My latest indie retail discovery, the pleasingly named Curious Egg, is a lovely way to end the year. I’m guessing you’re probably all shopped out by now, but never fear. This art-inspired online interiors emporium is a fabulous place to visit simply for inspiration and enjoyment. Browsing the goodies on offer at the Curious Egg is like a visit to a quirky, bijou gallery – with an excellent gift shop thrown in. And all from the comfort of your armchair.
Based in Scotland, Curious Egg was founded by Lorraine Aaron, a professional artist with a background in making art for public places.
After gaining a degree in Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art followed by further study in Chicago and Florence, Lorraine has worked as a sculptor, painter, public artist and gallery artist as well as teaching contemporary arts practice and running a successful art consultancy business.
So how, you may ask, did Curious Egg come about? Lorraine explains:
I’m constantly on the hunt for fine crafted objects, interesting limited edition artworks and tactile, characterful homewares. I enjoy uncovering and sharing the fascinating stories they tell.
Curious Egg is my little corner of the internet to share ideas and conversations about interiors and art as well as some of my most interesting product finds.
My aim is to bring art and interiors together in a relaxed and imaginative way by offering a small, carefully curated and ever changing range of beautiful and interesting products that will help you to craft your home and celebrate your individuality.
Original mixed media painting by Karenina Fabrizzi.
By far the largest choice on the Curious Egg website is in their Art Room. Lorraine and her husband Roddy constantly tour degree shows and visit artists in their studios in order to discover new and exciting work. They then put together a constantly rotating collection of contemporary artworks that you’ll find in the Curious Egg ‘gallery space’.
You can choose from original and limited edition artworks as well as a range of contemporary art prints. Here are a couple of my favourite works from the current collection:
Kimvi Nguyen’s ‘Selvedge’ is inspired by the warp and weft of Japanese selvedge denim. This blanket or wall hanging is produced by Inigo Scout, a social enterprise that teaches local people in the Cape Flats of South Africa to knit, bringing them income and independence.
Sitting Baba is one in a series of arresting photographs taken by German photographer Mario Gerth on his travels through India.
In addition to the art, you’ll find a hand-picked selection of characterful home accessories, artist-designed wallpaper, rugs and cowhides, and lighting.
As regards choosing their art-inspired interiors ranges, Lorraine says: “We believe in placing art and creative thinking right at the heart of the interior design process and in the power of art to change lives”.
Pictured above is my top wallpaper pick, the atmospheric and intricate Bibana. A small batch wallpaper by designer Anna Hayman who combines traditional block printing with digital technology, and describes her prints as “Sixties-cum-Thirties with a cool chic edge”.
The selection of elegant, hand-dipped taper candles comes in a range of gorgeous colours, like the olive green above. They’re very beautiful and I think I’d struggle to set a match to them.
The Gypsy Cowhide Rug is typical of the witty optical illusions that are the signature of designers Young & Battaglia. Mimicking the shape and texture of cowhide, it’s made from a special fabric-backed rubber onto which the floral design is digitally printed. It’s also hypo-allergenic, washable, non-slip, and will not curl up at the edges. “Part Mongolian, part Gypsy and 100% glamour”.
Probably my absolute favourite find as I prowled (digitally) around Curious Egg are these stunning 100% cotton lace panels in a design called Paradiso. Intriguingly they’re made from something called Scottish Madras lace which I’d never heard of before. Even more fascinating, these intricate lace panels are produced in Scotland today using slow manufacturing on ninety year old Nottingham Lace Looms.
Nottingham is my home town, and it was once world-famous for its heavy, cotton lace. The first ever machine to make lace was actually invented in Nottingham in the 1760s and by the late 19th century the city was the international centre of machine-made lace. I’d love to know the story of how the looms ended up in their new home north of the border and still producing beautiful lace today.
The Paradiso Madras Lace panels come in black, turquoise or white (above), and can be altered in length for a small fee.
Also at Curious Egg you’ll find their Apothecary range of natural beauty and skin products along with natural home cleaning products.
In addition to the collections on their website, if you are looking for something particularly special or that is completely unique to you Curious Egg also offer a bespoke sourcing service. Lorraine can often source unusual items or commission a piece on your behalf from her network of fellow artists, designers and craftspeople across Scotland, the UK and beyond. Or she may be able to make it for you herself if she isn’t able to source or commission it.
Find more information and browse all the wonderful, art-inspired interiors wares at Curious Egg here.