I struggled to decorate my first apartment in America a decade ago. The problem was simple: as a European, I loved bright clean colours and simple lines, furniture from Italy or Sweden. But in America, I was surrounded by nothing but tertiary tones (save me from more aubergine), textures (more velvet than a closet full of royal robes) and faux-rustic finishes. Strangely, the toughest challenge was bedlinen, where the flouncy pastel American styles so frustrated me, I ended up bringing sheets back in my suitcases on trips to London (thank you, Heal’s).
So when I saw some Brun de Vian Tiran throws in Amsterdam, I couldn’t resist. The firm may be an ultra-traditional one, founded in Provence more than 200 years ago and known for its luxury textiles – scarves, quilts and eiderdowns. But what wowed me about these blankets wasn’t their mohair softness, but the colours: jewel-like shades of emerald, sky blue, citrus yellow and aquamarine. At first I couldn’t decide, but finally bought the bright green throw, which now sits at the end of my bed – even in summer, I don’t want to put it away.