House style

Artists and de­sign­ers cre­at­ing gor­geous gifts for lit­tle ones

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents - Jes­sica Doyle

The artists tak­ing chil­dren’s decor to new heights

FOR THOSE ON THE HUNT for un­usual and de­sign-led presents for chil­dren, new in­te­ri­ors brand Ses­sions & Co should hit the style spot. The com­pany was launched this year by art cu­ra­tor and RCA grad­u­ate Kate Ses­sions with her hus­band Tom, when they were look­ing for child-friendly but aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing ways to fur­nish their home in east London fol­low­ing the ar­rival of their two young sons. The re­sult is a col­lec­tion of prints, wall hang­ings, quilts and cush­ions with il­lus­tra­tive mo­tifs that would look charm­ing in a nurs­ery or play­room, but also wouldn’t be out of place in a more grown-up space.

Print­mak­ing is in Ses­sions’ blood: her great-grand­fa­ther es­tab­lished print­ing fac­tory Ses­sions of York in the early 1900s, where he also cre­ated a na­ture re­serve on the land sur­round­ing it to help pro­tect na­tive king­fish­ers and wood­peck­ers, while boost­ing work­ers’ well-be­ing. Na­ture is like­wise the theme of Ses­sions’ first col­lec­tion, for which she has col­lab­o­rated with three Bri­tish artists on hand­crafted prod­ucts made in the UK.

Il­lus­tra­tor Mark Hearld has cre­ated a new de­sign, Bird Tree, pop­u­lated by an owl, wood­peck­ers and thrushes, and used on a quilt that can dou­ble as a play­mat or wall hang­ing, plus a col­lec­tion of cush­ions with con­trast pip­ing. Tex­tile de­signer Caitlin Hin­shel­wood has pro­duced a fab­ric frieze, screen-printed on to linen and in­spired by mo­tifs from the Bri­tish gar­den such as tools, sheds, plants and birds. And artist Emily Sut­ton has recre­ated a Vic­to­rian school chart, de­pict­ing the letters of the al­pha­bet with char­ac­ter­ful an­i­mals, birds and more.

A sec­ond source of na­ture-in­spired de­signs, par­tic­u­larly en­dan­gered an­i­mals, is Annabel Pope, the sub­ject of a solo ex­hi­bi­tion at the Os­borne Stu­dio Gallery in London (, from Wed­nes­day un­til 22 De­cem­ber. Her whim­si­cal draw­ings of ath­letic beasts – ice-skat­ing ele­phants, cy­cling rhi­nos and frol­lick­ing hares among them – come as prints or lamp­shades, ei­ther in black and white or a choice of bright colours, and can also be or­dered on­line.

Above Wall hang­ing by Emily Sut­ton, £250, Ses­sions & Co (ses­sion­

Right Penny Rhino print, from £95, Annabel Pope (

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