KOTHEA Fabric Picks For A Chilly Winter’s Day
With Verity du Sautoy of KOTHEA.
We love the seasons. All have their beauties and all have touched our senses in memorable ways over the years. Winter is no exception: lower, more balanced light; quietness and chaos with both the shopping and the weather; festive celebrations; the cuddle of a loved one; the hope and expectation of early spring flowers grasping for rare and tiny glimmers of light; and, perhaps, the welcomed warmth of a beautiful fabric.
Some of my best memories are centred on family: a warm fire; a little baby; or a bouncing toddler. Then an old children’s classic on the iPlayer watched on my Mac as it balances precariously on an elegant coffee table. I stroke my children’s hair with one hand and rest my other hand on my sofa. A generous cushion is warm, encapsulating and a bit of fun for the little ones to hide under. The curtains are not yet fully drawn but they smooth the boundary to the cold outside and give us tantalising glimpses of the world beyond – should we venture too close to the sheers that offer the final, soft protection from the elements.
I work for a fabric company. I love fabric. I can’t pretend that it (fabric) is a be-all and end-all to life and that somehow it will make your life complete. It can’t. But what it clearly can do is complete the sensory experiences in the parts of life that, if you choose, you have control over…the parts of your home. Memories are not just photo-like snapshots in your brain; they are stored, multi-sensory splashes of emotion.
Here are my Winter picks. They are actual ‘picks’ that I’ve recently purchased or are about to purchase.
Take my sofa as an example. My sofa isn’t ‘just good’. It feels good and I think it looks good. It attracts people. People say it’s beautiful. It’s an old Donghia sofa and it has just been re-covered in one of KOTHEA’s latest and most luxurious fabrics. In fact one of the most luxurious fabrics you can buy; a velvet, made from the very finest Italian Silk and Cashmere Wool.
We have lots of cushions. The kids use them as breeze blocks to make architecturally sound dens, sometimes constructing them around the safe steel joist structures of an ancient clothes’ horse. This liberty fabric covers a cushion and has been a recent addition and instant hit. It shows “painted strands of meadow grasses with flowers peeking through from behind the blades”. I think in a child’s eye the cushion becomes a window on the Spring to come whilst retaining post-Autumnal colouration for the adults.
Over there, in the corner, is an occasional chair. Again it seems to be being used as part of a skyscraper den at the moment but normally it is ‘occasionally’ used by friends that keep popping round for coffee. I’m not sure how daily use can count this as an ‘occasional chair’ but nevertheless that’s what I’m going to continue to call it. We’re having that one recovered soon with one of Jane Churchill’s Selworth Stripes. The Porlock stripe is the one we are going for.
Facing the occasional chair is the window I mentioned earlier. Adorned is a nice word and, I think, an appropriate one to describe how our curtains embrace and enhance what would otherwise be a simple rectangular space filled with glass. A beautiful lustre and engaging patterns make our Donghia curtains a point of interest without that pattern dominating the room too much and becoming a focal point in itself. I used to be the UK Sales Manager at Donghia and I am still a big admirer of their products, this curtain fabric is no exception.
Just outside in the hallway we go into another world. An eclectic world of African, European and Asian inspiration. Either that or we were unable to find stuff that followed a common theme! Life’s interesting and so is our hallway and so too are the fabrics, splashing colour or texture at every turn. The latest addition, last week actually, is a recovered tub chair. I forget where the chair originally comes from but the fabric this time around is Gaston y Daniella’s “Uzbek”. As with many fabrics this one looks much better in situ rather than in a 2D digital magazine world devoid of texture.
I’m thinking about ordering my next fabric for a downstairs utility to add a bit of colour. It’s Sahco’s ANEMONE in linen. This is more of a DIY Roman blind project that will probably drag on, in low priority mode, over the winter. So I’ve chosen probably a more spring-like fabric – which in reality is when it will be ready to hang! In fact, to be honest, I think I was drawn by the firework effect it kind of reminds me of (too much mulled wine). I always thought that anemones were late summer flowering too but I’m not claiming to be either an Interior Designer or Garden Designer here!
I’m not sure where this next one is going. It’s a 100% linen fabric and, from memory, it was only suitable for light residential upholstery (isn’t it hard to find a good upholstery linen these days? Try KOTHEA!). So it could well go in the main room as the colours are right but, even though the edges of the pattern have an overlapping brush stroke effect, I suspect that it might err too much on the geometrical side. Hence the hallway might beckon again for this beautiful fabric. Anyway I love it and it will go somewhere nice, that’s certain.
I’m going to come back to cushions again. We have so many velvet cushions; it really is craziness. We use a lot of our own KOTHEA velvets, of course, as good velvets are tricky to come by. However, having said that, you can’t go wrong with Zoffany either. I love their Mosaic Velvet collection. Again some of these would look great in our hallway. Zoffany describe their Mosaic Velvet collection as a “decadent mix of geometric patterns on furniture and ceramics, combined with luxurious velvets & animal skins.” I’ve already picked and placed some of these in my mind’s eye but the signing off committee (husband) needs to be plied with Sancerre before this project-ette proceeds.
If I had time I would recover an old nursing chair that sits forlornly in our reading room or maybe the two bed headboards that are crying out for attention (as is everyone else) . I’ve already picked the fabrics. It’s just finding the time. However there is one more winter 2011 project that I will be able to find the time for: the “Cashmere Throw Project”. It’s cheating of course. It takes seconds to throw a throw (well, arrange a throw) over a sofa or bed yet the look can be transformational. And, bringing me back to the senses theme at the start of this article, Cashmere Throws are exceptionally luxurious to the touch – a true sensual delight. I shall end with a shameless plug for KOTHEA’s Cashmere Throws which are amongst the best you can buy in the UK. Just looking at one aspect of throw design, ply rating, KOTHEA sells higher ply-rated throws than run-of-the-mill high street retailers who are unable to source such qualities.
Verity du Sautoy is heavily involved in the marketing with KOTHEA, who specialise in fabrics for the top Interior Designers and Architects. Verity has over 10 years of experience with marketing in a variety of industries.
Passionate About Fabrics
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