The theatre designer Delia Peel and the florist Juliet Thornback gave up their day jobs in 2004 to pursue their passion for hand screen-printing. Inspired by an eclectic mix of influences including Victoriana, the illustrations of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management and 17th-century imagery of the natural world, their quirky, etched-effect designs have since gained cult status.
This is English eccentricity at its best; Thornback and Peel cover home accessories, clothing and wallpaper with amusing creatures and fun motifs in bright, cheery colours. The result is playful, surreal and beautiful. A little blue bird perches on an egg, sardines line up in a tin, beetles scuttle across napkins, grey pigeons peck at pink jellies, rabbits chase cabbages - it's a bizarre but strangely more-ish world.
I've had my eye on some cushions for some time; the pigeons and jellies one particularly tickles me - it would look fabulous on my corner armchair. I'm also obsessed with the traditional slung deck chairs; they're not cheap, but they're so much more interesting than conventional stripes and great for bringing a touch of style to an outdoor area.
Thornback and Peel is a classy affair and this is quality stuff designed to stand the test of time; think organic linens, delicate silks and thick, built-to-last canvases. In fact, some items are almost too lovely to use; I bought a set of mismatched napkins recently with the intention of sewing them into cushion covers (the napkins are £8.50 each and the cushions are £60 each, so you do the maths…), but they're so beautiful I think I might frame them as wall art instead.
If you have a baby or know someone who does, you have a good excuse to ogle Thornback and Peel's cuter-than-cute baby outfits before you log off. And make sure you grab a few of the new greeting cards they sell for £2.90 each - they're miniature works of art.