From the Arabic word Kut’n’ (cotton)
By alternating warp silk yarns (vertical) and weft cotton yarn (horizontal) Kutnu fabric gives a beautiful sheen that is both beautiful to the touch and to the eye. The colours are bright and vivid and in mesmerising patterns such as the ikat and including a variety of stripes.
It’s a fabric that requires skill, many stages and many hands to make. Now woven on a hand loom or jacquard loom, the techniques are the same and there is a real pride in keeping this heritage alive. Some of the stages are: winding the silk thread, dyeing the skeins, drying them in the sun, dividing the filaments by hand and then threading the strands through the loom- the most time consuming stage as there are more than 2000 threads! Each stage requires a different master craftsman.
This type of weaving is now only practised in the Anatolian city of Gazantiep, in south eastern Turkey. This method of weaving came from Syria (being 97 Kms away from Aleppo) but was greatly developed more than 400 years ago by the Aintab (the name for Gazantiep until the 1920’s) craftsman. These craftsmen were able to export the cloth and gained recognition as Gaziantep was on the Silk Road.
The fabric was used to make Sutltan’s kaftans and it was then used to dress the wealthy. Today it is still used in traditional costumes especially the ones of folk dancers but also by designers to create dresses, kaftans and home goods.
Introducing colour into your home can seem daunting right? After all there are so many choices out there. The best way is to introduce it slowly I find. I am often asked to help clients with colour choice in their homes and here is some of the advice I might give them.
Building you colour confidence
There are no rules here- the importance is to show your personality and have colours that create a certain emotion and vibe. Good questions to ask yourself are
what colours am I attracted to?
how does this colour make me feel?
We know that light can really enhance or lower a mood- well it's the same with colour. We all respond differently to colour so it's important to "listen"and note which colours make you feel relaxed, energetic, calm or uplifted for example.
This might seem like the difficult part as there is so much choice out there. We are constantly bombarded with new images, ideas, things to look at. Just honing down on a few things will help you gather information that will be aligned with what you truly love.
From your wardrobe, magazine, art galleries, from eras that you love but also from food and bouquets of flowers and your travels you can find inspiration. When you are out and about snap pictures of items and colours that make you feel good. I suggest doing this exercise and setting an hour to just walk and feel what you are attracted to but also do it when you go about your daily life. This is a brilliant exercise to discover colour combinations that you might not have thought of.
Follow your gut and trust your instincts
Too often we forget that our spaces are for us and the people who live in it-we follow trends and others but don't listen to our instincts, we search for validation. You can of course look at trends and create Pinterest boards but also leave space for your own creativity and ideas. I often sleep on a decision to bring an item into my home. I know that if I dream about it- it’s the right piece for me! It’s just the same for colour.
Choose an inspirational piece and take time
When decorating a room I find it really helps to already have a piece that is going to go in the room. It could be a piece of wall art, a cushion, a blanket or an object and if they have a colour or some colours that you love this colour be the start of a great colour scheme. It’s also worth spending a bit of time gathering samples, inspiration and creating a mood board for your room. A decorator can help you do this too.
Your colours like a brand
Think of your colours a bit like a brand- what are the colours that you can put together and create your own little hue of colours you will use in your home or a particular space. Keep a folder on your telephone with colours you love.
Now once you have decided...here are some little things to think about.
You can paint swatches of paint on white cardboard or have samples of wallpaper and place in different parts of the room to see how the light affects it at different times of the day.
Why not layer different shades of the same colour
Use colour on your front door (check if the door gets a lot of sun as red for example can fade really easily).
Have colours echo each other
Bring pattern into your home, you can start small in cupboards and pantries for example or the guest loo. Or you can bolder and bring in wallpaper, or even have an artist paint a design.
Start small- add pops of colour - lighting, chairs, stools, cushions, curtains, carpets, wall art can look very chic against grey or light walls.
Bring in colour through textures with soft furnishings.
10 top Instagram accounts for colours
Sophie Robinson is fabulous at using colour in a bold way through layering patterns of different sizes and colours and types and also introducing bold floral arrangements
Martha Roberts is known for her use of pastels and bringing the joy of the rainbow into her home.
Siobhan Hannah Murphy brings colour in so many ways both with her personality, way she dresses, her wigs and her home. She is also great at adding blocks of colour to black and white schemes.
Annie Sloan is the creator of "chalk paint" and has always championed the use of colour on furniture- bringing individuality to our own spaces.
I just couldn't not mention them right? A great account to follow to find the perfect hue of a certain colour.
Naaomi Ross is fabulous to follow for colour combinations, she shows us through fashion. I love how classic and stylish her account is and her reels are so fun.
Tom Bax is fabulous at bringing colour through cushions and artwork but also by using different colours on walls, ceilings, alcoves all in a same space.
Soozi Danson brings colour through bold patterns and also by using monochrome to balance it out, a skill I don't have.
Tamsyn Morgans brings colour into her home with beautiful vintage pieces, glassware and florals. Her account just makes me feel so peaceful.
Kriss MacDonald just brings us the beauty of nature...just by looking at flowers you can decide which colours you would like to bring in your home...even if it just in a vase.
Hope you have enjoyed this post- send me an email email@example.com if you have! Have a C_O_L_O_U_R filled day!
I reached down to feel the soil, and I touched the outreaching roots of the trees that bore horizontally and vertically hundreds of feet through the forest. I stroked the earth with my palm, and I could almost feel that invisible network of capillary roots that sucks moisture and nutrients out of every inch of the soil I was standing on. I breathed in and out. I was part of the forest. I was alive.
― Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
A little while ago I came across some beautiful botanicals, fine in their detailing of the plants, flowers and trees, beautifully hand coloured but also providing a wealth of information on that particular botanical.
One of my drives and love is selling wall art that will withstand the test of time, fashion and trend. Each piece tells a story of an era, a particular time but is also incredibly beautiful in design and skill. Today I wanted to share these botanicals with you.
In the 18th c botany was a fashionable activity in England, genteel and one that women exercised, they collected plants and flowers, categorised them, drew them, gave them names and would share their knowledge with their children and friends.
Mary Ellen Best, York art galleries, 19th c famous watercolourist of interiors
In the 19th c. botany saw a real boom and it became one of the most popular sciences. Men, women and children loved collecting and documenting what they found - it was a cheap healthy hobby as you were outdoors and seen as a good thing to study nature. There was an increased interest in gardening particularly in the middle class. Interiors also showed this new craze, as carpets, wallcovering, tableware, china and artwork were a medium to show “flower themes”.
The development in the later half of the 19th c of book design and making, made books available to a wider portion of society. Periodicals also flourished.
An increase in travel with the development of the railways also helped this trend. The development of glasshouses to house specimens and the opening and creation of public botanical gardens also did. The Royal Botanical gardens at Kew opened to the public in 1840.
The 19th c saw British horticulturists develop a passion for orchids and ferns and illustrations were made. In the early part of the century most printing was done in monochrome and colour was added by hand. It made the piece “more true” to nature and also made the publication more expensive to sell. Engraving created much finer pieces too and is particular used in botany to produce really fine details - such as you can see in our botanicals.
Displaying Botanicals - the versality is endless, they make the perfect decor to a hallway, kitchen, bedroom- on their own or as a series they have tremendous wall power. I truly believe that these pieces will never go out of style.
Scent is extremely important to our lives, but we often forget to make our homes smell delicious. Some scents can relieve stress and anxiety, make us calmer, boost our energy and help us sleep. Our sense of smell is one of the most delicate of our senses, it can trigger emotions and also bring back memories.
Let’s explore ways to scent it naturally and add the vital last touch to our space. We can of course use candles and reed diffusers, but I would like to look at alternative ways to do so.
Am so thrilled to have had the chance to interview one of my favourite jewellery designers - Elisabeth Riveiro. I met Elisabeth more than ten years ago and instantly 'fell in love' with her pieces. I find her jewellery timeless, classic and fun at the same time.
Je suis tellement ravie d’avoir interviewé un de mes artisan bijoutier préféré- Elisabeth Riveiro. Je l’ai rencontrée il y a un peu plus de dix ans et immédiatement ses bijoux m'ont parlé. Je trouve ces bijoux intemporels, classic avec une touche de fun.
Tell me a bit more of your journey as an artisan- parlez moi de votre parcours d’artisan
In the 80's, during the school holidays, I created, with my brother, jewellery with resin and natural flowers that I would sell on the markets in July during the festival of Avignon.
That’s where I met the Artist and painter Ernesto Riveiro who was selling nickel silver amulets. In 1981 he started modelling and creating with wax a few pieces of jewellery in the shape of animals and I would then melt them in bronze, chisel, and solder and sell them.
Dans les années 80, pendant mes vacances scolaires, je créais avec mon frêre des bijoux en résine et fleurs naturelles que je vendais sur un marché artisanal au mois de juillet au festival d’Avignon. J’y ai rencontré l’artiste peintre Ernesto Riveiro qui lui, y vendait des petites amulettes en mailleshort. En 1981 , il a commencé à modeler en cire quelques bijoux en forme d’animaux et moi je me chargeai de les faire fondre en bronze, de les ciseler , de les souder et ....de les vendre.
Our first professional venture with 20 or so pieces was a great success.That's when I decided to set myself up as an Artisan and started to come to commercialise it.
I then learnt many of my skills from books, I learnt foundry with some sculptors and I followed some night classes in enamelware at L’école de Paris. I also learnt gilding and soldering.
I then bought all my equipment in 1985. Ernesto was passionate about his painting and I would in the evening whilst listening to jazz on the radio watch him sculpt wax or work metal. So I was learning everyday, he was the head and I was the hands. Every 3 to 4 years we would present a new collection. In 44 years of work we have created 800 or so models and I have only kept the ones that I really love.
Where do you get your inspiration from? D’où vient votre inspiration?
We got our inspiration by looking at books on animals, birds and fish and were attracted by the different forms and colours. The lost wax technique is a very old one, it was practiced in Africa and in South America and Asia for a very long time.
What are your favourite pieces to wear? Quelles pièces aimez vous porter?
Like many artists I wear very little jewellery. With the machines I use it’s not easy. I don’t even have pierced ears!
Comme la plupart des artisans, je porte peu de bijoux. Avec mes machines et mon travail, ce n’est pas facile. Je n’ai même pas les oreilles percées.
But what joy to see them worn -with each face and each body -corresponds a jewel.
I do have a little preference for enamelled pieces but I really love them all. In the next few years, I would love to learn painted enamelware. It's a technique in which the English are specialists and used for unique pieces.
When I first started I I thought I would work with gold. It’s a fabulous material to work with but I prefer to attract a wider clientele working bronze and silver to be able to live easier and have a regular income.
How Does the creation work? Comment créer vous vos pièces?
Although I’m fascinated by the creativity of Ernesto, I’ve had to put his creations into life. I think as myself as an artisan and I do everything from creating pieces, to the work, to all the other steps in the making process to the commercialisation. It definitely occupies my days.
With each collection we anticipate the clients reaction. We have made 2 to 3 collections with different materials that haven’t worked. But we continue to sell pieces from the very beginning. They’ve nearly become "vintage" pieces and still sell today.
I love my workshop that’s where I feel the best. I also work with sculptors on their jewellery and with some museums too.
What are your favourite places in Paris? Vos endroits favoris à Paris
Since the pandemic there are so many. I love cafés, bars, restaurants where we set the world to rights. I love cinemas and theatres. And I really love walking in the streets but my most favourite of all are museums. There are all sorts of little specialist museums and they’re really beautiful to visit. Then there is the Pompidou centre, the musée d’Orsay, musée du quai Brandy and the Palais de Tokyo. How I miss these places! I also love Madrid, Rome, Florence, London and Berlin.
Who inspires you? Qui vous inspire?
Ernesto Riveiro of course!
I also love figurative and abstract painting - there are so many artists I could name but I am attracted to Mondrian and Rothko. For contemporary artists Baselitz, Kiefer, Soulages, De Kooning to name only a few.
For jewellery I love Van der Straeten, Marion Stern of Francoise Montague and Jérémie Barthod.
What makes your pieces different and stand out? Qu’est ce qui fait que vos pièces sont différentes et uniques?
I have many clients that have followed me all along my journey and many have a little collection of my pieces. Our jewellery are not copies but interpretations of styles from all continents. We can think that they were created in the dawn of time.
J’ai beaucoup de bon retour d’impression des clients qui me connaissent depuis le début. Certains ont monté une véritable petite collection de mes pièces au fil du temps.
Certain pieces may seem easy and simple but there is nothing more difficult than to make simple. We constantly simplify shapes without looking for perfection. Many clients tell me how they came across my jewellery and I love hearing their stories.
I love talking to you, I so much love your passion and I love showing your jewellery to my clients and audience. J’adore discuter avec vous- votre passion est contagieuse et j’aime la partager avec mon audience.
For the past 44 years I’ve worked with passion and I’m attached to each piece. I love them even more since they are creations from Ernesto. I have appropriated them with heart and soul.
J’ai travaillé avec passion pendant 44ans, je me sens attachée à chaque bijou , je les aime d’autant plus facilement que ce sont des créations d’Ernesto. Et que je me les suis appropriée « corps et âme ».
You can look at our amazing collection of Elisabeth Riveiro here- it's time to treat yourself right?
Valentine's day is all about showing your love for someone by taking the time to be with them, write a note and show you care. A little gift is also a way to show you have chosen something just for them. Click on the pictures to view each item.
Romantic, elegant and soft pastels
❤️Coconut lacquer bowls are a perfect container for all sort of yummy goodies and they come in a pair.
❤️When giving flowers why not give a beautiful vase to display them in...it can also be used as a gorgeous decanter on your table.
❤️To hang beautiful pieces of jewellery- our giant poppies jewellery stands are so fun and unusual.
❤️A lovely cotton throw to use in the bedroom or sitting room or to huddle up together in front of the television.
❤️Open one of your cupboards to a gorgeous scented purse aumoniere, leave on a bedside table or in a bookshelf to perfume any room.
Love, connection and happiness
❤️A scented heart pomander to hang on a door nob or wardrobe- a little gift of love
❤️A fun cushion to add some pattern to your home and to rest together.
❤️Two hearts bracelets, a little bracelet to wear everyday to remind yourself of the beautiful connection you have.
❤️Unique bedside table lamps with a story of their own from 100 years ago- to continue yours.
Beautiful, fresh and peaceful
❤️For a beautiful clean shave and a razor to keep forever check out this glass one made by a French artisan.
❤️A runner for your table- a beautiful centerpiece to cheer your table up when no one else is around.
❤️Which cocktail will you rest on these beautiful handmade coasters made with olive wood and resin?
❤️Distinctive earrings that catch the light just as she has caught your eye.
Wishing you a fabulous Valentine's day...if you would like to remember these gorgeous items for another day why not pin them to one of your Pinterest boards and while you are there give us a little follow. Merci ❤️❤️