In my slightly deluded head, my house leans towards minimalist and neutral decor.  There were actually promising signs of this when the basement was renovated as we started with white painted wood and limestone floors, bleached out reclaimed and driftwood fittings, neutral stone worktops and brilliant white walls.

But when it comes to textiles and bits of household crap, I’m a bit of a sucker for bold colours and retro patterns and gradually they’ve been taking over the house.  I think I’m drawn to photographing the bright bits too as most of my compositions these days are brightly coloured.  They are cheerful but at odds with the neutral vision which lingers in my head.

And here’s just such an example.  My bedroom is all crumpled grey linen and teak wood with the occasional little dot of colour.  But then I bought some beautiful yellow barkcloth with an abstract sunflower pattern on it; it’s such a beautiful print that I just had to buy it and then it somehow ended up on my bed so that I could see the pattern and colour properly.

The neutral dream is over, thanks to the arrival of sunflowers

This week has been hard.  I’m supposed to be returning to work after maternity leave and a job hasn’t yet materialised.  The closest I’ve got so far was a phone interview this week which was followed by a rejection call from the agency, leaving me crestfallen and a bit paranoid that my career is over.

But… what’s that knock at the door?  Ah, a man is here to save the day and lift my spirits, for it is a courier bearing a parcel containing the most splendid vintage fabric you’ve ever seen!   It’s an old curtain from the 60s or 70s, European in origin (probably Dekoplus) and bearing the most amazing oversized stylised leaf print in a spectrum of oranges and reds.  Did I need it?  Hell no.  What could I do with it?  Cushions?  A blind?  Maybe just have it to keep and drape on things and enjoy the pattern and colours for a while?

And so this afternoon I tried it for size as a floor cushion and tried to figure out how best the print could be cut, and how many floor cushions one could get from it (it’s a single curtain measuring a little over a couple of square metres)

Big and bold – the curtain as a floor cushion

Next, I hung it over the utility room door to admire the entire print.  It looked stunning next to the painted wood cupboard doors but we have no need for a curtain here.

Decorating the utility room door

Finally, I wrapped it around the back cushions of my grey sofa so that it could compete furiously with the green and grey tones of the Heals fabric on the wall above.  It’s still there now, but no doubt will be misappropriated by one of the kids in the morning and turned into a tent or worn as an exotic robe.

The curtain as a sofa cover. 

So what next for the newly arrived textile?  Tomorrow it’ll be folded and stored in the fabric cupboard but I’ll get it out again soon and start thinking properly about what to do with it.  Or maybe I’ll just keep getting it out, unfolding it and marvelling at the colours and then putting it away again?  It’s certainly lifted my spirits today anyway.