infatuated with the sublime fabrics of bernie de le cuona


Ask anybody who is anybody in the world of interior design about de le Cuona fabrics and I venture to say everybody would give Bernie de le Cuona an A+.  Her sumptuous textiles are specified for the best homes and hotels in the world.  They truly are a work of art.

Seriously charming and well-known in the textile world as a true connoisseur of linens and luxurious fabrics – think hand woven wool paisley, silk velvet and couture cashmere – South African born Bernie de le Cuona, started her business in Windsor (a stone’s throw from London) in 1992 and is today acclaimed as the “Queen of Linen” – OK that’s me granting the title but I challenge anybody to prove otherwise!



And the reason I utterly adore her fabrics is that they drip with color refinement and textural understatement, whether its one of her raw linens or her decadent silk velvets – and that’s exactly the elegance and sophistication I like to offer my clients.  No loud colors with huge bold patterns in acrid tangerine orange and lime green. No thank you, not for me.



But if you’re now thinking over-the-top baroque and fuddy-duddy, think again.  Although her expertise in textiles is sought after by “traditional” entities like Ralph Lauren or English Heritage for the conservation of historical fabrics, Bernie de le Cuona is well attuned to today’s contemporary world in her fabric designs.  For example, she takes traditional linen and embosses it with modern patterns using ancient rollers. Or takes a classic paisley and re-colors and re-sizes it for today’s sensibility.  There is NOTHING stuffy about these fabrics, which is precisely the reason for her incredible success.



And taking her uber luxurious fabrics as a base, Bernie has recently launched a bespoke service to the trade for hand tailored drapes, cushions, throws and bedspreads – even an experienced fabric walling service to envelop you with her textural and colorful textiles … were does her madness stop!



“Getting” de le Cuona fabrics is to understand and appreciate Bernie’s love for   mixing low and high, crude and soft. And while decorating using one of her textiles is already a home run, it’s really about mixing a jute and linen fabric, with a silky velvet and accenting it all with a touch of cashmere.  It’s all about creating layers of luxury.  If you do that, congrats, you completely get the whispering luxury synonymous with de le Cuona.

richard rabel
richard rabel: interiors + art
interior design and art advising
new york city

image credits: de le Cuona, London, New York and Moscow. The photo of Bernie was taken by Lisa Mende of Lisa Mende Design on our visit to the showroom during the MODENUS BlogTour trip to the London Design Festival.