Barbara Coupe Pillows

November 15, 2010

I spotted these gorgeous pillows today from Barbara Coupe, a textile designer in London who specializes in hand-embroidered goods that are made in England, and had to share them. The typography-as-decor continues to be a strong trend here on this side of the pond — in fact, it has enjoyed quite a long run both in parts of Europe and in the US. Certain trends definitely have staying power and end up running a lot longer than others, which is of course largely due to supply and demand so if consumers are drawn to a certain trend and don’t tire of it easily, it can endure for some time — and rarely, though it has happened, even becomes a classic style, a must-have in every home.

Barbara Coupe Pillows

Other trends disappear forever once they’ve had their run, but then others circle back — like the revival of wallpaper. After it’s popularity waned in the 1990s, it made a huge come back about five years ago and today it’s a staple in some of the most drool-inducing rooms in the world. With growing options from hand-blocked to hand-painted, eco, and beyond wallpaper seems to have staying power so if it is does start to lose its mass appeal in a few years, no doubt it will circle back again for the next generation of young designers to embrace as a hot new trend all over again.

Barbara Coupe Pillows

Barbara Coupe Pillows

I find trend watching quite fascinating, especially now that I live abroad, because lots of what we see over here makes it to the states a year later but also vice versa as the US starts many trends on its own — like the whole blogging trend and handmade market trend — I credit them mostly as being largely promoted in the states before the rest of the world caught on so it’s not always Europe dictating movements in fashion, art and design like so many assume, America plays a huge role in up-and-coming trend movements as well.

Barbara Coupe Pillows

But back to lovely Barbara Coupe, who made these stunning cushions that definitely have anglo-appeal. Many people, even those who have no English ancestry, love the Union Jack as a motif and of course this has been a trend in decor as well hasn’t it? I’ve seen Union Jacks popping up in design for some time now. I don’t think we have a US-equivalent using the flag, if we put a US flag on anything it is usually attributed to either the Fourth of July, being a fan of the New England Patriots or associated with the Ralph Lauren/Polo brand. To me anyway. It would be cool if a designer could modernize the US flag somehow, if that is even respectful to say, and make it more interesting to show in the home because currently it just doesn’t seem to find it’s way to sofas in our favorite magazines as cushions or wall hangings like the Union Jack, does it?

Lovely work, Barbara!

I’d like to thank new blogger, Emily Peck, for writing about Barbara Coupe and pointing me to her blog today – it was nice to hear from you! Thank you for the tip!

(images: barbara coupe)


  • Reply karina November 15, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I love the pillows and the pics!

  • Reply Chedva (Belly's Button) November 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    I don’t usually like typography in decor- but these are beautiful and look so inviting! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about trend-cycling, Holly. I find it fascinating. Here in Israel home decor trends are very different from those in the States, but of course they cycle too, at their own pace. Home typography is very big here at the moment, by the way.

  • Reply Jordana November 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Great pillows but really fantastic photos! The newspaper-clad couch made me laugh.

  • Reply Purple Area November 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Fun idea!!

  • Reply Arianna November 15, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    These are great… original I love them!

  • Reply BODIE and FOU November 15, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    They are very nice. I know typography on home accessories has been around for a while but when you love typo like most creative people do, then you dont really get bored of it, regardless of them being in or out of fashion. It works for me so I will still have letters in my home because visually it pleases me.

    I made these handmade cards over the weekend with my daughter…and I quite like how simple they are are, plus it was very relaxing to do

  • Reply juliette November 15, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I would love to see a trend forecast from you – have you done this before and I’ve forgotten? I find them hit-or-miss at times, but you have a good eye and I think it would be fun to read (selfishly, ha!).

  • Reply stitch and tickle November 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Great pics! and love that newpaper-covered coach. Interesting that newspaper used to be used by poor people to cover their wall but is now trendy and chic..

  • Reply Ashleigh Clark November 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Love the vintage feel. The pillows are wonderful!

  • Reply Karena November 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Wonderful pillows!! They can change the look of a room in an instant!!

    I hope you will come see the fabulous pillows and enter my giveaway from Empress of the Eye!

    Art by Karena

  • Reply Mariela November 15, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    LOVE IT !!!!, great pillows.

  • Reply Stacey November 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Love these! I pretty much go nutty over any Britain-inspired home decor! I lived in England for a while, and have such fond memories of the country. If it was in my budget, my house would be overrun with lovely pillows like these! (So maybe it’s a good thing that it’s not in my budget, because less is more, right?!)

  • Reply Tracy Kunzler November 15, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    LOVE the newsprint on the sofa, the lamp, the walls! GREAT pillows. Thanks!

  • Reply Laura November 15, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    I think with the Summer Olympics coming to London in 2012, the Union Jack and other things ‘English’ will become even more popular over the next few years.

    XO L

  • Reply Andreia November 16, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Beautiful pillows! I loved also the newspaper used on lamp and on the wall. Amazing!

  • Reply Alison Gibbs November 16, 2010 at 1:52 am

    They are fabulous. Blogland is a wonderful place where we all share what we have found

  • Reply mackenzi November 16, 2010 at 3:24 am

    As a Londoner, I feel the need to point out that those cushions are tapping into a particular form of nostalgia as they are reproductions of the rolls of destinations on the front of London buses.

    Like these:—Route-23–Red-Routemaster-double-decker-bus–London–England_web.jpg

    • Reply decor8 November 16, 2010 at 11:46 am

      @Mackenzi – Yes, those were her inspirations as she states on her website so it’s all good — I already noticed that myself and checked into things. :)

  • Reply ana November 16, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Great tip from Emily. Union Jack really looks great in lot of different decor pieces.

    I love Barbara work, the photography work is fabulous. I’m inlove for this newspaper covered sofa & the idea of covering the walls. Beautifull.

    I agree with you decor trends come in circle, a bit like fashion, don’t you think. The same ideas with twist or repurposed.

  • Reply Emily Peck November 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Glad to see so many people love London! :) Thanks Holly – great to hear you found something of inspiration on my blog.

    If you like Barbara Coupe’s nostalgic designs, I have a feeling you’ll like Jan Constantine’s hand-embroidered London cushions too… You can take a look here:

  • Reply Jessica November 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Typography has always been a favorite of mine. Those picts have me inspired…

    The only modern version of the American flag I’ve seen that makes me drooool is a throw blanket over at Urban Outfitters. It’s so perfect, it’s on my Christmas list!

  • Reply Juliet November 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Does anyone know who makes the sofa? I love the shape of it and the legs!

  • Reply Ashley • Fine Day Press November 16, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    love the typographic pillows, those are so great!

  • Leave a Reply

    Scroll Up