Monday, 28 November 2011

Laura Fletcher Cushions

This weekend we launched some lovely new products on our website:
These include my range of stripey cushions, so please check them out!

The cushions were inspired by my photography of nature and of old antiques and are woven locally at a mill in Suffolk, using a mixture of soft wools, silk, linen and cotton. I like to use a neutral backround to my cloth and add a pop of colour in the stripes as I love playing with colour and proportion. I have used herringbone and sateen weave structures to keep the colour saturated as much as possible.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Sweet Things

When new products arrive it's always exciting opening the boxes for the first time. Charlotte Farmer's new tea towels are here and look great!

As soon as we take the proper pics, they'll be on our website...

                                                      Sunday Sundae

                                                     Sweet Shop

                                                     Pick n'Mix

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

New York, friendly New York

It's been over 12yrs since I was last in NY, so was especially happy when work demanded I make a new visit.

New House already has some really great North American customers, so after showing at Trade Fairs like Top Drawer and other things, we are happy that we might be moving up one or two gears in the States.

NY people are always meant to be in a huge hurry, but my first experience was of a very lovely lady who explained the NY Subway system to me (insisted on paying my ticket), and later a taxi driver asked 'how much do I want to pay?' These two kind people really won me over. I'm from a tiny English village where you expect curtesy.... but New York???  I beamed at everyone after, most people smiled back and I really enjoyed my visit.

My hotel room overlooked the most famous building site in the world, the 9/11 site. It was very moving looking down on the construction, happy that I wasn't visiting 10 years ago :


I'd forgotten how big American beds were - I know it doesn't look SO big in my photo, but to me this felt like sleeping on top of an aircraft carrier, with miles to walk each morning to reach the alarm clock.

USA can have a very different style to Europe, so I visited some of the great shops like ABC Carpets and home or Anthropologie .

top floor at ABC



The best cheese sandwich I've ever had came from Beecher's - a micro-cheesery that make fresh cheese on the premises. I've never had a toasted cheese and fig sandwich before - but theirs has got to be up there amongst some of the most memorable gourmet foods I've ever tasted.


Walking the High Line was my most interesting NY experience. It's an old raised level railway that originally served New York with goods, but had fallen into disuse years ago and was mostly demolished. However some of the local residents spotted how plants had taken root on the deserted railway, and campaigned for it to become a park. It's the best bit of urban re-design I've seen in years.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

London Design Week

I do love my quiet peaceful rural Herefordshire village ....but when London Design Week is on I'm up in London faster than a shot. 

My first mission was 100% Design as it's a show I've been visiting since it begun in tents on the Kings Road. It's gone through many changes, and New House has exhibited twice at 100% Design Tokyo. Walking through the doors, the opening graphics looked good :

My best 100% stand was Mark and Sally Bailey's Home and Garden store, who are truly design geniuses. I cannot show you any pics, as Mark was busy shooing off groups of Asians (despite the blatant NO-PHOTOGRAPHY signs) so I dared not take any myself.

My most interesting show was Designers Block

Great designers were there, and I especially enjoyed meeting the clever young Korean designers, an amazing RCA weaver, learning about a new design/science project, but my hat came off to a St. Martins collective called Post Textiles. They were amazing, and I'd love to have them pop up amongst New House, as they'd help us deign the future. 

In the evening there was the House & Garden party at the Phillips de Pury & Company

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Thank you for everyone who visited us

For us Top Drawer was one of the most enjoyable shows we've done in ages, and met masses of interesting people. Each day one of our talented designers was at the show, and many well-known companies visited our stand, asking us to design new items. However as a small family-run business ourselves, I especially enjoyed chatting to people from similar-sized companies or the many clever vigorous people with great ideas that will shape our retail future in the years to come.

Me (Nick) on our stand

Olympia, with the bee hive of Top Drawer underneath

Monday, 12 September 2011

Top Drawer ...the build-up

I've never been a morning person, but it was 6am when I steered the hired Transit van bringing everything we needed for our Top Drawer stand to London. People often tell me that this is the 'best time of the day', but I don't believe a word of this as I'd always prefer to sleep-in given half a chance.

New House has done lots of shows in many countries over the years, so I know the pulse-raising moments are usually during the build-up. but at Top Drawer the organisers (Clarion Events) were very efficient, and our designers, Melanie & Charlotte had planned everything.....

M & C on our finished stand

my old suitcases

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Top Drawer

It’s been a few years since New House took a stand at Top Drawer London, so this September we’re happy to be back. Top Drawer is a ‘trade only’ show, but we’re sure lots of canny public sneak in too. It’s always been a classy show, and a great place to let the retail world know what we've been up to. 

Melanie and Charlotte have designed a nice simple stand, with Charlotte's illustration.....

Sneak preview of a few new things....     Laura Fletcher (our weave specialist) has been working with a historic English weaver to produce boldly coloured woven cushions in glamorous mixes of silk, wool or cotton. Very opulent.

Charlotte has gone all English bone-china, and teamed-up with Roy Kirkham Ltd of Stoke-on-Trent

Meanwhile, in Sweden….. Marianne Westman (now in her 80’s), who designed ‘Picknick’ - Sweden’s most successful homewares design of the 1950’s (also available from New House), has granted permission for her very first commercial design, ‘Belle Amie’ to be manufactured again. Marianne tells the story of when she was young and all her friends were out dating, one weekend she found herself alone, so went into the Swedish countryside to sketch some flowers. Her simple stylised drawings soon became best-sellers, and at Top Drawer, New House are pleased to be offering this lovely 1950's design again as trays,  potstands, fabric and napkins . 

Sunday, 24 July 2011

sweet things

I've started work on some new tea towel designs...involving many trips to sweet shops and asking for one of everything. Then there's tea pots to go with the tea cup teatowel I've already done...and finally all things ice cream related - I think there may have to be one or two 99's with flake as's tough job...!

Hopefully they should be ready in time for Top Drawer, though it's creeping up fast.

yum - hello dentist!

sketch book sketch

pick n mix



Friday, 6 May 2011

mood boards

I have been working on some mood boards and colour palettes for Summer 13- here is a taster! The colours will influence our design work at Newhouse Textiles from homewears to fabric colours and prints.

Hand crafted and authentic- tone-on-tone blues.

Soft neutrals, whites and coral based nudes for a soothing palette.
Vapouress tints of colour inspired by solaroids from Jeff Mclane.

Artificial, fruity pinks and edgy cocktail orange.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Woven Stripes

Stripey fabrics from Laura Fletcher!

Here is a taster of some cushion stripes I have been developing with a weaver in Sudbury. I love using neutral colours, natural yarns (cottons and linens) which are injected with a pop of zingy colour.
The designs have all been woven and are on the roll, soon to be made into some versatile cushions- watch this space......! They will be available on the Newhouse Textiles website soon.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Strawberries for Summer

These days New House is very a international and sophisticated technical business - but away from work, there's nothing like escaping into the garden for some basic hands-on work!

The good thing about gardening is that it's pitched at a level where you are physically occupied, but your brain has plenty of time to dream. I'm not the greatest of gardeners, and if it were not for supermarkets, Bob Geldof would be organizing a Live Aid concert for my starving household. But I keep trying...

Last week I revived an old strawberry barrel that my granddad bought in the 50's, but never used.

It had lurked in the corner of an outbuilding for years, and aquired a bit of woodworm, but after treatment I reckon it'll be giving me strawberries for years to come.

The barrel was beautifully made by Malleny (does this company still exist?). It's pretty basic - but these  English-made products from another era, feel quite different to their (probably) Chinese-made equivalants of today. The wood and metal is much thicker and heavier, so after a modern equivalent has long-ago rotted away, I bet this strawberry barrel will still be there.