Today is the big reveal for a second collection at Habitat by fashion designer Henry Holland, crashing on to duvets, rugs, cushions and a chair. He calls it “gypsy Bohemia”, a mash-up of florals, gingham and embroidery, triggered by archive photos of the Roma of Eastern Europe.
And take a sneaky peak at an OTT suite at the Hoxton Holborn hotel kitted out with Henry Holland all this month.
London’s pattern people are in overdrive, colour bombing the capital with their brilliant hues, palm prints and authentic folk motifs from around the world.
The Paris team of Pierre Frey go posh ethnic (in London at Chelsea Harbour) paying tribute to the Miao people shielded by the Moon mountains in south west China. Here is a perfect pile of ikats, batiks, pleats and embroideries. And Manuel Canovas, another Paris brand, has sent us a fresh clutch of equally posh-ethnic cloths. No one clashes colours quite so well (at Colefax and Fowler, SW3, and Chelsea Harbour, SW6).
Also in the Harbour, the stunning Africalia edit by Spaniards Gaston y Daniela (at Abbott & Boyd). And round the corner in Worlds End Studios, Justin Van Breda has put pattern on to cabinets (a big trend) — a vivid leafy Fromental silk, reminiscent of African “wax resists” and carefully coated it in lacquer.
Affordable folk brights come in a limited edition this month at Ikea, where Dutch maverick Piet Hein Eek and his team have delved deep into the batiks of Indonesia, to make fabrics, handmade furniture and splattered ceramics. You can get a hefty hank of cloth for £12 — enough for a bedspread or a small pair of curtains. And the chunky square floor cushions are great to cheer up that rented flat.
Thai brand Jim Thompson looks to China with “Leo de Janeiro” cloths to celebrate the famous lion dance in happy hues, with a nod to carnivals everywhere.
Back home, in a south London ethnic chic pioneer Sarah Campbell, (of famous fabric duo Collier Campbell) says.”We always looked around the world for inspiration.” She’s re-coloured an on-trend 80s classic, Bedouin Stripe, as a cushion, and as fabric by the metre. The 70s and early 80s were the great times for colour, she says - “think Habitat green trolleys and our Bauhaus print for Liberty.” But minimalism was the death knell. “Now colour is back, bringing joy and surprise .’’ And her tip for an instant colour fix? “Take a blue jug, fill it with marigolds, and prop up a postcard by Matisse.”
Simple colour pops can quickly lift a room .It’s so easy to make a bright table with runner, napkins, and a few plates. Good cheap homeware is new in H&M in Oxford Street and Westfield. Also try Homesense expanding rapidly with 33 shops nationwide, including at Staples Corner and Watford.
Catch Dutch stores Hema when next at Victoria or Euston stations. And the inimitable Danish Tiger is now on most London High Streets, and on Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, W1; uk.flyingtiger.com.
Moving up market, try a brightly coloured kettle, mixer or toaster, a table lamp, or silk shade. Do a chair in a sophisticated plain velvet (so of the moment) - that lustrous pile will add an extra glow.
The Varese edit at Designers Guild is an industry staple - 71 colours with six shades of green alone , You can even have a coloured tap in rainbow hues from a new Grohe range, and bright coloured cookers are just launched by Smeg.
Paint is the quick fix and a big uplift of spirits. Marianne Shillingford, Dulux colour consultant has the science: “shocking pink, lime, emerald and citron pack a punch because they have a high LRV (light reflective value) and strong chroma (colour intensity). ”