Alternative Flooring asked me to make two designs to add to their 'Quirky' range of broadloom wool carpet. My Chainmail and Daisy don't look so very quirky to me, but then perhaps I'm just used to that sort of thing. Quirkiness is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. What's great about Alternative is the simplicity of having the whole range online where you can order samples, get a quote and find a retailer. Not really quirky at all. Just really convenient.
I just had the nicest card from the lovely Sue Crewe, who has been editor of House & Garden since I began designing interiors in London in 1992. She says of the feature on my old London flat, which appears on the cover, above: 'It's not often that our features are written, photographed, submitted and designed by the same person - not to mention painted, sculpted, sprayed and glued'. I have an admission to make, however. I did none of the spraying. I did carve a rather odd object to go on the wall over my sofa, but I had it sprayed at my local sprayshop. The rest is true, though. Nothing like being a jack-of-all-trades.
NEW FABRIC COLLECTION NOW AVAILABLE. Printed in England on Belgian linen. The samplebook with all 36 colourways is priced at £38.50 inc VAT, email us to order. The fabrics will be distributed from Autumn 2014 by GPJ Baker in the UK & Europe, and by LeeJofa in the USA.
I’ve been involved with fabrics my whole life, from a childhood wrapped in David Hicks prints to helping Allegra Hicks make her first collections. More recently I’ve made collections of David Hicks by Ashley Hicks textiles with LeeJofa/GPJ Baker. Over the last year I’ve drawn ten new designs, ranging from historical things like 1480’s Italian velvets redrawn like naïve woodcuts, to my own improvised scribbles. I've called them Textures, because that’s what they give to a room.
My daughters are never off their phones, busy little fingers swiping away at the screens. I've now discovered why. They're completely addicted to Instagram. Like a fool I tried it myself a week ago and now I'm the same way. It's totally irresistible and huge fun. It's also a great way to show your work really easily and to get excited about it yourself, as well as finding inspiration in other people's pictures. Dangerously addictive, though!
The moment that I long for all year is here: my peonies are out. I spend months looking forward to it, and of course it's over in a flash although luckily with our new damp, grey summers they last longer than if we had endless sunshine. I got the plants (Sarah Bernhardt and friends) from Pivoines Riviere in France six years ago and they thrive here in Oxfordshire, giving me great bursts of pink to play with in my flower-corner of the kitchen, with its perspex shelves carrying an endless variety of small vases.