Juliet Thornback and Delia Peel are the creative duo behind many of our most treasured items at home. Their work is ‘a celebration of the quirkiness of British humour and design’, often featuring elegant pairings drawn from nature, such as blackbird & bramble, dog & daisy and their now iconic rabbit & cabbage. We sat down with them for a cup of tea at the kitchen table - the place where once they planned their next collection and now serves as both the inspiration and end destination for many of their beautifully quirky designs.
Let’s start by setting the scene. Describe your perfect coffee or tea moment at home.
Juliet Thornback (JT): Saturday morning sneaking back up to bed with a cup of English breakfast
Delia Peel (DP): A cup of coffee on a sunny morning, in a deckchair, in the garden.
Why did you start Thornback & Peel?
DP: It was a way of getting back in to screen printing in between theatre jobs and then it just continued to evolve and take over. Some products came out of necessity, Juliet was searching for a present for her father in law, an avid handkerchief user, and thought that printing a hanky with beetles would appeal., and it did!
What does the kitchen table mean to you? What role does it play in your home and/or business life?
JT: The kitchen table is the hub of the house. All the projects, great and small happen here and then get cleared away for eating. Delia and I used to plan collections at the kitchen table in each others flats, this was in the pre studio days now our print table now holds this function.
What is your favourite thing to do at your kitchen table?
DP: I think my favourite is preparing food with my siblings and our children, particularly the podding, peeling and chopping of vegetables for a feast. This is no mean feat as the vegetables from my Mother’s garden are delicious but often pretty gnarly. I love the easy, cosy chat that comes with sitting side by side round the table focused on a task.
What’s new in the world of Thornback & Peel and what’s on the agenda for the coming months?
DP: We’re really excited about our new furnishing fabric collection which we’ve just launched and some exciting new collaborations coming up for next year.
In your opinion, what makes the perfect gift?
JT: A bit of a cliché but it’s the thought that counts
What’s on your Christmas wishlist this year?
DP: An apple tree for my garden
JT: A new pair of very warm slippers
Do you have any unusual Christmas traditions at Thornback & Peel?
DP: We particularly love our studio secret santa, I think the best one so far was the year of the ugliest mug. This year it’s Christmas decorations.
Shop the full collection of homewares and gifts at www.thornbackandpeel.co.uk.