Christina Strutt runs the fabulous fashion and home decor brand Cabbages & Roses, which specializes in vintage fabrics. Her fifth book, At Home With Country, just came out and we’ve been diving into its beautifully cozy pages. Featuring full home tours of residences in England as well as the States, At Home With Country is full of easy-to-repeat designs, tips on mixing fabrics and inspirational ideas on bringing cozy country style into your home. We caught up with Christina to find out what inspires her and what she can’t live without. Plus, we have a special invite to her upcoming book event.
What inspires your fabric designs?
Almost everything! Florals, boats, horses, vintage designs. The other thing that inspires me is the ultimate use of fabrics. Once a year the design team discuss which areas we do not cover. Next season we have concentrated on boy’s rooms — hence the boats and horses!
What’s the best thing about decorating homes in country style?
That it is relaxed and almost anything goes. Country style is great for recycling furniture and fabrics and is suited to using up old bits and pieces, which add character and interest. Country style can be grand and chintzy or plain and minimalist. It can be utilized in the city or the countryside.
What design element can you not live without?
Fabrics. They bring life and color and warmth to a room.
What is your favorite room in your house?
Probably my kitchen, it is the hub of the house and where we gather for meals. There is a huge fireplace and cozy armchairs and sofas so everybody is involved in the creating and partaking of the meal. We have an Aga range which warms the room both physically and aesthetically.
What are your three easy tricks for creating a comfy, country-inspired home?
They would be fabrics, fabrics and fabrics. There is such a lot of scope with fabric. Full-length drapes lined for warmth and a generous, luxurious feel. Sofa covers and cushions will instantly create an atmosphere. Sofa throws: No more than a piece of fabric thrown on a sofa can have dramatic effect for little effort.
What is the most meaningful thing in your home?
My family, my dogs and my cat. Our books, our paintings, our albums and of course, where it is: nestled in a wooded valley deep in the countryside. This is what provides the most meaningful (non-human or animal) thing in my home: the views.
If you’re going to be in New York tomorrow, don’t miss Christina at Archivia Books on Lexington Avenue.
[Photography by Edina van der Wyck. From At Home with Country by Christina Strutt. CICO Books, $29.95; www.cicobooks.com]