Thursday, January 8, 2009

Metaphore-ically Speaking

My heart starts to pound when I see piles upon piles of beautiful, folded textiles, and it may even have skipped a beat or two when I entered Metaphore in New Haven, CT.

En route to Boston we stopped at Yale for the afternoon, exploring the campus, art museums and the college part of the town. Right next door to the British Art Center is Metaphore, a linen-and-dish boutique that offers only European goods.

My old friend Ekelund was in the house (I discovered this Swedish company in Norway) and I learned about some new linens, from Belgium’s Libeco (I bought some linen tea towels from the above rustic collection) and Paris’s Cluny.

While I typically avoid French Provencal (like Pierre Deux), Cluny had a peculiar shade of pink that was irresistible, and better yet, it came in an oilcloth placemat! (If you have three children under nine, you’ll understand my excitement.) Here’s a detail, accompanied by a very Chaucerian table runner from Ekelund. Can you imagine the Canterbury Tales?

This wonderful little shop also had the most deliciously colored candles from France (I bought an orange squash pair) and pretty bone china mugs from Scotland.

If you’re in New Haven, for a degree or an afternoon, I highly recommend Metaphore. It represents beauty at home.
Above image: personalized linens from Libeco.


Mary-Laure said...

I really adore old linen bedsheets or tea towels. Those white and red ones are such classics.
I'd like to learn how to embroider my initials. Any idea how I could learn?

miss cavendish said...


It's so easy; I'm self-taught. You might check out these books: _Red and White_ for the traditional redwork look (which I've done on the cases here)and also _Stitch Sampler_, which very clearly demonstrates a variety of stitches.

To achieve the look in the final image above, you'd simply do a counted cross stitch--little Xs. Linen threats are easy to count!

Have fun! I find this kind of work very relaxing.

Mary-Laure said...

Thanks for the tips, I'll order those books. I'm hopeless with a needle but maybe with a lot of concentration...

Belle de Ville said...

I have a really nice collection of old linens that came from my mother in law. At the onset of WW2her mother in Zurich was worried about future hardship, hand embroidered her initials onto something like 50 linen kitchen towels for my mother in law...because you never know when the something like a world war might deprive you of somehing as important as fine linens.
Ah, the life of the old European bourgeois.