Cloth house: at home with fabrics inspired by the outdoors Cloth house: at home with fabrics inspired by the outdoors - ImagesGram

Cloth house: at home with fabrics inspired by the outdoors

Combined with modern furniture and just enough decorative pieces, the material lights up a bright Victorian house

Textile artist Anne Kelly says it seems natural that there’s no separation between what she does for a living and her living space. “In my work, I like to rescue and reuse old pieces of fabric, reinventing them. At home, I guess I do much the same with the things I live with.”
She shares her three-bedroom Victorian house in Tunbridge Wells with her husband Paul and, though there has undoubtedly been more room since her two children left home some 10 years ago, Anne says she’s always been good at avoiding clutter.

"Buying a house when you’re short of cash means you have to make the best of what you’ve got"

“If I don’t want to look at it or use it, I’m not keeping it,” she says, firmly. This philosophy has served her well in the kitchen, where open shelves hold just the right amount of brightly coloured plates, mugs and bowls from sources as varied as Marks & Spencer, Orla Kiely and Arabia. There are purely decorative pieces, too – pottery birds, tiles and Royal Copenhagen dishes – all united by strong colour, shapes and graphics, and with a nod to midcentury design. Anne has long been drawn to this era, partly for sentimental reasons – the Scandi furniture of the period loomed large in her life when she was growing up in Canada – and partly for practical ones.