Our dear friend, decorator Mario Buatta, called the other day looking for foxglove plants for clients in Texas and though we haven’t featured these plants in our collection in years, we were more than happy to oblige. Given his love for classic English style and use of floral prints, Mario is the so-called “Prince of Chintz” (a nickname he received twenty-five years ago).
With its hand-drawn, exotic flowery patterns and beautiful colors, Indian chintz (from Hindi meaning sprinkled or sprayed) was introduced to the English by the British East India Company in the 1600’s. The fabric’s soft texture and easy maintenance (compared to the wools and linens that were de rigueur in those days) made it an instant success and its popularity has never faded.
Some may think of chintz as fussy and old-fashioned, but we think that the new patterns being introduced by the likes of Celerie Kemble and Cath Kidston are fresh and fun. Mario couldn’t agree more – “Every decade has had its chintz. It’s like having a garden in your house year-round, and it’s cheaper!”