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 heart warming ITV series The Durrells). Not to mention the drone camera work of the house and continuous shots of Mediterranean blue…
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).”
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.
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!)
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
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
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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