Mid-Century Modern Fabrics at Elmet Farmhouse
Elmet Farmhouse is full of surprises. That’s why our guests enjoy it so much, because every room contains unexpected design delights. Wherever you go, there are inspiring things to look at, not just in the living room but the bedrooms and bathrooms as well.
An intriguing mixture of ancient and modern, the interiors blend original 18th century features with choice vintage and contemporary design. A holiday cottage like no other, Elmet Farmhouse is wonderfully quirky and totally unique.
One of the most popular features are the striking mid-century modern vintage fabrics used throughout the farmhouse for curtains, cushions and textile hangings. Specially chosen by design historian Lesley Jackson, who decorated and ‘curated’ the interiors, they date from the 1950s and 60s, an extremely rich period for textile design.
Highlights include the magnificent Edinburgh Weavers curtains and cushions in the living room, screen-printed with an arresting large-scale design called Kalabu, dating from the late 1960s. The heavy linen cloth was woven at Edinburgh Weavers’ mill in Carlisle and the fabric was printed in Lancaster by their sister company, Standfast Dyers and Printers, who are still going strong today.
Hanging on the wall in the lounge is a delightful stylised leaf-patterned fabric by Joan Charnley, a local designer who studied at Manchester School of Art and designed for Edinburgh Weavers. Hand screen-printed on rayon by the designer herself, it reflects the early post-war ‘Contemporary’ design aesthetic associated with Lucienne Day.
Upstairs in the front bedroom are some beautiful chintz curtains hand screen-printed by Hull Traders, an outstanding local company based less than 20 miles away at Trawden, near Colne. The pattern is called Rose Branch and was designed by Guy Irwin in 1958.
The deer and leaf-patterned printed fabric hanging on the wall in the front bedroom is by David Whitehead, another important Lancashire firm based not far away at Rawtenstall. Designed by Cawthra Mulock in 1955, it epitomises the vibrant colours and dynamic graphic style of the post-war era.
Elmet Farmhouse features two impressive ‘Textureprints’ by Hungarian-born textile designer Tibor Reich in the mid 1950s for his company Tibor Fabrics. A long length of Coral, a striking black and grey design with overlapping organic motifs, hangs in the attic stairwell. Tibor Reich is currently featured in an exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester until August 2016.
Many of the textile designers and manufacturers displayed in Elmet Farmhouse are featured in Lesley’s books on post-war textiles and design. You can peruse these publications in Elmet’s library and some are also available to buy.
20th Century Pattern Design: Textile and Wallpaper Pioneers by Lesley Jackson (Mitchell Beazley)
Alastair Morton and Edinburgh Weavers: Visionary Textiles and Modern Art by Lesley Jackson (V&A Publishing)
Shirley Craven and Hull Traders: Revolutionary Fabrics and Furniture 1957-1980 by Lesley Jackson (Antique Collectors’ Club)
Robin and Lucienne Day: Pioneers of Contemporary Design by Lesley Jackson (Mitchell Beazley)
© Text and images copyright Elmet Farmhouse
Hannah Nunn’s lamps and furnishings at Elmet Farmhouse
One of the pleasures of staying at Elmet Farmhouse is being able to enjoy the wonderful lamps, wallpapers and cushions by local designer Hannah Nunn.
Hannah is a celebrated lighting and wallpaper designer whose work has been featured in Country Living. Her exquisite cut-paper table lamps, decorated with delicate silhouettes of flowers and grasses, are dotted all over Elmet Farmhouse. So whether you’re relaxing downstairs by the fire in the evening or retiring to your cosy bedroom at night, you’ll be able to bask in the soft glow of these beautiful lamps.
Hannah’s designs are inspired by the natural world – feathery grasses, cow parsley, dandelion clocks and spherical alliums – flowers you can see in the fields and cottage garden at Elmet Farmhouse. It’s the structure of these plants that Hannah particularly admires, imaginatively captured in her finely-cut linear patterns.
Hannah’s beautiful textiles and wallpapers are printed in subtle colours with similar designs. These furnishings also adorn Elmet Farmhouse, adding to the charm of this characterful old house. Nestling under the eaves in the attic is her Paper Meadow wallpaper, complemented by an Ercol chair painted in the same teal blue…
…A spectacular floor to ceiling wallpaper frieze – In the Tall Grass – sprouts up behind the double bed in the master bedroom, bringing the lush midsummer meadow into the heart of the house…
…Curl up on the 18th century window seat with Hannah’s Paper Meadow cushions. Then look out of the stone mullion windows at the grasses and wildflowers, the inspiration for her designs…
Hannah Nunn’s creativity makes Elmet Farmhouse extra special. A harmonious combination of ancient and modern – totally unique.
Read about Hannah’s visits to Elmet Farmhouse in her fascinating blog
Buy Hannah’s lighting, wallpapers and textiles by mail order online: www.hannahnunn.co.uk
© Lighting, wallpaper and textile designs copyright Hannah Nunn
© Text and images copyright Elmet Farmhouse