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Celebrating Colour

My love for colour and its celebration in The Julia Brendel Textile Collection, came from my own heritage. It is a truth that we feel more comfortable with a pallet drawn from our own environment; the landscape, cultural places we grew up with and the like. Colour tastes can be such an individual thing, there should not be one rule for all.

Vibrant textiles from Julia Brendel Collection

Pink,Yellow and red colour combination

Although I was brought up in a communist country literally laminated with grey concrete, my family home was quite different. My Mum once said to me “There is no such thing as a wrong colour, there is only a colour in the wrong place”. And she celebrated it big time!


When I was about 22 years of age, my Mother decided to paint our entire house in a deep mustardy shade. This was a time when almost every interior in Poland was painted white! When I walked in and saw the decorator (Mr. Krzysiu, as we called him) on a ladder, I asked him if he was putting some anti-fungal treatment on the walls, as I could not believe my Mother- the rebel- would choose such a colour to live in. She had! She also had her antique sofa and armchairs upholstered in a beautiful pink Spanish fabric, which she bought for more than she earned.

India Chenille Fabric (curtains) Hungarica Fuchsia (chair)

Hot Pink and Yellow Gold colour combination featuring India Peela/Gold (curtains) and Hungarica Fuchsia/Red (chair upholstery)

The contrast was striking! And beautiful! Our visitors, family and friends were shocked coming to the house. Some absolutely loved it and quickly painted their own walls some strong colours, others…did not.

Not to labour the point, but a few years later, everyone’s homes were filled with coloured walls!

My mum was a strong influence but not the only one. Even during communist times, where a mix of grey and more grey ruled, I was in awe of colourful folk costumes, different in each region of my home country often represented at church processions and during official events. Skilfully embroidered colourful textiles made into clothes were a feast for my young eyes.

Corpus Cristi Procession in National Polish costumes from Lowicz
Photography By Wiola Wiaderek

Lowicz / Poland - June 15 2017: Procession during celebration of Corpus Christi holiday, people dressed in traditional Polish folk colorful costumes.


After working for years in the art and design industry, I have learnt that colour popularity changes with time and current fashion inspirations. What is a no-go today will be a yes, sooner or later, so it is only about what you want in your house and not about what is on the front pages of glossy magazines.

We all have our personal favourites, colours we feel good with and some, that are out of our comfort zone. What should really matter when planning our colour scheme is that we feel good in whatever we have planned. Visiting other places, friends’ homes, famous interiors, hotels or even restaurants is a really good starting point to see how far we can stretch ourselves. I strongly believe that it is vital to risk it a little bit from time to time in life and so it is, in designing our spaces… to surprise ourselves, to experience something new and exciting. It is like ordering a new flavour of ice cream instead of the usual one.

Double ikat from Tenganan village, Bali

The collections of Julia Brendel textiles were inspired firstly by my Mum’s wisdom and her bravery to experiment.

Coming to cosmopolitan London, where streets were painted with a colourful patchwork of the World’s cultural heritage, inspired and fulfilled my hunger for something different and became a new colourful journey.

Further to that, my own travels gave me first hand experience of crazy and unexpected colour combinations that I have never experienced before. They broke all the very few rules I had and set my imagination free.


What also fascinates me is the meaning and symbolism that we associate with colours and how this meaning changes depending on were we are from. It is the truth that in some cultures and places on the globe, people are braver with colour usage than in others. It is often the landscape and nature but also the type of light that makes us used to certain pallets. In Africa there are even less words in the dictionary describing blues and greens and more vocabulary for different shades of reds, oranges and yellows, coming from the landscape.