Mediterranean interior style

Before you throw another log on the fire (I jest – as I am hoping the weather is now firmly Summer-bound!) the worlds of UK interior design and publishing have everything you need to bring the turquoise shores and warmth of Mediterranean sun into your home. No passport required, no need to practise your Brexit queuing techniques at immigration…

The sun always shines on the blog

As well as some Mediterranean-inspired wallpaper and fabric designs to look forward to, there is also the ponderous issue of who is your favourite Durrell character (a conundrum created by the genius casting in Sunday night’s heartwarming ITV series The Durrells). Not to mention the drone camera work of the house and continuous shots of Mediterranean blue…

Adam family on Gael, June 2015 010
Gael in the Greek Islands. Photo: Hamish Adam

My Family And Other Animals

Four years ago, before the first series of The Durrells came to our screens in 2016, textile designer and printmaker Fanny Shorter, whose textile work is represented by Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom in London, visited the Greek Island of Corfu and read Gerald Durrell’s book My Family and Other Animals.

“His evocative prose, despite being first published 60 years ago, completely focused my Corfiot experience. I looked for what he vividly described: the colours, the plants and animals, the temperature and textures and found pockets of the landscape and life he remembered, still there if occasionally marred by a large boat of burnt tourists or an abandoned motorbike.”

Fanny named her current textile collection Garden of the Gods after Durrell’s third title in his trilogy. Fanny says, “The designs themselves draw on Corfu’s flora and fauna as described by Durrell and aim to replicate the colours, atmosphere and characters (both human and otherwise).”

The Durrells by Sid Gentle Films for ITV.

Garden of The Gods collection

Fanny Shorter named some of her Garden of The Gods textile collection after characters in the trilogy. This is Margo in all her lemony, fabric and floral gorgeousness (Margo is available in 2 colourways on oyster linen).

I love the two-tone indigo and sage coloured leaves in this design, which gives ‘Margo’ the sophistication she deserves – or at least aspires to. Fanny referenced some of Corfu’s blooms in her design from anemones to roses, magnolia, orange blossom and the Mediterranean classic of geranium.

Meet Margo

Margo Lemon designed and handprinted on linen by Fanny Shorter available through Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom.

As Rebecca Cole (creative and PR consultant to the Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom) pointed out, you can imagine Margo wearing a 1930s dress made out of this fabric (or even a pair of her fab shorts!)

20th Century Chinese embroidery fabric mounted on French velvet with Frency braid by Volga Linen’s summer collection. The Durrell’s could only have dreamed of the luxury of Russian linen like this. The Portuguese locations for Volga Linen’s Spring Summer ’18 collection photographed by Yuki Sugiura evoke the colour and simplicity of Mediterranean style. Volga Linen’s showroom is also handily at 2nd Floor, 9 Langton Street, SW10 0JL. Pink House by Rebecca Cole Photo: Charis White.

As well as being the PR and creative consultant to Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom, Rebecca is a highly accomplished textile designer, artist and embroiderer. I really enjoy following Rebecca’s Pink House by Rebecca Cole’s blog particularly for her technical insights into textile design.

Textile tribute to Margo Durrell

The Durrells fabulous TV costumes are designed by Charlotte Holdich. Time maybe to bring back knitted bikinis @Knightcraft  and even a ‘Margo’ capsule fashion collection?

Fanny Shorter describes this fabric design as a tribute to Margo, the only daughter. “Life while idyllic, seems reasonably frustrating for Margo. She is isolated from girls her own age at a time when you look for reassurance from your contemporaries. She is primarily occupied (according to Gerald) with ‘hectic affairs of the heart’.

“Lurching through numerous, sentimental dilemmas, she has only a preoccupied mother and three brothers for counsel, each of whom are equally absorbed in their own pursuits, pausing but briefly to ridicule (however humorously) her weight, complexion or current paramour. I designed this fabric for her.”

The Durrells’ house

The location house with the view used for The Durrells. Image courtesy of ITV.

Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom

Fanny Shorter and Rebecca Cole are among 4 other wonderful textile, wallpaper and lighting designers who share the Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom space with architect/interior designer Guy Goodfellow.  Guy is in the top 100 House & Garden list for interior design practices – you can see his listing in the current June issue.

Cool, calm and collected

African Weave is a digitally printed linen originally designed by Jaine McCormack when she was working for Guy Goodfellow as a decorator. Inspiration for the design came from a small section of original Kente cloth (native to Akan ethnic group of South Ghana) that Jaine sourced from a vintage textile sale. 

Jaine suggested to the client that the fabric be extended with digital printing into a much bigger and more useful size. It proved a great success and for the past 10 years Jaine has been the Creative Director in charge of the Guy Goodfellow Collection developing their fabrics and wallpaper designs.

Guy Goodfellow CollectionPhoto: Charis White

Styling note

African Weave is a versatile linen fabric – perfect for curtains, headboards, cushions and maybe even summery bedspreads.

For an effective ‘Kente’ look bedspread, hand stitch (with fine wool or linen) widths together and line. The texture and pattern will do the rest. No need for any gathers or piping. You might like also to take a look at Guy Goodfellow Collection’s lovely new Javan weave based on Indonesian weaves. If I was to describe the style of these two fabrics, it might be elegant, understated Boho! 

Makers Tales at Guy Goodfellow

Rebecca Cole explained to me how the Guy Goodfellow showroom also has a programme of showcasing other talent in temporary exhibitions called Makers’ Tales.

One of the ‘Makers’ that particularly caught my eye is Sarah Burns, who is the designer behind the Dora Fabric collection. Sarah lovingly put together this jewel of a portfolio for the Makers’ Tale exhibition (do go and see for yourself in the showroom – before I personally archive it at The V&A!)

Cover of Dora Fabrics cloth bound portfolio/storybook with hand blocked St Peters fabric at Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom.

The portfolio tells the story of Sarah’s experimentation with the natural dyes from plants and trees that surround her Sussex home. The portfolio/storybook also includes samples of Sarah’s hand block printed wallpaper and fabric designs – just a small sample of summery coloured designs are seen here.

This is a map in the portfolio that shows sample fabrics with dyes from the plants/trees Sarah has found near her home in Sussex for her Dora Fabrics collection.
Sarah’s experimentation with Rhubarb dye on fabric and on paper. The colour ranges from soft pinks through to yellows to darker pinks. Love how the fabrics are hand sewn onto the pages of the book.
St Peter hand blocked wallpaper and fabric design photographed on dining table by Dora Fabrics in the portfolio/storybook.
St Peter handblocked wallpaper and fabric designs. This time stitched onto a linen fabric page. Dora Fabrics at Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom.
St Cuthman design by Dora Fabrics in the portfolio/storybook at Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom

Summer house linen

Volga Linen’s Spring Summer ’18 collection evokes beautifully the colour and simplicity of Mediterranean style. Volga Linen’s showroom is nearby the Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom at 2nd Floor, 9 Langton Street, SW10 0JL.

CrushedBedLinen_011 1 Volga turquoise bedlinen
When the heat gets tropical, sleeping with a linen of 100% cotton sheet is the only way to go. Love these dreamy turquoise sheets from Volga Linen.
Volga Linen print collection Blue and yellow xxx
Harmonious styling of plains, stripes and patterned fabrics on a summery wooden sofa, Volga Linen.

Setting a Mediterranean scene

This is part of Designers Guild’s new mural. If you get a chance, go and take a look as it is even more impressive when you see it stretching across a wide wall in at their Kings Road store in London.

Designers Guild Gairdino Segreto Part 2 Delft – mural.
Calypso Pagoda storage basket by The Braided Rug Company. Couldn’t take my eyes off the blue, it is almost as alluring as an infinity pool! Photo: Charis White

Summer reading

Secrets Under The Sun by Nadia Marks

Finally, a mention for my friend and mentor Nadia Marks’ new book Secrets Under The Sun.  It is Nadia’s second novel, which is published on 17 May 2018, I can’t wait to read it! Originally from Cyprus, Nadia has very successfully switched from her role as magazine creative director (Nadia was the guiding hand on my first interiors shoots at The National Magazine Company) to the written word.

Thank you so much for reading. I hope this has given you a little early summer inspiration – just let me know which flight you are on to Greece? If you would like to receive email alerts for future posts, then please press the large blue ‘Follow’ button either at the beginning or end of a post. With many thanks, Charis x

Charis White, Interiors writer, blogger and online shop keeper.




11 thoughts on “Mediterranean interior style

  1. We are hooked on The Durrells at home and are hooked on Greece. Loved reading My Family…. and always remember the chapters with titles like “The Pink House”, “The Lemon House”….. idyllic!!


  2. So much interesting info in this blog Charis. Thoroughly enjoyed reading and being introduced to fabric designers that I had not seen before. Love the zesty lemons on the fabrics and exquisite embroidery. Thank you x


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