“My favourite building for inspiration is the Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm,” she says. This is the private residence of the Swedish Royal family and a popular tourist attraction in Sweden. King Gustav III, who lived there in the 18th century was a huge fan of the extravagant court life of Versailles and he popularised the eponymous Gustavian style, which is essentially a more restrained, pared down, version of the elaborate French designs. The furniture still has all the intricate carved detail, but instead of being made from expensive Maghogany, it was made from cheaper pine and then painted which fitted with the more democratic Swedish approach of producing furniture that would be affordable for all.
“I love the Gustavian colours, they are so beautiful and they work so well in our European light. The whole palette has a little bit of grey in it,” says Coady.
For those who were thinking that Scandinavian design is all monochrome, it is. Unless it’s being Gustavian, in which there are lots of muted blues and yellows, mixed with the white and woods and natural textures.
A typically Gustavian sofa, bought from Ikea, which Coady covered in her signature fabric – the colours of the Rococo shops in fact. And talking of which Coady has to run now. That book won’t publish itself you know. Before I leave she shows me the newest textiles. In addition to the aprons and tea towels you can now buy the fabric by the metre and in oilcloth to go on the table. As I look at the paper boxes filled with chocolates I remark idly.
The rococo design is on aprons, tea towels, mugs and cushions. “Given your love of colour, why don’t you make all these things in other shades: this orange, that purple and that pale blue.”
Coady fixes me with her intense blue gaze. “I hadn’t thought of that,” she says quietly. But I can hear her mind whirring.
Remember, you heard it here first.