Eastern prom­ise

Lewis & Wood is bring­ing an ex­otic new flavour to fab­rics

Country Life Every Week - - Interiors - Ara­bella Youens

ANEW col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Su­san Deliss and the fab­ric and wall­pa­per man­u­fac­turer Lewis & Wood of­fers con­vinc­ing ev­i­dence—if ever it was needed—that tex­tile de­sign­ers don’t stand still for long. The re­sult is Batik, an ex­otic weave evoca­tive of an­tique, hand-crafted tex­tiles, in colours in­spired by semi-pre­cious jew­els. ‘We like do­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions—it’s so much more in­ter­est­ing to pro­duce some­thing that has a story be­hind it, rather than just an­other flo­ral,’ ex­plains Stephen Lewis, who co-founded Lewis & Wood in 1993. ‘Su­san’s ap­proach is sim­i­lar to ours —she loves colour, warmth, patina and au­then­tic­ity,’ he ex­plains.

Lewis & Wood has es­tab­lished a rep­u­ta­tion for beau­ti­fully-made fab­rics and wall­pa­pers. ‘As a small man­u­fac­turer, it’s a bit like David fight­ing Go­liath in terms of tak­ing on the big names, so, in­stead of try­ing to pick up on trends, we fol­low our in­stincts and pro­duce what we like,’ he says. Work­ing with cre­ative di­rec­tor Mag­dalen Jebb, Su­san’s orig­i­nal pal­ette of colours was ex­panded to com­ple­ment what Stephen de­scribes as its new ‘brothers and sis­ters’—a col­lec­tion that takes in an Ot­toman-in­spired linen called Da­m­as­cus or their Pu­gin-es­que wide-width wall­pa­per and Ipek Da­mask fab­ric.

Su­san started col­lect­ing an­tique tex­tiles while set­ting up in­vest­ment funds in Egypt; when the rev­o­lu­tion broke out in early 2011, she de­cided it was time to turn what was a hobby into a new ven­ture. To­day, she con­tin­ues to deal in tex­tiles, many of which she makes into lamp­shades and ot­tomans, as well as de­sign­ing her own range of fab­rics and tack­ling whole­house in­te­rior dec­o­rat­ing projects.

Al­though it’s not a replica or de­rived from an­other re­gion, Batik was in­tro­duced to sit per­fectly along­side Lewis & Wood’s col­lec­tion of de­signs that are in­spired by Eastern dec­o­ra­tive tra­di­tions. ‘I re­ally en­joy ex­per­i­ment­ing,’ she ex­plains. ‘With Batik, I’ve crossed one medium with an­other, tak­ing a de­sign nor­mally achieved through re­sist-block print­ing and us­ing it on a wo­ven fab­ric.’ As a semi­plain, it gives the il­lu­sion of an even colour with­out be­ing ‘flat and bor­ing’, adds Su­san. ‘It def­i­nitely feels that there is a trend of peo­ple be­ing much bolder with colour and pat­tern these days,’ she ex­plains.

Based in Not­ting Hill (and a house in the depths of Bur­gundy) Su­san trav­els the world look­ing for in­spi­ra­tion. She’s just back from a trip to Is­tan­bul where she bought the en­tire con­tents of a car-boot be­long­ing to an Ana­to­lian gypsy. An­other re­cent find was thanks to so­cial me­dia. ‘I re­cently got a mes­sage from a com­plete stranger. It sounded in­ter­est­ing, so we met in down­town Is­tan­bul and he showed me his 100 me­tres or so of an­tique and em­broi­dered linen. I bought it all.’

When it comes to in­te­rior dec­o­rat­ing projects Su­san fol­lows her in­stincts. ‘You won’t see a spread­sheet. I’m not pre­scrip­tive about my ap­proach and I like to find orig­i­nal things that are sym­pa­thetic to the house and client.’ This work helps in­form her tex­tile de­sign de­ci­sions; ‘with­out ac­tu­ally do­ing any dec­o­rat­ing, I wouldn’t un­der­stand what the end-user wants to­day. It’d be a bit like a ca­reer politi­cian who has never had a nor­mal job.’

‘It’s so much more in­ter­est­ing to pro­duce some­thing that has a story

Batik comes in 10 semi­precious-stone colour­ways. £131.25 per m (01453 878517; www.lewisand wood.co.uk)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.