Paris truly is the city of love, so it's only apropos that Canada's love affair with bluebellgray should begin there. Arren Williams of Hudson's Bay made the home-textiles-love connection with Fiona Douglas when they met at Maison et Objet, and her vibrant and joyful collection of home textiles and furnishings has now launched here in Canada this Fall.
Coming from a family that was quite clearly either artistically or medically minded, Fi fell to the artistic side of the family tree right from the start. Inspired by children's illustrator Quentin Blake and her Mum's use of colour, flowers and beautiful books in the house, Fiona pursued her love of beauty when she enrolled in the prestigious Glasgow School of Art's fine art program.
While Fiona enjoyed the opportunity to hone and refine her skills in Glasgow, she found that the fine arts program and it's classical roots felt somehow restrictive. She was soon to discover - through the nudgings of a good friend - that the real problem was quite simply that the canvas was too small for Fiona's expansive imagination.
Fiona made the switch to textile design on the promptings of a friend in the program who saw the freedom Fi needed and encouraged her to embrace it via a slight change in medium and a broadening of her canvas and her horizons. As I'm sure you would agree, the results are truly beautiful and offer us the opportunity to dream watercolour dreams filled with vibrant colour and unrestricted imagination as we tuck ourselves into bed each night.
|Image via Hudson's Bay|
All of the furniture pieces in the collection for Hudson's Bay are not only exclusive, but also made right here in Toronto at a small father-daughter studio. She's my kind of girl, that Fi, as she truly believes in supporting the local economy and local artisans as she shares her inspiration with the world. Integrity and human kindness really are two of the most profound forms of beauty, after all.
I hope Fiona's beautiful, handpainted bluebellgray collection has inspired you to follow your dreams, expand your canvas, and leave your own unique mark of beauty on the world. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Fi! I look forward to tea together again the next time you are this side of the pond.