Tag Archives: textiles

Moroccan Wedding Blankets

Vintage Moroccan wedding blankets, also known as handira or tamizart, have been popular with interior designers and stylists for some time.  The neutral colour palette of the blankets makes them an extremely versatile addition to a bedroom or sitting room.  They add elegance, texture, pattern, glamour and sparkle and can be used in a variety of ways: as a coverlet or footer on a bed, over the back of a sofa or a chair, as a stylish headboard, a casual throw or as a wall hanging.  Have a look at the Pinterest board below for some ideas on how you can use wedding blankets in your home.  Scroll down the Pinterest board with your mouse to see all the images.

Hand Woven By The Mother Of The Bride For Her Wedding Day

There are different types wedding blanket in Morocco.  The cream and white variety comes from the mid Atlas mountains where they are hand-woven by the mother of the bride and her female relatives in preparation for her wedding day. They are woven from local wool and cotton in a natural palette of cream and white and can take several weeks or months to complete.  Each piece is unique and reflects the skill and creativity of the weaver.  Many blankets feature bands of kilim weaving, sometimes concealed by cotton fringing on the front but visible on the back.  These coloured kilim bands often contain talismanic symbols conveying the hopes of the bride’s mother for her future prosperity, fertility and happiness.

 

Each sequin is sewn on by hand.  The sequins form small clusters or rows or both and are said to ward off the evil eye.  It’s also possible that their similarity to small coins is intended to symbolise future wealth.  They also reflect the light whether it’s the light of the fire in the evening or daylight sun.

 

The blankets are worn like capes either over the head or around the shoulders and tied at the neck.  They are traditionally worn by the bride on her journey to her husband’s home.  After the marriage they are used as bed or wall coverings to decorate the marital home.

Our stock of vintage Moroccan wedding blankets is constantly changing but you can see a selection below.

Moroccan wedding blankets

Photos: Kristy Noble and Dave Bullivant

You can see our full range of vintage Moroccan wedding blankets here and our range of cushions from vintage Moroccan wedding blankets here.  We think that as well as adding glamour to your home they would make a wonderful wedding present.

Josef Frank Exhibition: Patterns Furniture Painting

 

Josef Frank, architect, designer and artist (1885-1967)

josef frank exhibition

The Fashion and Textile museum in London is currently holding the first UK exhibition of the work of Josef Frank (1885 – 1967), who is considered to be one of Sweden’s most influential designers.  Bold, vibrant, botanical prints characterise the work of the architect, designer and artist and his colourful take on modernism is on trend today. The above room set, from the Josef Frank exhibition with its botanical prints and greenery, wouldn’t be out of place in a contemporary interiors magazine.

 

Frank was born in Austria and studied architecture in Vienna.  He founded his own practice after the First World War and established Haus & Garten, a design and furnishings company. He left Austria in 1933 to escape Nazi discrimination and moved to Sweden.  Unable to find work as an architect he was approached by Estrid Ericson, the founder of the internationally renowned interior design company, Svenskt Tenn, who admired his designs and asked him to work for the company. This was the start of a working relationship, which lasted 30 years.

 

Frank believed that a home should be a comfortable, cosy place to live and his designs injected a pop of colour into the Swedish modernist movement. The uplifting effect of the vibrant colours and botanical designs bursting with insects and birds was in stark contrast with the mood and turmoil of the interwar and Second World War.

The exhibition features over 120 of Frank’s designs and include a large selection of his watercolours.  These are some of my favourites:

 

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One of Frank’s earliest designs, Fruhling 1925 – 30, a delicate block print with deep red tree trunks and blue leaves.

 

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An illustration for Frank’s design,Window (1943-45), depicting common plants.

josef frank exhibition

My favourite, Rox and Fix (1943 – 45), featuring hills inspired by Chinese ink paintings and large fig trees.

josef frank exhibition

One of Frank’s vibrant designs,  Mirakel (1925-30).

Josef Frank’s designs are still in production at Svenskt Tenn. You can see more of his work here.

The Josef Frank exhibition is at the Fashion and Textile museum in London until 7th May 2017.

How To Create A Cosy Home This Christmas

Tips On Creating A Cosy Home

I’m typing this post wrapped in one of our cosy waffle throws to block out the blast of cold air coming through ancient wooden French doors and cursing myself for not ordering replacement wooden doors and windows earlier in the year.

As a sun-loving Leo I struggle with the cold, dark,winter months so I like to create a cosy home where I can hibernate until the mild weather arrives.  For me the key essentials are warmth, lighting, colour and wintry scents.  Take a look at the Pinterest visuals above for ideas.  To see the full board use the scroll bar on the right hand side.

Warmth

  •  A roaring wood fire or burner helps create a cosy feel but older homes can still be draughty so the trick is to layer the textiles in your home.  Add wool blankets and throws to sofas so  you can curl up under them.  Pile on the cushions so you sink into them
  • If you have wooden, tiled or laminate flooring, add some deep pile rugs and runners for warmth and softness underfoot
  • Layer your bedding by adding coverlets, blankets and kantha throws for extra warmth and texture.  Increase the number of pillows too for extra comfort.

Lighting

  •  When it’s dark outside add extra table lights inside to create pools of light
  • Add clusters of candles to create a warm glow.  Use metallic candle holders in brass, copper and silver to reflect the light
  • String fairy lights over mirrors and mantlepieces, loop them along walls or cascade them down windows to create a magical Christmassy feel.

Colour

  • Introduce some warmer colours in the form of throws, cushions, a tablecloth or rug.  Browns, russets, pinks, reds, oranges and some yellows will all create a warmer feel.

Scent

  • Scent your home with woody, spicy smells.  I like Diptyque’s Cannelle and Amber candles
  • I add to this with large bunches of eucalyptus which I use in pots, on the mantelpiece, in wreaths, on my dining table and for gift wrapping (I prefer natural decorations).
  • Finally, there’s nothing like a real pine Christmas tree to create a wonderful woody aroma.

Graduation Gifts

Graduation Gifts For Students Leaving Home

Need some gift inspiration for a daughter, son, relative or friend who has just graduated?  Check out our suggestions below:

graduation gifts

 

  1. An embroidered cushion to brighten up a sterile dorm room or tired rental.  The motifs and stitches in this unique piece of Kutch embroidery have been handed down from mother to daughter over generations.
  2. Combine number one with one of our best-selling Moroccan pom pom blankets in beige and natural. These hand woven blankets are designed to withstand the cold in the Atlas mountains so are perfect for snuggling under on winter nights.
  3. For a boho look add Tanjaoui,one of our Souk Collection cushions, to the mix.  Each piece in the collection is one-of-a-kind and mixes vintage fabrics, ribbons and silk screened henna prints with an old silk screened image of a Berber woman.
  4. Headgear, a cushion inspired by a traditional African saying “What you cannot carry on your head you can most probably live without”. Hand printed and hand painted no two cushions are alike in this collection.  Mix with other styles in the Namibian collection to create a contemporary global feel.  This piece works well with our Moroccan pom pom blankets too.
  5. Stylish storage in the form of this super size Swazi basket, Bonakele.  Hand woven from indigenous grasses by social enterprise, Gone Rural, this large decorative storage basket is perfect for towel, throws, magazines or a plant.
  6. A firm favourite with interior designers, this versatile Moroccan pom pom blanket in black and white stripes, will instantly add warmth and style to a student bedroom.
  7. A bold, bright, beautiful boho kilim pouf, Nabila, perfect for adding a colour and pattern to a room.  Use as extra seating or a low table.
  8. Eye-catching Clamp dyed cushion covers will instantly update a room.  Mix and match styles and combine with 9, our natural wool Moroccan pom pom blanket to complete the look.

Riad Due Marrakech

Riad Due a hip boutique hotel in the Marrakech Medina

Riad Due is a boutique hotel tucked away in the Marrakech Medina.  It’s a typical Riad set around a courtyard with rooms facing inward but it has been elegantly restored and decorated by Italian owner Giovanna Cinel, who also owns Riad 72.  The Riad has four very spacious, luxurious, bedrooms and can sleep up to twelve.  It’s the perfect place for a private get together or celebration.  For lovers of Moroccan architecture and interiors it’s a feast for the eyes so I will say no more and let the images do the talking:

The Courtyard

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The courtyard complete with a plunge pool which is very welcome in the summer months.

Doors to samir suite Riad Due maud interiors

Traditional wooden doors open into the Samir suite.

cosy corner Riad Due Marrakech Maud interiors

A cosy nook with a wonderful old door as decoration.  For cushions by the same designer have a look at our Souk Collection.

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Views over the courtyard.

The Bedrooms

Abdul-bedroom-Riad-Due

The Abdel suite with a traditional carved ceiling, Beni Ourain rug, kantha throw on the bed and an ornate painted chest.  This room has a sunken bath with a skylight above it so you can gaze up at the stars.

Zan-Suite-Riad-Due

The Zan suite complete with a copper bath, an original wooden ceiling and an Indian kantha throw.  For similar kantha throws have a look at our vintage kantha throws.

 

Kamal-bedroom-Riad-Due

The Kamal deluxe room features warm colours, a vibrant kantha throw and an incredible ornate ceiling.

 

Samir Suite Riad Due Marrakech

The Samir suite complete with a fireplace for the winter months.  The headboard in this room is an ornate Moroccan door. I like the idea of including a bookshelf and books in the room as it makes it feel more like home.

Decorative Details

ceiling detail Riad Due Marrakech Maud interiors

Stucco plaster work features on some of the ceilings in Riad Due.

painted chest riad due marrakech maud interiors

A striking cabinet in the entrance to the Zan suite.

old door riad due marrakech maud interiors

Traditional doors feature throughout Riad Due.

tiles riad due marrakech maud interiors

Striking tiles and a cleverly placed mirror which reflects the stonework.

Sun hats Riad Due Maud interiors

Sun hats ready for use on the terrace.

The Roof Terrace

the roof terrace riad due maud interiors

A sun spot with views over Marrakech to the Atlas mountains.

 

I would be happy to move in.  What do you think?

Click here for more information on Riad Due.

For information on Riad 72, mentioned in a previous post click here.

 

 

 

Maud’s Top 5 Things To Do In Jaipur

Maud’s Top 5 Things To Do In Jaipur

 

Visit Phool Mandi the wholesale flower market

wholesale flower market jaipur maud interiors

rose heads for sale jaipur maud interiors

Phool Mandi Jaipur

Go early, the market opens at 06.00 and watch as local farmers carry in huge sacks bursting with roses and marigolds which are traded in front of you. Later the same day you will see garland makers all over the city stringing together and selling the flower heads, which are used as offerings to Hindu deities in daily worship in temples, in offices and the home.

Whilst you are there visit the fruit and vegetable market which is alongside.  The market is on the way to Amber Fort on the Hawa Mahal Road at Chandi Taksal Gate.  You could combine your visit with a trip to Amber Fort and the Anokhi museum (see below).

Visit the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing

Anokhi museum of hand printing jaipur

Block printing areas india Anokhi hand printing museum

block printing demonstration Anokhi maud interiors

For textile lovers this is a delightful museum situated in a beautifully restored old haveli just past Amber fort on the outskirts of the city.  Anokhi is a successful block printing business with shops all over India founded over 40 years ago to revive Rajasthan’s traditional block printing techniques (see the traditional block carving and printing centres in Rajasthan and Gujarat in the map above).  The museum is dedicated to the collection and preservation of printed textiles.  Here will you see antique to modern examples of printing techniques including block printing, dabu mud resist and ajrakh printing.  You can see a demonstration of block printing (pictured above) and have a go yourself.

Anokhi works with over 1,000 craftspeople in Jaipur and the surrounding area and is known for its ethical working practices.  A visit to the main shop selling block printed clothing and home accessories in Jaipur is a must.

Museum: Khedi Gate, Amber

Shop: 2nd Floor, KK Square, C11 Prithviraj Road C Scheme.

 

Take a guided tour of the Old City

hawa mahal jaipur maud interiors

looking out from hawa mahal Jaipur maud interiors

Jaipur has over three million inhabitants and the traffic can be crazy: cars, bikes, rickshaws, trucks, cows, dogs, goats, pigs, and the odd camel and elephant all jostling for space to the constant sound of the car horn. The best way to orient oneself and get a clear picture of the old, walled, city is to get up early before the city wakes and take a walking tour. Square by Foot walks are led by architects and will give you a real insight into the history, architecture, culture and trade of the old city.  There are several different heritage walks and walks start at 06.30am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Contact squarebyfoot@gmail.com for more information.

The above shots are of the Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds, in the old city, which was built in 1799 by Maraja Sawai Pratap Singh to allow the ladies of the royal court to observe daily life on the street below without being seen.

 

Watch master craftman Mr Ikramuddin Mohd Sabir Neelgar and his team create leheriya (tie-dyed) fabric.

Neelgar-craftsmen-jaipur-maud-interiors

tie dyed fabric drying Jaipur maud interiors

leheriya jaipur maid interiors

tie dyed turban jaipur maud interiors

The name leheriya, comes from the Rajasthani word for wave because the final tie-dye effect is like rippled water.  Mr Ikramuddin Mohd Sabir Neelgar is a fourth generation master craftsman from one of the oldest families practising this Rajasthani dyeing technique. It’s a complex process involving rolling white cotton or silk into long strips which are tied at intervals and then dyed.  The process is repeated up to eight times with different colours. The result is stunning jewel-coloured fabric, which is used for traditional Rajasthani turbans, for saris and more recently by international fashion designers.  Fabric is available to purchase and the silk turbans make wonderful scarves.

This place is quite difficult to find and you may have to ask your driver to call for directions.  It’s on a side road not far from the Hawa Mahal.  The address is 2803 Mehro Ki Nadi, Chokdi Ramchandra Ji. Tel: (0141) 261 9848.

 

Browse the bazaars

 

rajasthani hen party Maud interiors

Spend time wandering the bazaars in the old city and get an insight into local life.  Buy fabric and sip a cup of chai with the storekeepers, see brides to be and their female relatives choosing ornate trimmings and fabric for their weddings in the local textile bazaar, just off Badi Chaupur.   Find thali dishes, flat saucepans for making chapati and spice containers, in Tripolia bazaar and stock up on ornate mojari slippers in Bapu bazaar.  The bazaars are open from around 10am until 8pm.

The photo above of ladies in embellished saris was taken at a Rajasthani hen party which I was invited to on my first visit to the city.

Where to stay? Check out my post on Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

Places to stay: Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh Jaipur

Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh Jaipur

the-architecture-hotel-47-jobner-bagh-maud-interiors

Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh was my home from home in Jaipur, India, for a week earlier this year. Described as a luxury guesthouse it’s a delightful, family run, boutique hotel with 11 bedrooms a restaurant and a spa.

It’s one of the most welcoming places I have ever stayed and it really feels as if you are staying in a beautifully designed home rather than a hotel. Shiva Gupta, the owner, his daughter Megha, wife Anita and their staff are extremely hospitable and know how to make their guests feel at home.

The-hotel-grounds-47-Jobner-Bagh-Maud-interiors

A place to relax hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh was designed by an Italian architect and was once part of the Maharaja of Jobner’s garden.   The grounds are beautifully maintained. There are lots of places to sit and relax and everywhere you go you are surrounded by the fragrant scent of jasmine.

the roof terrace hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

views-from-the-roof-terrace-hotel-47-jobner-bagh-maud-interiors

From the large roof terrace there are views to the Aravalli hills and Nahalargh fort and the Ganesh Temple. It’s a lovely place to sit at dusk, enjoy a drink and listen to the birdsong.

The food at the hotel is delicious.  Mrs Anita Gujar is responsible for the menu and dinner is typically a healthy three course vegetarian meal.  It’s authentic home cooking and is some of the best food I have tasted whilst travelling in India.

interior styling hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

Seating-area-hotel-47-Jobner-Bagh-maud-interiors

Bedroom-Hotel-47-Jobner-Bagh

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The interiors have been elegantly styled and it is the sort of place you want to move into. Bedrooms have antique tables, colonial style chairs and old doors as headboards.  Bathrooms have a Moroccan feel with tadelakt walls and floors.  The communal areas are full of large pots, candles, old photographs and lots of seating areas, which gives the hotel a very relaxed feel.

jewel coloured lights hotel 47 jobber bagh

The hotel is within easy reach of the Old City and all the major sites in Jaipur yet tucked away from the crazy Jaipur traffic so it is a great place to retreat to after a busy day sightseeing. You can find out more about the hotel here.

 

If you, like me, prefer boutique hotels to large corporate chains see my recommendations for Morocco here and Mexico here.

 

(Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh bedroom photographs taken by the hotel)

Five Ways To Create An Outdoor Space

It looks as if it is going to be a scorcher this weekend so today’s post is about how to create an outdoor space, somewhere you can sit, relax and enjoy the sunshine.  It’s easy to do and as you will see from the images below, it’s possible to convert even the smallest balcony into an outdoor living space.

 

outdoor-rooms
summer-living

outdoor-living-maud-interiors

 

Five ways to create an outdoor space

Image Source: 1 and 2 DigsDigs.com, 3. Smittenstudioonline.com  4. Liza Bruce’s home Elle Decor

 

How To Create Your Own Outdoor Space

 

five ways to create an outdoor space

 

 

The five key ingredients to create an outdoor space are from top left:

 

Plants, planting and planters are key.  You don’t need a garden, you can create an exotic look on a balcony, roof terrace or yard with creative planting.  I’ve chosen the image of the entrance to a New York roof terrace, owned by Gray Davis and his partner and featured in Vogue Australia, to show how by planting large ferns and a mix of palms in planters you can transform a space and create a tropical look.

 

If you have a balcony choose plants that can go outside during summer months like this architectural cactus, top right, and mix the planters so that you have different styles and sizes. For interesting planters, which don’t cost a fortune, try your local antiques market.

 

Cushions, cushions and more cushions are essential for lounging and to add colour and texture to a space.  I like a mix of scatter cushions and floor cushions but prefer a limited colour palette to avoid things looking too busy.  Have a look at our collection, we have everything from exotic Moroccan prints and kilims, to hand-woven contemporary Mayan stripes, to vintage Kutch embroidery and bright and bold African prints, many of which are in our summer sale.

 

Rugs work well too with large floor cushions for lounging.  They add texture and delineate the space.  Just be prepared to roll them up quickly if the weather changes.

 

For seating, if you have space you could build a bench like Sarah Sherman Samuel and her partner from Smitten Studio (lifestyle photo 3).  If not, there are lots of wicker chairs around.  Ikea has some tropical rattan chairs similar to those in the second lifestyle image.

 

Baskets as platters or for reading matter will add additional texture and don’t take up too much space.  See our selection of handcrafted baskets here.

 

Lighting  – I like the idea of overhead festoon style lights and there are lots of choices available.  Solar powered fairly lights look magical too and our copper tea-lights, now in the sale, will add an extra sparkle.

 

Finally, if you don’t have an outside space, bundle up a blanket, our Moroccan Pom Pom  blankets make great picnic rugs and some cushions and head to the nearest park or beach.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

A Nomadic Chic Beach Home

The sitting room of this Santa Barbara beach home owned by Gina Tolleson cleverly mixes global textiles to create a nomadic chic look.  I think the secret to this look is to mix patterns, textures and textiles but keep to a limited colour palette.  Here the reds and oranges of the embroidered cushions, the floor rug and the lamp  work with the brown and neutral tones of the Moroccan rug on the sofa, and the natural wood of the sofa and tray.   You can read the full article here.

 

nomadic chic

 

Create Your Own Nomadic Chic Look

Here are some ideas for creating a similar look:

1.  A selection of vintage hand embroidered cushions from our Kutch collection.  |  2.  A vintage Azilal rug from our Rug Collection.  3.  Handcrafted copper meditation bowl.   4.  Moroccan Pom Pom blanket in natural from our Souk Collection.

 

C-Home photographer article Nancy Neil.

Thea Porter 70s Bohemian Chic Exhibition

Thea Porter Retrospective at the Fashion and Textile Museum

“Both fashion and interior decoration require that you take the most beautiful fabrics in the world and cover the body seductively”

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thea Porter (1927 – 2000)

 

Thea Porter was a painter, interior designer and fashion designer.  She was passionate about textiles and has been described as the pioneer of hippy chic in the 60s and 70s.  The first retrospective of her work, at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, gives a real insight into the designer, her life and her work, aided by her scrapbooks of letters, drawings and press clippings, which formed part of her unpublished memoir, Thea Porter’s Scrapbook.

Porter grew up in the Middle East in Jerusalem and Syria and her upbringing heavily influenced her interior and fashion designs.  After a period as an embassy wife in Beirut Thea moved to London in the mid 60s and  set up shop in Greek Street, Soho, selling furniture, homewares, textiles and clothing from Syria.  Visitors to the shop loved her textiles and asked her to make clothing and she  started designing menswear and then womenswear.  The abaya and the kaftan, both in luxurious fabrics, were two of Thea’s signature styles.

Her designs were snapped up by the jet set and Hollywood stars.  Liz Taylor and Barbara Streisand were both fans.  It is said that Barbara Streisand asked her to design a dress for every room in her Malibu home.  The Beatles purchased her interior accessories and Pink Floyd wore Thea’s clothes on the cover of their 1967 album the Piper Gates of Dawn.

Thea-Porter's-Mayfair-flat

A recreation of Thea’s Mayfair flat with Suzani covered floor cushions, peacock upholstery,one of Thea’s designs front right and just seen a gold trimmed abaya in the background.

Thea-Porter-70s-coat-from-Iraqi-carpet

One of Thea’s exotic coats displayed in a recreation of her Greek Street shop.  The coat is made from an Iraqi Samawa carpet cleverly cut to show the human figures and  animals typical of these carpets along the opening.

Thea-Porter-Menswear-Womenswear

Djellaba style tunic top from African batik and Chazara jackets featuring gold brocade and velvet.

Thea-Porter-dresses-in-Ikat-fabric

Left: One of Thea’s sketches with fabric she commissioned.  Right.  A gypsy style dress from Ikat fabric.

 

Thea Porter’s designs are now sought after collectors items and her legacy is clearly apparent in the 70s fashion revival today yet she isn’t as well-known as her contemporaries.  Her designs were popular amongst the rich and famous and were regularly featured in Vogue but she was a true creative and struggled with the business side of things, often consulting astrologers for business advice, so she didn’t have the financial success she deserved.  This carefully curated exhibition, featuring over 80 of her designs, her sketches and press clippings and a documentary on her life, gives her the recognition she deserves and is a must see for textile lovers.

You can see Thea Porter’s designs featured in Vogue photo shoots here.

To find out more about the exhibition, opening times, location etc. click here.