I love spring. Despite the fact it comes around year after year, I still find myself filled with wonder as sleeping plants emerge from the soil, the days magically lengthen and my mood lifts day by day. This year, spring has also taken on another joyful dimension as we release our fresh new collection to the world. It might sounds strange, but it’s a really personal and emotional moment after all our hard work over the winter, and showing our finds for the first time feels like encouraging a tiny bird from the nest to take its first flight!
I feel really proud of the new home accessories, ceramics, baskets and textiles we have to show you, not just because they’re completely beautiful, but because each one carries with it the Decorator’s Notebook message of ethics, personality and handmade quality that is so special to us. We hope you love them just as much as we do!
I am so in love with our new indigo drop ceramics there’s a real danger I’ll buy up all the stock for myself! These serving bowls and cups have a real understated elegance. They are made by a fair trade project in Vietnam that aims to preserve traditional skills by training the next generation of potters. Each piece is delicately handpainted in rich indigo blue on crisp white. Gorgeous!
From Vietnam all the way to Bangladesh, and our inspirational social enterprise partners, Living Blue. This amazing group of artisans have formed their own co-operative to produce beautiful shibori textiles using locally-harvested indigo, embellished with traditional kantha stitching. Absolutely everything in the process – from cutting the indigo plants to dying the cloth and sewing the cushions – is controlled by the artisans themselves, who all own a share in the business. It’s a real example of the power of trade and enterprise to keep families together and educate the next generation. And as if that’s not enough, the cushions and throws they make are eye-wateringly beautiful. Such high quality and really luxurious.
Where next on the Decorator’s World tour you ask? Well, how about a quick stop in Africa! We’ve just taken delivery of a stunning new batch of baskets from our partner Hadithi, a fairtrade co-operative of 450 women in Kenya. The women at Hadithi are so full of life and the social aspect of their work is really important for their community. Women of all ages gather together to weave, sing and talk together, catching up on local gossip as their fingers work. This really is the Kenyan version of a ‘stitch and bitch’ group, but with a serious aim: to help the women earn a sustainable income in a place where failing crops are a reality. For spring, we’ve grouped the baskets into four colour collections, blue, green, pink and natural, so you choose a basket that will fit with the scheme in your home whilst still enjoying the surprise of a unique design. Each one comes with a photo label and the name of the lady who wove your exact basket!
We proudly support talented craftsmen and women all over the world, and that includes Britain too. Our delicate new Cyanotype Vases and Candle Holders are handmade for us in North Wales by artist Sarah Middleton. She takes beautiful photographs of the plants, flowers, insects and birds in the countryside where she lives and creates intricate cyanotypes. It’s an early Victorian form of photography also known as ‘sunprints’ because the designs appear with exposure to sunlight. The blue colour is so pretty and the light shines through the translucent mulberry fibre paper beautifully. Such a lovely gift too.
For our last stop we’re staying in Wales (thank goodness for that!) with our cosy Welsh cob weave blankets. We’ve added lots of great new colours for spring, including navy, soft duck egg blue, red, mustard yellow and fresh green. They’re all pure wool and super quality which makes them perfect for your bed, sofa, or even the first picnic of the year.
So, what do you think of our new collection? We’d love to hear what jumps out at you and if you’ve spotted anything you think we should add, do get in touch on Twitter or Facebook. If it’s handmade, fantastic quality and beautifully designed, it could be just what we’re looking for!