Battening Down The Hatches [Combatting The Winter Blues]: Warmth

Today in my ongoing Battening Down The Hatches series, I'm looking at warmth. Both physical and visual warmth are super important at this time of year - we all want to feel cosy in our homes when it's cold outside, but we also want our homes to look warm and inviting for ourselves and guests. Texture, in the form of throws, cushions and perhaps the odd sheepskin work fast miracles in this department.

Drape a throw or two over the sofa and armchairs, add a Mongolian sheepskin and some textured cushions and voila, you can take a space from cold and stark to cosy and inviting just like that.

I've pulled together an edit of my current favourite pieces to help you warm up your space. I'll have one of everything, pretty please!

1. Soft Palette Blanket by BFGF at A New Tribe

I've been obsessed with BFGF throws for quite a while now and am determined to own one one day! These are such cool pieces that really are works of art in their own right and would look brilliant framed (admittedly the frame would cost more than the blanket, but the point is, you'd have a large scale heirloom piece of art for a fraction of the price that something that size would normally cost). But as we're talking about warmth, just throw it on the sofa for now, and maybe have it framed in the Spring!

2. Faux Fur Brushed Tips Throw - West Elm 

I of course knew that West Elm would have some fabulous throws - you can't really beat a bit of faux fur for cosy texture, and these are so stunning!

3. Rain Throw by Sylvain Willenz at Hem

I spotted this one the other week at the Hem pop-up at the new Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross. Can't stop thinking about it, so here it is.

4. Labyrinth Throw - One Nine Eight Five

Obsessive?! How very dare you! Okay, yes, I am obsessed with this amazing Labyrinth throw by One Nine Eight Five (made from 75% recycled cotton) - it really is talking my language.

5. Mongolian Sheepskin Throw - Suburban Salon

Nothing adds texture like a Mongolian sheepskin, and the very clever Julia from Suburban Salon has nailed it with her beautiful collection.

6. Jacquard Weave Leopard Print Blanket - H&M

I bought one of these fab leopard print blankets a while ago (pictured up top) and they work brilliantly with so many different styles.

7. July Throw by Slowdown Studio at Opumo

Yes I'm also slightly obsessed with this throw by London based Illustrator James Daw from Slowdown Studio which would also make an incredible piece of art. I really really really really want one!

8. Stripe Mohair Blanket by VISO at The Conran Shop

A blanket blowout, but boy is it beautiful. And such a gorgeous colour combination!

Right then, onto cushions...

1. Dot Tint Cushion by HAY at Really Well Made

The Dot Tint cushion is a classic with a twist. The cotton-linen blend is a timeless finish with a beautiful texture and that central button makes it extra special.

2. Round Lush Velvet Cushions - West Elm

What can I say?! They're round and they're velvet. I had to really stop myself from shoving one into my coat when leaving a dinner with them last week. True Fact. Oh and they come in blush too!

3. Cumulus Cushion Cover - Caravane

Texture, texture, and more texture. This delivers in the texture department in bucketloads. Love!

4. Soft Cushion - Tom Dixon

Hello my pretty pretty (pretty) plush mohair velvet dream. Bet you'd look good on my sofa...

5. Fluffy Cushion Cover - La Redoute

A bit of quiet texture to complement any other sofa pals.

6. Frame Cushion Cover - The Conran Shop

This cushion has gone straight to the top of my wish list. I'm completely in love with the striking pattern and to die for colour combination. Hello Santa, are you listening?!!

7. Close To My Heart Cushion - Bella Freud

I'm not immune to the charms of Bella Freud, and I really rather love this cushion. Besides, merino wool and embroidery really tick the texture boxes.

8. Wool and Cotton Jacquard Motifs Cushion - Maisons Du Monde

Another hardworking offering. Wool? Tick! Tonnes of Texture? Tick! Pattern? Tick! Pink? Tick!

Now go forth and get cosy, and don't forget to tune in next week for the next installment of this series (I'll be talking about all my favourite home fragrances), plus my mega Christmas Gift Guide!

Tropica me

My new collection of cushions and napkins has just launched. Hooray! The collection, called 'Tropica', has been a long time coming, and I'm particularly proud of it. It's a bit of a departure from anything I've done before - more grown up I guess. I've always designed for me first, as I just can't bring myself to release any products that I wouldn't personally want to have in my own home, so as my tastes continue to evolve, my designs do too. 
Photography & Styling Carole Poirot
The four patterns in this collection started as delicate paper-cuts. Several months ago, I was telling my daughter about the incredible traditional textiles of Hawaii, Mexico and Panama. In particular, the very beautiful Hawaiian Quilts that were on the beds of the Moana Surfrider Hotel on Waikiki Beach that we stayed in when she was very little. We decided to have a play around with some paper-cuts, to come up with some of our own patterns - the kind where you fold a piece of paper into quarters, leave the folded sides intact, cutting a pattern into the outer edges, then reveal a lovely geometric design when you unfold it. I was surprised when our quick little experiments turned out so beautifully - that something so simple could be so striking. I found myself doing more and more in the following weeks, and the idea for my next collection was born. I knew that I wanted the patterns to feel contemporary and fresh, so I started playing around with repeats digitally once I'd scanned them, and then they really came to life.
Photography & Styling Bianca Hall
I love that 'Ipanema' (above) looks lattice-like, though if you look closely you might see a palm tree or two. And a pineapple motif found it's way into my 'Maui' pattern (top and middle cushions in the image below). The 'Bahia' print has a tribal feel to it (the charcoal cushion and lampshade in the first image), whilst 'Panama' has an air of luxury about it (bottom cushion in image below).
Photography & Styling Carole Poirot
The cushions are all available in the shop now, and the napkins will be available soon...
Photography & Styling Carole Poirot 
Photography & Styling Carole Poirot
Photography & Styling Carole Poirot
I'd love to know what you think. What's your favourite pattern? Enjoy the rest of the weekend. I'll be doing some more house painting tomorrow. You know, just for a change...