Friday, 29 April 2016

Oh For the Love of Leopard Print

Leopard print is one of those weird patterns that invokes very strong reactions. Some people are obsessed with it, others think it is tacky and cheap. It is a pattern that comes in and out of fashion and interior trends every decade without fail. It's been 'in' so much over the last 30 years that it is a permanent feature of our design landscape now. And I don't mind that, because I'm one of those people who love it, always have and always will.

The way it is introduced into the home is super important, it works best as details like chairs, cushions, lampshades etc and can be pretty bohemian...

Or more traditional, not a hint of tackiness here...

Then you can go into the rococo glam direction like Svenska Design Huset

Though no-one is more rococo glam than BVN Design featuring my Leopard print skull design...

 We do lots of leopardy loveliness here at Van Asch from shopper bags, purses and makeup bags to all sorts of cushions and fabric...
I wish I could find an old picture of me wearing leopard print but I was clearly having too much fun to take photos of myself... showing my age a bit here...yes, I am the pre selfie generation and also pre mobile phones...which means none of that depravity was caught on camera! ;-) Phew!

I have added some leopard print to the range of clothes I did with E.MallaS though, and it is more boho leo than pole dancing ho... if you know what I mean...

and we can all agree that there is such a thing as too much leopard, as amply demonstrated by this limo interior...

so lets keep it stylish and classy then!

If you want to see more of my top animal print picks then do follow my Pinterest board

Friday, 22 April 2016


I was sewing some fabric together yesterday, making a curtain for my living room and it got me thinking...

Patchwork, I've always loved it. Don't be thinking about those little shapes of flowery cotton painstakingly hand sewn on bits of paper... I don't know anything about that other than it looks like a lot of very hard work... No, I'm talking about sewing lots of different fabrics together. The first proper clothes I made, back in the late 80's was a red and purple patchwork coat for a friend and various patchwork mini skirts for myself. I don't have any photos from that time, just a patchwork of memories and of course, memories of patchwork ;-) then I went on to make lots more patchwork clothes... This is me sometime in the late 90's and early 2000's (don't those huge red clown shoes just scream 90's!)

I got the chance to let my passion for patchwork run riot about 4 years ago when I was commissioned to decorate a bedroom in Görvälnsslott (castle) just outside Stockholm. There were severe limitations on what could be done because it was a listed building, so we had to leave the walls as they were and just work with it... I made a patchwork bedspread, curtains and curtain top box thingy, cushions and chair covers for the on-suite room...

We all know that there was a huge trend for patch work furniture a few years ago but I don't really care if that trend has peaked, I don't give a damn about what other people like. I've always loved patchwork and I'm always going to.

Here is a lovely picture I found on Pinterest with a bit of proper old skool patchwork on the wardrobe with a gorgeous patchwork chair. I love it when you have a fairly minimalistic room with a few key colourful pieces...                                                              Hmmmm..this one is a bit mad even for me!

But it doesn't have to be fabric patchwork, how about a crazy boho bathroom with a patchwork of wallpapers? I must confess that although I like the look, I can just see this looking so shabby after a short time, with lots of little curled up edges...especially the way I do wall paper hanging, I have a very rock n roll approach to glue distribution and bubble removal... Let's just leave it at that ;-)

The thing about doing patchwork well, is that you have to have a huge amount of bits of fabric to choose from. If you are only going to do a small project, it's not very economical. But, if you are a life long patchwork addict like me, and have a stock of fabric remnants that could sink a ship, then the possibilities are endless!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Sacred Hearts, Mosaic, Skulls & Crafty Business

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am at my most happy and contented when I am making things with my hands. In Sweden, we have a word that describes doing crafty stuff which is 'pussel' Is that spelt right? I don't even know, as I've had no cause to write it ever, but our family says it almost every day. Unsurprisingly, my whole family is mad for making things, or painting or whatever. I call it 'make makey' as I am nearly as fond of fiddling with the English language as I am fiddling with stuff... Anyway, I had a couple of polystyrene hearts knocking about that I bought from Panduro for 15:- (super cheap) and I wanted to do fancy things with them.

The girls and I did some painting in glass bottles, and I got my youngest to help me paint my new Van Asch letters that I got from Bara Bokstaver whilst I got on with the business of playing with hearts ;-)

 I had a good experience making a mosaic skull a few years back which I turned into a cushion design....

And this is the cushion design it became...
You can buy it Here
So I used the same type of little mosaic tiles and broken china to make this...

I was very happy how it turned out but wanted to do something quite different with the other heart. I had lots of tiny bits of braids and ribbons left over from making cushions because I just can't throw anything away, but what can you do with a 10 cm bit of gold braid? Not much usually, so this was a perfect way to use up a few of those old bits and bobs

I made the wings out of wire and sewed on some cream netting and mounted it on an old broken candlestick.

I have a thing for hearts, I've used them a lot in my cushion designs...

You can buy it Here

well, you can't have enough love right? So here's to hearts and love and warmth and kindness. Wishing you all lots of that stuff this weekend and if you want to see more hearty stuff then follow my Pinterest board Hearts.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Funky Florals

I've always loved floral patterns and even in my most bonkers rock n roll phases of life, I have still loved flowery patterns.
They don't have to be boring and old fashioned, they can be funky as hell!

Check out these hand painted leather jackets by Rococoleathers

Then for the next level up in price and deliciousness, check out the Gucci version

It's weird how we never tire of the beauty of flowers. We fickle humans seem to get bored of everything after a while, crave new technology, upgrades, looking at things we have never seen before, but nature always awes us and inspires us. Thank goodness for that!

Now imagine having a really chic monochrome room, just black and white and then a statement staircase like this...Too fabulous!

Or keep it dark and moody

This amazing chair comes from Colors of Praise and is needlecraft taken to the next level! The embroidery work gone into this is just incredible!

I have used so many flowers in my designs and probably always will... Here is one of my cushion designs called Truth & Vision

And this is my Spring Cottage design which is both a cushion and a fabric

They make the perfect props in photos, lift any table centrepiece, add colour and life to any room.
Well done mummy Nature for inventing flowers, you're the best!

Sometimes you do weird things like inventing this here Bat Flower... Have you ever heard of this before? I never's very strange looking...a bit nightmarish...

But you balance it out with lovely roses and that's all ok then ;-)

If you want more floral fabulousness then follow my Flowery Pinterest board

Friday, 1 April 2016

Edwardian Gothic

Whilst I was out in the countryside for my Easter holiday, we drove past a lovely old church and clock tower, which got me thinking about one of my very first fabric designs called 'Edwardian Gothic'. That is because I used pictures of that very same church and clock tower in it!

Can you spot them?

It's a bit hard to see the clock tower, so here is another angle...

My customers have done some really lovely things with this fabric...just look at these chairs at the Dream Valley conference centre in Västerås 

Here it is teamed up with black and little colour pops, by Rina Kindberg. 
check her instagram feed for loads of statement up-cycled furniture @rinas_art_design

And for something completely different, draped as part of a display...

The pattern was so popular that I decided to make huge scarf / wrap thingies too and who knows, maybe one day it might even become a wall paper???

If you have made something with my fabric then please email pics to for a chance to have them featured in one of my blogs or # us on instagram @vanasch_designs

Even if you're not feeling too crafty this weekend, and don't fancy giving your old furniture a make over, just remember that anything can become inspiration... who knew that pictures of those old buildings would become an integral part to my most popular fabric design ever?
Not me, that's for sure!

And if you feel like you need some of that lovely fabric for a project of your own then here's a link right to it!