Explore Andalusia, new for spring summer!
On Location in Andalusia: A Photographic Journal
INSPIRATION
On Location in Andalusia: A Photographic Journal
21st March 2024
Join us on this short tour of Birdie's inspiration hot spots, with many leading directly to designs from our latest collection, Andalusia. This collection encapsulates the Spanish regions' lively culture and distinctive architecture.  As with all our collections, every design and pattern tells a story inspired by Birdie’s travels and experiences, which are then reimagined across block prints, embroidery and hand-carved furniture. 

Seville

Seville is the capital city of Andalusia, famous for orange trees, Flamenco and its strong affinity for the arts and architecture.

The Southern Spanish region of Andalusia has the highest population of any in Spain, and offers some of the most beautiful beaches on the coastline. Picturesque white-washed villages with cobbled streets and lively communities nestle in valleys and on hilltops, and the area is also home to the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which includes the highest peak in mainland Spain, Mulhacén. It's easy to see why Birdie chose this region as her main source of inspiration and creativity for our new collection. The vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and rich history provide endless possibilities for artistic expression, and not to mention the opportunity for (research) excursions!

Catedral de Sevilla 

The Catedral de Sevilla is an architectural masterpiece in Seville, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed over a century in Gothic and Renaissance styles, it houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus and boasts the title of one the largest Gothic cathedrals globally. Adorned with intricate altarpieces and priceless artworks, the cathedral stands as a symbol of Seville's rich cultural heritage and religious devotion. Our Capilla print, sitting across cushions and lampshades, is a tiled geometric inspired by the Capilla Mayor, which is the main chapel inside the cathedral.

Capilla Block Print Lampshade

Our Capilla is a soft geometric design inspired by the ceramic tiles seen in the Catedral de Sevilla in Spain. The Capilla Block Print Lampshade is an easy to style design and pairs beautifully with our signature Twisted Table Lamps. Block printed in India, this unique lampshade can be used as both a pendant shade or on a lamp base. With three fresh colourways to choose from, this lampshade provides a playful addition to any scheme and is perfect for refreshing an existing lamp. The small scale geometric design is contemporary yet timeless and works particularly well when styled with our Etched Glass Lamp, either as a bedside table light or a feature on a console table.

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The Santa Cruz District

The bustling Santa Cruz area in Seville is characterised by its intricate Moorish influences and light buildings decorated with vibrant ceramic tiles, this district was once known as the Jewish quarter of the city. Interestingly, our delicate floral Andalusia motif was taken from a Moorish inspired design, earning its revival for this collection. The floral design parallels beautifully with this area, streets are blessed with hidden courtyards and traditional balconies overflowing with flowers. Santa Cruz is nestled within the shadow of the Catedral de Sevilla and the Real Alcaázar of Seville - its one of Birdie's favourite areas showcasing an authentic Andalusia to those who are lucky enough to visit.

Andalusia Cushion

A revived design, our timeless Andalusia Cushion is the perfect floral for summer. Encapsulating the vibrant cities of the Spanish Coast, this stunning pattern will suit both contemporary and classic interiors alike. Handmade in India and designed in Norfolk, this intricate block print sits on a premium cotton linen blend and is finished with a smart green piping. Generous in size, these stylish cushions provide the perfect backdrop to a Spring Summer sofa arrangement, or can be styled as a standalone statement on a bed or armchair

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Plaza de España

The Plaza de España in the Parque de María Luisa (Maria Luisa Park) Seville, is a wonderful example of Spanish architectural magnificence. Designed for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition, its semi-circular layout features ornate bridges, colourful tiled alcoves, and a central fountain. Decorated with colourful ceramic tiles depicting Spain's provinces, it is truly a sight to behold and definitely worth a visit.

Real Alcaázar of Seville

The historic palace Real Alcázar of Seville is a testament to the city's deep past and cultural fusion, and is actually one of the oldest palaces still in use in Europe as the official residence of the Spanish royal family when in Seville. The Palace’s architectural design seamlessly blends Moorish, Mudejar, Renaissance, and Baroque elements, reflecting centuries of successive influences. Intricately carved stucco, ornate tilework, and majestic arches dress its halls, courtyards and lush gardens, creating a stunning tapestry of patterns and textures. An excellent location for gathering inspiration!

Casa de Pilatos 

Casa de Pilatos, nestled in the heart of Seville, is renowned for its unique blend of architectural styles including Mudejar, Renaissance, and Gothic elements. Its grandiose façade with exquisite mosaics, tiling, stone work, and lush gardens, offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of its former aristocratic inhabitants - it has actually been used as as a filming location for various films and television series, including "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Game of Thrones." Our chic Mosaic Lamp is a shining example of the influence the stunning colours had on the design process, this lamp is a showstopper piece!

From the Journal
A Spotlight on the Mosaic Lamp

An excited buzz surrounds our mysterious Mosaic Lamp, beautiful and bejewelled. As with every design, each piece tells a story, and the stunning Mosaic Lamp has a fascinating background. Join us in exploring this special lamp - it's one of Birdie's favourite pieces from the new collection.

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Handcrafted in India this original design was inspired by a beautiful antique inlaid table Birdie admired in Jaipur. Generously sized, our lamp has a softly curved shape reminiscent of ancient pottery and features a smooth mosaic of playfully irregular stripes. Each stripe colour is a different semi-precious stone formed naturally over thousands of years, and they have been sourced for us from the Rajasthan state of India itself. This process not only leaves each lamp entirely unique, but infuses the essence of a captivating journey and a sense of authenticity into every piece. Despite having only just been released exclusively by Birdie Fortescue, these Mosaic Lamps already have a tapestry of history, with each stone and mark telling their own story.

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Córdoba

Córdoba, is a historic city not too far from Seville, renowned for its mixed cultural heritage, architectural sights and love of patios. The city holds an annual festival known as "La Fiesta de los Patios" (The Festival of the Patios). During this May festival, homeowners open their traditionally decorated Andalusian patios to the public, showcasing vibrant flowers, ceramic tile work, pottery and water features.

Palacio de Viana

Palacio de Viana is a 15th century palace situated in Córdoba, its renowned for its remarkable collection of patios and courtyards. An intriguing aspect is the palace’s status as a "living museum," where descendants of the original owners still reside, maintaining the centuries-old traditions and heritage of the palace. Additionally, Palacio de Viana houses a diverse array of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and antique furniture - a home from home for Birdie!

Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba

Originally built as a mosque in the 8th century during the Islamic rule of the region, Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba was later converted into a Catholic cathedral in the 13th century. Therefore this cathedral boasts a blend of Moorish and Christian architecture, with the iconic horseshoe arches and intricate Islamic motifs balanced with the grandeur of Gothic and Renaissance elements often found in Christian design. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its imposing forest of columns and magnificent red-and-white striped arches - a beautiful example of cultural synthesis.

Our Cordoba Design

Cordoba is a hero motif within our collection, Andalusia, and this design finds its roots on a panel in the Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba (above, right). For Birdie this motif instantly resonated with its almost contemporary look, despite the cathedral being built in the 8th century. The charming design is equal parts floral and geometric with a whimsical element, making it perfect for Spring Summer, and suitable for almost any interior design style.

“I envisaged the trailing design looking incredibly fresh featured in bold tones against an off white background, with this idea developing into our Cordoba Block Print Cushion. We felt the design should be large enough in scale to be a ‘hero’ print in the collection but one that could be easily styled within existing schemes. Alongside the block print we decided to embroider the design onto the smaller Cordoba Embroidered Velvet Cushion, and I love how this turned out. The two Cordoba cushions juxtopose with each other in a playful, textural way, that look great when layered into your sofa arrangement” 

This process of inspiration and design not only leaves each piece entirely unique and crafted with care, but infuses the essence of a captivating journey and a sense of authenticity into every item. From delicate motifs, unique home accessories and hand crafted wooden furniture, to statement lighting and soft textiles, the Andalusia Collection celebrates sun-filled days and balmy evenings - much like summer days spent in Southern Spain itself.

Cordoba Block Print Cushion

The sumptuous Cordoba Block Print Cushion is a timeless addition to any room - perfect as a single cushion or layered within your existing scheme. Inspired by a detail seen in the Cordoba's Mezquita, the motif has been designed by Birdie and features throughout our Andalusia collection. Block printed by hand in India using a high quality cotton/linen blend, this distinctive cushion is finished with a charming ric-rac trim. This motif can also be found on our luxurious Cordoba Embroidered Velvet Cushion.

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