Friday, 30 March 2012

No minimalists allowed: House of Hackney

While researching my A-Z of pattern, I came across The House of Hackney, who do brilliantly classic and very English designs, but with an eccentricity that is totally in harmony with their upper-class old school style. The patterns are available as wallpapers, fabrics, ready-made upholstered products plus china and lighting.

Dalston Rose features a classic navy blue English rose against an antiqued nude background, but it has a contemporary gradient effect across the base of the wall (as seen in photography), which gives an ombre, even dipdyed effect, and adds real edge to what could otherwise be just another boring print your mum would love. (Your mum would still love this.)

Wild Card wallpaper is not for the fainthearted:

Hackney Empire, a miraculous menagerie of otters with fans, badgers with cocktails and sloths with hookah-pipes:

And how better to show it off than with the ultimate in indulgent furniture?

This is still my favourite, though, in canary yellow. Everyone needs a harmonica-playing squirrel.:

In their own words:

House of Hackney takes the concept of British home wares and turns it on its head subverting traditional products with playful and irreverent prints and imagery to appeal to a new generation.

After a decade of bland minimalism and disposable furnishings House of Hackney is on a quest to take the beige out of interiors. Described as ‘Colefax and Fowler on acid’ the wallpaper, bed linen and furniture label is characterized by prints and products that are steeped in tradition but are bold and non -conformist.

Hell yeah!

all images from House of Hackney website

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A-Z of Pattern: B is for Birds

wallpaper: Flapatos by Tres Tintos

I know I did animals already, but I'm afraid that our winged friends are established firmly as a genre of print all on their own.

Bird wallpaper can be twee, and it can be glorious. Nowadays I think wallpaper featuring them should head away from the chinoiserie (unless hand-painted, natch) and firmly into the territory of big and blousy, tropical, even visceral (check out the hulanicki below) and not necessarily what one might call pretty.

From top left, clockwise: Budgies from Art of Wallpaper; Diablo by Barbara Hulanicki at Graham and Brown featuring the raven Diablo, pet of Disney's evil villain Maleficent; Grove Garden by Osborne & Little, seen here in our bedroom, I still love the vibrant hummingbirds; Flight of Fancy by House of Hackney - the bird on a branch archetypal wallpaper is turned on its head by featuring unexpected birds - swans, puffins, ibis and pigeons all balance precariously on thin vines.

Clockwise from left: Cockatoos by Quentin Blake for Osborne & Little's Zagazoo collection; Swallows by Absolute Zero, a wonderful pattern of falling leaves which turns into swallows, or vice versa, if you like; Bird wall stickers in vintage wallpaper by Inke, available from Supernice (adore this whole range, I fancy a big flowery giraffe somewhere in the house)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Beautifully geeky

What do you think about this wonderful floral paper, made totally out of ASCII text. Strangely beautiful I thought. For code-loving nanas everywhere.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Magic from Japan: Nani Iro

I think I am in love. Nani Iro fabric makes my heart skip and places stars in my belly.

Colourful Pocho

Fuwari Fuwari

Painting Muji

Melody Sketch
Peaceful Cooing
I found this fabric whilst admiring this kid's parent's choices. Lucky baby.

Stockists I have found: Ray-Stitch
Miss Matatabi

All images except last: Nani Iro Online Store

Monday, 19 March 2012

For all Colour Loving Mothers (and Fathers, Daughters and Sons)

I had been planning on posting this yesterday, but a brilliant week of husband in hospital followed by my very own special Mother's Day food poisoning meant that didn't happen. So, this is for all mothers, and those who ever had one, I love this, I may have a son, but a lot of this would be true for him too:

A Mother's Prayer 

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be beautiful but not damaged, for it’s the damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the beauty. When the crystal meth is offered may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with beer. 

Guide her, protect her: when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. 

 Lead her away from acting but not all the way to finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. 

 May she play the drums to the fiery rhythm of her own heart with the sinewy strength of her own arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. 

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a tiger flower blooming magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. 

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. 

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, for I will not have that shit. I will not have it. 

And should she choose to be a mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. 
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans faeces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a mental note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes. 

by Tina Fey Via Peonies and Polaroids

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Hush Spring 12

Sssssh, for perfect lounging, the lazy girl goes to Hush.

Love their new prints in the Spring catalogue: