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Meet tex­tile de­signer Jan Con­stan­tine

Ideal Home (UK) - - Contents -

Known for her colour­ful, hand-em­broi­dered de­signs, Jan has been an in­de­pen­dent tex­tile de­signer for years (af­ter a 12-year spell in fash­ion), but now she's just launched a range for Dunelm. She lives in Cheshire with her hus­band David and daugh­ters Camille and Mary (when they’re home from uni).

Our house is still a work in progress, 25 years on! It's a Ge­or­gian farm­house we bought at auc­tion. When we got it, it was hab­it­able, but freez­ing cold and ev­ery­thing needed do­ing. We had to move in straight away, though, be­cause we had no choice.

We've done it up on a bud­get. We got fireplaces and old bath­tubs from sal­vage yards. Our old dining ta­ble looked ridicu­lously small in the big kitchen here, so we bought four oak ta­ble legs from a yard and my dad, who's a joiner, made the rest. It looks like it's al­ways been there.

The kitchen is my favourite room. Putting in an Aga brought the house to life. That, more than any­thing else, trans­formed it. It made it a home and every­body grav­i­tates to it when they come. Any­one who vis­its al­ways goes and stands by it. It’s like a mag­net.

What­ever colour in­spires me,

I just do it. All my rooms are quite brightly coloured! The walls in the bath­room are om­bré blue, in­spired by a De­sign­ers Guild wall­pa­per. One day I just had a go at do­ing it with paint. There’s some­thing about the blue, it’s so in­tense, and the room is south-fac­ing, so it feels like I’m on hol­i­day. Tri­cia Guild is one of my favourite de­sign­ers be­cause of her beau­ti­ful use of colour. Gor­geous sur­round­ings en­hance your life. When the house is all tidy and lovely and has fresh flow­ers in it, that makes me re­ally happy.

Our home is con­stantly

chang­ing. It’s colour­ful, strong and eclec­tic. We’ve got very few new pieces. Most of the stuff is fam­ily hand-me-downs – noth­ing is grand at all, but it all works to­gether. We do have a Mon­go­lian cup­board in the kitchen, which I bought at Lib­erty. It’s painted black and red, and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.

I’ve loved shop­ping in Lib­erty since I was a stu­dent in Lon­don, when I used to buy Tana Lawn fab­ric rem­nants for my projects.

Sun­day morn­ings are for

in­spi­ra­tion. I get all the style and homes mag­a­zines that have come in that week, and pore over them. Then I gen­er­ally pot­ter around the house look­ing at stuff, try­ing to tidy up and get­ting side­tracked by new changes I want to make.

I’ve got more con­fi­dent as time’s gone by and I just do what­ever

I like, and then worry about it af­ter. It usu­ally works out.

I’ve al­ways wanted my stuff to

be avail­able to ev­ery­one, but I’m such a small busi­ness and my pieces are hand-em­broi­dered, so I just can’t do mass-pro­duc­tion. See­ing the Dunelm de­signs for the first time was like Christ­mas. I’m re­ally ex­cited about the deep blue bed­ding with the white pea­cocks. I can’t wait to get my hands on it! That’s what I’m go­ing to put on my new bed – it’s quite a pale room at the mo­ment, so it will change the space com­pletely.

RULE BRI­TAN­NIA Union Jack cush­ions, £69.50 each, Jan Con­stan­tine

TIME FOR BED Box­ing Rab­bits dou­ble du­vet set, £35, Dunelm

EL­E­GANT TOUCH Ori­en­tal Peacock cush­ion cover, £15, Dunelm

FOLK TALES Love Birds cush­ion cover, £15, Dunelm

Love Birds dou­ble du­vet set, £35, Dunelm

LATIN FLAVOUR Fi­esta wall hang­ing, £225; cush­ions, from £48, all Jan Con­stan­tine


LET IT SHINE Se­quin Glam Rock Love cush­ion, £86, Jan Con­stan­tine

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