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Under the Sea

This week the streets of Chelsea were transformed into surreal ocean scenes. Foliage resembling coral, succulents reminiscent of elaborate seaweed, and brightly coloured flowers shaped into all kinds of whimsical underwater creatures embodied the ‘Under the Sea’ theme for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

It is a refreshingly summery theme and one that we are very familiar with here in the design studio.

Drawing inspiration from the mighty, glorious oceans and everything they encompass, here are some of the ways we have embraced the theme of ‘Under the Sea’ at Firmdale Hotels.

In The Orangery at The Whitby Hotel in New York, these antique shell-shaped chairs bring an element of whimsy, like glorious thrones fit for the Aqua Queen.

A heavily carved console table depicting Neptune’s Kingdom welcomes guests to The Whitby Penthouse Suite.

Last autumn we created a Caribbean inspired suite in Turnell & Gigon’s Chelsea Harbour showroom in London. The headboard and cushions are upholstered in Schumacher’s ‘Under the Sea’ fabric, complete with coral embroidery which brings the vibrant energy of the sea world to life.

Dotted around our hotels, you can find chests of drawers or mirrors elaborately decorated with shells. They are modern versions of Sailor’s Valentines.

Sea themed artworks are another way we bring our guests closer to the deep blue sea. In The Suffolk Suite at Haymarket Hotel, the beautiful modern needle points by Colin Millington introduce a ‘stitched’ theme, taking you on a voyage to times gone by.

In my collaboration at Bergdorf Goodman in New York you will see ‘The Last Summer’, a lyrical painting by one of my favourite artists, Ramiro Fernandez Saus. He depicts playful memories of a summer holiday, as people dive off an azure boat into the Hamptons’ seas.

A wooden artwork of a seagull found on Monhegan Island, off the coast of Maine, sits on my blue ‘One Way’ linen for Christopher Farr Cloth, another subtle nod to blue waves.

Sailor’s Farewell, my second tableware collection for Wedgwood, is a sea shanty on a plate. It narrates the adventures of a sailor on the high seas, depicting his lyrical journey both above and below the water line. The rust red sails of his sailing ship pass by whales and merfolk fishing. There are two little dogs alone on the high seas, seagulls flying above the lighthouse and the enticing sight of a house under a palm tree on a faraway desert island. Below in the depths is a frogman, a curious octopus and the flashing fins of many fishes.

To fully experience Sailor’s Farewell and embrace the flavours of the sea, opt for the Sea Bass at Ham Yard Bar & Restaurant!

Or simply purchase your own set of delicately embroidered linen placemats, napkins and tableware from Shop Kit Kemp – guaranteed to freshen up your table setting and transport you to the magical depths under the sea.

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