I get a bit fed up with white winter wonderland interiors in magazines this season and aside from tinsel (yes had miles of it as a child along with homemade paper chains) our homes should glow with joyful pattern and colour whether you forage for red rosehip berries or hit the high street.
The January issue of House & Garden is devoted to Winter Living but there is no sight of white on the cover. Instead, we see the bright and beautiful Bloomsbury flat of Ben Pentreath. Needless to say Ben’s interiors combines a strong sense of colour, pattern and classical detail
I also thank House & Garden’s Rose Dahlsen for discovering my Christmas book that I spied on page 43 – ‘Patternity a new way of seeing: the inspirational power of pattern’ by Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham (Conran Octopus, £30).
Here are pattern-related images from a myriad of sources across the worlds of fashion and interiors to art, architecture and science, food and drink to technology and education. The brilliant images are juxtaposed and interspersed with musing on the nature of pattern. Inspired, I googled Patternity, subscribed to the newsletter and found this quote.
‘Patterns are something we come across every day. We wear theme, we walk on them, we even eat, drink and think them – we always have and we always will.’
This uplifting tome that will cheer up anyone’s Christmas. I will wrap mine in Pentreath & Hall paper based on stone floor and marble patterns by the great 18th century designer Batty Langley. This in turn inspired a whole new patterned carpet collection Ben Pentreath for Alternative Flooring.
To read about colour and pattern in the home read Alternative Flooring’s December blog ‘Christmas Collage’
It’s incredible to think that over the next two years, wannabe entrepreneurs will launch up to 3.4m pop-up shops across the UK. I am all for these outfits who give creatives a real shop window on this consumer world of ours. My issue is that by the time the word gets out they have often popped off. I guess that’s the point.
One not to be missed is Fine Cell Work’s Christmas pop-up at 34 Great Windmill Street, London W1D 7LR open until 22 December, Monday to Saturday 10am – 7pm. The shop is supported by Kit Kemp, trustee, huge supporter and one of the collaborators of this pioneering prison charity and social enterprise.
“Embroidery requires a lot of heart, which inspired the heart-shaped oak-leaf design. This is what Fine Cell Work is all about helping prisoners in a constructive way – and I’m thrilled to support them.”
- Kit Kemp
Just around the corner from Kit Kemp’s Ham Yard Hotel is Fine Cell Work’s pop-up. Discover Kit Kemp’s exclusive soft furnishings in the form of her Fine Cell Work collaborations - cushions and lavender bags that make perfect presents that keep on giving for Christmas. Her ‘Heart of Oak’ design reflects her joyful sense of colour and love of embroidery. Other interior designer collaborators include Ben Pentreath, Melissa Wyndham, John Stefanidis while Daisy de Villeneuve vintage art cushions head fashionable line.
The Christmas pop-up has a great selection of hand-stitched cushions in fabulous themes. There are also aprons, lavender bags, decorations made from British wool and beautifully embroidered Sway bags and even cross-stitched Christmas cards.
Time, love and care go into making each item. They are produced in British prisons as part of Fine Cell Work’s rehabilitation programme that teaches needlepoint and embroidery to 450 prisoners each year, encouraging them to come out with new employable skills and the hope of a better future.
Pop into Fine Cell Work
34 Great Windmill Street, London W1D 7LR
Tel: 020 7931 9998
Christmas gifts and decorations also available online