Posted on 28 September 2016
Hello, and welcome to my regular home interiors and (hopefully) 'generally interesting stuff' blog. It looks like this amazing Indian Summer is finally succumbing to Autumn, with the darker evenings, greyer skies, and inevitably damper weather. So, how can we combat this depressing outlook? The answer is simple, and relatively inexpensive - accent your home with some strong, inspiring and funky colours. I’m going to tell about two brands that will help you do this, one being an old favourite of mine, and the other I just came across at the recent Autumn Show at the NEC.
First, the incredibly successful Orla Kiely, which we’ve featured in Barretts for several years. Her iconic ‘multi-stem’ design has been used successfully on such diverse products as cars, bikes, and watches, to the products we know and love - bed linen, home and kitchenware, and of course, cushions.
So who is Orla Kiely, and how do you pronounce her name properly? Orla was born in Dublin in 1963 and gained her first degree in textile design at the city’s National College of Art and Design. After a spell in New York, she moved to the UK to study for her Masters Degree from the Royal College of Art in London. Her first creations were actually hats, and were snapped up by Harrods. She worked for Esprit, M&S and Habitat before setting up her own company with husband Dermott Rowan in 1997. And the rest, as they say, is history. Orla was even honoured by Ireland’s ‘An Post’ by being featured on a set of postage stamps in 2010.
And how do you pronounce her name? Well, it’s not ‘Keeeley’ as you might think, rather it’s the same pronunciation as the name ‘Kylie’. Just ask Store Manager Michael - he's Irish and is always correcting our pronunciation of her name!
Orla’s designs have very cleverly incorporated her signature bold colours into new and engaging designs, at the same time continually reinventing the multistem, keeping it fresh and relevant. This makes Orla Kiely a perfect way to add colour, contemporary and award winning design, together with a lovely sense of playfulness into your home. I've included in this blog some examples of Orla’s work, all available from Barretts in-store and on-line. Mugs £10, cushions from £35, kitchenware from £12, towels from £4, bed linen from £68.
Wild and Wolf
Continuing on the theme of bold and eye-catching colours, Wild and Wolf provides that aplenty. I was instantly attracted to their ‘Wild Wood’ collection of wonderfully strong colours, groovy designs, and colour co-ordination across the range of lamps, clocks, telephones, light shades, and globe lamps. The colour names match the cool designs - ‘Goldfish Orange’, ‘English Mustard’, ‘Swedish Green,’ ‘French Blue’, and ‘Concrete Grey’. Plus they go really well with the Orla Kiely colour palette, giving you a chance to accent and co-ordinate accessories in a room.
I love the vintage GPO telephones, which are proper phones and have an actual bell inside. The globe lamp is fab too, giving the range a broad appeal and ideal for someone looking for something a bit different. Both the Task and Gooseneck lamps are solid, sturdy, and fully adjustable, and all having colour co-ordinated electric cable - a nice design detail. The paper shades are delightful, and could be used as room decoration in their own right.
The company's ethics are also top notch, with a commitment to WaterAid, raising over £38,000 since 2010. The Wild Wood range will certainly allow you to stamp your personal style statement on your home interiors, and well worth a look. Paper Shades from £35, Clocks £35, Gooseneck Lamps £59, Task Lamps £69, GPO Telephones £49, Globe Lamps £75. See this fab range on our website.
PS The packaging is the best I’ve seen, with each box colour co-ordinated, making them a perfect gift. And the wallpaper in the showroom images is and gorgeous Harlequin 'Tresillo'.
So you've got a couple of options for introducing striking colour and great design into your home, for an oh so grey Autumn!