Bring some colour and joy into your home with these glorious hand-blocked textiles.

When it comes to home interiors there are two distinct tribes of decorators: the Scandi minimalists, drawn to blonde woods, 20th-century design and palettes inspired by nature. And then there are the maximalists, inspired by print clashes, bold palettes and a layering approach which marries old and new in eclectic fashion. If you fall into the latter camp then chances are that hand-blocked printed textiles feature somewhere in your home already – from a graphic Ikat to a boho paisley.

This week we’ve curated an edit of the best UK interiors brands, specialising in hand-block printed fabrics and wallpapers to add some jewel brights and sunshine tones to your home. If you are a little pattern-shy or a block-print novice, we’ve also included some tips on where to start. We promise (or is that warn?): you’ll soon be hooked.

Rapture and Wright


Cotswolds-based Rapture and Wright has a beautiful edit of hand-printed papers and fabrics. Run by graphic designer and illustrator duo, Peter Thwaites and Rebecca Aird, Rapture & Wright are one of the few remaining studios in the UK to print by hand. Their full range of botanical inspired, as well as intricate geometric repeat patterns, is available across wallpapers, cushions, fabrics and furniture, allowing you to layer up your room to your heart’s desire.

Molly Mahon


Sussex-based Molly Mahon has got a loyal following for her bold-yet-simple repeat designs. Printed using Molly’s own block designs in Rajasthan, her cheerful perfectly imperfect prints now adorn everything from napkins to mugs, bedding, stationery and lighting. She also holds regular workshops and events for ‘block print fans’ to try their own hand at the heritage technique. The cognoscenti’s favourite. And how we have swooned, again and again, over this MM-designed shepherd’s hut.

Wicklewood


Wicklewood offers a brilliant remote design service via its website. Send over pictures of your room and the interior experts will help you pick the colour scheme or prints for you. They have focused on creating the products that, when added to a space, make the most impact, from an area rug to a range of scatter cushions for the sofa or a quilt for the bed. Their influences range from the Pacific Islands to Costa Rica, all the way to the hand-block printing of India. Designed for ‘modern nomads’, its ranges are perfect for renters who want to add personality to their home, and then take it with them when they move.

Sarah K


If you are looking for a traditional twist on hand-block printing and seek a more pared back palette, Sarah K is the perfect site. Amongst the crisp, scallop-edged bedlinens and smart monogrammed pillowcases are beautifully executed hand-block printed fabrics, all in pretty pastels or muted neutrals on a modern, white base. The best-selling leaf design print is available by the metre for the handy seamstress, as well as practical oilcloth for busy family homes. How beautiful is the Pink Daisy Quilt?

Blithfield


Launched in London in 1997 by American duo, Anne Dubbs and Elizabeth Downing, Blithfield has built an incredible archive of fabrics and wallpapers. With globally inspired references, and an exclusive reproduction range of British Designer Peggy Angus’ works, together they have brought many timeless designs up-to-date in modern colourways for a fresh take on print, renewing its charm for the next generation.

Hill and May


Specialising in pleated cotton lampshades created from delicate silks, rare Saris, and block printed cottons and linens, Hill and May has a riotous range of prints and colours on offer. A great way of adding a splash of colour and fun to a room, without it feeling overpowering. Choose your shade then pick your lamp base for the full mix and match look. We say: the bolder the better. We’re big fans of the Wave Cardinal Red shade – though do note, Hill and May isn’t shipping during lockdown, so you will have to wait until restrictions are lifted, though you can still place an order.

Vanessa Arbuthnott


Gloucestershire-based Vanessa Arbuthnott has a fantastic made-to-measure service on her range of screen and hand-block printed fabrics, from blinds to cushion, headboards and even quilts. Vanessa started designing and printing her own fabrics to furnish her own converted Cow Byre in The Cotwolds. As requests from friends and family for her unique textiles took off, so did the business. Nineteen years later, her range has grown to include homewares, gifts and rugs yet still with hand-printed fabric at its heart.

Print Charming: 5 Ways To Add Hand-Block Print To Your Home



1. If you are unsure, or want to dip your toe into hand-block prints, why not try a small repeat pattern – called a ‘boothi’ – on a white or neutral background? The ‘lite’ version of hand-block print, the calm, repetitive pattern is a simple start.

2. Another way to start introducing pattern to your home slowly is through accessories, such as cushions or lampshades. Before you invest in more permanent features such as wallpaper, curtains or furniture, they’re a great way of testing the water.

3. If you are ready to go bold, the best way to layer up hand-block prints is to play with pairing different scales of print, all in the same tonal palette. Try a big bold paisley, with a smaller boothi repeat print for instance; it may sound too busy but as long as you stick in the same colour palette, they will sit together beautifully.

4. If you are going to invest in hand-blocked printed wallpaper, think about the dimensions of your room and really play to its strengths. High ceilings can really take a big print, whereas narrow hallways can be made to feel wider with a horizontal pattern. Don’t clutter up your print with too many wall hangings, as that’s when patterns can feel overwhelming. Glass or perspex light switches and glass splashbacks in kitchens and bathrooms will allow your wallpaper to stand proud, uninterrupted.

5. When choosing a bright jewel colour for your home, think about colour psychology. For example, a saffron yellow will bring happiness and a shot of sunshine to a dark room, while a Jodphur blue will add a rich, sense of calm to a bedroom.

By Lydia Mansi
May 2020

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Molly Mahon
Selina Lake, Interior Stylist and Author
Annie Sloan

Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.

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