KATIE CHARLESON

Screen Printed Homewares & Bespoke Textile Design

Printed cushion

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!

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!

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.