Timorous Beasties

Yesterday I came into possession of two large, soft, squidgy, purple velvet sofa cushions from Timorous Beasties, a brand I’ve wanted to buy something from for years.

Timorous Beasties is a Scottish company known for its gothic interpretations of traditional designs. Most famous is probably their cityscape Toile de Jouy wallpapers which depict scenes of muggings, prostitution, urinating ASBO teenagers and drunken tramps rather than the more traditional French peasants.

Many of their designs draw on nature with moths, bees and thistles making a regular appearance. On first look the fabrics and wallpapers seem to be a funked up version of standard flora and fauna designs but on closer inspection the strong macabre undertones reveal themselves and you are drawn into a world of Victorianesque decay and destruction.

Iguanas being strangled by vines, dense thickets of spiky thistles, blankets of moths and swarms of bees for me create a disturbing image of Miss Haversham’s overgrown garden. Even the pineapple, the happiest of motifs, is made to appear sinister, foreboding and prickly.

Timorous Beasties has a strong Scottish theme, from the Edinburgh and Glasgow Toile de Jouy to the thistles and even the name which is from the Robert Burns poem To a Mouse. The design work of all of their products takes place in their Glasgow studio where many of their fabrics and wallpapers are hand printed.

I really like Timorous Beasties, they are entirely unique and unexpected, but many of the products creep me out and I’m not sure I’d want them in my house as I think they would give me nightmares. Quite frankly the intricate lace panel revealing a demon’s face terrifies me. So for now, lily livered as I am, I’ve settled for a couple of humble bees on a piece of luxury velvet.

 

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21 comments

  1. Now, would Abigail approve? I think so.

    Nice prints but probably not very me. Burgundy velvet cushions remind me of the 80’s but are back in vogue. I bet they go nicely with your new (out of storage) sofa and we need to give some love to bees. Enjoy them:)
    tina recently posted..paper clipsMy Profile

    • They’re actually purple, can’t say I’m a fan of burgundy. My rubbish photographic skills as usual.

  2. Well obviously I am too much of a sissy to even really examine the pattern samples above, so suffice it to say that I’d maybe be comfortable with just a pillow, like you. And even then, bees kind of freak me out. I’ve never heard of this company, so thanks for the introduction, but I think I’ll stick to my fluffy and un-scary Cath Kidston prints, haha. That Zara Home pillow with the bright watercolor print on it was about as dark and mysterious as I’ll get, I think. Those pillows looks like they match your sofa well! I bet the whole thing is super comfy to lounge on now, too. xo
    Erin recently posted..July Wish ListMy Profile

  3. Thank you for visiting my blog, am so glad you did as now I’ve found yours and it’s gorgeous!

    These cushions are fab!! I LOVE Timorous Beasties, so clever and slightly subversive (but in a good way)!

    • Thank you Sarah, always nice to meet a fellow Rita lover! x
      They are huge and squishy too, the kind you sink into and don’t want to get up from :)

  4. One of my favorite things to buy for my house are pillows. They change my mood and the house mood. I’ve been known to change my pillows out quite frequently and then give away my old (like new) pillows to friends. I love your choice to go with the bees. I have a love for velvet as it seems like something too fancy for me to own, so I always feel special when I have something made of velvet. Teri
    Teri recently posted..HamptonsMy Profile

    • I’m really fickle, I get bored of things after a couple of years which ends up very expensive! I do like velvet but it’s quite a hard fabric to match against other things as it’s so sumptuous. Apparently this autumn everything is going to be purple velvet so at least we’ll accidentally be in fashion for once!

  5. ooo I love Tumerous Beasties, they appeal to my dark side! I’ve got my eye on the black and gold Napoleon bee wallpaper for my snug, have yet to convince Mr S though… Although I do draw the line at the swarm of bees, I think it would make me itch.

    Your cushions are gorgeous, they do look very squidgy and cosy and match perfectly with your sofa. x
    Kelly recently posted..Trendenser iPad Magazine ReviewMy Profile

    • The swarm of bees is a bit horrid, I can hear all the buzzy when I look at it yuk. You should convince Mr S, that would look very smart. It’s so expensive though, around £240 a roll!
      I have to say,those cushions are perfect, you know how sometimes they’re too hard and you can’t sink into them? These are perfect, more like pillows than cushions.

    • Oh you should get down to Liberty then. They’ve turned the Arts & Crafts furniture room into a House of Hackney store, it’s all wallpapered and looks great. They’re quite similar brands though aren’t they?

  6. Love the cushions. Could be tempted by them myself for my family room. Perfect colours for me and lovely choice. I think they collaborated with John Lewis recently if I recall correctly whilst browsing through a friends John Lewis magazine.
    Sue recently posted..Fluoro & MoroMy Profile

    • Hey Sue. I think they did, yes. They’ve done some pretty cool collaborations actually, bespoke gravestones, that sort of thing!

  7. Your new cushions are very cool. I bet the velvet is super soft and luxurious. From the photo, they do look like they perfectly match your sofa. I love products that have a bit of a twist and edge to them…That require closer inspection. Happy to learn of this new (to me) company.
    Theresa / inspirationCOOP recently posted..{moodboard / JULY…}My Profile

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