Tag Archives: blog

House tour: mix dark wood and white for a crisp industrial vibe

7 Apr

I shared one photo from this apartment on Twitter last week and the response was an immediate ‘wow’, so I thought you’d like to see the rest!

The owners of this one-bed apartment have achieve the renovation holy trinity: bigger, lighter and on a budget. Have a browse and soak up the cool mix of whitewashed brick, tile and dark reclaimed wood. Then check out the ‘befores’ to appreciate just how impressive this makeover really is!

industrial vintage city apartment tour

whitewashed brick feature wall

white painted brick wall

The apartment belongs to New York prop stylist Anthony D’Argenzio who did most of the work himself. Once the previous owner’s frilly pink pelmets and plastic-covered sofa had been banished he began by hacking the plasterboard from the walls to reveal the brick underneath. Whitewashing the rough brick and outlining the windows with a deep surround of stained reclaimed wood gives the apartment a warehouse-like feel.

house plant on window sil

white vintage kitchen with reclaimed wood

This kitchen is just a dream for me… the patterned tile floor, white marble worktop, subway tiles, industrial lighting and all that rough-hewn reclaimed wood. Perfect proof of how a tiny kitchen can still be big on style.

vintage map wall art

gallery wall

white vintage bedroom

[Photographs Emily Johnstone for Lonny]

Another thing I really admire about how this place has been styled is the juxtaposition of the industrial backdrop with quite glamourous accessories and furniture. The ornate gilded mirror in the living room, chandeliers and slightly rubbish society portraits all give an unexpected hint of faded grandeur that stops the coolness feeling too try-hard.

If you like this home you won’t want to leave the blog without looking around this apartment too… there are some lovely similarities between the two in both size and style. And don’t forget to check out the ‘befores’ too… you won’t believe your eyes!

Meet the Maker: Eleanor Pritchard

18 Mar

I met weave designer Eleanor Pritchard at Maison et Objet a couple of years ago and immediately fell for the vibrant colours and intricate patterns of her traditionally-woven Welsh blankets. Joe and I called in on Eleanor and her assistant Holly as they were hard at work on designs for their new collection to explore her South London studio and find out more about the inspirations behind her work.

Tell us what you think of our first video too!

Decorator's Notebook meets Eleanor Pritchard British weave designer

Eleanor Pritchard's weave studio by Decorator's Notebook

Where did you learn your craft?

I initially did a history degree and worked in bookselling and publishing for a while. I went back to college as a mature student and studied weaving for a second degree. I had always loved making things, but going back to college really gave me the skills to develop my own design process as well as the technical grounding in weave. I studied Textile design, specializing in weave at Chelsea and set up my own studio almost as soon as I left college, with a helping hand from the Crafts Council who gave me a grant to buy my first loom. For a number of years I taught at Central St Martins alongside my studio practice, but now work on my weaving business full time. Our blankets are sold in 25 countries, and we have also just launched an upholstery line so there’s plenty to keep us busy.

Talk us through your design process when you work on something new…

I always start by making a storyboard, which can contain anything from postcards and drawings to bits of packaging and postage stamps. Once the ideas come together I begin sampling on the Dobby loom I have here in my studio. I often thread it with different colourways in the warp so we can try several options at once. When I can see what’s working well, I weave a larger sample of the ones I like the look of.

Decorator's Notebook meets Eleanor Pritchard sampling on loom

Decorator's Notebook meets Eleanor Pritchard close up of loom

Decorator's Notebook meets Eleanor Pritchard assistant weaving

The loom looks very complicated! How do all these threads actually become a woven fabric?

Looms work on the principal of binary codes… the first computers were actually based on looms. The woven pattern comes partly from the order you thread the loom up in and partly from the order you lift the warp threads up and down in as the weft passes through. A lot of the planning happens before you even start, and with experience you get to learn what will happen when you thread the loom in a certain way. You need to follow certain rules to make sure that the fabric has a structure that will hold together, but there’s still lots of room to experiment. I enjoy the discipline of working within those parameters.

Do you weave each blanket here, by hand?

Not anymore. I sample the new designs here on my hand-operated loom, then the blankets are woven in a mill in Carmarthenshire in Wales using a power loom. A power loom works the same way but is much quicker. It’s an area where weaving used to be a huge industry – the steep little valleys were filled with hundreds of water-powered mills – but now the mill I use is one of the only ones left.

Eleanor Pritchard's weaving studio by Decorator's Notebook

How important is tradition in your work?

I am very interested in vernacular British textiles – traditional Welsh tapestry blankets are woven using a technique called ‘double cloth’ which are woven with two sets of warp and weft threads so that the front and back are exact opposites of one another. A lot of my blankets are woven using the same principal. The patterns are all my own but the technique is the same one that has been used for hundreds of years.

Decorator's Notebook meets Eleanor Pritchard wool

Eleanor Pritchard studio tour by Decorator's Notebook

Decorator's Notebook meets Eleanor Pritchard view from the studio

Describe your workspace… what can we see from your window?

I have a lovely bright and sunny studio at the top of the Cockpit Arts building in Deptford, South London. I overlook the creek and can see over to the Greenwich Observatory in one direction and Canary Wharf in the other. It’s a fantastic place to come to work each day.

How do you spend your tea breaks?

There are a lot of designer-makers here working in a wide range of disciplines: ceramics, jewellery, wood carving, metalwork. It’s a really nice community and we often call in on each other. Whether you want feedback on a new design or advice on couriering a parcel to Japan, there’s usually someone here who can help.

What sort of wool do you use?

I love yarns that are ‘fleece dyed’ which means that the wool is coloured before it’s spun, then fleece from different batches is blended together during the spinning process. This gives a variety of different tones within each thread, which creates a lovely subtlety and depth of colour. When the yarn is spun first and then dyed the colour is much flatter.

Decorator's Notebook meets Eleanor Pritchard yarns

Decorator's Notebook meets Eleanor Pritchard lamp

Interview with weave designer Eleanor Pritchard by Decorator's Notebook

Tell us a little more about your approach to colour…

I have quite an instinctive approach to colour. I love trying different combinations and responding to what works. I always use a little white in all my designs as I find it lifts the pattern and makes the other colours clearer and more vibrant. I like adding bright and unexpected accents in my palette, and often mix these with ‘grubby’ or chalky shades. I don’t use very sweet, sugary pinks for example. One of the nice things about my business growing is that I’m now able to order enough yarn to have some colours dyed to order. I work with a company in Aberdeen who have revived some of the colour recipes in their archives for me.

Can you explain the inspiration behind a few of your blanket designs?

Easterly’ is a vibrant yellow blanket with a graphic pattern inspired by the wind direction arrows on weather forecast maps, while ‘Northerly’ has the same pattern but in shades of sage, grey and white. These three – ‘405 Line’, ‘625 Line’ and ‘525 Line’ – are all based on the shape of old television screens and the names come from the number of scanning lines per inch in the original black and white, colour and American sets. ‘Signal’ was inspired by the pulse of sound waves and ‘Quail’s Egg’ is a real old favourite, with a small-scale pattern that gives a speckled effect from a distance.

Eleanor Pritchard blankets by Decorator's Notebook

{Photographs and video © Joe John for Decorator’s Notebook}

Find Eleanor’s vibrant ‘Easterly‘ and ‘635 Line‘ blankets at Decorator’s Notebook (free next day UK delivery) and visit her website for her other designs. You can also visit Eleanor’s studio yourself during Cockpit Art’s open studios twice a year – click here for forthcoming dates.

Eleanor Pritchard blankets at Decorator's Notebook UK shop

Decorator's Notebook Shop www decoratorsnotebook.co.uk

Thoughts on love and home

14 Feb

Decorator's Notebook - always with love

{Decorator’s Notebook}

Homewares made with love make lovelier homes… the simple philosophy that makes Decorator’s Notebook what it is and all we hope it can become.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone xxx

CLOSED Last chance to enter our screen print giveaway!

12 Nov

Our fantastic giveaway to win a hand-pulled A2 Campfire screen print (worth £60) ends at 10pm tonight so don’t miss out! Designed by illustrator Double Merrick exclusively for Decorator’s Notebook, this is the perfect present for adventurous types.

Double_Merrick_screen_print_60_Decorator_s_Notebook_1024x1024

To be in with the chance of winning just CLICK HERE TO ENTER plus there’s a BONUS ENTRY for everyone who shares a link to this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Remember to tag @DecoratorsNotes so we can keep track.

For more information please take a look at the original blog post.

CLOSED Giveaway! Win our exclusive Campfire screen print

5 Nov

UPDATE This giveaway is now closed – good luck to everyone who entered! The winner will be contacted by email later this week.

It’s one whole month since the Decorator’s Notebook Shop opened its virtual doors and to celebrate, we’re running a fantastic giveaway! In a slightly tenuous nod to bonfire night we’re giving away an original Campfire Screen Print to one very lucky blog reader.

Win this exclusive Campfire screen print at Decorator's Notebook

The Campfire screen print is one of our personal favourites… it was designed exclusively for us by Double Merrick, a brilliant illustrator who lives and works in France.

Together with den building, homemade catapults and Horlicks; campfires are the stuff childhood memories are made of. We created this nostalgic print for adventurers young and young-at-heart, who know the irresistible draw of flickering flames and a warming meal at the end of a day in the great outdoors.

The print is hand-pulled in Britain using three colours of ink, each printed with a separate silk screen. It is printed on thick archival-quality A2 paper.

Win an original screen print at Decorator's Notebook

Want to win?!

All you need to do is sign up to receive our newsletter, where we share offers, updates and news from the Decorator’s Notebook world (with a 100% spam-free guarantee).

ENTER HERE >>>

Please make sure you complete all fields in the form for your entry to be valid.

GET AN EXTRA ENTRY by sharing a link to this blog post and the first image via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Remember to tag us @DecoratorsNotes (Decorator’s Notebook on Facebook) so we can keep track of your bonus entries. Here’s the shortlink: http://bit.ly/17BGNfh

T&Cs: Giveaway closes on Tuesday 12th November at 10pm when the winner will be selected at random from our mailing list subscribers. The prize will only be sent to UK addresses so please do not enter if you live outside the UK. The winner will be contacted via email.

Visit Decorator's Notebook Shop

Mood of the moment… Atlantic breakers

4 Oct

Blue moodboard Decorator's Notebook

The Mother We Share - Chvrches

{LIVE / EAT / WEAR / ESCAPE}

{LISTEN CVRCHES The Mother We Share}

What a week it’s been! Our new shop went live on Tuesday and the support has just been overwhelming for us – thank you so much to every one of you who helped us spread the word with your Tweets, Facebook Shares and Instagram likes and especially all those who sent us messages. When you work so hard on something that means so much to you, releasing it into the public gaze is a pretty scary thing, so the positive reponse we’ve had has been amazing. THANK YOU!

We hope you enjoy today’s Mood for the Moment and find some time to yourself this weekend to gaze and ponder. Isn’t that blue paint dreamy? See you next week!

Bethan and Joe

Nature Table: red

26 Sep

Everywhere I look now, vibrant autumnal reds are catching my eye…

We've been photographing lots of our products for the new shop on a slate backdrop. It's a bit different to the usual white background you see in most online interiors shops... and it does something lovely to colour.

Red apple Decorator's Notebook blog

red leaves Decorator's Notebook blog

rosehips Decorator's Notebook blog

rowan berries Decorator's Notebook blog

{all Decorator’s Notebook Blog}

We’ve been photographing a lot of our products for the Decorator’s Notebook Shop against this slate background… it does something wonderful to colours and gives quite a different mood to the bright white backdrops you often see in online interiors shops.

What autumn shades have been catching your eye?

Mood of the moment… last days of summer

30 Aug

late summer moodboard by Decorator's Notebook blog

Fairytale Lullaby Bombay Bicycle Club

{LIVE / EAT / WEAR / ESCAPE}

{LISTEN Bombay Bicycle Fairytale Lullaby}

Pictures curated by Bethan, music selected by Joe. We hope you enjoy our picks and they set the mood for a relaxed weekend… soak up these last days of watery summer sunshine.

Join The Room Debate!

19 Jul

Happy Friday everyone! I hope this light and airy room captures the mood of the moment for you and has plenty of elements to discuss for The Room Debate today.

Everyone’s welcome to join in of course. If it’s your first time, simply take a good look at the photo below then head to the comments with your answers to these two questions:

One thing I like most about this room is…

One thing I like least about this room is…

white vintage living room

There are plenty of things to love about this room for me… but a couple of things that irritate me too! Looking forward to hearing what you think…

Have a lovely weekend – I’m off to Art in Action in Oxford and really looking forward to it.

Mood of the moment… Midsummer daydream

12 Jul

midsummer photo collage decorators notebook

decorators notebook listen

{LIVE / EAT / WEAR / ESCAPE}

{LISTEN First Aid Kit King of the World}

Pictures curated by Bethan, music selected by Joe. We hope you enjoy it and it gets you in the mood for a sunny weekend x

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