Tag: shabby chic

West Dean festival: design roundup

Shabby Chick

Last weekend we took the chocolate van to a new creative festival in West dean, West Sussex, which was set up in partnership with the team behind the lovely Port Eliot lit fest.

The house and grounds are beautiful and there were some lovely crafts stalls, so I thought I’d do  alittle roundup of my favourite traders, both local and further afield.

Shabby Chick

Based in Totnes, Shabby Chick Amanda has been selling vintage and vintage-inspired fabrics, homewares and trinkets for seven years. She passionately supports local crafts and all her items are sourced within Devon and Cornwall, ranging from hand-knitted bed socks to sumptuous old eiderdowns and reupholstered deck chairs. She trades weekly at the market in Totnes and travels to festivals in the summer months.



Based near Petersfield, fifth-generation Potter Jon Barrett-Danes hand makes animal based ceramics. He was trained by his parents, and later in Bristol. His lovingly crafted animal sculptures don’t come cheap but they are brimming with character and texture.



Kate Talbot: Hung Drawn Quoted

Textile artist Kate Talbot creates retro-style cards and prints using needlework to recreate pop-art style designs and iconic household items such as trusty HP Sauce and Marmite. Her designs are playful and detailed, described by Kate as “ironic iconic”. She says, “This is alternative craft. It is no soft option, but is thought provoking, witty and enjoyable.”



Fred Shand at Anthropologie

UK based designer Fred Shand has designed a range of quilts and cushions for Anthropologie, in collaboration with a selection of artisans from Delhi, London and New York.

Although they’re only available in the US – and at quite a price ($998 for a quilt, $198 for a cushion) –  each design is unique and well worth a look, combining charmingly chaotic patchwork with striking graphics and washed out colours…. Perfect scruffy luxury.

Peep show: white rooms

Obsessing over the imminent decoration of my little loft, which is currently a rather grubby shade of white, I have spent most of my time recently pondering the merits of off-white versus chiffon white versus misty white versus stone white… and so on.

No one warned me how many shades of white there are and how impossible it seems to be to find The One. So while I wait for my carefully chosen samples to make their way to me, I thought I’d turn elsewhere for some white inspiration:

white rooms

white bedroom

white bedroom

white room

The third room above makes my heart sing. Oh for a pair of elephants to guard the foot of my bed.

Images via Apartment Therapy; Cococozy; Country Living; Channel 4; HGTV; A daily dose of design.

People we’re loving: Lisa Stickley

London-based ceramics and textiles designer Lisa Stickley knows how to have some fun. Her quirky designs are playful without being too girly, decorated with old-school (yet surprisingly relevant) doodles and mantras such as “keep nail varnish in the fridge and it will stay runny. pack tight shoes with wet newspaper and leave overnight. to clean dirty wallpaper – rub with stale bread. make diamonds sparkle, clean them with gin”; or “when choosing plants for the flower garden, consider those that may give a good display of bloom and, in many cases, provide glorious cut flowers for house decoration”.

She also designs quirky floral hand and washbags, as well as playful mugs and other homely treats such as an “uncommonly good cup mug” and a “splendidly small bowl”. They do exactly what they say on the tin.

lisa stickley bags

People we’re loving: Studio at 37

studio at 37 ceramics

The moment I saw Studio at 37‘s ceramic designs, the words cup, gift bag and bunting became a whole lot more interesting. Their quirky ceramic pieces are playful yet simple, in lovely muted pastel glazes with a nostalgic,  retro feel. I love the idea of ceramic bunting and party bags – they would make great little vases or plant pots, perched on a windowsill with some basil or parsley.

“Designing to delight, surprise and shape expectation of what experience can be”, Angela Pointon and Laura Masson (the duo behind Studio at 37) have definitely struck a popular chord right now, nestled somewhere between contemporary shabby chic and a peek in to your hippest granny’s dresser.

studio at 37 ceramics

studio at 37 ceramics

Peep show: Amanda’s Tudor manor house

Based just outside Oxford, Amanda has lived in this idyllic Tudor house since she was a child, inheriting it from her parents as a young adult. To me, the style is the perfect balance between  shabby chic and old-school English grandeur, and totally unique in its mishmash of influences, with candlelit altars sitting happily alongside antique buddha statues and fluorescent Mexican carvings.

The oak room, pictured above, is typical of Amanda’s style – an eclectic mix of furniture draped in antique textiles, with lots of exposed wood for a rough, natural edge. Amanda has collected textiles and trinkets from her many travels over the years, from faded cushion covers to giant Indian quilts, and the house is dotted all over with little altar-like tables, brimming with candles and fresh flowers.

Peep show: paint the town red

red bedroom elle decor

I have always naturally avoided red both in my wardrobe and my home. But lately it seems to be popping up all over the place and I have come to think that this is no bad thing:

red bathroom and red bedroom

laura ashley red room

Images via Elle Decor, Apartment Therapy, Ideal Home and Laura Ashley.

Sceptics like myself should probably start with just a cushion or two. Some ideas for Spring:

red flower cushion and mug, john lewis

red ice cream bowl and stars cushion

Clockwise from top: flower cushion, £30, John Lewis; Sanderson mug, £6, John Lewis; Stars cushion, £15, Aspace; Ice cream bowl, £6.99, Corvus