Festive Interiors for Christmas

It’s the festive season and the perfect excuse to get creative with decorations and table settings. Our own signature style at this time of year usually focuses on green white and silver or gold. By having a fresh, neutral theme as a contrast to the colourful food and drinks on offer, it can go some way to creating an air of sophistication even if the mood gets distinctly party!


MAY ALL YOUR CHRISTMASES BE BRIGHT

By contrast we have also been inspired by the modern trend for mixing up colours, and Jasper Conrans Christmas theme particularly caught our attention.

Brights like these work in both a traditional home and also a modern, pared-down interior, as long as they are used against neutrals or white as a backdrop and are not jostling with other colours and patterns.

You can get the look with these party decorations from the Conran Shop.

Flowers are an absolute must for Christmas and we love these vibrant arrangements by Rebel Rebel. They have also put together some gorgeous wreaths for the front door, to make just the right impression when guests arrive, and which we think look just as lovely inside or out.


...LIGHT...

Add some colour but without going overboard with vivid hues by using a pastel theme - stay with a single colour, or mix pastel shades and add some sparkle like this Heal's table setting.

And don’t forget the flowers. Take a look at these gorgeous wreaths and table arrangements from The Real Flower Company.


...NORDIC...

A Nordic-style colour scheme can be distinctly elegant. Decorate your table with deep red flowers, greenery and foraged pine cones - add some glamour with gold cutlery, scented candles and fairy lights.


...OR WHITE

We really are spoilt for choice, and it will be a hard decision this year but you can never get it wrong with a White Christmas! If you decide to go with an all-white theme add colour with greenery, and touches of silver in candles, cutlery and tableware. We especially love these mini pots of flowers with guest tags for each place setting.

With so many seasonal ideas around, why not try your hand at creating your own table decorations, experiment and have fun. Here is a short video showing how to make a simple centrepiece for your Christmas table:


Amara is one of our go-to Christmas shops - from tree decorations, cushions and wreaths to gift ideas, designer tableware and ornaments, with everything you need to prepare for the festivities. 

Amara

Amara

Impressionists in London

French Artists in Exile (1870-1904) - Tate Britain

Tate Britain’s current EY Exhibition tells the story of the artists who fled to Britain in the 1870’s to escape the Franco-Prussian War and insurrection in Paris. 

When we think of Impressionism, many of us immediately imagine the muted colours of Monet’s Waterlilly paintings, but this exhibition includes not just familiar tones, but also figurative works of London scenes such as James Tissot’s London Visitors (1873) and Monet’s Meditation, Mrs Monet Sitting on a Sofa (1870-1871). 

In many ways their inclusion provides a wider view and a fascinating insight into the connections these artists made with British social life.

A room is dedicated to Claude Monet’s studies of the Thames and the Houses of Parliament, painted in his iconic style.

Further paintings, including a number by Pissaro, who lived in the Crystal Palace area while in London, inspired us to put together our own moodboard to reflect the familiar muted shades we associate with the Impressionist style.


We took additional inspiration from Dulux paints. Changing a wall colour, adding some colour to an otherwise neutral palette or simply changing the colour of a few accessories can really change the mood of your interior.


These velvet cushions and bedding from west elm are ideal for cosying up the bedroom and their crinkle lush velvet cushions could also provide just the right impression in the living room, giving a quick seasonal makeover for chilly evenings. Monet said: “Colour owes its brightness to force of contrast rather than to its inherent qualities” – and this is why he chose to use orange and blue in several of his paintings. These two hues create a vibrant contrast as illustrated on the Grey Hamilton Sofa by flashes of turqoise and orange cushions.

Or try one of their rugs such as Flame or Verve, in a variety of colourways which also echo the hues and textures of the Impressionist style.

Accessorizing with a personal collection such as vases or ceramics which draw on a single colour spectrum creates a focal point - such as this collection from west elm.

The EY Exhibition Impressionists in London is on now at Tate Britain until 7th May 2018

Find out more here

Fashion and Textile Museum

British Textile Design with Wallace Sewell

The current show, at one of our favourite museums, is a 25 year celebration of the textiles of Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell. Graduates of The Royal College of Art, their work can now be found in around 300 stockists in 20 countries, including prestigious art galleries such as Tate in London and MOMA in New York. 

Their work echoes the aesthetic and ideology of the Bauhaus movement. Based between London and Dorset, their designs take inspiration from the textures and colours of both the countryside and cityscapes. Their manufacturing methods embrace traditional techniques such as hand-looming while fusing tradition with modern technology.

With colder weather on the horizon what better way to cosy up than with one of their signature pieces, a waffle blanket or a pinstriped lambs-wool or Shetland throw.

We are feeling especially envious of these lambs-wool block throws which perfectly echo the Bauhaus influence, particularly the designs of the female weavers of the movement, such as Benita Koch-Otte but with Wallace Sewell’s modern take. 

Woven Bauhaus textile by Benita Koch-Otte 1923

Wallace Sewell’s collaboration with West Elm, a Brooklyn based company with a strong fairtrade ethos and a commitment to sourcing ethical materials, has produced a very beautiful range of throws, wool dhurries and cushions.

This year Wallace Sewell launched a range of exquisite, hand knotted lambs-wool rugs, inspired by their collection of throws - they work particularly well when incorporated alongside them in an interior.

With Christmas just around the corner, Wallace Sewell have produced a number of items which would make perfect gifts. With scarves, cosmetic bags, coin purses, ties and totes all produced using their iconic textile designs there’s something for every member of the family … Christmas solved! Click here to see more.

Some items have been produced in collaboration with Tate Britain and have a distinctly arty style. The blue tones of this wool scarf are inspired by Whistler’s Nocturne: Blue and Silver Chelsea.

The bright colours of this scarf are inspired by Derain’s The Pool of London, and has been designed by Wallace Sewell specially for Tate Britain’s latest exhibition Impressionists in London.

Wallace Sewell: 25 Years of British Textile Design at the Fashion and Textile Museum is on now until 21st January 2018

Find out more here

Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia

The Winter Art & Antiques Fair at Olympia focuses on an eclectic mix ranging from antique to modern, from the ‘traditional to the quirky’.

Winter Art & Antiques Fair

Olympia 2017

At Devas Designs we love mixing the old with the new; contemporary pieces combined with decorative items and furniture which have their own history, to create inspiring, comfortable and stylish interiors. We are regularly asked to source rugs, artworks and paintings as inspiration for an interior project or to create a focus for the clients own treasured collection.

This ethos is at the heart of our interior design and the Fair with its huge array of items from £100 to £1,000,000 should prove a source of inspiration both for interior designers and collectors alike.

With a treasure trove of over 33,000 pieces for sale including art, antiques, furniture, sculpture, jewellery, ceramics, textiles and collectors pieces, all under one roof, we have put together just a small selection from the showcase of over 90 exhibitors.

BOCCARA

As well as specialising in sculpture, Didier Marien of Boccara is a leading expert on modern tapestries, silk rugs and customized rugs.

We particularly love his collection of original tapestries by Sonia Delaunay


BROADBENT GALLERY

With over 20 years in the art business Angus Broadbent stocks and sources an inspirational mix of fine art prints and paintings which fit a variety of interiors from contemporary to traditional. 


BABINGTON FINE ART

Babington Fine Art carries a large stock of water-colours, oils and drawings and with prices starting at £100 and also a good range of artworks for under £500 there is no excuse not to put some art on the wall.


OTTOCENTO

Another art dealer with a broad mix of intriguing works of art including old masters, 19th & 20th century paintings, prints and a fabulous collection of vintage posters.


RICHARD HOPPÉ

Richard Hoppé is a dealer and collector with a fascinating collection of glassware and antique tiles. We have picked a selection of his tiles which would work well mixed with plain tiles to add interest to a contemporary bathroom layout or framed to hang alone.


CALLAGHANS OF SHREWSBURY

Callaghans of Shrewsbury specialise in European 19th & 20th century oils and watercolours alongside sculpture, furniture and ceramics. We particularly liked Purple Hills by Rosa Canto, ceramics by Peter Beard and this Arts & Crafts seat.

 

The Winter Art & Antiques Fair at Olympia runs from 31 October – 5 November 2017.

Find out more here.

 

 

London Design Festival 2017

Having just completed its fifteenth year celebration of design, the London Design Festival’s highly ambitious event puts London squarely on the map as a design capital of the world.

The festival was spread across a number of major London venues and offered over 450 projects and events, giving Londoners and visitors alike an amazing opportunity to experience innovative and exciting design.

With such a huge selection it was difficult to make a final choice, but we were particularly impressed with the talents of a number of individual companies, many of whom had a strong commitment to sustainability and the environment, alongside traditional, timeless design and production processes.

Here are just a few who caught our attention ...

MALWINA KONOPACKA

Malwina Konopacka's limited edition hand painted ceramic vases often pay homage to her favourite artists such as Henri Rousseau for her 'Jungle' range.

FLOORSTORY

Floorstory make beautiful rugs with an eye on craft and design. Alongside their own range they also work with like minded designers and can be found in their new retail outlet in Shoreditch.

STOFF STUDIOS

Stoff Studios are a design duo who combine their love of textiles and furniture design. They are based in a Victorian warehouse in London’s Bermondsey. They use traditional methods of production with a very collaborative approach to produce their unique pieces.

CUMULO

Cumulo was founded by Margate based designer Jo Elbourne, she currently sources vintage seat frames, wall-based pieces and found objects, up-cycling and reworking them using traditional woven seating with her own distinctive take.

FOREST AND FOUND

Forest and Found are Abigail Booth and Max Bainbridge, who met as students at Chelsea College of Art. Working in visual art and contemporary craft they decided to set up their studio Forest and Found together in the East End of London in 2014.

MISS PRINT

Miss Print is a talented mother and daughter design team based in Essex They share a strong sense of commitment to the community and use non toxic inks and pigments in their production process.

CHRISTABEL BALFOUR

Christabel Balfour is an artist and weaver living and working in South East London, her work seeks to balance simplicity, detail, and organic form and the variations of the handmade.

LAWRENCE GOODWIN

Based in Buckinghamshire, Lawrence Goodwin is a designer-maker who produces functional and stylish furniture that is tailor-made for today's living. Both contemporary and timeless in design, each product highlights the importance of empathising with British sourced materials whilst demonstrating innovative design.

NAMON GASTON

With a strong ethos based on craftsmanship and bespoke design, Namon Gaston set up his Edinburgh studio in 2005. Gaston merges the disciplines of design and craftsmanship to produce timeless, elegant pieces both in his collection and in commissioned work.

LOUISE BODY

Originally trained as a fine artist, Louise Body now produces wallpaper designs from her studio in St Leonards On-Sea. We were particularly impressed with her bespoke hand finished wallpapers and murals, utilising a choice of stencil, gold leaf and hand painting, which can be supplied in numbered panels making them simple to install.

CATHERINE MACGRUER

Catherine MacGruer graduated from The Glasgow School of Art and opened her own studio in the Highlands of Scotland in 2015. Her work includes textile design, commissions and collaborative projects, as well as her own range. Combined with the highest quality materials, her textiles are made to be treasured, and we particularly fell in love with these bold geometric designs from her current range.

Textiles as Art - Paule Vézelay at Tate Britain

The artist Paule Vézelay has been very much out of the limelight since her last exhibition at Tate Britain in 1983. The current Spotlight show at Tate Britain will hopefully re-establish her place at the forefront of modern art.

Despite her French sounding name she was born Marjorie Watson Williams in Bristol in 1892 but moved to Paris in the 1920’s and the influence of the abstraction of Joan Miro, Hans Arp, Kandinsky, and her partner Andre Masson can clearly be detected in her paintings.

In the 1950’s she also started designing textiles, Tate Britain’s current show only has a few of her textile designs on display, but we were intrigued to discover more about her earlier work and also inspired to carry out some further research on her textile designs for companies such as Heals and Ascher. Her influence on contemporary design is evident, not just in her paintings but also in her post-war textile designs as can be seen in a selection of her bed-linens, curtains and furnishing fabrics below.

Orla Kiely is a contemporary designer whose retro designs are inspired by post-war textiles but with a modern twist. She particularly favours the textile prints of the 60's and 70's because of their resonance with the vitality of modern art of the period.

Orla Kiely Designs


Designers Guild have a selection of furnishing fabrics and wallpapers, with a similar aesthetic but with an updated feel.

Designers Guild Furnishings


A number of artists, including Vezeley, put their art on silk scarves for Ascher from the 1940’s onward, with the idea of combining art with industry, demonstrating the connection between craft and art.


Take a look at our mood board of contemporary designs, textiles and furnishings which pay homage to the inspiration of 20th Century art in modern design ...

Lisa Corti is based in Milan and draws inspiration from the exotic and the painterly style of Matisse for her cushions, throws and bed linen.

Lisa Corti Designs


Maxine Sutton, based in Margate, originally trained as a fine artist and her current studio practise reflects this, she describes this interaction as “Holding on and Letting Go. In between cloth and paper”.

Maxine Sutton Designs


Helen Yardley's painterly rugs bring a living room to life with their vibrant tones. She describes her work as "fundamentally paintings about colour and shape and how they relate in space".

Helen Yardley


The Paule Vézelay Spotlight Display is open now until 5 November at Tate Britain.

Find out more by clicking here.

Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius

"Colour is a visual experience, not a scientific one. When I look at designers and colour theorists work of the past, the most interesting ideas arose from questioning colour" 

Hella Jongerius -

Colour is one of the most important aspects to consider when planning our living and working spaces. Whether we are considering wall and textile colours or individual items of furniture and accessories, colour plays a key role in determining the mood and atmosphere we wish to create.

The Design Museum’s current exhibition, Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius, is a joyful exploration of colour and how it enriches our lives and our environment.

The way we perceive colour can change depending on the time of day and the light available, both natural and artificial. By dividing the exhibits into separate spaces that simulate Morning, Noon and Night, we can see how colours change, subtly throughout the day, emphasising the importance that colour and design share.

Hella Jongerius is an industrial Designer who fuses industrial production with craft, and traditional with contemporary. She pursues her passion for colour in her designs for companies as diverse as Vitra and IKEA and the current exhibition draws on her many years of research.

"My research on colours, materials and textures is never complete ...

it is part of a never ending process”

A fascinating collection of faceted vessels called Colour Catchers demonstrate the way colour changes as light is refracted from the different surfaces and how a new colour is generated by shadows. These Colour Catchers also serve to engage us in Jongerius’ investigation into how we perceive colour.

Not just confined to hard surfaces, Jongerius is also fascinated by the way woven textiles can create an optical blend and a number of her textile explorations are also on display. These act as an explanation of the intricacies of creating colour through the natural warp and weft of woven fabric, and also demonstrate her respect of the rich tradition and history of craft.

"Cultural and historical awareness are woven into the DNA of any worthwhile product"

Hella Jongerius is convinced of the need to weave cultural awareness into her designs and recently worked alongside a theorist to create her manifesto Beyond The New as an exploration of her belief in combining traditional craft and manufacturing processes with contemporary design - read more here.

"Colour, and objects are influenced by the surrounding colour landscape"

As part of our own design ethos at Devas Designs we always start with a mood board which primarily focuses on colour schemes, then furnishings, working closely with the client to assess their requirements, and blending the old with the new.

Devas Designs - Country House in Ireland

This palette of soft hues of green, blues and greys reflects the seascape in this holiday home off the west coast of Ireland. Bursts of terracotta and red provide interest to an otherwise calm colour scheme.

An approach to creating modern interiors which successfully combine classic pieces with a sense of legacy, together with contemporary pieces has become very much a part of our style.

Devas Designs - Townhouse in West London

Sourcing antiques and works of art to enhance a contemporary lifestyle is one of the most exciting parts of Philippa's practice. Often an item of antique furniture, or a standout antique object, will provide a starting point, and drawing on its colour scheme or material can inspire and inform the overall interior.

We love the idea that simply by changing one or two items or adding colour in the form of accessories, an accent wall, or a piece of furniture it’s possible to transform and refresh an interior. While you may not always be ready to change the design scheme completely, it can be easy to ring the changes and add a few pops of colour for a special occasion or a seasonal makeover.

Here is our colour mood-board of ideas to inspire your own breath of colour ...

A stylish flower arrangement may be all you need to create a different mood. Colour doesn’t just mean bright; a calm palette of cream, whites and soft greys, is just as powerful an influence on our mood, and in setting the ambience of an interior.

Devas Designs interiors

Rebel Rebel are a London based contemporary flower company creating bold bouquets and displays. They also run flower arranging workshops - find out more here.

Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius is on now at the Design Museum London, until 24 September 2017.

Find out more here

Plywood: Material of the Modern World

The Victoria and Albert Museum has been collecting furniture for over 150 years and is a rich source of inspiration for designers. Not to be missed is their thematically arranged collection in the Furniture Gallery. We recently visited their exhibition Plywood: Material of the Modern World which brings together some of the pieces.

Plywood: Material of the Modern World traces the history of an often overlooked material and how it transformed furniture design and the modern world. Who would have thought a material once considered utilitarian could have become such a direct influence on modern design?

Unlike industrial materials, plywood can be moulded in small scale factories using simple tools, and this inspired pioneering designers of the 1930s to experiment with form and shape.

The exhibition explains how plywood is produced, its history, all the way back to ancient Egypt, its re-emergence in the 19th Century and finally its role in revolutionising the production processes for an incredible range of objects from planes to skateboards.

1920s Plywood Skateboard, © V&A Museum London

Of particular interest to us at Devas Designs, were the ground-breaking designs by Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer and Charles and Ray Eames. Many of their furniture pieces are on display and the exhibits clearly show how the designers themselves have made use of the flexibility of the material and how it has informed their work.

"Form must have a content, and that content must be linked with nature" - Alvar Aalto

Finnish designer, Alvar Aalto was at the forefront of experimentation, manipulating and forming plywood to create his iconic cantilevered chairs. Aalto rejected mass production and embraced the ethos of organic forms created from natural materials, and rejected tubular steel furniture which was popular with the Modernist Movement at the time. The introduction of plywood allowed him to create flowing simple forms which didn't rely on traditional frame construction.

Designs by Alvar Aalto

Ikea is a great source for inexpensive furniture inspired by the classics such as these stacking stools based on Alvar Aalto's design and this simple birch plywood chest.

Ikea's Frosta stools and Moppe chest

"I am as much interested in the smallest detail as in the whole structure" - Marcel Breuer

The architect and furniture designer Marcel Breuer based this birch and plywood chair, below, on an earlier aluminium chair he had produced in 1932. Inspired by Alvar Aalto's use of plywood, and realising the appeal of the soft curves and the warm appearance of wood, Breuer went on to reproduce the design in plywood for the British market while working in the UK with ISOKON. The company is still going strong and a number of Breuer's designs are available to order alongside a number of other iconic designs from the 1930s.

Isokon, based in London's Hackney Wick, also produce contemporary pieces of handcrafted furniture such as this Loop Coffee Table and Bodleian Chair, both are contemporary pieces but clearly inspired by the clean lines and sculptural, organic forms of both Alvar Aalto and Marcel Breuer.

Isokon's Bodleian Chair and Loop Coffee Table - from their contemporary range

"I feel that the knowledge about an object can only enrich your feelings for the object itself" - Charles Eames

Charles and Ray Eames, the husband and wife team who created the Eames Look, with its sleek, sophisticated and beautifully simple forms, were inspired by Aalto and his use of Plywood which they described as ‘a flash of inspiration’. Many of their plywood moulded forms also incorporated their signature chrome tubular frames.

The Conran Shop is always a great source for simple classic styles very much inspired by the work of Eames, Aalto and Breuer.

Conran Shop designs

Finally we also spotted these very decorative vintage posters at the V&A's exhibition, celebrating the progress of new ideas and innovations in the world of design.

Kiki Werth is a London based dealer who has specialised in original vintage posters for over 30 years. We picked some of our favourites ...

Kiki Werth vintage posters

We also liked the Vintage reproductions by King & McGraw which are expertly printed in their Sussex studios, to exact museum conservation standards using inks and papers developed to create a perfect reproduction.

Vintage reproduction posters by King & McGraw

Plywood: Material of the Modern World is open now at the V&A Museum in London until 12 November 2017. Click here to find out more.

Back and Forth – Identifying Art In Everyday Life – Toni Catany

“I take photographs in order to translate my emotions,

my feelings and the responses of my sensibility into images”

Toni Catany

Thousands of visitors travel to Mallorca for the sun, sea and sand, but the Island also has a great deal of culture to offer as well including an impressive number of art galleries and museums. 

A recent visit to Casal Solleric Art Gallery on the Passeig del Born, in the very heart of Palma, rewarded us with an introduction to the unique photography of local artist Toni Catany. The gallery, with a small café, is set in a wonderful 18th century Baroque former manor-house and courtyard and is now one of the city’s free art galleries.

Born in Llucmajor, Mallorca in 1942, Catany was entirely self-taught. His work was inspired by the colours and images of the island and many of his still lifes are of Mediterranean plants, flowers and local artefacts.

When on his extensive worldwide travels later in life, Catany would collect souvenirs, mementoes and objects such as shells and handcrafted objects. On his return Catany would photograph his finds against a Mallorcan backdrop. He also set up a studio in Barcelona, filled with his projects and memories.

Many of the items, he maintained, had no value other than being part of his history, and an expression of the way he identified art in everyday life. As such they were arranged and grouped together without any sense of hierarchy.

We were inspired by Toni Catany’s love of colour to create our own Mediterranean mood board...

This link with his home in Mallorca, his travels around the world, and his life in Barcelona made up his world and have informed the title of the current exhibition, which translates as “Back and Forth”.

For our client in County Mayo, we incorporated their beautiful shell collection as a focal point to their sitting room, while the splash of colour from these fresh flowers enhanced the elegance of the bathroom created for our client in West London.

William Morris' Red House

'HAVE NOTHING IN YOUR HOUSES THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW

TO BE USEFUL OR BELIEVE TO BE BEAUTIFUL.’

WILLIAM MORRIS

Red House

Arts and Crafts pioneer and designer William Morris built Red House in Bexleyheath in 1860. The house was co-designed with the architect Philip Webb as a weekend retreat for Morris and his wife Jane. In this idyllic setting he was regularly visited by a number of Pre-Raphaelite painters, including Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones, who contributed to the decoration of the house.

We went in search of the Red House and discovered a treasure of early Arts and Crafts and Pre-Raphaelite influences including beautiful stained glass windows, murals, tapestries, painted furniture, and a lovely garden and tea room.

Working together with Ford Maddox Brown and the Pre-Raphaelite painters on the decoration of Red House, but finding it difficult to find hand-crafted items which satisfied his aesthetic, Morris was inspired to co-found his first decorative arts practice. Their utopian ethos included a desire to return to reinstating decoration as a fine art, and rejected the rising mechanisation of the Victorian era. Adopting hand-craftsmanship and returning to the appreciation of artisan production would become the foundations of The Arts and Crafts Movement.

We have always loved Millais’ painting of Ophelia and been fascinated by the story of the model Elizabeth Siddal. She was a very unusual choice of model, and like the Pre-Raphaelite painters she was quite unconventional for her time. Having fallen in love with Rossetti, she became a regular visitor to William Morris’ Red House. Recent renovations of William and Jane Morris’ bedroom have uncovered a mural with self portraits painted by Rosetti and Elizabeth Siddal. It seems Elizabeth was not just the pretty face we see in so many Pre-Raphaelite paintings but also a talented, if unsung, artist in her own right.

Millais' 'Ophelia'

‘WHATEVER YOU HAVE IN YOUR ROOMS THINK FIRST OF THE WALLS;

FOR THEY ARE THAT WHICH MAKES YOUR HOUSE AND HOME.’

WILLIAM MORRIS

This hallway in Red House, called Pilgrim’s Rest, incorporates a blue-painted and mural decorated settle, in classic Morris’ colours, with a Persian rug. Although he insisted on British design as his main inspiration, Morris also incorporated Persian rugs and Delft inspired tiles, alongside embroidered wall hangings and weavings created both by him and his wife Jane.

William Morris' 'Pilgrim's Rest' at Red House

In this conversion of a Mayfair Town House into a comfortable office, Devas Design used similar colours for the walls and Oriental rugs to create an interior which both reflects the building original use as a home and to create a relaxed sanctuary from the pressures of the working day.

Devas Designs Mayfair Townhouse

In this Belgravia Town House, Devas Designs created a reading room and library and an elegant dining room inspired by the gothic fireplace and wall hanging, all of which reflect Morris’ love of traditional colours to create a calm palette.

Devas Designs Belgravia Town House

Throughout June, Red House is hosting ‘Roses at Red House’ celebrating William Morris’ love of English gardens. The roses, honey suckle, jasmine of the Red House gardens together with an appreciation of the natural world were an inspiration for Morris’ hand blocked wallpaper designs.

Click here to take a look at Morris & Co. for original wallpaper designs and fabrics.

Clerkenwell Design Week

"Colour is my passion. My designs are fundamentally paintings about colour and shape and how they relate in space…. Take one colour, add another and there is a dynamic”

Helen Yardley, Textile Designer

Clerkenwell Design Week

#CDW2017

Clerkenwell was a recent hub of creativity as it once again hosted Clerkenwell Design Week. Devas Designs was impressed to see such a diversity of talent and what also caught our attention was the number of designers and manufacturers dedicated to returning to hand-crafting traditions and materials and a commitment to sustainability and ethical production. With this in mind here are just a few who really stood out for us.

Bermondsey based British Designer Helen Yardley, is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, where she studied Textile Design. Helen is known for her painterly style and dramatic use of colour. Initially attracted to designing rugs, seeing them as ‘drawings for floors’, Helen has been producing handcrafted rugs, runners, carpets and wall hangings for over 25 years. Through her process and by manufacturing in Britain she aims to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. 
Here are just a few of our favourite designs ...

We were greeted by a quirky colourful Installation designed by Hakwood flooring, amusingly called Double Vision, which they produced specially for the Event. Hakwood are a Netherlands-based manufacturer, producing environmentally responsible hardwood floors which include reclaimed antique woods.

A wonderful canal-side loft apartment in Amsterdam blends the history of the classic Dutch warehouse with a contemporary feel. This is enhanced by the clever use of different Hakwood flooring to define spaces and incorporates the clients request for a black and white interior theme.

Bute Fabrics is based on the Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Having established their traditional hand-loomed woollen textile business in 1947, they still share a commitment to serving the community and a reliance on traditional methods of production. The local landscape and the Island’s natural colours, textures and patterns is woven into their designs making them bold, bright and contemporary. 

From traditional tweeds to block colours their range is so eclectic it’s possible to create a bold statement piece like these Twin Tone cushions or something more subdued to blend in with the interior scheme.

Another Country, based in Marylebone, is another design company with high standards of responsibility, only using sustainably harvested timbers for all their furniture. Their designs are inspired by British Country and Shaker style and also call on Japan and Scandinavia as inspiration for their unpretentious forms. Every piece is hand-finished and hand-assembled. The simplicity of their designs and truth to their materials blends comfortably with both traditional and contemporary schemes.

Laura Spring is a textile designer and maker, having graduated from Glasgow School of Art, she now lives and works in Glasgow. Laura uses bold graphics combined with bright colours to produce beautifully crafted products. This, combined with ethical methods of production, are a signature of her beautiful hand-woven rugs, textiles and accessories. She often incorporates traditional tie-dye techniques from Jaipur in her designs. Her enormous love of colour print, pattern and process are evident in these beautiful accessories and furnishings

The British Collection showcased some of the most exciting UK designers latest designs in the unique setting of the barrel vaulted crypt of St. James’s Church on Clerkenwell Green. We were particularly drawn to the Classic English Kitchen on display from deVOL Kitchens who are based in Leicestershire but also have a showroom in Clerkenwell. DeVOL have been creating handmade bespoke kitchens for almost 25 years and pride themselves on their use of sustainable British timbers.

They describe their look as a ‘beautifully considered mix of classic and contemporary design’ and we couldn’t agree more.

This is an ethos which is very much at the heart of Devas Designs, and a theme we aspired to, in creating these classic kitchens for our clients in County Mayo and the Irish countrside.

Tulips from Amsterdam ...

'Choose only one master - nature'

- Rembrandt van Rijn -

May is a wonderful time of year to visit Amsterdam. Even if you don’t venture out into the tulip fields you won’t miss the flowers as the city of Amsterdam is ablaze with tulips. A visit to the Amsterdam Flower Market is uplifting, situated on the banks of the Amstel, with its cafes, shops and delightful gabled Dutch houses.

A well as the colourful displays of flowers the classic colours of the Dutch buildings are inspiring.

Papers and Paints in London’s Park Walk have an incredible range of traditional paint colours and will also mix and match tailor-made colours using a unique method called spectrophotometry to ensure complete accuracy and since 1995 have developed unrivalled expertise in this work. You can take a sample as small as a flake of paint or a small swatch of fabric and they will colour match for you. We couldn’t agree more when they say that colour is one of the most important choices we can make.

The Modern Dutch style shares many of the aesthetics of Scandinavian Style in terms of utilising natural light sources, an effective use of wood and a palette of gentle hues. Soft blues and greys against pale walls, sometimes with a signature wallpaper or colour, and an emphasis on the family dining table at the heart of the home all add to a harmonious living environment. The interior details and table linen below are from Designers Guild while the table setting and crockery are from John Lewis.

One of our favourite hotels to stay in Amsterdam is Hotel De L’Europe in the heart of the city overlooking the beautiful Amstel and a stone’s throw from the Rijksmuseum. The hotel exudes an air of sophistication and interestingly has used oversized images of Dutch Masters on the walls. These have been recreated from the collection of the Rijksmuseum.

Did you know....

Europeana Collections has, alongside other organisations and initiatives, worked with The Rijksmuseum since 2011 to make their public domain collection available online without restrictions. This has resulted in over 150,000 high resolution images for anyone to view, download, copy, remix, print and use for any purpose.

See more by clicking here.

The occasional signature of traditional Dutch tiles and Delftware are used in a very understated way at Hotel De L’Europe but are cleverly combined with contemporary elements.

We also love to add accessories and textiles to ring the changes. Take a look at our Delft inspired mood board for a contemporary Dutch look - which includes accessories from Designers Guild. Their Delft Polonaise cushion and Murrine Delft fabric echo the blues of traditional Delft tiles.

As a starting point, we are often asked to take into consideration a client’s own personal collection of art and antiques when designing a new scheme or focus on a particular element they wish to incorporate. Our client in Ireland had an interesting collection of pottery and the inclusion of this very personal collection was a prime consideration.

Josef Frank: Patterns, Paintings, Furniture

“There’s nothing wrong with mixing old and new, with combining different furniture styles, colours and patterns. Things that you like will automatically fuse to form a relaxing entity.”

- Josef Frank -

We recently visited the Fashion and Textile Museum in London’s Bermondsey, to see the work of Josef Frank. This is the first ever UK exhibition of his textiles, furniture and vibrant fabric designs and also includes a collection of his previously unknown watercolours.

Although he was born and raised in Austria, Frank emigrated to Sweden, and together with the company Svenskt Tenn he redefined what is regarded as the Swedish Modern style. His work celebrates comfort, positivity and homeliness, and just taking a look at his work is a wonderfully uplifting experience. 

Josef Frank’s textile designs, his prints of fruits, flowers, trees, and foliage, weave together in a glorious celebration of nature. ‘Himalaya’ was one of his final prints made in 1950 and sums up his love of colour pattern and a perfect world.

After the 1950’s, Frank started painting watercolours. Having used watercolours as his medium for creating his print and textile designs, he was experienced in the technique and went on to produce over 400 paintings. Some of these express his most popular prints such as ‘Tulpaner’, Tulips.

Many of Josef Frank's wallpapers and textiles are still available from Svenskt Tenn Sweden, and even the lower budget IKEA has produced ranges of both furniture and wallpaper inspired by his design ethic. We have put together some design ideas of our own which we feel celebrate nature, pattern, and texture in a way which reflects Josef Franks ethos. A number of our favourite companies include botanical images in their design.

We were particularly drawn to Rose Dust rug by Vivienne Westwood and also The Oriental Bird rug by Paul Smith, both for The Rug Company.

These handcrafted chairs from Sofa Workshop covered in botanical prints echo Franks' emphasis on comfort, combined with floral textiles.

When it comes to wallpapers, we found these subtle designs from Designer Wallpapers would work well as a signature wall covering.

Anthropologie has produced a range of home accessories which call on a botanical motifs. Just a few items from this range could bring a touch of summer to your scheme or liven up your summer table for al fresco dining.

Nisha Crosland is one of our go-to British Textile designers and this rug and wallpaper perfectly complement the blending of traditional with a contemporary feel.

Blending antiques with more contemporary items is a theme we use frequently, and in this Queens Park apartment Devas Designs used a subtle, signature Neisha Crosland Wallpaper to create a harmonious bedroom sanctuary for our client.

We were also excited to discover that Josef Frank was inspired by the work of British textile designer William Morris and his Arts and Crafts aesthetic. In particular his revival of the art of traditional pattern design, and his method of creating pattern repetition, drawn from nature, in order to create a mood of harmony and tranquillity were a source of motivation to Frank. These examples of Morris’s textiles from Cole and Son and an interior by Josef Frank clearly show the correlation between the two designers.

Josef Frank’s design ethos encapsulates the aims of Devas Designs, to provide interior solutions which blend traditional with modern to create a comfortable living space with a distinctive style.

Josef Frank: Patterns - Furniture - Painting at The Fashion and Textile Museum is on now until May 7th 2017.

Click here to find out more.

Eduardo Paolozzi: His Art and Craft

"As an artist it is sometimes difficult

to draw a line between art and craft"

- Eduardo Paolozzi -

Devas Designs recently visited the Eduardo Paolozzi show at The Whitechapel Gallery. It celebrates Paolozzi's love of the creative process  and introduced us more fully to his love of textiles, ceramics, home-wares, furnishing fabrics and wall paper designs. 

Not only did he produce his familiar collages and screen prints, but he also taught textile design at the Central School of Art & Design, many of his prints echoing organic forms and utilising collaged images.

In the 1950's he formed a partnership with the architect Nigel Henderson to create Hammer Prints Ltd. and many of the designs were produced by wallpaper company Cole & Son. Their modern re-imagining of his 1950's 'Cowcumber' design, which features a botanical print, is still produced by them today.

With Nigel Henderson, Paolozzi went on to produce a wide variety of imagery on textiles, ceramics and home-wares. Their designs drew on diverse styles from the influences of the Omega Workshop to Abstract Expressionism and Marcel Duchamp, and combined their own individual backgrounds. They had a shared interest and appreciation of craft, production and the new, post war mass culture. This collaboration resulted in a very unique and eclectic practice, such as this humorous plate, and vibrant textile design.

We were also taken with this curtain fabric titled 'Portobello'. It is based on pen and ink drawings by Paolozzi of antiques from Portobello Antique Market in the early 1960’s and it reminded us of French Toile de Jouy furnishing fabrics.

Devas Designs went in search of decorative items which could echo Paolozzi’s love of form, colour and individuality. We came up with a number of solutions including these rugs from The Rug Company which we feel echo Paolozzi’s love of geometric form and would liven up an interior without compromising the other elements in the design, like this one in a narrow library area. This swirl patterned rug, also from The Rug Company is designed by Paul Smith and is a brilliant illustration of how contemporary and traditional design can be brought together by the clever use of accessories and textiles.

We were thrilled to discover the work of Eleanor Pritchard who designs her textiles from her London studio, the resulting designs are produced by highly skilled British weavers using traditional weaving methods in mills in Lancashire, Wales and Scotland.

This gorgeous navy and white throw, and cushions all made using the hand woven tradition, particularly caught our eye, we feel they reflect the ethos and style of Paolozzi & Henderson and would work well in both a traditional or more minimalist interior.

Despite not having trained as a potter, Paolozzi taught ceramics at the Royal College of Art. We particularly like these silk screened, limited edition porcelain plates which Paolozzi designed for Wedgwood, in the 1970’s which demonstrate his love of geometric forms and this elegant tea pot for Rosenthal.

Lubna Chowdhary is another London based designer we are excited to discover through our interest in the work of Edwardo Paolozzi. Lubna is his former pupil having studied for her ceramics MA at the Royal College of Art. Her ceramics are individually glazed and hand crafted and she draws inspiration from Paolozzi’s exploration of colour on flat surfaces as can be seen on his public mosaics.

As well as large scale commissions, Lubna also produces small scale mosaics suitable for domestic interiors and provide an interesting alternative to a painted canvas. We used a mix of antique and modern to create an atmosphere of light, space and comfort in this apartment for our client in Queen’s Park, London. The addition of cushions with a similar motif to Lubna’s eye catching, Paolozzi inspired ceramics, provides additional interest and updates the theme.

'Eduardo Paolozzi' at The Whitechapel Gallery is on until 14 May 2017. Click here to find out more.

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair 2017

Devas Designs was thrilled to see some regular exhibitors alongside newcomers at The Decorative Antiques & Textile Fair in Battersea Park last week. The fair included a very eclectic mix of stunning antiques and decorative items from France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, the UK and beyond. The fair originally started in 1985 and is now a major annual fixture on our calendar, a must-see event which covers everything from textiles, and furniture to ceramics and paintings.

We were glad to see some regulars are back again plus some new exhibitors. The Fair is always a very exciting show and as you will see from some of the items we have picked out, this one did not disappoint.

We were particularly attracted to some of the luminous glass wear from James Miles Ltd such as this blue glass vase and this stunning pink glass dish. We were also drawn to their collection of Poole Pottery.

We loved the elegant lines of this 1958 mid-century chair by Arne Hovmund-Olsen. The graphic impact of this piece is reminiscent of the Vienna Secessionist work of Josef Hoffman.

We were also drawn to this vase from Justin Evershed Martin, crafted by Carlo Moretti who owned an artisan factory in Murano, creating pieces in the traditional manner using glassblowing techniques but adding contemporary design.

Da Silva Antiques are based in London, her selection of decorative items and original vintage pieces is constantly updated. We were pleased to find this eclectic range of cushions using antique fabrics, with such a wide selection we will be keeping an eye open for suitable pieces.

3details is another company which surprised us with this work by British artist Peter Woodward, who is both a painter and print-maker. This arrangement of vessels depicted in neutral tones relies, primarily, on the arrangement of form and texture. He sources antique frames for his work, which he painstakingly prepares, so that the frame becomes almost part of the painting itself. These works would lend themselves to both a modern and a traditional interior.

Finally we were fascinated to learn that 3details hold a unique collection of 'rescued' artefacts from Jim Dine’s former London home. Jim Dine is considered to be a pioneer of pop art and part of the Neo Dada art movement, he currently lives in America. The ‘found’ works, include  memorabilia, and artworks and were only rediscovered recently. This is just a small selection from their extraordinary find. 

David Hockney at Home

David Hockney is one of Britain’s most popular artists, Devas Designs caught up with his latest exhibition at Tate Britain and what a fantastic show it is. It covers six decades of his work from London in the 1960’s, his swimming pool era in Los Angeles, and landscapes of his hometown in Yorkshire. What stands out so clearly is his depiction of colour and light which we can use as inspiration for our own interiors.

We’ve put together some ideas from his paintings to get the 'Hockney Effect' in interiors settings ...

Inspired by his colour themes and swimming pool paintings, why not choose your own combination of Hockney coloured tiles using Johnson’s clever ‘colour genie’, which makes it so simple to get the look. Try the 'colour genie' for yourself by clicking here. Here's our own colour genie result, drawing inspiration from Hockney's swimming pool paintings.

Many of Hockney’s paintings depict friends and family in domestic settings which gives the work added poignancy such as the touching painting of his parents below. 

Sofaworkshop pride themselves on providing the ‘best of British’ craftsman made sofas, their latest collection includes sofas and chairs in vibrant and pastel colours which reflect Hockney's domestic scenes.

If you simply want to ring the changes, take a look at this dazzling array of bright silk or velvet finish cushions from the John Lewis range. At just £25 each you can create an immediate pop of colour for an instant ‘Hockney makeover'! Changing cushions and accessories, seasonally, or as the mood takes you, is a fun and inexpensive way to shake up your interiors and give your home a whole new feel.

The Conran Shop is always a source of great ideas. Jasper Conran, who took over the helm in 2012, has a number of colourful solutions which include mixing colours to break away from a uniform look.

It doesn’t just have to hinge on ‘eye popping’ colours though. A softer approach using pastel hues and elegant flower arrangements are reminiscent of the cool interior of Hockney’s Mr and Mrs Clarke and Percy. He has painted this colourful couple relaxing in the cool interior of their Notting Hill apartment. The painting immediately brought to mind the West London townhouse designed by Devas Designs, shown below.

... And don’t forget to create your own green oasis, where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax, as we did here for a London client.

If you want to add temporary colour to your own garden or balcony try a simple row of coloured plant pots with brightly coloured flowers or cactus inspired by Hockney’s garden paintings.

London Art Fair 2017

Alongside our Interior Design services, Devas Designs specialises in buying artwork for clients. Whether you’re looking to start a collection, add to an existing collection or search for that one perfect piece - we have the expertise and contacts to help you.

Naturally we’re always on the look out for new and exciting pieces and visit as many fairs and exhibitions as we can. Last week we took a trip to the London Art Fair, which focusses on modern British and contemporary art. Here’s our top picks from the fair …

Winifred Nicholson at Crane Kalman Gallery

Winifred Nicholson was a colourist and her beautiful impressionistic style has always caught our eye. She concentrated on domestic still life objects and landscapes, often combining the two by depicting nature through a window, for example.

She was married to painted Ben Nicholson who focussed on more abstract scenes. There is a lovely soft quality to her work; both in the colours and treatment of paint. The lightness and optimism created would makes a lovely addition to an interior as tehse qualities compliment an existing colour scheme while adding a splash of colour to the space.

Joakim Eskildsen at Purdy Hicks Gallery

Joakim Eskildsen is a photographer from Copenhagen. His series Nordic Signs was produced between 1989-1994 and resulted from his travels between Northern Europe, featuring Norway, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

In his series, Eskildsen draws out the poetic qualities of these landscapes with an emphasis on the atmospheres created by the elements. They were a collaboration with his wife, the poet Cia Rinne. He was inspired by the way Renaissance painters portrayed light and used some of these techniques in his photographic work. He says these images capture “something that is at the same time wild yet liveable”.

Abe Odedina at Ed Cross Fine Art

Born in in Nigeria in 1960, Abe Odedina lives and works in London. He is a self-taught painter, having trained originally as an architect. A trip to Brazil ignited Odedina’s interest in painting and particularly the the voodoo arts of Haiti and the Painters of the Sacred Heart.

Odedina's work celebrates the use of colour and pictorial statements, qualities in artwork seen on the streets of cities such as Lagos, Salvador and Port-au-Prince. The figures are painted in acrylic on plywood in a bold and stylised manner. He often incorporates text which explores universal themes and believes that art has the power to transform reality.