Vanessa Arbuthnott

April Mood board – teal, sweet pea and lime

Our moodboard for April is all about bright colours! Teals, limes and sweet pea pinks combine to create a fun scheme that would work well in a living room or bedroom. Our shop assistant Katie has picked her favourite fabrics for this month…

If you have a big window, a fabric like Dawn Chorus is perfect for curtains to showcase them – try Sweet Pea pink for some impact! For smaller windows, how about our new design Branching Out which would be great for a blind. For cushions, try spots and stripes mixed together – Pretty Maids and Simple Ticking make a great combination. Our Up the Garden Path wall covering in Teal makes a great statement wall and our rug in Smoke and Cornflower is the perfect finishing touch to brighten up a plain wooden floor or neutral carpet.

You can order samples of all the above by clicking here:

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Spring Decorating Tips

Spring has almost sprung…with the longer days and changing seasons, now is the perfect time to dust away the cobwebs and freshen your home. Here are our top 5 tips to get you started:

  • Get some fresh and bright accent cushions (we can make you these through our made to measure service) Put away the winter throws and replace with bright throws on your sofa. Pick out spring-hued vases, fresh spring flowers and bulbs…like the beautiful natural cream ones we sell in our shop from Laura’s Loom.

  • Change the runner in your hallway for a fresh, happy alternative. After a long winter of poor weather and lots of use, a new rug will bring a clean, fresh look to your space. Our new Herringbone runner in rose colour is perfect for adding a splash of colour…

  • Recover an old chair in a natural linen to lighten up a room. The Little Leaf in Raspberry is a classic design and works well with this Ercol chair.

  • Choose a bold, fresh paint colour – maybe try just one wall painted in a strong colour in the same way that you can wallpaper one wall if the pattern is strong; so that it isn’t over bearing. You could even go for a two toned look – we have used Linen Wash 33 and Brighton 203 by the Little Greene Paint Company for a fresh, nautical look.

  • Invest in some good lighting – a poorly lit room will look dark and dingy. Try some floor lamps in a neutral colour like the white one below…

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March Moodboard – Turquoise and Saffron

With the arrival of March, we are well and truly ready for Spring! Taking inspiration from Vanessa’s new collection, our home design consultant Clair has put together this months mood with a turquoise and saffron colour scheme.

‘Tea Time’ is a quirky and eclectic design perfect for kitchens and dining rooms. The large pattern makes it particularly suitable for curtains and blinds. Clair has chosen the Clay, Powder Blue and Lemon colour way here and teamed it with some turquoise Shibori’ and Origami’ to brighten it up. These would be great for cushions or seat covers. Our new range of velvets have been especially chosen by Vanessa to complement her printed linens and the Smoke’ blue and Honey’ yellow tone in really well with these designs. Finish your room off with some beautiful fresh flowers (we love Gerberas from our local florist Oops a Daisy) and some brightly coloured pottery such as the David Garland mugs above.

You can order samples of all of the fabrics in the picture above by clicking here – and don’t forget to send us snaps of your moodboards and rooms!

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Workshops running from the Bothy

The Bothy is a creative space based next door to Vanessa’s shop and showroom at 12 Ashcroft Road in Cirencester. Since we opened in 2016, we have been building a busy programme of events and workshops alongside the charities and local groups who use the room on a daily basis.

Here are some the classes we have coming up in the next couple of months, please head over to our website to see some more information and workshops including simple printmaking on fabric! All workshops can be booked online or please email us on [email protected] for more information.

Spring is Sprung! Easter Flower Arranging Workshop

Saturday 31st March 2018

10am – 1pm

A workshop to create a beautiful spring table decoration for your Easter celebrations or just to brighten your home.

This workshop will teach you how to prepare your Oasis, put together the components to make your decoration stable in a container and then how to condition and cut your foliage and flowers to create a long lasting and lovely decoration.  Oasis and  a plastic container will be included together with foliage to make the design and shape for your display.  Bring your own flowers to create the right colour scheme for your home.

I will also be making a Hand Tied arrangement to show you how to make the best of a bunch of Supermarket flowers and there will be lots of tips about how to look after, arrange and prepare flowers for you to take away.

Make a Lampshade

Wednesday 21st March 2018

10am – 1pm

Run by Sarah our expert lampshade maker from Lollipop Lampshades, this fun course is suitable for all abilities.

Includes all materials to make your own single lined drum lampshade (choose from 20cm, 25cm or 30cm diameter) exluding fabric. Bring along half a meter of your choice or browse our beautiful rolls next door at the Vanessa Arbuthnott showroom.

An Introduction to Weaving

Saturday 7th April 2018

10am – 4pm

Suited to all ages and abilities. Using a simple back strap loom, Rebecca will have you weaving in no time! We will be working with British Wool in a range of natural fleece tones and plant dyes colours. All equipment and basic materials will be provided.

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New rug designs!

We are very  excited to introduce two eye-catching additions to our existing range of rugs and runners – the perfect adornment for any floor.
The 100% British wool rugs and runners are woven in a family-run mill in Wales, which has been weaving traditional rugs for over 100 years.

Herringbone: Distinctive and timeless, the Herringbone rug is available in gentle Rose, and earthy Thunder & Bracken colourways. Finished with fringed ends to further emphasise its informal style, the Herringbone rug is available in a beautifully proportioned size, 120cm x 200cm, and priced at £240.
Geometric: This contemporary Grey, Saffron and Winter rug was designed by Vanessa in collaboration with Cotwold-based hand weaver Rebecca Connolly, who works from a studio at Vanessa’s home. This beautiful flat weave rug is enhanced by fringed ends. With busy homes in mind, this practical design is both
reversible and machine washable. Available in one size, 120cm x 200cm, the rug is priced at £240.

Ideal for making a statement on your stairs and adding comfort to hallways and landings, both covetable designs are available to order as runners. Measuring a generous 69cm wide, the runners cost £79 per metre, and can either be fitted to stairs or bound at both ends to create narrow width rugs.
Vanessa explains her inspiration when commissioning the new designs: “I really feel that floors should be celebrated as a surface to decorate just as much as walls and windows. My latest rugs and runners have been designed both to soften the look of the home as well as heighten the ambiance of each room. The gentle colours and simplicity of the designs make them particularly versatile, and ideal for both country and urban settings.”

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February Mood board – pastel pinks and greys



To celebrate the beginning of February and the approach of Spring, we have put together a light and airy moodboard for this month.

Using pastel pinks (our brand new colour ‘Lily Pink’), blues and greys, this is a pretty scheme which would work well in a bedroom or living room. Adding grey and blue to the pink stops it from looking washed out and we have chosen two of our velvets in ‘Rose’ and ‘Elephant’ colour to add texture. Velvet works really well on cushions and chairs and we have chosen our brand new ‘Tea Time‘ design to sit alongside them – perfect for a curtain or blind.


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The Artists’ Collection

This collection is the result of a collaborative family effort. On New Year’s Day I had a fall, leaving me with two broken arms and making it impossible to hold a pencil. I worked with my husband Nicholas and daughters Rose and Flora, curating their sketches – and translating them into workable patterns and scales. Finally I was able to enjoy the last part of the process: choosing the colours for the new designs, to pull them together and enable them to sit comfortably with my other collections.

Tea Time by Rose Arbuthnott

My oldest daughter Rose, a fine artist, poet and writer, has designed the quirky and light hearted Tea Time, a witty interpretation of everyday items of crockery and kitchen, boldly drawn with a retro feel.

“The daily adventure of cups and saucers, pots and flowers, the delicious enthrallment of the simple things in life are celebrated in this design. Reflecting domestic life in your curtains and the soft furnishings around you makes for a homely and fun feel”

By The Sea by Nicholas Arbuthnott

This design has been drawn by Vanessa’s husband Nicholas, an architect who created the family house from a derelict cow byre twenty-four years ago. This is his first foray into fabric design:

“By the Sea has been inspired bu my early childhood in Solva and recently, visits to Mousehole and St Ives. I delight in coastal towns with their cosy harbours and brightly coloured cottages nestling behind little pathways that snake between terraced gardens and climb up the hillside.”

Branching Out, In Full Flight and Hand Printed Stripe by Flora Arbuthnott

My younger daughter Flora, a natural-dyer, print-maker and forager, has produced three delightful designs. ‘In Full Flight’ depicts a sweeping, large-scale, stylised bird set within a leafy trellis. This is repeated on a smaller scale in ‘Branching Out’.

“I find it inspiring to walk along hedgerows and through woodland, watching birds fly down to eat blackberries and elderberries and gather twigs for their nests. Observing branches and climbing plants such as Wild Clematis and White Bryony creeping up the edge of the trees, I develop the shapes. I created the deigns by cutting birds and branches out of paper with scissors and arranging them across the fabric. This way mum and I were able to play with different pattern repeats and arrangements. The act of cutting out produces soft streamlined shapes and the flowing curves of wings, necks and tails”

You can see the whole Artists’ Collection online here –

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Christmas Gift Ideas!

Heading towards December, Christmas preparations are well and truly underway!

This year, I have added to my home-ware and gift range and hope you will enjoy browsing through and finding some beautiful presents. All the gifts are handmade with the utmost care and attention in a small workshop here in the Cotswolds. I have selected some of my favourite bits below, or click here to browse the whole range.

Festive Bunting – available in 3 colourways

Lavender Hearts

Washbags in Shibori design

Tea Cosies

If you are yet to buy your Christmas cards, my daughter Flora has designed a beautiful card. This year all the proceeds are going to Cirencester Signpost – a wonderful local charity who offer invaluable support to people in the community who are homeless, hungry and in need. Click here to browse all of my note cards and Christmas cards!

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November Mood board – Inspired by Westonbirt

This month we have been inspired by the beautiful colours at Westonbirt Arboretum here in Gloucestershire. Nature is often the source of ideas for Vanessa’s designs both in colour and pattern and for November we have chosen warm Raspberry and Cranberry shades along with earthy Stone and Mushroom, reminiscent of autumn leaves and branches . Try using a soft, neutral colour on the walls, something like Portland Stone by The Little Greene Paint Company.

Mix small and large scale patterns – this will stop the room from feeling too busy. If you have wooden or stone floors, invest in a good quality rug to help keep the room feeling warm.

Our favourite November fabrics:

Cow Parsley in Cranberry and Stone

Fern and Dragonfly in Raspberry

Acorn and Leaf in Mushroom

Rainbow Rug woven by Solva Woolen Mill in Pembrokeshire

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October Mood Board – Terracotta and Charcoal


Heading into the autumn and winter months, now is a good time to make sure your home is cosy and comforting for the cold weather and darker nights ahead. Shades of orange, especially Terracotta and Damasks are wonderful when mixed with greys and blues to create a warm and welcoming interior. Be inspired by nature at this time of year…think pumpkins, falling leaves, autumnal fruits and branches. A mix of textures is also important for creating a soothing scheme, try adding in some velvets or tweeds and draping a cosy throw over the back of the sofa.

We love:

Lapland Stripe in Cornflower, Terracotta and Damask 

Harris Tweed in Storm

Simple Ticking Detail in Charcoal

Up the Garden Path in Teal

Wild and Free in Damask, Brick

Throws by Lauras Loom – the Hogwill Classic is a favourite in our showroom


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