349 Hagley Road
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B17 8DL

0121 420 3977

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349 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B17 8DL

tel: 0121 420 3977
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Banner image above (Hollywood Palm) courtesy of Cole & Son - Martyn Lawrence Bullard Collection.

Bring on the guests

All images below courtesy of Designers Guild.

Designers Guild - Birds Collage - Parchment

above - Birds Collage.

Designers Guild - Chimney Swallows

above - Chimney Swallows.

Designers Guild - Mixed Tones - Canvas

above - Mixed Tones.

As I’ve often said in my editorials, I love my job. Not only do we get to meet such lovely people, but we are entrusted to make their visions a reality. At John Charles Interiors we operate in the middle to upper end of the interior design trade, so have the opportunity to work with the most beautiful fabrics, wallcoverings, carpets and lighting on the market.

You get to know each manufacturer’s handwriting and style. You know what colours you can expect from a particular company’s latest collection. You can predict whether it will be bold and exciting, or gentle and deliciously tonal. So it’s always refreshing when a well-known design house launches a new collection in collaboration with a guest designer, and the mix gets stirred up a bit. Well, this spring two of my favourite companies have done just that.

If I was forced to choose my all-time favourite design house, Designers Guild would certainly be in my top three – or probably two, or maybe . . . Contrary to what many folks think, it didn’t start life as a guild of designers who all got together to produce some fabulous products, but is a company founded in 1970 by a delightful lady called Tricia Guild, who has I believe one of the most creative minds in our industry. The relationship between Designers Guild and John Charles interiors goes back many years, and was only potentially blighted in 2008, when I was very pleased to be invited, along with a select group of design professionals, to the launch of their splendidly sumptuous Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace. I took a glass of fizz off the edge of a waiter’s tray, causing him to lose his balance and deposit the rest of the tray’s contents onto Her Maj’s carpet. Not my best move, but I did manage to avoid a spell in the Tower of London.

Their latest collection, entitled Picture Book, is launched under the banner John Derian for Designers Guild. It sits perfectly well with Tricia Guild’s design ethos and style, yet is something new and different. John Derian Company Inc was established in New York in 1989, creating beautiful decoupage plates, platters, paperweights, coasters and bowls, all of which are handmade in John’s New York City studio, where a small staff of artisans assist with production. He is known the world over for his innovative and sensitive style which infuses his extraordinary objets d’art with stationery, lighting, furniture and other ephemera. I’m told his New York shop is a veritable treasure trove !!

Picture Book perfectly captures John Derian’s inimitable style. With access to his extensive archive of vintage decoupage prints, comes an endearing and exquisite new collection of fabrics and wallpapers that is wonderfully evocative. Packed with vibrant florals (check out Variétes de Gloxinia, and The Rose), beautifully drawn birds (particularly Chimney Swallows), and the odd playful surprise (Captain Thomas Brown’s Shells, and the exquisite Mixed Tones) it really is a collection to get your design juices flowing.

Cole & Son, probably my very favourite wallpaper manufacturer, was founded in 1875 by John Perry, son of a Cambridgeshire merchant. In those days the company was situated in Islington, north London, an area famous for the 190 hand block printing companies working there in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Today, the Cole & Son archive consists of approximately 1,800 block print designs, 350 screen print designs and a huge quantity of original drawings and wallpapers, representing all the styles from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Amongst these are some of the most important historic wallpaper designs in the world. Cole & Son has provided wallpapers for many historic houses including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. Some of you may remember there was a big hoo ha in the mid 90s when the Lord Chancellor’s office was being redecorated with the original Pugin wallpaper that was coming out at about £300 a roll. I was lucky enough to be visiting the Cole & Son factory at the time, and after having watched in awe as one very skilled man took a whole day to hand block print a single roll, I was gob-smacked that it was ONLY £300 a roll. Anyway, I digress.

Cole & Son’s brand new offering is a superb collection of wallpapers created in conjunction with world renowned interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, entitled . . . you’ve guessed it – Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Martyn is internationally revered for his trademark glamour and flair for the exotic. Martyn’s impressive mastery of a broad range of styles, paired with his unrivalled attention to detail and commitment to quality has earned him significant international acclaim. Born in Britain, he now lives in Los Angeles, and is a popular television personality and industry expert. He is known for creating sophisticated and inviting interiors for Hollywood A-listers, among them Kendall Jenner, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, Tommy Hilfiger and Cher.

The collection is an eclectic array of opulent contemporary designs, celebrating the diverse skill and unique craftsmanship of cultures around the globe, blending influences from both Eastern and Western culture. The range showcases the breadth of Martyn’s portfolio, with beautifully intricate motifs of lanterns entitled Fez (ha ha ha, just like that – sorry I couldn’t resist), and fabulous Persianesque tiles named Bazaar, to a truly stunning panel design called Bahia. Meaning ‘brilliance’, it derives its name from the beautiful Bahia Palace and surrounding gardens in Marrakesh. Its elegantly detailed Jali fretwork, elaborate lacelike masonry and decorative motifs in Gold and Stone have been painstakingly drawn and painted by hand. My out and out favourite though, and this will come as no surprise to regular readers (sit up straight both of you) is the magnificent Hollywood Palm. An instant classic, born out of a combination of oft used Cole and Son motifs and deco (there’s the clue) Palm Springs design, it comes in sumptuous metallic tones of Charcoal and Gold, Rose Gold, Silver and Charcoal, and Leaf Green.

These collections by renowned designers are absolutely lovely additions to our vast array of pattern books. But don’t just take my word for it – drop into our showroom and see for yourself.



John Biddell, John Charles Interiors

Live 24 7 magazine editorial - March 2018

All images below courtesy of Cole & Son - Martyn Lawrence Bullard Collection.

Cole & Son - Martyn Lawrence Bullard Collection - Bahia 113-4012 with Jali Trellis 113-5013

above - Bahia with Jali Trellis.

Cole & Son - Martyn Lawrence Bullard Collection - Hollywood Palm 113-1001

above - Hollywood Palm.

Cole & Son - Martyn Lawrence Bullard Collection - Medina 113-7018

above - Medina.

Cole & Son - Martyn Lawrence Bullard Collection - Trees of Eden Eternity 113-14041, Paradise 113-14042, Life 113-14043, Medina 113-7019

above - Trees of Eden Eternity,
Paradise, Life, Medina.

Cole & Son - Martyn Lawrence Bullard Collection - Zerzura 113-8023

above - Zerzura.

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