Skip to content

Barbara Coupe Pillows

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

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

Barbara Coupe

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

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)

Posted by decor8 in trends on November 15, 2010

Your comments...

  1. karina commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 1:49pm

    I love the pillows and the pics!
    karina´s last blog post ..Love wedding Photographers

  2. Chedva (Belly's Button) commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 1:57pm

    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.
    Chedva (Belly’s Button)´s last blog post ..bellys button gift guide week

  3. Jordana commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 2:25pm

    Great pillows but really fantastic photos! The newspaper-clad couch made me laugh.
    Jordana´s last blog post ..Fashion in Motion is Two!

  4. Purple Area commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 3:52pm

    Fun idea!!
    Purple Area´s last blog post ..Dämpat och rustikt

  5. Arianna commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 4:29pm

    These are great… original I love them!

  6. BODIE and FOU commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 4:40pm

    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

  7. juliette commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 4:48pm

    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!).
    juliette´s last blog post ..Felt candle holder DIY

  8. stitch and tickle commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 5:00pm

    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..
    stitch and tickle´s last blog post ..Karen Nicol Fantastical Animal World

  9. Ashleigh Clark commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 5:01pm

    Love the vintage feel. The pillows are wonderful!
    Ashleigh Clark´s last blog post ..In Living ColorHPFM-3

  10. Karena commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 5:47pm

    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
    Karena´s last blog post ..Empress of the Eye Giveaway!

  11. Mariela commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 6:30pm

    LOVE IT !!!!, great pillows.
    Mariela´s last blog post ..Entradas

  12. Stacey commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 7:07pm

    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?!)
    Stacey´s last blog post ..Tea parties and Nerf wars

  13. Tracy Kunzler commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 8:46pm

    LOVE the newsprint on the sofa, the lamp, the walls! GREAT pillows. Thanks!
    Tracy Kunzler´s last blog post ..Retriever 8 x 10 Personalized Art Print

  14. Laura commented
    November 15th, 2010 at 11:22pm

    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
    Laura´s last blog post ..As An Expatriate

  15. Andreia commented
    November 16th, 2010 at 12:36am

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

  16. Alison Gibbs commented
    November 16th, 2010 at 1:52am

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

  17. mackenzi commented
    November 16th, 2010 at 3:24am

    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

  18. ana commented
    November 16th, 2010 at 11:09am

    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.
    ana´s last blog post ..ORANGE Vintage Style Button Bobby Pins Trio

  19. decor8 commented
    November 16th, 2010 at 11:46am

    @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. :)

  20. Emily Peck commented
    November 16th, 2010 at 3:13pm

    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:

  21. Jessica commented
    November 16th, 2010 at 4:55pm

    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!
    Jessica´s last blog post ..The one where things didnt go quite as planned

  22. Juliet commented
    November 16th, 2010 at 5:49pm

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

  23. Ashley • Fine Day Press commented
    November 16th, 2010 at 9:07pm

    love the typographic pillows, those are so great!
    Ashley • Fine Day Press´s last blog post ..Stamp-a-thon

Leave a comment

CommentLuv badge


Some of my books

Co-editions are also available in many languages, learn more


Next dates

Blogging Your Way
e-courses, 2015
Visit our e-course website to learn more about our inspirational e-courses by bloggers, for bloggers.