Love Milo designer Nicki Ellis, renowned for her nature-inspired homeware creations, has turned to the inky night sky, the cosmos and constellations as her muse for the boutique store’s latest collection, Winter Alchemy.  Warm, polished brass, textured midnight blue and soft fleecy white come together like a magic map for living well through the winter months.

Alchemy was an ancient natural philosophy practiced across Europe, Africa and Asia,” Nicki says. Among its intriguing allure was to purify and perfect items, as well as transmute base metals into noble ones such as gold.  It involved the search for true knowledge to create the elixir of immortality, and  was a rich tradition related to the studies and practice of metallurgy, magic and astrology; religions and spirituality.  “I have loved the challenge of coming up with sustainable designs for contemporary home décor based on such a very old and mystical theme, rooted in our natural world.”

Nicki, who specialises in using eco-friendly materials and production methods, explains that she has used astrological constellation designs and juxtaposed them with inky textured midnight blue and burnished brass to evoke drama and magic that brings life to winter evenings.   Add twinkling soya brass candles, curl up with a cup of tea in a limited-edition Zodiac mug, and you have a cosy but contemporary starry, starry night.

It’s always been Nicki’s special talent to bring the fascinations and joys from the outside into the modern home environment, and the new winter range is no different. “The new midnight ink fabric echoes the shades and mood of an evening sky,” she says. “The ink on paper texture is ideal for a signature piece in a room, such as a cushion or tablecloth.  The fabric is fantastic with solid textures like wood, metals or furs.  We have also added what we feel to be the perfect complimentary addition to any winter room, a white sheepskin. This can be used on the floor or draped over a chair or bed.  It brings a lightness that fits with any décor  style, and even warms up a white room.  The range of  handmade and hand-beaten brass items  can be used in your bathroom, bedroom or living area.  Set on a table or bookshelf, they bring a richness to a setting and add a touch of laid-back opulence, but without the expense.”

“The new midnight ink fabric echoes the shades and mood of an evening sky,” she says. “

The full Winter Alchemy collection consists of  warm white sheepskins (R1200), the brass products which include trays (R295), tumblers (R175), soya candles (R250) and spoons (R70). The midnight ink range is made up of cushions (R400), napkins (R200) and tablecloths (R1200). Look out for the limited-edition Zodiac large cups (R280) and large mugs (R180). All products will be available online from May 2019.

“We will also be adding an antique astrology constellation-inspired fabric in black and white to the Winter Alchemy collection,” Nicki says.  “This was created using an old constellation map, and it was again, a wondrous exercise in connecting something really special from the deep past to our modern lifestyle.”

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