My favouritist (I’m allowed to use made up words) art brand ever in the world is Ibride. It’s a French design company whose name means ‘hybrid’ and when you see their furniture and accessory designs, you’ll see why they named themselves as such. When expanding my shop’s offerings from fabrics & wallpapers to accessories for the home, Ibride was at the top of my list and I was mega excited when they said yes, I could stock them, as I am in love with everything they design. Not only do they produce exquisitely painted animals (and you know I LOVE my animals) in gorgeous outfits, but the company’s products are quirky, fun, beautifully crafted and original.
I’m not entirely sure how Ibride went down in the little Cheshire town of Knutsford, I think a lot of people were confused! But my more design-led customers really got it and I was surprised by how much I actually sold. The fact that someone once said on the phone, whilst standing outside our shop in front of our Ibride window display, “I’m stood outside that shop that sells all the really weird stuff”, (!!) well, I just took that as a compliment because at least my shop was memorable to them! And to be fair, Ibride is a little bit weird, it’s meant to be, it’s provocative and exciting, and not everyone is going to like it’s slightly dark connotations.
But I do. I absolutely love it. And although I’m sure their pieces look amazing in super modern, maybe minimalist, interiors, they also really suit my decorating style when I’m doing more decorative, country-style interiors, as they give traditional rooms a bit of funky edge and a twist that you might not expect.
When my client wanted a countrified, Ralph Lauren style TV room, and we chose Mulberry’s Flying Ducks wallpaper, a pair of big comfy leather sofas, a plaid wing chair and oodles of patterned cushions, I knew that Ibride would have the perfect artwork for the walls. We plumped for one of their bookcases depicting an extremely handsome fellow called Bel-Ami, and a tray that can be hung on the wall, which showed an exotic silk-robed monkey called Cornelius. I think they look fab.
Another country interior I styled was for my shop window display, where I used a hunting scene wallpaper, an ethnic covered armchair, shots of lime, orange and purple, all teamed with a leopard print carpet. This time I went for a bookcase showing Rastignac, a curious devilish horse with horns who just looks naughty! And a tray of a wolf and a lamb in a fine brocaded military jacket. When chatting to customers about Rastignac, I used to tell them that if I were a lady horse, I’d fancy the pants off Rastignac because he just has that look in his eye. Most people would look at me like I was unhinged, but I met one lovely lady who felt exactly the same, and we bonded over our love for the rapscallion horse with the raffish hair and horns, in his dapper suit and skull tiepin, who would seduce you (if you were a lucky lady horse) and then toss you aside in favour of his next conquest. Ah, I miss my shop and my lovely customers!
When asked to design the refurb of a pub in Knutsford, a country Cheshire town with the beautiful Tatton Park on its doorstep, and given a brief of ‘quirky and unusual’, I knew Ibride’s tray artworks would be perfect. I set them against a gorgeous inky blue in one of the rooms. And then popped my husband in front when taking a quick snapshot of them! He’s going to kill me when he sees that I’ve posted this picture but it’s the only one I have of the trays in situ, and he looks lovely, so he’ll just have to forgive me. And please can I just clarify: that glass of wine has soda in it…I wasn’t drinking a pint of wine!
When I decorated my bathroom at the flat above the shop, and I wanted to create a Victorian gothic style look, I knew that once again, Ibride were my go-to brand. I was very lucky because a gallery of Ibride trays like mine below would normally cost a small fortune, but as a stockist, I had purchased them at trade. They aren’t a budget brand, but as with all good art, they are something that you save up for and invest in. Having said that, the smaller trays start at around £50 so actually quite affordable as one-offs. I was lucky to borrow all the trays I wanted to use from my shop’s stock. The only problem is that I never put them back, and then we closed the shop. So I’m ‘stuck’ with them now! Damn it. *rubs hands in villainous manner*
And finally, a little duck tray called Achille made his way into my bedroom where I wanted a midnight garden full of midnight animals.
So, as you can see, I’m rather partial to using Ibride’s artwork! But it’s not the only thing they do, they also make furniture and other accessories which are equally as creative, quirky, fun and expressive.
But it’s the trays and bookcases that make my heart sing.
The smaller bookcase range called ‘Les Secrétaires Particuliers’…
Mid-sized bookcases called ‘Les Confidents’…
And their larger scale cupboards, named ‘Les Valets’…
I would happily have each and every one of them if I could!
And finally, to finish off with, just a small selection of their gorgeous trays:
Notice anything strange about the last one? That’s Bianca, and she was on our shop wall for ages and I never noticed anything odd at all, until a customer one day pointed something out to us. And I’m going to leave that one with you! Answers on a postcard. Or better still, in the comments box below!
I hope you enjoyed today’s spotlight on Ibride, and it’s got me wondering how many of us have one particular brand that is our absolute go-to whenever we’re decorating. Let me know if you have one and what it is, so that I can have a nosey at it myself. In the meantime, I’ll be dreaming up new ways I can use Ibride in my schemes… so clients, watch out, or your whole house will be full of them!
© Carnival Of Colour 2016