September 24 2011
As an expert creator of luxurious textiles and soft furnishings, Bernie de Le Cuona is well versed in meeting unusual demands. She recalls the client who requested a giant leather saddle for elephant polo, the petrol-head who wanted seat covers specially made in a woven paisley fabric for his Land Rover, and the serial party-giver who ordered a bespoke marquee in very heavy linen. And, with highly personal commissions on the increase, de Le Cuona has recently introduced a bespoke design service at her London showroom.
“In the past we’ve often customised designs from our standard ranges, but we’ll now design and make items from scratch,” she says. “As well as hand-embroidering a crest or monogram, we will now make bespoke cushions in de Le Cuona fabrics to complement a client’s choice of curtains/valance/headboard for their bedroom.”
A small range of bespoke furniture including stools (from £234 plus fabric) and benches (from £834 plus fabric) can be made and upholstered to order. The most popular requests, though, are for headboards and hand-stitched curtains. “One client spotted a metal-studded headboard in a movie and asked us to upholster a similar design in cashmere using their choice of colour [£714 plus fabric],” says de Le Cuona. “Another client commissioned a woven paisley curtain for outdoor use around a pool area. And we will make curtains for verandas that look as good from outside as inside.”
Her company can also source and supply specific furnishings such as the 1950s crocodile-leather armchair found for a client’s shooting lodge. Paints in 13 exclusive colours, designed to co-ordinate with de Le Cuona’s linens, paisleys and wools, are also available (2.5 litre, £53; sample pots, £3.80).