One of my all-time favorite fabrics is Venetian Blind, a trompe l'oeil chintz designed by the late, great John Fowler (see it above.) If you've read Martin Wood's book John Fowler: Prince of Decorators, you've seen the print; it makes appearances throughout the book as Fowler used it quite often in his projects. I've always wanted to make shades out of Venetian Blind ever since I saw Clarence House's version many years ago. Alas, Colefax & Fowler discontinued Fowler's original print years ago, and Clarence House's version is, yes, discontinued too. I think that's why Nicky Haslam's version was met with great fanfare when it was introduced last year.
Nicky's talented Creative Director Colette Van Den Thillart was kind enough to send me samples after I inquired about the fabric. Nicky's interpretation is printed on linen, and the various colorways are gorgeous! Dovecote Grey has my name written all over it. Now I just need to find some naked windows in my home that I can dress in this fabric. Or, I can do as Colette did and have an actual dress made from the fabric. (If you want to see Nicky, Colette, and the entire staff posed in front of the print, click here.)
Funny enough, on the same day that I received the samples, I happened to find a photo of a room designed by Madeleine Castaing in which the wallpaper looked Venetian blind-esque. It may not be a blind print per se, but you can see below that it somewhat resembles blinds. You know how I love design happenstance, so how could I not write a post on such a charming print?
Nicky Haslam's version is Shutter Stripe. Colors include Dovecote Grey, Moonlight Beige, Pomegranate Red, New Mown Green, Cloudy Lilac, and Unearthly Brown. For more information on Shutter Stripe, visit NH Design's website.
Here, Fowler used the fabric for shades in the home of Anthony Ayscought at 14 Gayfere Street, Westminster. Don't you love how you can see the sheen of the glazed cotton?
Venetian Blind also made an appearance as, what else, blinds in Fowler's early showroom at 292 Kings Road.
Here, the chintz was made into a roller shade at Yarty, a country home decorated by Fowler.
I wonder if this vignette was located in Castaing's Rue Bonaparte showroom? I'd love to know what this wallpaper's print actually is. Might it be Venetian blinds?
This Nobilis paper named "Les Jalousies" graced the entryway of the apartment of M. et Mme Yves Halard.
(All Fowler images from John Fowler: Prince of Decorators; Shutter Stripe samples photo by Jennifer Boles; Castaing photo from Decoration, Volume I (Connaissance des Arts Collection); Halard photo from Les Reussites de la Decoration Francaise, 1950-1960)