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  • Nicola

At home with quilts: Brocante

I have a new series of posts to share with you this autumn, as we begin to spend more time indoors and generally start snuggling down for winter. Each post will explore a popular theme in home décor, looking at how we can use quilts inspired by that theme to decorate our own homes.

This time we are exploring Brocante style, which combines a soft, faded and romantic colour palette with vintage treasures.

This style is a gentle evolution of Shabby Chic and, for me, it brings to mind Cabbages & Roses printed linens, pink paisley eiderdowns, hand-painted furniture, creamware jugs and zinc washtubs planted with daisies.

Ideally your quilts would have been found at a country brocante, faded to perfection and washed a thousand times. But failing that, choose fabric in the softest colours to make your own and opt for a delicate design in two colours. Using vintage textiles - which can often be picked up as bundles at brocantes or on Etsy - will add an extra layer of interest.

Shown below is my Wintersweet pattern - available as a free tutorial here - paired with a Festival cushion which uses just one Petit FOUR block (here I've used Monogramme, but any of the Jardin de Lavande or Midsummer Sampler block would look lovely).

Brocante style celebrates the honest beauty of well-used, everyday items, so simple hand quilting would be the perfect way to finish your projects. Then wash them on a gentle machine cycle to give them that wonderful, vintage crinkle.

EDIT: it looks like I missed out the paragraph that tells you how to actually use your Brocante themed quilts (!) so here it is:-

The style lends itself to the spirit of 'make do and mend', so your quilts might be draped over a worn armchair, used as a tablecloth or folded at the end of the bed along with that prized vintage eiderdown. And when not in use, stacked in, what my Granny would have called, a glass cabinet with your best - mismatched - china.

If you'd like to discover more I can thoroughly recommend Lucy Haywood's book Country Brocante Style. You can make a visit to one of Lucy's brocante fairs - the next one is at Daylsford Organic on the 18th of September - or, if you can't be there in person, gather your inspiration from her Instagram.

I have a little list of favourite décor styles that I'm looking forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks, but if you have a favourite of your own, let me know! Any excuse to buy a new book ;-)

Nicola xx


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