Nicola Holden Designs – Contemporary Interior Designer, London.

It has been such a long time since my last blog post, and it’s not for lack of content. My head has been full of ideas, but I just haven’t been able to find the time to write. The end of March and beginning of April saw me incredibly busy finishing off a client’s project in Covent Garden (more on that to come) and then I had a much needed holiday in Morocco which I will share with you soon.

But, before things got so busy I was invited to a screen printing demonstration at Clarissa Hulse. I have long been a fan of Clarissa’s gorgeous fabrics, and have used them in my own home and on clients’ projects.

Clarissa Hulse Products

The evening started with a talk by Clarissa herself, explaining how she fell in love with painting on silk as a child, and the way that silk plays with light. Clarissa uses botanical patterns in her designs, and prints using opaque, matt colours. This ensures that the base colour doesn’t show through, allowing the printed colours to ‘zing off the silk’! Clarissa loves using clashing colours on the opposite side of the spectrum to dramatic effect.

Clarissa's talk

To create her designs, Clarissa gathers plants which she then presses and photographs, rather than sketch. I like that sort of art! The images are then manipulated slightly to get the finished design. Hundreds of swatches of different colours are then printed before the final combinations are selected.


Fabric by the meter is printed in India due to the lack of decent printers in UK, and because the hand printing process is more common in India, allowing smaller runs to be printed. The patchwork cushions are made up by an East End charity for people with mental health problems. Clarissa also sells bags made by upcycling the backing cloth from her print tables.

Fabric colour

After her talk we were all treated to a demonstration of the screen printing process. I wish we had been allowed to try our hand at screen printing. Maybe next time…

Screen printing

I think her products are a wonderful way of adding those splashes of colour to your scheme, and the zingy colours and botanical shapes will certainly add life to your design.

So are you, like me, a Clarissa Hulse convert, or do your tastes lie elsewhere?

“It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable colour to every object; beware of this stumbling block.”
Paul Gauguin

Images © Nicola Holden.

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