Thursday, 17 March 2011

Interview With Christina Strutt from Cabbages and Roses


Hey peeps,

Today, I'd love to welcome Christina from the delectable Cabbages and Roses for a chat at Modern Country Style. Why don't you come on in and join us?


Your eye for beautiful patterns is incredible. What do you look for when choosing fabric for a room you're designing?

It entirely depends on the room and the situation - for instance, if I were decorating the sitting room in my tiny flat in London, the thing that must be taken into consideration is the fact that there is only one room to express one's taste. If I want to make a statement, the pattern will be bold but calm, interesting and have the ability to change character with the addition of different furnishings. The wallpaper in the flat is a very large patterned lilac print which is at the same time calm but definitely a statement. The furnishings and furniture and ornaments can completely change the atmosphere. Black framed paintings hung in a dramatic way can make this a grand room, but with large old faded grey framed mirrors, or flaking white paint makes the room light and Scandinavian. Taste changes with the times, but something classic and beautiful will hold its own for a long time.


Can you describe some of the activities that your typical working week might involve?

Doing interviews such as this, probably three or four a week. Designing fashion collections is an ongoing job, fitting the clothes, finding the fabrics, discussing designs with pattern cutters, many many meetings covering all aspects of the business: the shops, the concessions, their design, visiting the shops and concessions, the collections of home and fabric, the website, the blog, the photography and the locations, the models. New shops, licencing all over the world, discussing designs for our new shop in Tokyo (that was yesterday!!)


What is your idea of a perfect room.

Large sash windows with beautifully-made lined and interlined curtains on painted poles. A room of perfect symmetry overlooking a beautifully kept garden. At least two of the windows would have a window seat covered in cushions. Two or three large sofas covered in faded roses. A hand made rug of pale pinks and green roses. A large fireplace with logs burning in the grate. The walls covered in paintings and pictures. Bookshelves filled with all the books I want to read, none that I haven't hand-picked. A large round table in the corner with  a lovely lamp and piles of books, covered in a beautifully made round and heavy tablecloth. Lamps and tables at every station so wherever you sit you will be comfortable, can read a book and have a place for your cup of tea. Then I would fill it with my family.


What is the process of creating a new fabric from scratch?

We look at current collections and see what we don't have, possibly it is a small design that would work in the same room as a present large design. It could be as simple as having a co ordinating check, so that there would be relief in a room with a lot of the same design. Often fabrics are based on a vintage scrap, so I would very roughly draw the rest of the repeat and then hand over to our designers who can do a much better job than I can with my pencils and watercolours.


(Credit: Lucinda Symons)

I devoured your chapter in At Home With Country about Modern Country style, what are your thoughts for using your fabrics to create modern country interiors?

I like to think that our fabrics will fit in anywhere. It seems to me that modern can be interpreted in many ways. My interpretation of modern is minimal - in which case the idea of a large loft apartment with a modern shaped sofa and large empty spaces, with one large floral cushion would be lovely. We are introducing a heavily floral print this summer which would work beautifully in a modern environment. Keeping to one pattern in a sea of plains in my mind is quite modern. Any one of our prints used sparsely would I think be modern.


What are your dreams for the future of Cabbages and Roses?

To be more available throughout the world, we are opening a shop this month in Tokyo the first, I hope of many. We are hoping to expand in the UK and also in America.

{The awful events in Japan have prevented us from getting there for the opening next week – it’s the most tragic thing to see such devastating and wide spread turmoil. Luckily all of the team out there are ok, but out thoughts and prayers are with the whole nation. It is a testament to the strength of the Japanese people and their culture by how they are coping and we are keenly watching and hoping that things will be ok.

We are working on a fund raising effort from all of our online sales, so keep an eye out for how you can help – we aim to push it out this week and will keep everyone posted on our emails, blog and facebook.

xx C&R }


Thank you so much, Christina. It's been SUCH a pleasure talking to you and trying to squeeze every last drop of inspiration from each word you've said.


All images, other than 6 and 7, via Cabbages and Roses


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54 comments :

Blondie's Journal said...

This is a wonderful interview, Sarah. I have Christina's book and I adore it. I wonder if wallpaper is making a comeback...I miss seeing dreamy prints. Thanks for the great post!

XO,
Jane

Chris said...

What fun to hear from Christina herself! I love learning from both of you.

Sarah at myyellowhouse said...

What a wonderful interview...I LOVE her idea of a perfect room. She seems like such a lovely person ~
I desperately need to wallpaper a room like the one you have pictured...my gosh, it's beautiful!

Thanks for sharing!
Sarah xo

Michelle @Shellsshabbyshack said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful interview with Christina. I love her take on vintage florals being mixed with modern style. It's fun to see wallpaper being used again. I'll be searching Amazon for a copy of her book!
Best of luck on opening the new store!
Have a lovely day, Sarah Sarah!
Michelle
xo

Rachel Noelle said...

Yay Sarah!;) You did an amazing interview~ I LOVE Cabbages and Roses! Thanks for your very sweet comment on my post today too!!! xoxo Rachel

French Farmhouse 425

Desire Empire said...

Well Sarah..... You had me at hello!

What a lovely interview and about such stunning product.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's comments like yours that have made me feel so welcome
Best wishes
Carolyn

MariCrea said...

Thanks for sharing this interesting interview!
Have a beautiful night
Mari

Deborah said...

Beautiful interview Sarah...
Just love this style..so pretty.
Thanks for posting this and thanks to Christina!

Deborah xoxo

Julie said...

Love Cabbages and Roses! Can I ask what the fabric is that you used in pictures 6 & 7?? It's exactly what I'm looking for for some cushions in my newly decorated living room!! Thanks xx

Privet and Holly said...

Her perfect room
sounds like my own
dream room {SIGH}!
Fun interview! Now
that you and Christina
are chums, maybe you
can take me to one of
her shops when {hear
my positive conviction
here?}I visit : )!!
Have a lovely weekend,
Sarah!
xx Suzanne

Infatuated with Homes and Gardens said...

Thanks for sharing, love the grey and white floral wallpaper, I am popping over to cabbages and roses now:)

Valerie@chateaualamode.typepad.com said...

That was fun! I enjoyed seeing all the eye candy too.

Olive Cooper said...

What a perfect interview Sarah. Thanks bunches!

Gracefully Vintage said...

Love those pics, so inspirational.. I want to emmulate it all.. Thanks for sharing
Karryann

Tricia - A Rosy Note said...

What a great interview Sarah! I love all the pretty pictures too :)

Mary said...

What a lovely post. I love the rooms you selected to share with us. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Sarah, this is a great interview ie. you asked great questions. The answers were fun and very educational. I need to go back and read them another time.

Thanks much.

Fondly,
Glenda

Jen of Country Weekend said...

Great interview and I love the pictures. I must admit I'm not familiar with her so I am going to read more about her on your blog and look for her book--her style is right up my alley. Thanks!

gretchen said...

Beautiful rooms, decor and oh, the colors are just wonderful...I have a few walls begging to be changed and what is shown here, is calling out to me!

Lisa said...

The questions were very helpful Sarah, lot's of insight into Christina's world, and sense of style. Naturally the images are just divine. Thank you both.

Cheers,
Lisa x

Miranda said...

Fun interview! I loved hearing her styling details. I've been craving some nice floral pillows to relieve the monotone of my living room...I just need to come up with the $$ and color decisions.

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Fabulous interview, Sarah. Great read!

Chatelaine said...

Great job Sarah! I love her description of the perfect home. It was like she was reading my mind!

Pink Satin Sashes said...

Very informative and well thought out questions for your interview. Your a natural!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I always wonder the day in the life of creative, successful people. Lovely interview and beautiful photos :) XOL

Tammy said...

The whole interview was beautiful and I was drooling over the photos

life and the little things... said...

I always learn something new when I read your blog Sarah. Thank you for introducing me to C&R. I'll be in London next month, so I've already started browsing the shop for a few little goodies!! Alison xx

Susan T said...

Oh My Oh My! curtains will be ripped down across the land - faded florals are the future.

Great interview Sarah, Christina had obviously given SOME thought to her perfect room, it sounded like a slice of heaven.

Fabulous images. Cabbages and Roses here we come!

Robynne's Nest said...

Well done Sarah, very enjoyable. Christina is incredibly talented and I admire her immensely! Her latest book was very clever, depicting, as she said, how to incorporate her products into a more modern setting. The perfect example of 'Modern Country Style'! Robx

michele at hellolovelyinc said...

WONDERFUL INTERVIEW, Sarah!

i so love Christina's book and everything Cabbages and Roses. they can't expand to the US soon enough! i will be buying the totes and dishtowels and napkins and...that next book featuring a lovely modern country blogger i call friend!

gorgeous post, sweet thing.

michele

poindextr said...

fabulous interview Sarah, well done indeed! I especially liked Christina's take on modern country style too. Kudos!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Absolutely gorgeous!! Thank you so much for sharing this gorgeousness Sarah!! LOVE it!!! :)

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

My dear Sarah,

This is amazing. I've enjoyed this interview from the beginning to the end! Actually, I wish it didn't end.

Beautiful work, sweetie!

Have a great weekend!

xo

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Teacup Moments said...

Sarah, what an awesome interview! Thank you so much for sharing!

Meera @ firstsense said...

Sarah, really, that was the best interview I've read! Your questions were fantastic and the Christina's answers very informative. Lovely images too to go with the answers!

Well done!

Thank you for your comment today, you are such a sweet thing.

Have a lovely weekend, you lovely lass!

Meera xx

Sarah said...

How I love C&R prints. So delicious! Thanks for the interview Sarah, and the gorgeous pictures to linger over!

Wishing you a lovely weekend in your little part of the world!

le@thirdontheright said...

loved loved loved this - when can they come to Australia !! you provide me with such joy and inspiration - love your work Sarah, le xox

Sarah at Finishing Touch Interiors said...

thank you so very much for sharing this Sarah. Have a great weekend x

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Sarah, that was a wonderful interview! She is an amazingly talented woman. Wonderful interview with perfect images.
I am also enjoying your Belgian Style series. I love the fact that you express how to incorporate it into ones own style and not to just have to make a complete change of style. Great series.

LambAround said...

Well hey to you, my peep! I don't know about you, but I think it's extra fun to call friends "peeps" with Easter so close :)
My dream room would certainly include those pretty dark curtains! I love dark accents and dark painted walls, but am not quite gutsy enough to integrate it into my own decor.

High Street Cottage said...

Wonderful interview Sarah! And the images are so special. I have in the past bookmarked their website for inspiration. I really love the lavender prints too, even though I'm a red lover. Thank you for sharing such a great opportunity. xoxo tami

WobiSobi said...

Great Interview Sarah. I love learning about new People and how they think of design.

designchic said...

What a wonderful interview...adore her style!!

designchic said...

What a wonderful interview...adore her style!!

Life love, clutter and other beautiful things. said...

Oh wow!!!! I adore the fabrics they create xox

Signe said...

Oh how I love the room with the purple wallpaper <3

bicocacolors said...

everything here is really beautiful!
I love and inspires me a lot,
Thanks to both!

Melissa K @ Lulliloo said...

Thanks for sharing this Sarah.
I just love, love, LOVE everything by Cabbages & Roses and have been sulking for the last 3 days because my browser just would not let me see the pics you put with these inspiring words :(( I finally have seen them now and weren't they just every bit as stunning as I expected!
I hope you're having a lovely weekend - Melissa xx

PS - Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog! :)

anangloinquebec said...

Loved it! Fantastic images too! Thanks for this.

Anne Marie... said...

that was a great interview...very well thought out...

I loved reading what Christina's ideal room would be like - sounds just perfect!

xo+blessings,
Anne Marie

Val said...

Amazing interview and beautiful images.

Vintage Amethyst said...

What a lovely interview.
love
Alison
x

Redlilocks {Swoon Worthy} said...

How did I not comment on this post?! Fabulous interview hun, you're a natural for sure! Great questions, great responses and fabulous imagery as always xxx

C'est moi! said...

Beautiful (for sure) but at least hypocrite. This is my opinion. Cristina Strutt, owner from Cabbages & Roses and author of several books preaches about doing your stuff yourself instead of buying things, preparing home made sewing projects instead of buying commercial ready ones, keeping a clean eco house using only non industrial-chemical products, living a so simple and recyclable vintage life style, preferably made by your own hands…
Behind this super marketing scenario, she owns several stores around the world, sells her trademark in a variety of segments, from books, articles and furnitures to design, clothes and what next ? Also, food ? (If it is not already done). All them brand new and expensive enough to make her business flow, while opening new stores here and there…. It sounds like « Do what I say but do not do what I do. » (And meanwhile, shop on my worldwide stores…).
Business as usual.

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