February 28 2011
One of the – very many – joys of working from home is that it offers the chance to create a private study: a place where you can legitimately refuse to give space to anything that compromises your personal taste. My study is open-plan but the rule still holds and I have recently given it a total makeover.
The result is fairly restrained (I am, essentially, a fan of chic understatement), but there are also one or two injections of pulse-quickening pattern and some feature pieces by my favourite craft folk. Chief among these is Maxine Sutton’s pretty, witty, beautiful lampshade which hangs in the very centre of the space.
I have long been a fan of Sutton’s abstract, collage style (she combines hand-drawn, paper-cut and photographic forms with semi-figurative appliquéd, embroidered and printed imagery), but this lampshade is the first piece of hers I have ever owned.
Made from natural linen, the exterior is hand-printed and embroidered with abstracted domestic objects – including what I have decided is a jelly mould – while the cotton-lined inside, which is visible from my chair, is covered with trailing leaves. The colours are many and various but all share a muted muddiness and the palette is held together by the olive-meets-lime green of those interior leaves.
Chic and understated it is not, and the rest of my – all-male – family regards its patterned exuberance with suspicion, but it hangs in my space and I love it.
Maxine Sutton’s light shades (pictured) are hand-tailored onto bespoke frames and can be fitted with either lamp or pendant fittings. They come in three sizes: large (diameter, 54cm; height, 34cm), £175; medium (41 x 30cm), £120; and small (31 x 23cm), £75.