we are inspired by many things ... not least a love of flowers

A Few words from Denise, the creator and key designer for Tilly Ba Lou

For me inspiration comes from many things but I have always had a real passion for flowers for as far back as I can remember. I simply love everything about them and in the past, much of my artwork and poetic ramblings have featured flowers in one form or another

Ramblings aside, one of the many joys of my work is being able to "play" with flowers for a photo shoot … I am truly in heaven when my workshop is filled with seasonal flowers, especially when there is scent involved too Mmmmmmmm … In fact if I wasn't doing what I'm doing now, I would definitely have trained to be a florist. In the meantime it is a joy to collaborate with some of the finest UK florists to bring you collections that seek to enhance the ambiance of a beautiful store.

Of course I am also inspired by many other things … simple things … even 1 petal off one tiny flower can inspire an entire collection … oops … did I mention I love flowers!!

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I realise how seriously obsessed I am with all things floral! I was just about to say that even something as simple as a jug can inspire a collection  … but thinking about it, the jug would have to include flowers … whether as part of design of the jug, or fresh flowers sitting inside it!

I am often inspired by something as straight forward as a cushion …. but invariably there would be flowers within the design somewhere … oops, there I go again …I can see a pattern emerging here … do you think I need sessions in therapy? … actually I once did a set of paintings entitled "Sessions in Therapy" …… Hmmmm … mind you that involved random words about angels and wire featured pretty heavily too ….

Ahem … sorry I digress … back to normality … well at least the normality that is Tilly Ba Lou …

I am also heavily influenced by the whole Shakers of New England movement

Being drawn initially from a design point of view, to the ultimate simplicity and beauty of shaker inspired furniture, led me to the story of Ann Lee, born in1747 in Manchester, England.

"Mother Ann", as the Shakers had elected her, believed she'd had a premonition where she was visited by an angel. The angel told her that she was to take her believers to America where they would build a heaven right here on earth. In 1774, Ann and 7 followers arrived in New York and so began the story of the Shakers of New England.

Although I'm not particularly a religious person (at least not in the orthodox sense), I discovered that many (although not all) of the ideals of the Shakers and their "Heaven on Earth" were also pretty much the same as my own goals, ideals and beliefs in life.

At the core of their belief system is their perspective that we are all equal parts of a universal brotherhood. Despite their very modest and often impoverished existence, their settlements offered a place where the poor would find food and shelter and to all intents and purposes they became unofficial orphanages for unwanted children.   .

They are required never to feel bitterness nor feel any desire for revenge but instead, to seek only to uncover the highest good in every person.  They value human fulfillment highly and believe that we fulfill ourselves best by being nothing more nor less than ourselves

Oooops there I go digressing again … anyhoooooow … where were we … oh yes, the simplicity and beauty of shaker inspired furniture … and so that is where the design of each of our pieces begins … with ultimate simplicity. As to our subject matter … well … hearts … angels … need I say more!

Oh dear this becoming more like a book than a web page, so I shall try to narrow this down to my 3 greatest influences (from design point of view only). I also adore Scandinavian country styling. As their winters are so dark and cold their interiors are invariably flooded with as much light and cheer as possible.  For me nobody achieves this better than Greengate ... did I mention that their designs also feature flowers in a huge way!!

once … when I became a flower
I saw that the universe held all that I needed
and it gave freely of these gifts …
sometimes it is us who must change to appreciate our good fortune 

Tilly Ba Lou

… I'll get my coat :D! …

Always with Love


aka Tilly Ba Lou ~x~


© Denise Patton Tilly Ba Lou