Saturday, June 6, 2009

Across the pond....

I am originally from the North of England, the proud daughter of an ex-coal-miner/ Union official and an amazing seamstress. Mum made fancy wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and much more for everyone in the neighbourhood and many times didn't even get paid for it!!! In the North you were either called "shug" or "duck" - as a term of affection but when I moved to London in my early 20s those terms were replaced with "darling" - which I still use today.

Within my designs I like to sneak a bit of "Blighty" into a space... on my last project, I left a few of my business cards in a Union Jack card holder and nonchalantly left it on a shelf - wonder if it's been found yet...??

Over the years I have found some fantastic British designers and really like how they have gone with their own patriotism and truly made art with their designs in an almost subdued way.

Jane Hornsy's Union Jack pillows (above) have a beautiful faded velvety elegance which, I think, would look graceful in any room.

Kirsten Hodgson (above) also produces beautiful Union Jack pillows but in a more floral way. I would definitely use these pillows in a bedroom design of mine.

Finally, Ann Carrington (below) - who has been featured in many home decorating magazines - is a fabulous artist. What I would give for an original piece of her art. She does produce copies though, which are slightly cheaper. I not only like the scale of her pieces, but the subject... she uses our very own Queen Elizabeth's crown and her profile which is found on our stamps and finally, a wonderful Union Jack. Do you know what medium she uses? Pearl buttons - which hark from another London tradition of Pearly Kings and Queens..... pure genius!


  1. These are wonderful ! This is the classiest way to show off your patriotism and has got me thinking of ways to incorporate some of my heritage into my home.. Love that !!


  2. Love the pillows Valerie! Another innovative UK designer is Becky Oldfield - you can view her amazing Union Jack quilts at Robin