Hillarys At The Harbour

October 04, 2014

A sudden and striking realisation hit me---there are no curtains in my life. None whatsoever. It's not that there aren't any windows where I live, quite the contrary; my Shoreditch apartment has floor-to-ceiling windows strategically facing both South and East for maximum light, my Battersea Power Station apartment-to be has a sheltered balcony with glass walls that spans the length of the place, and my new artist studio has huge windows, an increasing rarity. But curtains and blinds? Hmmmm. My BPS flat isn't due for completion till 2016, so I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm enjoying the natural light I get in my artist studio so curtains for that space isn't exactly high on my priority list. My Shoreditch flat? I did have in the living room these sheer drapes on a flimsy IKEA curtain wire that kept getting ripped down by drunken guests back in my party animal days, and ever since I've made do with these fabric rolling blinds (is that the term for it?) fitted into the window frames to prevent clumsy curtain-related incidents. So as far as the eyes to the home (windows) go, I've got peepers galore, but when it comes to the eyelashes to the eyes of the home (curtains) I'm as bare as a nervous obsessive-compulsive who plucks their eyelashes when stressed. 

A couple of weeks ago Hillarys invited me to preview their new  collection of Roman blinds and curtains, a collaboration with House Beautiful magazine. Over the past months the Hillarys product design team worked closely with one of the biggest and best home magazines in the UK - House Beautiful - to create an edited collection of Roman blinds and curtains. The ‘Global Textures’ range is the result of this collaboration with House Beautiful; a capsule collection of 21 fabulous fabrics across three chic colour palettes. Myself, Henry, and other bloggers were invited to see, touch, and hear all about the new collection ahead of its UK launch in the penthouse of Chelsea Harbour HotelExperts, including head of product design Sarah Quilliam and House Beautiful editor Julia Goodwin, were on hand with insider tips on the inspiration behind the collection and how to use the new fabric designs in the home as well as the trends to look out for over the coming seasons ---a feat as the creative process takes 8 months, meaning that they have to forecast the trends for the coming year.

The Hillarys & House Beautiful range of Roman blind and curtain fabrics are inspired by architecture from around the world, with damask and jacquard, and textures that bring to mind Roman arches, Portuguese tiles, and traditional textile techniques. The fabrics have a 'three-way', sitting in three colour palettes that the design team have taken great care to ensure they complement each other beautifully to make it easy to layer contrasting blinds with curtains for a eclectic yet cohesive feel. In an interview, Julia Goodwin describes the collection: "Global Textures is a clever and individual edited collection of fabrics that blend together to make it easy to create a unique and distinctive look in your room. It’s stylish but also very trend led. The different finishes - embroidery, jacquard and print - add a global accent to the designs." 

Hillarys understands the appeal of the brand to individuals and busy families who want their homes to combine inspiration with practical elements, and so for  their client's convenience will visit them at home at a time that suits them. Hillarys are very welcome to show up, unannounced, to my homes and surprise me with a total makeover. I'm especially partial to the grey range, hint hint.

I fell in love with these two mood boards; my favourite colour is grey (next to mint green and dusky rose or as I like to call it 'blush') and I love jacquards, damasks, and chevrons. Even though I don't especially like bright pink nor purple (purple used to be my favourite colour until I learnt that it was my unlucky colour, so I've since conditioned myself to dislike it) I found myself quite drawn to it, I think they especially compliment the yellows in House Beautiful & Hillarys' carefully curated colour palette.

I am especially enamoured with the 'faded ombre' look of these two fabrics. Hillarys & House Beautiful fabrics are designed to be fade-resistant as possible, undergoing intense testing involving being blasted constantly with light to imitate the effects of sun exposure. Even so, the fabrics are lined, giving it fade-resistance akin to the leather seats of a BMW if I'm not mistaken. 

Henry doing his signature 'yawning cat' and pretending to be a cat just emerging from a nap behind the curtains.

Until then I hadn't even thought of curtains, so busy have I been with decorating three different properties (my Shoreditch flat, my studio, Henry's flat), planning a fourth (my Battersea one), and possibly buying a fifth in South London (my mother offered me a Bermondsey apartment to make my travelling to the studio easier). Even now Henry's living room has a gorgeous heavy duty rail that we spent a good two hours to install, but no curtains. And don't even get me started on my own apartment! Inevitably Henry will be needing coverings for the windows, as will we both should we ever get a place together, and I can safely say that Hillarys & House Beautiful's grey palette and ombre damask curtains are on our shopping list. Discover the range here. x 

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