A design studio with a unique heritage, producing timeless, elegant fabrics and wallpapers
Renowned worldwide as a British company with a long-standing reputation for the finest fabrics and wallpapers, Colefax and Fowler’s heritage dates back to the 1930s, when Lady Colefax began creating interiors for her well-connected circle of friends.
In 1938 her design services became so in demand that she teamed up with the rising star of interior decorating, John Fowler. Having developed his skills in the studio of Peter Jones, where he mastered techniques such as painting chinoiserie wallpaper by hand, John’s decorative flair ensured Colefax and Fowler’s continuing reputation for beautifully-fashioned draperies.
In 1948 the company was bought by American heiress Nancy Lancaster, whose impressive social standing elevated the company into a grand new era. A few years later she bought Haseley Court in Oxfordshire, which she and John restored and decorated in the English country house style for which Colefax and Fowler has been celebrated ever since. Their first off-the-shelf fabric collections launched in 1973, with wallpapers following almost a decade later, making the company’s style accessible to a wider market. These first collections included the Bowood and Fuschia chintz patterns that have remained in production ever since.
In 1986 David Green was appointed chief executive and under his guidance Colefax and Fowler acquired not only US textile firms Cowtan and Tout, but also fabric brand Larsen, British textile brand Jane Churchill, French fabric house Manuel Canovas and British furniture maker Kingcome Sofas. Since then, Colefax and Fowler has been known for its exemplary design, quality of materials, attention to detail and collaboration with the best manufacturers in the world – part of the reason the company’s highly confidential client list includes royalty and celebrities. The design studio’s highly experienced and creative designers are dedicated to the brand and relish the entire design process, from the initial concept to the finished fabrics and wallpapers.
What sets Colefax and Fowler apart from the competition is its unique heritage and the way the design studio has evolved its philosophy over the years. Today, timeless elegance continues to define the company’s essentially English aesthetic. Their fabrics and wallpapers are characterised by sophisticated designs, created using advanced printing and weaving techniques in subtle colours. Annual collections always feature striking prints, silk and linen embroideries, luxurious velvets and weaves, and a beautiful series of decorative and textured wallpapers.
Last year’s range, for instance, combined Indienne influences with rich shades set on herringbone and linens, new checks and stripes (for an understated country look) and wallpapers re-envisioned with silk effects to evoke the sumptuous impression of wall-mounted textiles. This spring, new fabrics feature beautiful florals and elegant foliage rendered in classic prints and embroideries. These include Constance, whose garden roses epitomise country style; uplifting Eloise, with its hydrangea blossoms; Mereworth, depicting rhododendrons at their height; and the delicate tracery of fronds and ferns in Osmunda. It’s a spring showcase of design excellence elevated to the highest order.
Colefax and Fowler, 110 Fulham Road, London, SW3 6HU. +44 (0)20 7244 7427