Fabrics, so many beautiful Indian fabrics

I’ve only been to India once but I forever will be captivated by the colours. My interior design is inspired by many counties, but there’s just not anything else quite like Indian fabrics and silks. I read once that Indian fabrics have been called ‘exquisite poetry in colour’ which seems very apt.

Colour is used in a vivid, kaleidoscopic way.  It takes special meaning in Indian society, from bright pink to celebrate life in the spring festival of Huli, the iridescent rainbow of colours as millions of fireworks explode in Diwali, the festival of lights, through to saffron, the colour of religious asceticism.  The town of Jodhpur in Rajasthan is painted blue to echo the colour of the blue god Krishna – Indian Interiors company

As I said in another post, my mother bought me a little ceramic elephant from Indian a number of years ago and spawned a love for those. She is also one of the reasons that I have such a love for Indian textiles and am building up a little collection! Here’s some that I picked up from Malaysia and that she brought me back from a recent trip to Jaipur. With my new sewing skills, I’m excited to start turning some of these into cushions.

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Saturday Sewing Session – My first cushion

About three years ago I went to John Lewis and bought a sewing machine. It was a gift from my elderly grandmother, who lived in Australia and has sadly since passed away, and at the time I was really keen to try sewing again. Back at secondary school, Design & Technology had been one of my favourite subjects (along with Maths and Ancient Greek, a strange combination I know!), and I had especially loved Textiles. My mum even still has a pair of silk trousers I made for her over 13 years ago. Sadly until this morning despite all kinds of good intentions my lovely sewing machine has sat in its box, stacked away on the shelves in the hallway cupboard.


My first proper cushion with a concealed zip, cut and sewn all by myself (with some expert guidance)

But today, thanks to Saturday Sewing Session, I made a cushion! While I was on holiday over Christmas and planning on the various things I wanted to do in my new home, sewing my own cushions and other furnishings was right at the top of the list.

I toyed with jumping straight in to piped cushions, thinking that maybe I could handle an intermediate course, but thankfully reality hit, and I signed myself up for their Saturday Zip It Up Beginners Comfy Cushions class. Its a 3 hour session where they take you through the basics of setting up, threading and using the machine before teaching you to make a cushion with a concealed zip. At £50 with all fabric, cushion padding and machine if you want included, I thought it looked like a good deal… Continue reading

Design Inspiration from Malaysian Travels….Part One

I’m just coming to the end of a wonderful holiday in Malaysia and with my mind full of interior design, I feel especially lucky to have been surrounded by such beautiful, and colourful, sources of inspiration. Plus the free time away from the office has been absolutely brilliant for a whole host of online shopping! Wallpaper samples and design books galore await me on the return. I may be getting just a little carried away… (Which I think will be a common theme of my new house).

I always try to bring things back from the countries I visit and as such I’ve bought a number of things for my new house (as well as being full of beautiful things, it’s also incredibly cheap here). I’ll post those up separately once I am back and they are unwrapped, but here are a few pictures I’ve taken while visiting Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and Penang which I’ve found especially inspiring for my home (pt one)

This is my first time visiting Malaysia and the mix of cultures here, particularly Indian and Chinese, has been such fun to explore, and can be seen in the mixture of photos. Each is an explosion of different colours, heavily featuring red and gold in the run up to Chinese New Year, and I will never ever tire of visiting Asian temples, which are just the most glorious things to behold. There is something about the colours, statues and structures, that I could look at for hours. Despite not personally being religious, I’ve always loved visiting religious buildings. As well as being incredibly calming, the art is usually breathtaking – I am particularly partial to a mural or two – and I am always captivated by the intricate stone carvings and woodwork. The colour of Buddhist temples is obviously a world apart from English churches and I remember the first time I saw one in the flesh being a little shocked by how bright they were!

Now though I’m wondering if recreating my own in the heart of Bermondsey might just be a little too OTT or whether I could pull it off…. Continue reading