My mother specialised in Islamic textiles from central Asia, although her love of textiles started with a simple indigo hill tribe piece that she unearthed in Thailand. She travelled the world in search of knowledge, and would return home laden with items of extraordinary colour, craftsmanship and history: antique turban fabric, central Asian silks and cotton suzanis, ikat jackets, vintage cotton Russian prints, dragon print linen, Indian ralli quilts and so much more. I use this collection of hers as a constant reference for colour combinations and design.
You can’t go past the possibilities textiles offer when it comes to adding depth to a space. Layering up with wall coverings, floor rugs and such will instantly create a warmer and more inviting space, and give you the opportunity to create an interchangeable scheme with different textiles.
Embrace the dust cover look of a locked-up mansion. If your vintage linen doesn't cover the whole sofa, layer in patches and continue to add tone and texture with the cushions. These are old French sheets and Belgian flour sacks. Let the covers fall to the floor – linen has such a body-filed drape.
I’m one for making do with what’s in front of me, so when I inherited some oddly placed picture hooks, rather than remove them, I draped the wall with a giant inky green mosquito net to create a luscious backdrop. Loose hanging arrangements allow you to add different shapes, objects and frames – whatever takes your fancy – and ensure your rooms can be easily transformed when the mood strikes.
Inspiration comes in all forms: a newsletter dating back to 1939 offers a beautiful image that becomes an embroidered cushion, custom made in Bali. The fabric in the background is an old sail hanging from a picture hook.