Vanessa Arbuthnott needs no introduction to fans of modern country interiors. From its beginnings on the kitchen table 10 years ago, Vanessa Arbuthnott Fabrics has grown to include the current fabric collections featuring natural and classic motifs, stripes and spots, plus co-ordinating wallpaper, rugs, runners, sofas, chairs and quilts.
The Home-sewn Home uses Vanessa’s fabrics as a basis for 50 projects – from curtains and blinds through cushions, chair covers, tablecloths and runners to hot water bottle covers and lavender hearts – providing step-by-step instructions so you can make them yourself.
For complete beginners, some instructions might prove somewhat challenging on first reading. A little more hand-holding on the basics, such as curtain and blind measuring, is helpful for those who have never tackled their own projects before, and a glossary would be a great addition to a future edition. For British readers, the US spellings and terms – cozy, miter and shade rather than blind, for example – can jar a little.
However, the projects themselves have generously sized illustrations as well as fabulous photography that make them easy to follow, and the range of soft furnishings covered mean there’s something for every confidence level.
The photography of the completed projects – beautifully styled by Gail Abbott and Sally Denning – is a great prompt to use the fabrics shown, but there are useful tips so you can select and team fabric designs with the same attractive results if you’re shopping elsewhere.
A resurgence of interest in making your own interior furnishings, and a desire to create the traditional comfort associated with country interiors wherever your home happens to be located make this book a timely addition to the sew-your-own section – and the interiors are inspiring enough to make this a great buy for your room design library even if you don’t fancy getting out the sewing machine.
The Home-sewn Home by Vanessa Arbuthnott with Gail Abbott, Cico Books