I didn't want to replace it with another pattern as I wanted to keep things quite pared back and calm, (give or take a cushion or two!) but I did want texture and warmth. I considered two fabrics only, which were linen and velvet.
Now I'm the first to admit that velvet probably isn't the most practical choice for a kitchen where kids sit to eat, but sometimes you have to put practical things aside, and go with your heart instead, and when a selection of beautiful velvet swatches from Swaffer landed on my door mat, I knew that there was no contest. It HAD to be velvet, practical or not!
However, it turns out that the Venice velvets actually have a built-in soil and stain repellent, which also prevents liquid spills from being absorbed. I can confirm that this has already been tested in our kitchen, and a food spill literally wiped right off, leaving no mark at all. So perhaps not such an impractical choice after all.
Originally I'd thought I'd go with blue, but when I saw this olivey-chartreuse colour, I fell in love immediately - it was THE ONE.
I had intended to have box-cushion cover made, but decided that the velvet would sit better if it was upholstered onto the bench, so I recycled the original foam, and did just that. Have I ever told you how much I love my staple gun? I also had a local seamstress make a couple of bolster cushions out of the left-over fabric, which are super cute!
It's a complete coincidence that the cushions from Black Parrots just happen to be the perfect match, however, it's no coincidence that it's also a perfect match for the beautiful handblown glasses that I picked up on holiday in Formentera in the summer. I knew they had to come home to my kitchen, that was actually still in it's old guise at that point, to become friends with the velvet that would eventually go on the banquette. Yep, I'm that person.
I just adore how the green looks in the room, it picks up the greens from outside and somehow manages to be both bright yet muted.
It's a seriously good quality fabric and very heavyweight, suitable for everything from curtains to cushions, bedspreads and fixed upholstery, which is why I decided to outsource the bolsters as I didn't want to destroy such a stunning fabric with my very basic sewing skills, and I also wasn't sure my sewing machine would actually be able to get through more than one layer of it.
I'm also head over heals for their Mineral Velvet Collection, and think that the Marble design may find it's way into my living room next year. It's just SO gorgeous!
My other Swaffer favourite, and what I'd have used in the kitchen had I not fallen so hard for the velvet, is the Acer linen-look fabric, which comes in a staggering forty-eight beautiful colours, and is again suitable for curtains, blinds and upholstery.
Do check out the Swaffer range when you're looking for fabric for your home, I'm so glad I discovered them. There's a sample service on their website, and they're stocked at a huge number of retailers around the country (and world for that matter).
This post is in collaboration with Swaffer.