It is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you Bernie de Le Cuona, a brilliant BlogTour NYC connection I’m thrilled to have made during our visit to DDB (Decoration & Design Building), one of the world’s destination luxury decor showrooms.
Bernie de Le Cuona is a success story in fabric design, spun by her taste for quality and her eye for craftsmanship. Known for her paisleys and her ability to make neutral palettes look distinguished, Bernie leads what is now one of the most sought after linen collections in the world today. Her simple dream was born in her kitchen in 1992 and, with no experience, Bernie made it all happen by letting her elegance and passion lead the way.
Our BlogTour group arrived at Bernie’s showroom toward the end of the day but walking in was like a breath of fresh air. With the smell of decadent candles in the air, champagne and dessert waiting, Bernie greeted us with a poised and welcoming smile. The showroom ambience exhibited the comforts of a traditional English home with a luxury Safari feel clearly achieved by Bernie’s South Africa roots.
Bernie gave us an inspirational look into her work and travel insights. I hope you enjoy.
Greatest influences in your work?
South Africa – the textures and colors of home always make it into my collections and inspire me when I’m looking for something new. Ragamuffin, one of my favourite fabrics in my last collection has colors in it that are inspired by the Protea flower (native to South Africa) and the raw, beaten up texture of it is indicative of the rugged lifestyle of the bush.
Words of wisdom for those starting a career in textiles?
Produce the unique – there is too much fabric on the market at the moment and the world is looking for the startling.
You’re known for your wide range of hand woven paisleys and rich textured materials. What is your favorite piece in your current collection?
Florence, one of our new fabrics, was one of my favourites of the latest range because it offers a more contemporary way to look at paisley and is 100% linen, which is what we’re known for. It also comes in 10 colourways and is therefore available in dark, masculine tones (my personal preference) as well as light, feminine hues.
A quote you love?
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” -Leonardo da Vinci
Do you collect anything?
I love antiques and pieces that remind me of my travels, so I have a lot of unique objects in my home that tell a story about where I’ve been in the world. I also take pictures that I blow up and frame in my house, so a lot of our artwork is very personal to the places we’ve seen; one of my favourites is a picture of lions playing in the bush in South Africa that I took the last time we were on holiday there.
How do you relax? Where do you spend your downtime?
To relax I run – exercise is such a vital part to my day and I try to go every morning before heading into the office in the parks in Windsor with my husband and my boxer Lucy. I also love to entertain and cook, which is a great way to spend weekends. If I really want to unwind, my favourite place in the world is on the Zambezi River.
You’ve traveled the world and called some spectacular places home…
Where should we stay, what should we eat and where must we visit in South Africa?
You should stay in Cape Town around the mountain; I would recommend a hotel called “The Cape Grace.” I would definitely suggest visiting a game lodge to get a taste of Africa as well as the vineyards in the Cape – they’re incredible. Seafood is delicious in South Africa and I would specifically recommend you try crayfish – it is particularly good in the Cape.
You’ve spent so much time in London, where should we stay, what should we eat and where must we visit?
I love Kit Kemp’s hotels; we had our Christmas party at The Haymarket in London and there is an amazing indoor pool with a cocktail bar and a wall covered in a giant image of a tropical sunset – it made me forget we were in the middle of winter. For a boozy lunch go to Le Caprice – it always stays the same and has the true essence of London glamour with the fashion pack and the European elite always stepping in and out of the door. If you want a light, interesting and healthy lunch I’d go to Daylesford Organic in Pimlico that allows you to sit outside and watch the passersby. One of the good places to visit (other than our showroom on Walton St.!) is The Kings Road – it is a London institution and has the Saatchi Gallery (which is a fabulous collection of modern art) as well as Guinevere, an antiques shop full of great finds which people outside of the design industry don’t really know about.
Share my love of easy elegance and finds from around the globe that are simply fabulous? Ready to make your place a space that you adore? I’d love to help make your house a home. cecy j is currently accepting new interior projects. Let’s chat firstname.lastname@example.org