Today officially marks the start of Summer: a great time to refresh and add some colour to your home. So if you’re searching for seasonal accessories to brighten your outdoor or indoor space then hunt no more: our collection of hand block printed homewares will have you dreaming of long lazy, hazy Summer days and they’re perfect for adding a touch of hand crafted beauty to any interior. Mixing and matching block print with textiles of different colours and textures creates an individual, relaxed style. Our block printed products are created for us in Jaipur using traditional block printing techniques (as tried and tested by ibbi co-founders Eliza and Anna on their travels through Rajasthan earlier this year!) If you love our table linen, quilts and home accessories then we thought you might like to see a little about how they are made:
ibbi co-founder Eliza: block printing in Jaipur
And ibbi co-founder Anna block printing too!
The process of block printing has been practiced in Rajasthan for over 500 years, introduced by the Chhipa community from the village of Bagru, an area now famous for its vegetable dye block printing. The physical Sheesham wooden blocks are meticulously carved by hand, with each colour in the design carved in a separate block. The outline block or the ‘rekh’ is usually the most intricate. Once the colours have been chosen and have been poured in to wooden trays, the process of stamping the pattern on to the stretched cotton fabric begins. Each colour pattern is stamped on to the fabric individually by the Printing Master and the tiny irregularities, the subtle gaps or overlaps are a beautiful reminder of the intricate process of creating this iconic product. The block printing villages are renowned for the rhythmic ‘tock-tock’ sound of the wood blocks stamping patterns on to fabric. A wonderful reminder to all visitors of the significance of this stunning artisan work.
When it comes to Mother’s Day we all know what makes us melt: the little things, every time. Give us the handmade card with scrawled message, the wee gift or the bunch of flowers picked straight from the garden and we’re made up. What is slightly more controversial is the whole breakfast in bed issue. For many the very thought of scratchy toast bits between the sheets leaves us in a cold sweat. But we ibbi co-founders (Anna, Eliza and Claire) are all huge fans of this kindest of gestures and so as we approach Mothering Sunday, we thought we’d celebrate in-bed eating by sharing some of our favourite breakfasts in bed. And if it’s served on a wobbly tray swilling with spilt tea, orange juice, fruit smoothie or possibly all three, then all the better. Here’s what we love: our top 5:
Blueberry Bircher muesli, made with greek yoghurt, rolled oats, coarsely grated apple, hazelnuts, blueberries, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. (Anna’s favourite, which she would like followed by deliciously fresh sour dough toast and homemade marmalade and a pot of piping hot coffee. She’d also like her laptop, her Fitbit and The Sunday Times and Telegraph)
Smoked salmon with avocado on rye with lots and lots of lemon juice and cracked black pepper (for Claire, plus lots of coffee and the Archers omnibus)
Nutella stuffed crepes and a pot of fresh mint tea. (for Eliza..plus lots of peace, so she can finish reading her current favourite book: Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf.. and all the Sunday papers, plus the dogs walked.. and the hens fed.. )
French toast with maple syrup and crispy bacon ( a winner every time and difficult for most to destroy)
Strawberry basil bruschetta on toasted baguette, spread with greek yoghurt, chopped strawberries and fresh basil, finished with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and lots of black pepper (delicious but comes with a severe crumb warning)
So Happy Mother’s day! Enjoy breakfast. Enjoy your day. And good luck with those crunchy crumbs.
Many of us may be sick and tired of boring old beige but apparently it’s still the safe shades of oyster, stone and cream that remain the nation’s favourites. Which is sad because although people are scared of making mistakes with colour, bland interiors can be very uninteresting. So let’s have less of the snoring boring and more of the creative colouring. And when it comes to adding colour to your home here’s our to top 5 favourite tips collected from some of our favourite British interior designers:
Be free and full of gay abandon the it comes to colour. Why stick to one colour palette? Look at nature for inspirational colour combos: take the happy and uplifting greens and lilacs in the Spring, or bright blue skies at sunset splashed with vivid oranges and reds. Colour will make your home more interesting and add intrigue to your interiors.
Experiment. See what works for you. Deep reds create warmth and a convivial atmosphere. Blues are relaxing and perfect for bathrooms, bedrooms and wherever else in your home you head to unwind. Dark greys and blacks create glamour and sophistication and purples lend a luxurious feel too. And green is smart, harmonious, lush and hopeful and in the bedroom it’s fabulous combined with pink.
Why are ceilings always white? Try painting them the same colour as your walls. Your walls will look less stumpy and it will help create that stunning, sumptuous atmosphere you’re looking for.
If you’ve reservations about splashing colour across your walls (and ceilings) then why not simply add a spot of colour with accessories instead? Think bold lampshades, patterned throws, rugs, and colourful cushions and bowls. It’s fun and it’s the small touches that create instant personality and tell your story.
Remember when it comes to accessories, make sure you combine the old with the new. All new looks generic and lacks character. Small vintage touches gives your home spirit. Be bold..and have fun with your home!
There’s currently 25% off our colourful recycled bowls and trays until Sunday 26th February 2017. Simply use the voucher code africa1 when you shop with us at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk.
If it’s been a dreary (and possibly dry) January, you’ll be looking for reasons to be cheerful and celebrate in February! Valentine’s Day is almost here and let’s face it, everyone loves a teeny bit of wooing. So this year, why not forget the padded card, the heaving restaurants and the stodgy soft centres in the shiny heart shaped box (tempted though you may be) and have a look at our eclectic ibbi goodies instead. Hand painted ceramics, hand woven sisal baskets, embroidered bags and belts, carved colourful ellies and so much more! You’ll see our range is carefully sourced, usually hand crafted, beautifully vibrant (lots of reds and pinks of course for Valentine’s Day treats) AND we’re offering 15% off right now. The offer is valid until Valentine’s Day 2016, so why not check out further details on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ibbidirect) or simply head straight to http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk and use the voucher code: lovelovemedo.
It was great to read in the Daily Telegraph last week (16 Oct) that we’re abandoning our neutral colour palettes in favour of more adventurous interior design. As we’ve always said, the magnolias, beiges and simple creams are stylish and safe but can look even more beautiful with some statement prints and patterns added to them. Kantha, block print and rich velvet accessories can bring such a pop of personality and life to interior spaces and simple beautiful rugs thrown over neutral floors make great statements. The trend for outdoor living has apparently seen a surge too, which no doubt explains why our vintage fire bowls and traditional Indian ‘charpoy’ day beds were a huge hit this year!
Check out our collections at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk and get in touch if we can help with product sourcing. We always love hearing from you.
We had such fun at our photo shoot last week (the spectacular autumnal sunshine couldn’t have arrived at a better time!) after our gorgeous, timeless four poster beds and our new vintage kantha collections arrived at ibbi HQ. And as the block printed quilts, kantha throws and softest kantha bolsters and cushions were casually piled and strewn and draped across the bed, we suddenly realised that when it comes to patterns, you can simply never have enough! Our kantha throws and kantha accessories all have very different characters: some delicate, some bold. But all are beautiful and made with the utmost care: it’s good sometimes to add a splash of something unique to your home.
We all have times when we tire of our biscuit, beige and bland interiors. So why not transform your chairs and style up your sofas by adding a splash of contemporary colour? Our Kempley linen cushions in gorgeous 100% linen have been a huge hit this summer. They’re bold and bright and just what your some-sort-of-shade-of-bisque sofa is crying out for. These cushions are great indoors and fabulous when you’re dining outdoors too. And of course the joy of linen is that the more you use it and wash it, the more lived in and stylish it becomes.
We discovered these vibrant purses in the Canchis province of Peru. Made from vintage puytos (the decorative trim sewn on to skirts by women from Cusco) or handwoven and embroidered in fabulously bright hues, these purses are ideal for all your small summer essentials. Whatever you need to carry: keys, cash, lip balm, phone or that essential bar of summer choccie, we think these WOW purses are perfect. Each purse is unique, fully lined and comes with zip closure. Keep checking our website! They’ll be available very soon at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk
New to ibbi: densely embroidered Fair Trade belts from Peru. Each one unique. The broad belt pictured (5cm w) is £45
Our new collection of densely embroidered belts has JUST arrived from Peru. They are beautiful, vibrant and created by artisans in the highlands surrounding Ayacucho. Each belt is unique. Keep checking the website. They’ll be available very soon at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk
Please feel free to get in touch for more details!
Mrs Das (2nd from right) and some of her magnificent team pictured here next to Rita (far right).
In lush green peaceful countryside several hours South of Kolkata lives the wonderful Mrs Sagarika Das. She is responsible for the talented team of ladies in her village who hand stitch our ibbi throws and beautifully embroidered one-off pieces. Accompanied by Rita (representative of our favourite fair trade organisation in Kolkata), we visit Mrs Das and her team regularly on our trips to India and after talking through the designs and colours of our new home accessories, we always look forward to a spectacular lunch which we all enjoy together on the rooftop of her home. Here on the cool rooftop is where the ladies will sew for 4 or 5 hours together each day, before they leave to pick up their children from school. They will then continue to sew in their own homes in the evenings. Being part of a fair trade organisation allows these talented women to stay in their village and Mrs Das always tells us how their fine textile work has boosted their confidence and given them all such a sense of pride. If you’ve seen our throws you’ll know how immaculate their work is. Our new collections of throws will be arriving later this month. Do look out for them!