I have learned this week about wall colours. One cannot be told this enough: light is important when trying out wall colour. I learned a lot from this post by Farrow & Ball about the light direction in a building that should help you too. The Belgravia apartment is west facing, which means that the light is cooler in the morning and warmer in the evening.

The room doesn't get much light, except at oblique angles. It is built facing an adjacent apartment block. At night the light comes from the warm bulbs of the Chelsea Bridge & artificial light from bulbs as the space is used mainly evenings and weekends. 

Quite a dark navy could work as the warmer yellow ones may turn the blue a deep, dark teal, working with the racing green of the Chesterfield sofa and the teal midcentury sideboard. 

There is only one way to find out however; we must do colour tests! Check Instagram on Sunday for a look at how the space is looking at the moment and how the selected colours do in the west light!

 Valspar paint cards

Valspar paint cards

See more ideas for this dark wall colour 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!

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!