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The story of our Francesca print

The story of our Francesca print

Our Francesca pattern tells a story of nature, texture and scale. A pretty watercolour design created for us by North Yorkshire-based artist Francesca Wardle, the painting delicately depicts the winding branches of an oak tree in all of its grace and grandeur.

While at home in the Wiltshire countryside during 2020, and immersed in the bucolic beauty of their surroundings, for our creative founder, Emma, and co-founder John, inspiration couldn’t help but strike, and their thoughts turned to the iconic oak. While the tree itself is synonymous with Neptune, its timber making up the majority of our furniture collection, the couple looked at it through a new lens, rediscovering the joy of holding a freshly fallen leaf and musing on the beauty and promise of the humble acorn. The Francesca print was born.

Deeply rooted in nature with a whimsical, painterly twist, the pattern features detailed leaves and nuts sprouting from sprawling, twisting branches, encapsulating an oak tree in its prime, while also hinting at the passing of time, growth, and renewal.

‘I kept the pattern realistic to create an indoor connection to the landscape, painting in watercolour inks for a flowing, simple and calming design,’ says Francesca. ‘I really wanted to capture the unique magnificence of the British oak and do its beauty justice. Oaks live for hundreds of years and I love the idea that this timeless print will celebrate that with its own long lifespan within the home.’

Francesca is the first fabric pattern we’ve developed in two sizes – a smaller version which is on an intricate, almost true to life scale that works beautifully on pieces such as cushions and small upholstery, and a dramatic, larger interpretation which emphasizes each brushstroke and is designed for larger items such as curtains, headboards and sofas. Combine the two scales in one space (or on a single piece of furniture) to create a sense of depth and contrast, and mix and match our tonal palette of purple-tinged Peat, soft pink Old Rose, earthy green Moss and pale Flax Blue to enhance the whimsical feel.

Everything we make is focused on natural materials, as we find that, as well as being physically suited to creating pieces for the home, they have inherent characteristics that are grounding and soothe the soul. Woven from a mix of 60% linen and 40% cotton, Francesca’s fine, naturally occurring slubs (slightly raised, thicker parts of the yarn) nod to the organic texture of linen and invite you to reach out and run a hand along it.

It’s this tactility that draws us closer to the pieces we choose to bring into our home, allowing us to connect to them. Touch has the power to create experiences that the eye simply can’t see – visually, the Francesca pattern speaks of ancient woodland, fairy tales and leaf-laden forest floors, while running a palm over it will transport you to the flax fields of Belgium, each thread speaking of sunlight, harvests, and age-old craft tradition.

You can see Francesca in more detail – in all four colourways and both scales – here, and order samples to see at home here.