As a curtain maker and interior designer, I work for many clients, so, unlike a person who moves into a new house and creates their interior only once, I get to do it time after time after time. Can you imagine how much fun that can be?

I-LIV for the love of Canovas

Every job is different. Every job is an opportunity to create and re-create. And nothing makes it more exciting than when you have a client who is both bold and courageous.

“All my life, I have liked big motifs. They feel more elegant, more generous”. Manuel Canovas

I’m lucky enough to work on occasion with fabrics from the house of Manuel Canovas, the French textile designer. Born in 1935, he created his textile house in 1963 and in an interview with House and Garden before he passed away this year, aged 85, he said, “All my life I have liked big motifs. They feel more elegant, more generous”.

Manuel Canovas' style in wallpaper and fabric

Huge design expressions come at a price

I couldn’t agree more! I love large patterns and huge expressions of colour. They almost become architectural features rather than simply fabrics or wallpapers. However, the big drawback is the price tag! Manuel Cavonas fabrics (available from Colefax and Fowler) are an extremely desirable range. Hence the BIG BUCKS.

Don’t get me wrong. Your inner Sex In The City sub ego might say, ‘go on, treat yourself to a new pair of Jimmy Choo’s for your plates-of-meat’. But my Mister Big is adept at convincing me to spend the odd £200 on that one metre of this genius’s fabric simple to upholster the top of a pouffe, duckie. But that’s my thing. 

Canovas’s influence made affordable

But, do not despair. Canovas’s unique expression is starting to influence the ranges available from other more accessible fabric houses. One of my suppliers, I-LIV Textiles, has recently introduced a book called Victoria Glasshouse, and I’m really taken with it. The actual Victorian Glasshouse design in the book has a 111cm pattern repeat. It’s huge, and at less than £25.00 a metre, I am really digging it as a viable alternative that offers just as much joie de vivre… in my humble opinion.