Monday, 22 July 2013

Guest Post: Oval Soul*

Sara Baillie is my kind of girl.  Obsessed with vintage patterns, prints and designs, she loves rummaging in bric-a-brac stores and antique fairs then revamping her finds.  When she asked if I would like to feature her gorgeous cushions on my blog, I took one look at her online shop and was immediately sold.  

Gorgeous, jewel-bright colours, with bold prints and stunning got-to-touch-them-trimmings, these cushions have a modern-vintage vibe and I am in love.

Sara is a freelance writer and lives in Birmingham with her husband Max and her adorable son, Dexter, who's 2.  She's an inspiring woman to know; she loves a good slab of homemade cakes and enjoys a bit of a dance round her living room from time to time.  However, despite being a working mother, with another baby on the way, she also manages to create beautiful home accessories which she sells alongside a few vintage goodies that she unearths on her travels.

Oval Soul was born when Sara was looking for cushions for her home that would add a bit of zing to a room; she wanted bright, on-trend patterns with beautiful trimmings.  Understated is not the Oval Soul way!  As well as fabulous design, Sara also wanted quality fabrics and materials and, like many of us, it was important to her that they be manufactured in the UK. 

It occurred to Sara that she couldn't be the only one struggling to find such items and having put together a few ideas, she created a selection of prototypes and started to sell them at craft fairs.  Unsurprisingly, they were very well-received and Sara was soon producing more and more to meet an increasing demand.  Very quickly, it became apparent that Sara's personal sewing machine wasn't going to keep up; especially as it was important to ensure consistency across the range.  

A small, local, manufacturing company just down the road from Sara makes the cushions now which makes Sara very happy.  Having grown up in Birmingham, surrounded by closed factories and failed industries, she likes the idea of a nice group of ladies at the factory sewing her cushions.  I love that Oval Soul is supporting the local textile industry and can confirm that those nice ladies at the factory are doing a stirling job!  The cushions are exceptionally well made and the beautiful trimmings that Sara selects are very sturdily attached (totally on my radar now following the disappointing shedding of pompoms from my gorgeous, but shoddily made, Cath Kidston tapestry cushion).  Sara uses fabrics and trimmings from UK companies and specially selected feather and fibre inserts also made here in the UK.  

Not only are the cushions bedecked with silky tassels or fluffy pompoms, they are also reversible.  A genius idea, Sara wanted to achieve two looks from one cushion.  The large floral prints are my favourite, but the three cushions I chose are backed with the most amazing geometric prints in contrasting colours and it's difficult to decide which side to show off! 

Bright yellow fabric, hot pink pompoms with a monochrome geometric pattern on the reverse.  Stunning.

Love this yellow geometric floral with peacock blue trim.  Swoon.

If you fancy treating yourself to a few new beauties, Sara has offered a generous 25% discount to my blog friends; just use the code HOMEBIRD25 at checkout.  My cushions are seriously gorgeous but you don't have to choose the same ones as me, you can switch trimmings, fabrics and colours.  Pop over and have a look.  You will also find napkins, tea towels, cards and a few one-off vintage items.  Let me know what you choose! 

Thank you, Sara, for affording me the opportunity to review your cushions and do let me know when gorgeous Dexter's little sister arrives!  :)



* for those of you wondering, Sara's brand name was inspired by a Sylvia Plath poem about balloons.

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  1. Oh Nicki, these are utterly lovely!! The first time I have been tempted to break my self imposed spending ban!! :-)

    I love the story behind their creation,

    Jem xXx

  2. Oh they are GORGEOUS!...and I do love a pompom.

    Bellaboo X