Living With Kids: Jane Foster

September 13, 2011

Have you ever seen a breath of fresh air? It usually appears suddenly, boldly, always beautifully, and leaves you much happier than you were just a second ago. And that’s exactly how I’d describe Jane Foster’s home. Jane is a brilliant screen printer and fabric wizard who lives in Totnes Devon in the UK with her partner and young daughter. Together they’ve built a contemporary modern eco home where she creates all of her happy designs. I promise her home tour will make you want to paint every wall in your house white!

Three words to describe your decorating style:

Retro, cheerful, and mid-century modern.

Tell us the story of the caravan! Do you use it for travel or as an outdoor space?

Our caravan is used for holidays in Cornwall.

That red poppy table and pink couch are unexpected and very cool bursts of color. Where did you find them?

They were both from different antique shops in Brighton. I spotted the Marimekko formica table in a junk shop one Sunday and phoned them to ask if I could buy it. They opened up the shop the same day and sold it to me! The rest of the shop was old horrid-looking antiques so this caught my eye!

Your collections are so unique. Who are your favorite artists to collect?

I don’t collect any one artist, just ones that catch my eye. I particularly love Scandinavian ceramics from the 50s and 60s. The cars and figurines are all from second-hand shops, car boot sales and eBay. The artwork on the walls is mostly my own or a friend’s.

I love the yellow picnic table. How do you use that outdoor space?

The doors are open in the summer to create one large living space. We often have a paddling pool on the deck, rugs and floor cushions. It’s an easy, low maintenance space. In the winter, we make our space cozier by closing off the room with curtains and getting our log burner going.

What is your secret to using so many bright colors together?

Keep the walls white! I tend to prefer bold primary colours to pastels. I avoid black and brown and we have pale maple floor which also reflects the light and keeps the space bright and sunny.

What is that little piece in the corner of your family room? It looks like slices of pie. I’m so curious!

This is a Dutch 1950s birch-ply sewing box! It’s one of my favourite belongings.

I don’t see a television. Your home looks almost too creative to have one!

We have a very small TV that sits on a small low down table on casters so it can be wheeled in and out of the corner and is never a focal point!

What does your daughter love most about this space?

She can ride her scooter up and down the open plan space and can dance to my piano playing!

Shops or sources you can’t leave without buying something for your home:

A car boot sale or Ikea.

Where do you find the most design inspiration?

Looking through coffee table design books from the 60s and 70s. For example, The House Book by Terence Conran and anything by Marimekko.

Your family room works best when…

we’re all in one room doing what we all love: drawing, painting, or dancing to my piano playing. Mostly nursery rhymes for my daughter!

Did you just add Buy White Paint to your to-do list? I did, too. Thank you, darling Jane, for inspiring us with your fresh style! By the way, I very much prefer car boot sale to flea market, don’t you? Be sure to keep Jane’s shop on your radar as she’s just about to launch a new Make Your Own Santa kit and add more adorable Clothkits designs to her collection.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeannie September 13, 2011 at 7:21 am

I will keep my eye out for that make-your-own santa kit! Jane Foster’s designs make me smile. I admire her for building a cheery business.

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2 Heather September 13, 2011 at 7:35 am

I love her home…it’s all so deliciously fun!

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3 Christa The BabbyMama September 13, 2011 at 7:54 am

Oh my gosh, love it!!

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4 Wind and Willow Home September 13, 2011 at 7:56 am

What a wonderful and creative space. Yes, white paint is on the list.

What is a “car boot sale” ?

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5 This girl loves to Talk September 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm

the boot is what you would call the trunk. Australians say Boot aswell :)

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6 Starr September 17, 2011 at 5:42 am

American-style garage/yard sales don’t happen in the UK. Instead, people fill up their car trunks with stuff to sell & have a mini-flea market. There’s one that happens in a sheep field near my house every Saturday morning.

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7 Erin September 13, 2011 at 8:17 am

Love, love, love! So terrifically whimsical and modern at the same time. What my design taste would be if I didn’t have a husband to factor in…

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8 wordplayhouse™ September 13, 2011 at 8:32 am

Cheerful.

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9 Ashlea Walter September 13, 2011 at 8:54 am

Oh my goodness, I could just move right on. Thank you – I’m inspired!

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10 CMN September 13, 2011 at 9:23 am

Thanks for the introduction to Jane’s style, G. I especially love the caravan and that quilt – oh, that quilt!

And, {cough cough}, A “Make your own Santa Kit”?!? I’m dying! Sounds so intriguing…

Cheers!

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11 Design Mom September 14, 2011 at 3:06 am

For sure. It’s hard not to covet that caravan.

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12 Ale September 13, 2011 at 9:26 am

This house really can cheer you up!!! I love it!
Wind and Willow Home: A car boot sale is a sort of garage sale or market in a field, where everyone can go and (paying a little fee to the organizators) open the boot of their car and take out from there and sell everything they don’t need anymore, from clothes to furniture to toys to pottery, really everything. It’s fun, you go around and look, and you’ll always end up finding something you like, for a reasonable price.

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13 Marina {Yummy Mummy} September 13, 2011 at 9:29 am

Oh this is all so so cute!

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14 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag September 13, 2011 at 10:39 am

Fun fun and more fun! I love this. More house tours s’il vous plait! :)

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15 Design Mom September 14, 2011 at 3:06 am

Thanks for the feedback, Melissa.

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16 Adrienne September 13, 2011 at 10:41 am

This is so cheerful – you have to smile when you see those touches of pink in the house!

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17 Design Mom September 14, 2011 at 3:06 am

That pink couch!

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18 Jennelle September 13, 2011 at 10:53 am

What a fun inspirational space! And that dutch sewing box is really cool too, have not seen anything like it before.

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19 Noemi @ GetFreeBabyCoupons September 13, 2011 at 11:11 am

Wow, the colors are so vibrant. I love them, it’s really refreshing. I love everything from Marimekko, Finnish and Scandinavian design rules :)

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20 Amanda September 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I love how many places she has to keep things and yet it doesn’t feel like they have too many things.

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21 Design Mom September 14, 2011 at 3:05 am

Love that observation, Amanda.

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22 mandi@herbanhomestead September 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm

What a fun home! Thanks for spotlighting this cheery, creative artist!

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23 Design Mom September 14, 2011 at 3:05 am

Cheery is the perfect word!

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24 Eleanor September 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I lived in England as a child and my sisters and I wore Clothkits clothes all the time. My girls now wear our old ones, and I am so excited to find that they are back in business!

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25 elizabeth@doievenlikethis September 13, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Just delightful. A visually appealing delight.

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26 CarrieO September 13, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I love that double decker bus print! Where did that come from?

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27 Cheryl September 14, 2011 at 9:53 am

I wanted to know that as well!

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28 sienna September 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm

amazing. i love it.

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29 Claire September 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm
30 Kathy Ayers September 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Whatever is a car boot sale? I loved her ideas though. But then again, Ikea is my favorite store of all times….

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31 This girl loves to Talk September 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Boot is the Trunk to you americans… Australians say Boot aswell :)

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32 Beth September 13, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Amazing. I never would have thought that white walls would be something that I’d consider. After seeing this, though? Absolutely. And the possibilities are endless.

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33 Design Mom September 14, 2011 at 3:04 am

Such a revelation!

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34 kaylovesvintage September 15, 2011 at 3:43 am

wonderful vingtage home

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35 Kelly Atkins September 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm

So inspiring! Does anyone know where she got that credenza with the light wood and baby blue doors?

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36 kathy September 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm

i am repainting my 110 yr old house, and have been loving the whole ‘white theme” that is so fashionable now, and have done the living area of my house in white, but was tossing up whether going all the way was too much, but since i have so many bright “things” i think now i am going to go the whole way!! looks amazing, i feel so inspired now. I think white can also hide faults in “vintage” homes like mine

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37 Stephanie September 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm

So inspiring indeed! I hopped on the colored walls bandwagon a few years ago when we finally had a place where we could PAINT THE WALLS. I was so tired of white walls. But I think this post converted me. For someone who swoons for vintage pyrex and retro print fabric, it gives your eyes the ability to focus on those things.
Also, I’m in love with the black wire multi colored wall shelves…do you know where those can be found?? Looked to me like they popped up in a few different rooms, so I’m hoping they might be out in the retail world…

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38 carina September 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm

This is such a delightful post… thank you so much for introducing me to Jane Foster!

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39 Lola October 2, 2011 at 5:12 pm

That slices of pie sewing box is wonderful – mid-century style has really been growing on me recently, and this interview just cemented my love!

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40 Jane Foster October 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Hi,
I’ve just stumbled upon your feature of me and hadn’t realized it had been launched! Thank you so much for all the wonderful chat and lovely comments! x
Jane

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41 siane October 9, 2011 at 2:19 am

The bus print is by Takashi Furuya. You can buy it here:
http://www.illustratedliving.co.uk/ShowDetails.asp?id=738

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