Monday, 6 January 2014

sofa.com + Cameron Short || Inspired by the English Countryside

Well today is apparently the most depressing day of the year! I got up early and went out with the dog, I was grateful it wasn't raining again. If you're a regular reader you'll know that I now live in the English countryside and if you follow West Egg on Instagram you'll probably have spotted that I spend a lot of time outside walking my pug dog Alfie. I always love my walks around the fields (when they aren't flooded) because it's such a lovely chance to clear my head, focus on what I need to get on with and also to simply see the horses, sheep and goats that graze near the river. It can be inspiring and occasionally I'll have a brainwave! Obviously being inspired by the English countryside is hardly a new revelation; when we lived in Colchester one of my favourite places to visit was the medieval village of Dedham to see the scenic views Constable was inspired to paint and that was over 200 years ago.

Fast forward to last week, and I visited sofa.com's showroom in Chelsea Wharf, pug in tow, to see some of their new designs. Cameron Short, a super talented British artist and printmaker has worked with sofa.com to create a collection of exclusive fabrics all of which draw inspiration from the English countryside, bygone rural life and the folklore of trees, plants and animals. I was so excited to see the 3 designs he created which include ‘Ode to the Ash’, ‘Varx’ and ‘Treasure Tree’. Each fabric design was originally block-printed by hand on Cameron's 1904 proofing press before being digitally printed in Lancashire in multiple colours.

Saturday Love-seat in Ode to the Ash || Midnight Blue

Above is the Saturday Love-seat - one of my favourite sofa.com designs. It's such a perfect size for those small spaces, I love the way this one is styled with the rustic jute rug and stripped back wooden panelling. The design of this fabric Ode to the Ash "tells the story of this ancient, native tree. The ash stands at a crossroads, surrounded by figures from times passed: a herdsman carrying an ash stick to keep the Evil Eye away from his stock; a country girl who, hoping to meet her true love, keeps an 'even ash' leaf in her glove; a woodsman, kneeling reverently beneath the great tree.” It's very rural, very English and very cool. 

Margot Love-seat in Treasure Tree || Pumice

Wooden floors and exposed brick work is always a win for me so I picked this image to show you the Treasure Tree design. I love the contrast here with the Margot Love seat which has been upholstered in the Treasure Tree design. Cameron says, “At first sight, Treasure Tree is a gnarly tangle of oak leaves, branches and ivy. Peer closer, however, and you'll see not only a magpie with a ring in its beak, but foliage adorned with a collection of trinkets and shiny objects that have caught the bird's beady eye. There’s also a nest with an egg in it - a FabergĂ© one, of course.”

Iggy Armchair in Varx || Clay & Burnt Orange

And lastly, the Iggy armchairs above have been covered in the Varx design in clay and burnt orange. I love the corresponding cushions on the opposite sofa which is simply covered in a plain linen. It pulls together the different elements really well and shows you don't need to be afraid of using a bold design, especially on a smaller piece like an armchair. Are you wondering what a varx is? I was, but luckily Cameron explained that the pattern’s name is taken from the pronunciation of ‘fox’ native to the far south-west of England where he live and works. I never would have sussed that out, but it does make sense when you say it out loud. Are you saying it out loud? If you're in an office, I bet you just whispered it under your breath....

Anyway, the collaboration with Cameron Short is all part of sofa.com's Design Lab which aims to support the best of British design by working with up and coming printmakers and artists from across the UK to create original and eye-catching fabrics. My favourite is the Treasure Tree, I love the attention to detail and I'll always vote for anything with an egg, obviously! Which is your favourite? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

{This post was produced in collaboration with sofa.com, however as with all sponsored posts, the views and opinions expressed are my own. For more information on how I work with sponsors, please click on the Advertising tab above.}

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