across-the-pond inspiration

5 Aug

Celeste's room, courtesy

Checking out the nursery archives on Ohdeedoh the other day, I was struck by the awesome quirkiness of the child’s room shown above.   Celeste and her mum Katy live in a self-described “wonky 16th Century cottage in the English countryside,” and, despite the miles between us, seem to face the same issues as us apartment dwellers in the NYC area (non-level walls, crooked floors, and overall small spaces).

Reading on, I was initially impressed by the combination of materials, styles, and periods (e.g. Ghost chair paired with Eames rocker), but what really got me were those mad curtains.   Can you see them?

Gatsby collection, courtesy Another Shade of Grey

GP&J Baker deer close-up

Above, two close-ups of the fabric she used for curtains, by a company called GP&J Baker fabrics.  The GP&J Baker line is huge in the UK, but primarily sold through wholesalers (to the trade) in the US.  And what I learned from this blog is that the wonderful “Gatsby” line of fabrics (including “deer” in two colorways) was introduced in 2007 and may no longer be available.

But it got me thinking: what other amazing fabrics, bedding or wallpaper do those pesky Brits have up their sleeve? (Full disclosure: hubby’s British, I’m allowed to say that.)  So here are my three favorite recent finds, all from the UK but available in the United States and possibly worldwide.

Birtwell's "Beasties"

1. Celia Birtwell: Beasties

Also known as Ossie Clark’s better half, Birtwell’s textile designs are synonymous with London of the 60’s and 70’s.  Perhaps you know her patterns from a recent partnership with Express stores (I have one of her blouses) or her designs for Topshop in the UK.  I recently discovered her wallpaper pattern called “Beasties” and think it’d be perfect for a kid’s room.  Described as “a toile type print with animals, birds and plants that is almost Elizabethan in look,” it retails for 55 (pounds) a roll.

Cath Kidston "Cowboy" bedding

2. Cath Kidston: Cowboys

Although primarily known in the US for her oilcloth fabrics and flowered patterns, I found this vintage-looking cowboy print really fantastic.  Part of the Cath Kids line, the duvet is reversible; the other side features red and white polka-dots, which modernizes and cuts the potential kitsch-factor of the wild-west theme.  I believe there’s a CK store in SoHo New York, but I couldn’t find a listing online.  Will do searching if anyone’s interested (fyi: it costs less than 40 pounds in the UK).

Dragons "Soldiers"

3.  Dragons of Walton Street: Soldiers

How crazy is this fabric?  Perfect for any young Anglophile (or Beefeater fan. . . just kidding), this pattern from Dragons of Walton Street would really punch up a room.  I could see it used as curtain fabric, or perhaps just for accent pillows.  Most of the Dragons inventory is pretty traditional (see it here) but you may find something unique to your liking.


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