Our friends at Retrouvius, London’s high-profile reclamation experts and designers, recently clued us in on the work of curtain crafter Lucy Bathurst and her company Nest Design. Originally an interior designer herself, Bathurst became a curtain maker to indulge her magpie-like obsessions with textiles. “The curtains and blinds that we make are all about showing off the textiles to their best ability,” she says. “And if that means doing as little as possible to a beautiful vintage linen sheet, then so be it.”
“I have stitched for a Dame and hung for a Beatle, making everything from vintage patchwork curtains for a gypsy caravan to 42 pairs of silk curtains for an Indian palace,” she says. “The process is always the same—finding a beautiful textile, imagining what it might want to become and then seeing it through to the last stitch still seems to me a form of magic.”
Above: Bathurst creates a modernist patchwork curtain with vintage textiles to hang within a 20-foot, double-height warehouse space in Shoreditch. “In keeping with the building, we kept the design simple and geometric, and worked with a restricted color palette of tonal copper,” Bathurst says. “We used hand-dyed linen with circles of Indian Khadi and an added splash of rich dark velvet.”
Above: At Spring restaurant in Somerset House, in London, Bathurst layers linen voile to create an ethereal translucency.
Above: In a kitchen that required a simple and relaxed window treatment, Bathurst emphasized the natural qualities of vintage handwoven linen by letting it hang softly into its own folds and exposing the selvedge.
Above: “This project illustrates the joys of working with antique textiles,” Bathurst says. “Maria Speake from Retrouvius sourced this knockout beautiful embroidered panel and we repaired it and backed it onto red wool. We were very sad to see it leave the workroom.”
Above: Inspired by Art Deco bookbindings, this door curtain is made from undyed wool—hard-wearing and insulating—and vintage velvet.
Above: Curtain crafter Lucy Bathurst from Nest Design sitting by one of her translucent creations made by overlaying panels of lace.
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Christine is also the writer of new website Fabulous Fabsters, celebrating women who are FAB (Fifty and Beyond) and sharing their stories.