Archive of ‘Designer’s Diary’ category

Iris Flower: In The Garden With Lucy

Although we may be in lock down, it is still important to be in touch with nature. Whether it is an orchid flower on your window or a daffodil in your garden, lets appreciate their beauty. This week in the garden with Lucy, we are showing our love for the Iris flower.

Dwarf bearded Iris flower
Plum Wine Iris Flower

This little stunner is a dwarf bearded iris called ‘Plum Wine’ and when it has its moment it is amazing. It is so velvety and rich and its shape is very elegant and exotic.

Irises have often inspired artists, from early Japanese art to van Gogh to Sir Cedric Morris (who also bred many beautiful irises). Little wonder when they turn up looking like the best dressed girl at the party, oozing otherworldly glamour.

Watercolour Iris flower painting
Watercolour Iris painting

Heather’s beautiful painting captures this elegance and grace wonderfully, along with their irresistible colour and sinuous foliage.

Get creative with Christy and have a go at painting your own watercolour Iris flower. Art is a get activity to relax and take a breather! See our Senior Designers video of painting the plum wine Iris below.

Which flowers do you love? Comment below and let us know which flowers you would like to see being painted into a beautiful watercolour piece by heather. Or send us some pictures of the nature you are enjoying at your home during lock down!

Every month we will be having a giveaway to win one of the original watercolour flower paintings. To be the first in the know, make sure you sign up for our newsletter! You can see all our latest ‘Get creative with Christy’ videos on our Youtube channel here.

 

The Foam Flower

Our lovely Lucy and Heather have been at it again this week! Bringing you this gorgeous spring bloom. With its delicate pink flowers and luscious green foliage what is not to love about the Foam flower? 

Foam flower
Tiarella cordifolia

This delicate beauty is the foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia) and at the moment it is flowering its tiny head off. I’m absolutely enchanted by it, especially its intricate detail and miniature stature. It has a shape similar to a much bigger spire like a delphinium or a hollyhock but in such tiny scale that it is fairy-like. Its colour is delicate too: palest pink with just a flush of a deeper pink. As if that wasn’t enough it has beautiful leaves too which long outlast its pretty flowers.

How to paint a watercolour foam flower

Watch as Heather paints this gorgeous flower with watercolour paints. Be inspired to get creative with Christy! See the finished master piece below.

foam flower watercolour painting
Foam flower watercolour painting

If pretty pinks could be your thing check out our Jaipur velvet accessories in Dusky Pink. Blush in our Brixton towel and Pearl in our Luxe towel are both lovely delicate shades and the towels both have bit more of a contemporary feel, great for a Spring refresh.

 

In The Garden With Lucy

One of the positives to have come out of the current situation is that those of us lucky enough to have a garden or access to a green space are really appreciating the benefits of a bit of “nature therapy”. It has a very calming effect on me and makes me smile to see the flowers still blooming and the new shoots of Spring continuing to come through. In the garden with Lucy is inspired by some of the little gems that Mother Nature is sharing with us, with a little Christy magic along the way.​

I’m not bad at growing things and Heather our Senior Designer is brilliant at painting things, so together we are bringing you the best of what is blooming in my garden this week. ​​

The beautiful Pasque flower
The beautiful Pasque flower

This amazing chap is the Pasque flower, so named because it flowers around Easter, ‘pasque’ comes from the word ‘paschal’ meaning ‘of Easter’. This year it was bang on time! Its stunning rich purple petals and bright yellow centre make it a joy to see, especially when bathed in the glorious sunshine we’ve been having. Heather has picked up on its exuberant colours and its beautiful feathery foliage.​​

Heathers fantastic watercolour Pasque flower painting
Heathers fantastic watercolour Pasque flower painting

If you would like to be in with a chance to WIN this beautiful, original watercolour painting you can head over to our competition here. All you have to do is tell us your favourite flower!

If, like me, you’re inspired by this luscious colour check out Crushed Grape in our Prism towels. Or for a slightly softer take on the colour try Berry in the Renaissance towel and Orchid in the Supreme towel.

 

AW18 Photoshoot: Behind the Scenes

Sunshine beams through the open glass window panes, which replace the standard brick walls found in a home, of the location space. The modern building is open-plan with a design aesthetic that is an edgy take on Scandinavian design. Deep mahogany wooden feature walls, paired with dark navy walls, create a cosy yet modern atmosphere. A perfect fit for a winter collection.

Shoot days are full of excitement, anticipation and movement. It is an atmosphere that we thrive in, a dynamic setting which gets the creative ideas flowing and adrenaline pumping.

Boxes are unpacked. Product is steamed and ironed. The bed is dressed. Lighting is set. Camera is in position. It is time to call Action!

Our NEW AW18 range draws from a wonderful array of inspiration. Featuring beautiful rust tones, and icy silver hues, this new collection creates a warm wintery feel in the home effortlessly.

We love the idea of layering up. Creating a space which you can snuggle up in and enjoy Christmas films and hot cocoa. Combining knitted, cotton and cashmere textures, and collaborating multiple tones, it is easy to create a Winter retreat. Thus, our winter photoshoot inspiration.

For this photoshoot we wanted to incorporate as much warmth as possible – there is no better feeling then getting into a warm bed when there is ice greeting the grass overnight! Our winter warmers come in the form of knitted throws the year. Our Agnes throw in Rust, and our Oslo throw in Ecru, embrace autumnal hues and high quality materials.

Silver is our colour of the season. The beautiful icy tones of our 300TC Sateen Stripe bed linen, coordinated with our premium 900TC Sateen Plain Dye, create a bedroom fit for a Winter Queen. Against the warm mahogony wall, paired with brass and concrete décor, the bed linen sings and instantly becomes the main focus of your bedroom – rightly so.

To add a pop of colour, we decided to incorporate our luxurious Jaipur Throw in Magenta. A simple way to lift the intricate detail.

Don’t just take our word for it though, look at how cosy our beautiful model Lara looks inside this bed of dreams!

Need some more inspo? Take a look at some other ways to make your home a winter haven this year.

 

“If Coco Chanel designed bed linen…”

A neutral canvas can allow you to switch up your bedroom style each season. Crisp white walls are the perfect backdrop for any bedroom style. We love the simplicity of this monochrome scheme with our Mode Midnight bed linen against the crisp, clean, white walls and sophisticated grey artwork.

Although we have a lot of love for a pristine monochrome scheme, switching up the look by injecting colour can add some extra wow factor to the bedroom no matter what time of year.

Hues of chartreuse and yellow are bang on trend for this season. Through using Farrow and Ball’s Yellow Cake paint on the window paned doors, the bright hue has given the room an instant lift by injecting colour and inviting light inside. The vibrant hue goes perfectly with the strong tones of our Mode bed linen and Holly Divan bed in Thunder from Button and Sprung.

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Complement the vibrant hues with accents of yellow, black, white and grey with this beautiful on-trend marble bed side table which adds style as well we brightening the room without taking focus away from the bed linen or doors. Finish the look with velvet shams and decorative cushions to add texture and style.

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Introducing our AW16 bed linen range

With Autumn upon us now is the time to introduce our beautiful AW16 bed linen collection. With winter only around the corner and the chill beginning to hit the air perhaps it is the season to change your bed linen to one of our beautiful new designs. Our new designs have been split into three different collections, offering a vast range of designs suitable for all different style tastes.

Timeless

The timeless collection is our take on classic bedding. These bed linen designs offer a stylish take on classical designs, with many of these being digitally printed jacquards. All designs are made with 200 thread count cotton, each offering a very different but equally beautiful design.

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Eclectic

The eclectic collection is a very creative range of bed linen, it offers a celebration of colours which can really express personalities. Each design is unique in its own way made with the intention to make a real statement within a bedroom.

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Retreat

Our Retreat range focuses on subtle patterns and neutral colours in order to help create a hotel inspired collection which will freshen up any bedroom. Each and every one of these designs was created in order to be able to recreate the boutique hotel look at home. The effortlessly cool and sophisticated look will transform a bedroom into a sanctuary of relaxation.

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Feels Like Home: 10 Tips for Displaying Art to Create a Beautiful Home

Feels Like Home: 10 Tips for Displaying Art to Create a Beautiful Home

By Ruth Wilkinson, creative director of gallery SCREAM LONDON, http://www.ScreamLondon.com

Interiors  artwork lighting

Your home is a space which is entirely yours. Yet sometimes we are so caught up in daily life that we neglect these important spaces and homes can become hectic, untidy and stressful. To remind us of what’s important, Christy and COTTON USA have launched a Feels Like Home campaign to get you thinking about ways in which you can personalise your home and create a true sanctuary. In my blog post below, I’ll share how you can achieve this through your choice of artwork in the home. Another option is for you to master the art of the perfectly folded towel when welcoming guests to your home, and Christy explains how to do just that in this video. Christy Supreme Hygro® towels carry the COTTON USA International trademark for quality U.S cotton rich products.

  1. If you have a large blank wall to hang a big bold statement piece can be the ideal way to fill it. One piece on a wall gives an uncluttered feel to the room and brings focus to the artwork with no distractions. A dramatic colour can command the room and let your furniture and accessories stay neutral.
  2. Be conscious to fill a space with the right scale of artwork. A small and subtle piece may be lost on a large wall and equally a bold large artwork will feel constricted on a wall that does not allow it space to breath.
  3. Symmetry can bring calmness and order to a room. Hanging the same sized print either side of a fireplace for example can make a nice balance to the room.
  4. Cluster or salon style hanging is great way to fill a large wall with lots of small pieces. It’s a really good way to make a statement wall with a busy collection of interesting prints hanging at different heights within a layout. Remember to keep your space between prints consistent and have fun with hanging different sized pieces of different styles of art side by side. You will see how a really graphic print can sit well beside a more delicate drawing to bring real interest and diversity to your wall.
  5. Choosing a theme can help you to hang a room of artwork that complement each other. Going with a monochrome theme allows you to play with different styles of artwork in different sizes with a clear thread that ties them together. Going with a black and white theme also allows your furniture and room accessories to bring the colour while your walls remain classic.
  6. Equally, in a neutral room a theme of bold, graphic, primary coloured prints can add vibrancy and a collection of pastel themed prints will bring an elegance to any room.
  7. Paying attention to the subject matter of your artwork is also a way to tie pieces together into a considered layout, for example animal prints sit happily alongside maps and more organic or botanical imagery.
  8. A clever way to introduce artwork into your home without the commitment of hammering nails into your walls is to lean a selection of different sized prints on top of a chest of drawers or shelf. This way you can try out different prints and see what feel most comfortable in the room.
  9. Tie your artwork into the room by highlighting a particular material with your frames. For example when you are hanging prints in your kitchen or bathroom it’s a great idea to use a metal that can be seen in the room, we are seeing a big trend right now of copper frames for prints.
  10. When deciding where to hang art in your home remember that there are no rules, bringing art into your home is a personal thing and each piece you hang should bring you joy and make your house feel like home. Remember how you use your spaces, for example hang pieces you love to wake up to in the bedroom and your statement pieces in the living room so that everyone can admire them – it won’t make sense to hang your favourite artwork in a room you rarely use at home.
 

Snoozology: The Beginner’s Guide to Napping

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What ever happened to the lost art of napping? Last week (14th March) was National Napping Day, so we’re celebrating the humble nap on the Christy blog today. Some cultures build their day around strategically timed naps, known as a siesta in Spain and a riposo in Italy. If we’ve achieved everything on the to-do list, the weather is keeping us inside or if we’ve just had a disturbed night’s sleep, there’s nothing better than a lovely afternoon nap.

The power nap is a great option if you’re out on the town for the evening or need to recharge between events. It is defined as a “short sleep which terminates before the occurrence of deep sleep, intended to quickly revitalize the subject.”

The power nap has been a topic much debated in the Christy offices, as we’re quite divided as to how well they work. We’ve accumulated our tips into this concise four-step guide:

  1. Drink a cup of coffee (This stage is optional, though studies have indicated that a cup of coffee before a nap heightens the impact of caffeine).
  2. Set your alarm for 20 – 30 minutes time.
  3. Get comfortable and sleep.
  4. Wake and go on with the day with renewed energy and vigour.

Facts about naps

  • The term ‘power nap’ was coined by James Maas, a social psychologist at Cornell University and author of Power Sleep.
  • Failing to achieve a full sleep cycle results in sleep inertia, where the subject wakes up feeling groggy and not well rested.
  • In Serbia and Slovenia, there is an unspoken rule whereby people don’t call each other from the hours of 2pm – 5pm because it is assumed that the household is resting.
  • Spain held a National Siesta Championship in 2010 with a top prize of €1000, to promote the art of napping.

So what do you think? Is the power nap your new secret weapon or are you in need of more convincing? Let us know your experience of the power nap on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Christy Book Review #1 – The Shopkeeper’s Home by Caroline Rowland

books_in_bed

We’re guilty of not taking the time to switch off from technology, reaching for a tablet instead of a book from our bedside table. In an attempt to break bad habits, “What’s On Our Bedside Table” is a great way to ensure we delve into a few chapters of something wholesome (or not) each month. This month “The Shopkeeper’s Home” by Caroline Rowland is our reading material of choice.

bedsidetable_book

Caroline’s beautiful book explores the world’s best independent retailers and boutiques and their stylish homes. It’s amazing to see the cross over from home to work and the influences that have created a successful business and a happy home. The book includes homeware stores, cafes, a converted barn and even a repurposed gas station ,presented stylishly and with an individuality not often seen on the high street.

As Caroline says “we all love browsing the style pages for that peek behind closed doors to reveal a person’s home life” and she couldn’t be more right.

We thought you’d like to hear what we loved about this book…

“Decorating ideas to take home with you…”

We loved this section at the beginning of each chapter. It kept us inspired whilst perusing through the pages and having a nosy into the retailer’s shops and homes, whilst dreaming of how it could influence our own.

Photography

The stunning photography throughout the book inspired both envy and desire, as well as growing us buds of inspiration for our own shoots.

Shops Directory

If you are asking yourself “how can I…”, the last few pages of the book feature a 100 best shops directory. It displays the shops name, address and contact details from the book, plus more. It’s so handy – especially if you are visiting a certain town or country in the world and decide to go there after coveting over the items within the book.

Visit Facebook and Twitter to be in with a chance to win yourself a copy.

 

The Christy Essential Linen Cupboard Guide

linen_care

With all festivities and waves of guests dwindling, it’s time to de clutter the linen cupboard and get it organised ready for your next lot of guests to descend on your home. At Christy nothing gets us more excited than a pristine linen cupboard storing gorgeous linens from fluffy towels through to crisp sheets. If you’re anything like us your linen cupboard is over flowing with luxury linens so here’s some tips on organising your linen cupboard.

Closet organisation

Firstly have a good clear out of all your bedding and towels, we separate are linens into the following categories:

  • Towels
  • Bedlinen
  • Favourite linens
  • Guest linens
  • Children’s linens

And most importantly a pile for linens that have seen their best days, do not be afraid to throw away linens – just think of all the new soft fluffy towels and beautiful new bed linen designs you can purchase!

After you are happy with the piles of linens before thinking where they will be homed in your cupboard fold them neatly.  Watch this video for a tutorial from our towel design manager Julia on how to perfectly fold a towel.  Handy tip, fold your pillowcases up together and insert them into the middle of your neatly folded duvet. This will help to keep your linen closet looking in tip top shape and will also allow you to grab the full bed linen set for those last minute emergencies.

Once you have your linens all neatly folded and ready to put back in your closet, it’s time to give the cupboard a quick spruce up with some polish and even put a fresh little sachet of your favourite scent to keep your closet smelling fresh.

Finally place your linens back in remembering the categories you spilt you linens into previously. Colour co-ordinating your linens is also a great way of keeping your linen closet organised.

The Perfect Guest Linens

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We’ve all been there when last minute guests arrive and our spare towels are in the laundry. Here are our useful tips on linens for guests which will make them want to come round again…

  • Have a separate section for your guest linens which are reserved strictly for visitors.
  • A spare robe for guests will make them feel like they’re really at home.
  • A spare pillow and duvet will allow your guest to wrap up warm on the winter nights. In Summer a spare flat sheet may be needed as an alternative to a duvet.
  • Layer up your guest bed with cosy knit throws and an array of cushions and a fresh bale of towels for the perfect finishing touch to your guest room.

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The Perfect Capsule Wardrobe for your Home

One last tip on linens in your household; we would recommend two bath towels and one full spare set of bed linen per person within the household to keep everyone in luxury linens.

Our essential linen guide can be found here and this can be printed and displayed on the back of the door on your closet for easy reference to our tips.

We’d love to hear how you get on organising your linen cupboard send us a message on Facebook and Twitter and tell us how you’ve categorised your linens.

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