August 29 2010
Now that I can see light through the scaffolding that surrounds our house, my thoughts have turned to the more enjoyable aspects of home decorating: paint charts, wallpaper snippets, and of course fabric samples. Having put up with builder’s dust for far too long, it is time to treat myself to something really special.
Top of my wish list are fabrics for my bedroom from Rubelli, the Venetian family firm that is still going strong five generations into its history. A while ago, I managed to visit the Rubelli archive-museum, housed in the fabulous Palazzo Corner Spinelli, a Renaissance treasure near San Marco. Here I spent a heavenly few hours being guided through some of the 3,000 textiles that make up the archive, dating from the end of the 15th century to the first half of the 20th century. Among them is a fragment of the 16th-century altobasso, a two-pile velvet, once used exclusively for the stoles worn by the procuratori of the Serenissima.
Of course the archive is a fantastic resource for the Rubelli designers, who find much of their inspiration here for the richly textured and unashamedly luxurious fabrics for which they are known worldwide. In 2009, Rubelli also began producing textiles for Armani/Casa, a collaboration that has resulted in glorious jacquards, damasks and velvets suitable for both super contemporary homes and more traditional ones, priced from £180 to £345 per metre. I haven’t quite made up my mind which to treat myself to yet – but I can’t tell you what fun it is choosing.