London’s Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has just hosted the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show, sounding the start of the summer. The show started in 1804 and has grown to a great celebration of the outdoors and many commentators have suggested that this year’s show has been the best in a long time.
The team at Stitched love all things floral, particularly floral furnishings set off by textured curtains or blinds. Here are 3 lessons we learned from this year’s show.
Sculpture in all its forms was on show this year, from the informality of burnt timber used in Andy Sturgeon’s M&G Garden to the organic metal installation in the Savills and David Harber Garden. Where it worked best was where it was BIG! In the smallest gardens, the largest pieces introduced a dynamism and interest that wouldn’t have been achieved if the creators had opted for a smaller scale.
We can apply this idea in our homes to great effect. If you’re decorating a small room, the temptation is often to choose small items to go in it but this ends up emphasising the lack of space and making everything look a bit mean. Instead, go large. Choose a huge mirror for your downstairs loo, opt for an oversized headboard that fills an entire wall in your smallest bedroom and dress a tiny window in long, luxurious curtains. You won’t regret it - the result will be dramatic, interesting and fabulous.
No, we’re not talking about starting a band, this is a device used by garden and interior designers alike to create beautiful spaces. Many people said that one of the loveliest aspects of this year’s flower show was the wild, informal planting but much design and planning will have gone into this seemingly haphazard look. The trick is to choose a limited palette of colours for the plants, restrict the number of materials used and ensure both colours and materials are repeated throughout the garden.
These ideas are directly relevant to interiors as well. We’ve spoken before about how a limited palette in a home makes for a more relaxed environment and a more coherent look. Similarly with materials and finishes. Opt for either warm or cool metals and stick with your choice throughout your home, for light switches, sockets, door handles, lamp stands and elsewhere. Restrict the number of wood or other finishes you have, particularly in a single space. And when deciding on furniture and soft furnishings, echo the colour of your curtains or blinds in a cushion or chair on the opposite side of the room. Creating a subtle link between objects gives off a sense of harmony and makes an interior feel ‘pulled together’.
Understandably, there was much emphasis on environmental concerns this year. Children’s TV presenter Floella Benjamin designed a garden with the message ‘reverse climate change chaos now’ and sustainability was at the heart of the display designed by Tom Dixon, ‘Gardening will Save the World’.
When it comes to decorating our homes, we can do our bit in a whole host of ways. Is our wood flooring from a sustainable source? Make sure it’s Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified at the very least. Does our paint contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs)? Opt for water-based paint wherever possible. Is our furniture being shipped from the other side of the world? Buy British or second-hand if you can.
At Stitched, we take our responsibility to the environment very seriously. Many of our fabrics are of recycled materials, one, Wool which for every metre sold a donation is made to international water aid charity Just a Drop. We support British manufacturing with workshops and mills in Merseyside, Yorkshire and Lancashire and by making each blind or pair of curtains to order we reduce waste and energy consumption.
So, why not start exploring what Stitched can offer today, safe in the knowledge that by ordering through us you’re making an environmentally responsible choice.