Think about furnishing a room and the chances are a rug won’t be the first thing that springs to mind! In our experience though most rooms will benefit from a beautiful rug – weather it’s perfectly neutral, sitting quietly alongside the other furnishings or discreetly interesting, playing with different textures underfoot. At the other end of the scale a rug can be colourful and bold, acting as a piece of art for the floor. There are practical considerations too of course – a busy passageway will require something very different to a formal sitting room but still needs to look good so the choice of material is crucial. Today we’re excited to introduce you to misha rugs – a new supplier of beautiful mohair rugs which will be coming to our UK showroom soon, as well as a few of our favourite rug designs that are available now.
The beautiful Angora goats pictured above are reared in South Africa and produce a fine mohair yarn. Mohair is a remarkable fibre with exceptional properties – soft and silky, with a lustrous sheen, mohair retains its gloss even with intensive use and is resistant to felting. The curly long hair results in a robust, strong yarn with natural spring. The whiteness of the yarn and high dye absorbency allows fantastic clarity of colour. One of the most durable of yarns, mohair is stain resistant and easily cleaned whilst being naturally flame retardant.
The image above shows just a handful of the 40 colours available – these samples demonstrate the ‘flat weave’ style, made from 100% combed mohair which is hand woven. Available in contemporary bespoke geometric designs, the stunning range of colours make it possible to create a bespoke rug which perfectly matches the other fabrics and furnishings in your room.
The images below show samples from the ‘naturals’ range by Misha Rugs. These are made from 100% uncombed mohair, handwoven in six harmonious muted colours and five subtle two colour blends. Contemporary geometric designs combining different colours are a further option.
Both the flat weave and the uncombed mohair rugs feel luxuriously decadent underfoot and are a great option for bedside rugs. We’re particularly excited about the breadth of beautiful colours that are available in the flatweave range, making them very versatile. We’re looking forward to stocking them at our UK showroom soon!
The Nobilis rug sample pictured above is called ‘Coco’ and has a contemporary look blending wool and viscose with a gold lurex thread which adds a subtle sparkle. Metallic touches in wallpaper and fabric have become more popular in recent years so it’s very exciting to see the addition of metallic to floor coverings also.
The GP&J Baker ‘Kamu’ rug is a new design and already proving to be very popular. The pattern is embossed with an interesting texture, combining iridescent and matt fibres in subtle and neutral colours. The interlocking diamond design has a loose, organic feel, reminiscent of water. Perfect for a light and airy, contemporary living room.
The beautiful rug samples above are by Barbara Barry for Kravet. Made from 100% bamboo silk, they’re perfect for our design projects in Barbados and other climates where wool can be affected by the damp and humid conditions. The rugs are hand loomed giving them a beautiful variegated appearance and just enough interest whilst blending harmoniously into the background.
By Tyra Woodroffe
The summer months are officially upon us with warmer weather and the joy of the summer harvest! During this time Barbados is being rejuvenated after the dry season with the welcomed rains of the wet season. Days very often begin sunny and bright, are punctuated by cooling showers then end with colorfully painted skies at dusk.
All the while an abundance of rich flora is springing forth, such as mangoes, Bajan ackees, avocados and sea grapes. The rains encourage a revival of these local fruits and the entirety of the island’s expanse begins to appear even more beautifully lush. The beautiful Flamboyant trees are now in full flower all over the island as if to welcome the Summer
Coupled with the jubilance of the Crop Over festival, which marks the end of the sugar cane harvest, Barbados is now teeming with energy and activity.
The festival attracts numbers of visitors to Barbados’ shores every year as it is the perfect time to experience “Bajan” culture at its best. Local music telling satirical and celebratory stories can be heard across the radio waves and is the basis for phenomenal parties and parades. A rich display of colour is exhibited throughout the festival, from our indigenous cuisine to elaborate costumes.
All a reflection of the splendor of our natural environment, therefore it is only natural that we are now more than ever inspired to find creative ways to add a dose of tropical flair to our summer décor as well! So many of our favorite suppliers have come out with collections these last few months that employ colour and motifs borrowed from the exuberance of a Caribbean climate.
The tabletop also provides a great way to inject some tropical heat into your home’s décor. Below we see how bright shades of orange, green and yellow compliment a neutral palate and a touch of warm gold adds the element of luxury.
This collection of Jenny Blanc’s own hand painted Limoges porcelain plates , tinted drinking glasses and jug as well as sculpted metal dining accessories from Aram’s Palm Collection can all be found on sale at the Barbados showroom.
Summer might have got off to a rainy start here in the UK but my garden has never looked better! Each year I choose a different colour scheme for the flowers which keeps the garden feeling new and exciting and creates a beautiful, harmonious effect. This year I have chosen pale mauves, soft pinks, blues and whites which look vibrant and fresh alongside all the different shades of green.
Once your garden is in bloom make the most of your flowers by bringing them into your home! Last month I shared some ideas for smaller floral arrangements that you can easily create for yourself and are the perfect way to enjoy the geraniums, spray roses and abundance of fresh herbs currently in season. For summer parties and outdoor entertaining a small trug like the one pictured below or other small wicker baskets make the perfect container for trailing floral table top arrangements. I always have a few small flower pots planted up for this purpose and simply return them to the garden afterwards. Umbrellas are of course essential for keeping the sun off on warmer days but providing much needed shelter during inevitable summer showers! For parties I often hire in a large umbrella which is a perfect solution for a smaller garden like mine.
Speaking of small things, I love to collect decorative ornaments like bird baths and small sculptures which look charming peeping out between the gaps in plants. The beautiful urn pictured below is an antique – as you can see by its beautifully rustic patina. To me, a classic piece like this always looks better in its natural state – this year I have planted it with mauve petunias and blue lobelia which drape and trail beautifully, creating a gorgeous summer display.
The beginning of July always feels like the right time to give garden furniture a good clean and take stock of what needs replacing. New cushions or a brightly coloured throw are an easy way to give your existing furniture a fresh new look and will mean that you’re ready for when the warmer weather arrives in earnest! For ambient evening lighting glass hurricanes like the one you can just glimpse below look stunning with pillar candles, nestled amongst the plants.
And finally, here is a fun idea to help keep you cool this summer! Slice the top and bottom of a cucumber then with a potato peeler, cut wafer thin slices straight into a smart jug filled with chilled water. Top with ice cubes and serve. For parties, homemade ice lollies are always a welcome surprise – try blending fresh raspberries with mint or a mixture of freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice. Then all that will remain is to put your feet up and enjoy this beautiful time of the year!
Tyra Woodroffe is our Design Showroom Assistant in Barbados and the winner of the inaugural Jenny Blanc Design Scholarship, in partnership with the Barbados Community College. Before we bid her farewell as she begins an exciting new chapter (furthering her design education in New York) Tyra has a few words to share about her time with the Jenny Blanc team!
As I approach my last few weeks with Jenny Blanc Interiors, I reflect fondly on my time as the first design scholarship winner. It has been an exciting journey of change from being a curious design student, to someone who has been able to witness firsthand, the processes, skill and dedication it takes to run a successful, inspirational design practice. And to believe that it all began almost two years ago!
My start at Jenny Blanc was a wonderful one with my time at the London showroom and design studio. Having the opportunity to experience travel is incredibly enriching in itself, as it encourages personal growth and expands one’s knowledge substantially. Added to that was the great hospitality and mentorship I was fortunate to experience in my 6 months with the UK Team. In such a creative field, actually being able to see, feel and interact with all the aspects that make a beautiful scheme come together is invaluable. And while with the UK design team lead by Design director Sue Thomas, I was able to witness the decision making process in an environment where access to a plethora of resources such as fabric, lighting and furniture is unlimited.
Although this time abroad was so stimulating, eventually homesickness set in and I happily returned to Barbados ready to take on second leg of the learning experience. The lovely Barbadian showroom provided a setting for me to find out all about retail, visual merchandising and installations as we manage local projects. The Barbadian team lead by Caribbean Director Emma Blanc have provided a unique shopping experience on the island with products both local and from around the globe.
Even after the prescribed one year duration of the scholarship had elapsed, the team was gracious enough to keep me on as the Assistant Showroom Manager where I’ve had such an unforgettable time. Every site visit, every satisfied shopper and every trade show have further solidified my passion for design. It was only natural that I take the next step and pursue even more experience and higher education for this career path. I am therefore, off once again for a full B.Sc Degree in Interior Design from an accredited New York university.
Despite excitedly anticipating this new chapter, is not without some sadness that I leave the fantastic Jenny Blanc establishment after having nestled so comfortably into its embrace. But I do so with heaps of affection and gratitude for my colleagues and confident that I’ve been equipped with an impenetrable foundation for the future of my interior design craft.
– Tyra Woodroffe
The beautiful coral stone console table pictured above was a bespoke commission for one of our Barbados design projects. We’re thrilled that it has been featured in this months The English Home magazine, as part of an article all about using natural materials in the home!
Coral stone forms the bedrock of Barbados and is mined locally – in the form of sawn blocks, a highly desirable material for use in construction as it is a very porous stone which ages to a lovely patina and absorbs the tropical heat keeping interiors cool. Many of the old houses are built from sawn coral stone blocks with more contemporary properties finished in a render of ground coral stone dust and white cement. It is a very versatile product and though very porous, it can be carved to create beautiful architectural features or unique pieces of bespoke furniture like this console table which blends seamlessly with the surrounding coral rendered walls.
Coral stone’s natural colour and texture is beautifully understated, creating the perfect backdrop for decorative accents like the stunning mirror pictured above.
As part of our design work we are often asked to design and commission bespoke pieces of furniture in coral stone, using our team of skilled local artisans on the island – here are a few of our favourite designs!
The dining table pictured above is another of our bespoke designs and is supported by a base of hand carved coral stone scallop shells. A small piece of red coral is displayed in the top and this touch of colour is carried through to the cushions and tableware, creating a feeling of fun, seaside living.
The side table pictured above is a classic column design and looks stunning alongside a beautiful table lamp as well as natural objet d’arte.
The coral stone sculpture pictured above is a bespoke design for a stunning property in Barbados and shows how versatile coral stone can be – suitable for both practical items of furniture and more decorative accents, it’s the perfect choice for tropical properties!