With cheery colours and amusing, etched-effect designs, these accessories show English eccentricity at its best.
Home Shopping: Playful screen prints at Thornback and Peel
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.