Riverlands: the inside story

Painting of the Upper Conwy River in the Conwy Valley

With autumn already upon us, brighten up your home with the refreshing and vibrant designs of this year’s collection: Riverlands. The exclusive prints have taken inspiration from rich foliage-lined river banks, natural patterns created by silt and pebbles and the buzzing wildlife found in these tranquil places.

Through elegant textures, autumnal spiced shades and intricate details, we celebrate how healthy rivers, streams and wetlands help support the environment and redefine places they run through. The collection also highlights how nature’s waterways nourish and inspire us with their sights and sounds of beauty while connecting us with the transitioning seasons.

Give your home an autumn refresh when you purchase this unique range. With every purchase you’ll help to protect and repair rivers and the wildlife that calls these places home.

An arched bridge over a river in the grounds of Mottisfont, Hampshire, covered with blooming roses

What makes rivers special?

Riverlands are a vital part of our natural world. They are the corridors which feed our landscapes, where our wildlife thrives and foliage blooms. For centuries, the sights, sounds and beauty of rivers have been an everyday reminder of our connection to nature. They’ve provided water for us to drink as well as for crops to grow and tranquil places to explore.

Our designers were given guided tours by rangers and river keepers when they visited their inspirational properties

Where did our designers find inspiration?

When looking for inspiration for the new collection, our designers visited a variety of rivers, streams and wetlands. They explored the woodland streams at Nymans in Sussex, the wetland at Sissinghurst in Kent and the chalk stream at Mottisfont, Hampshire. To learn more from the places they visited, our designers were given tours by the river keepers and rangers. This gave our designers an idea of the work they do to keep the water clean and healthy. As the designers saw water rush down rivers, flow through streams and trickle through babbling brooks, they were struck by the rich and varied plant life surrounding each site and the wildlife habitats it created.

" We felt inspired by the work they’re doing and felt it was important to highlight their efforts to keep these beautiful rivers and surrounding areas clean and healthy."
- Annika Robertson, Assistant Retail Designer
Paintings of dragonflies and damselflies for the 2020 spring summer collection

A story through design

As these areas buzz with life, our designers wanted this collection to have a vibrant colour palette to reflect the lush foliage and rich wildlife. With the sweeping of bold brush strokes, the designers used watercolour to infuse the life-like qualities of the loose and leafy stems and soft flowing tones of water into their designs. Making a delicate statement about the wildlife that call the rivers and wetlands home, the Mottifont insects are bold in colour and crisp in details from the use of gouache, a form of paint. When our designers had created enough paintings to tell the riverlands story, they started to compose their design ideas experimenting with layout, colour and scale.

The vibrant greens, pinks, reds and oranges of the summer 2020 print of the foliage found at Nymans, Sussex

Helping to save the nation's rivers

Today, our rivers are in trouble as only 14 per cent of our river catchments in England are in good health. With the help of local communities, our river rangers are working to revive more of them and their surroundings. They are working to slow the flow of rivers and streams to ease flooding, repair the riverbanks, improve water quality and help wildlife to flourish in and along the rivers by tackling the rise of non-native species. The future of us – and of wildlife – depends on the healthy environment rivers can thrive in.

" Rivers are the lifeblood of our landscapes but many of them – and the wider landscapes that feed into them – are in desperate need of repair."
- Hilary McGrady, Director General

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