The Grand Dame

Are we all done with simplifying our home to its bare bones? Are we craving character, warmth and interest? Perhaps it’s time for Nina Campbell. The rich patterns, colors and sophisticated layering of wall coverings, furniture fabrics, window treatments and more don’t whisper. Its look is more like confidently locking eyes with someone and knowing there’s going to be an enjoyable matching of wits. It’s refreshing.

When OSBORNE & LITTLE ( launched Nina Campbell’s autumn 2019 collections, we were mesmerized. What happened to the fifty shades of white and the multilayered grays? Here was apple green, baby-soft peach, robin’s egg blue and wild rose in swirls, loops, stripes, dots and earthy vines—and an equal multitude of fabric options, from soft velvets to chic Damask. Together, placed with an exacting science at the end of an artist’s brush, there is harmony—a soothing peace—that comes from a contained color palette. The range seems unfettered, yet, actually, it is restrained, as if branches of the same family tree.

Meet Nina Campbell, a time-traveler. She established her company in 1974 as an interior designer and a shop owner whose offerings just happen to attract buyers from around the world. Now, all these years later, her signature style resonates clearly. Her reputation is sterling and her collections of fabrics, wallpapers and accessories remain in high demand.

For thirty years, Osborne & Little has been a worldwide distributor for her work. Here’s a look at three of her collections that will inspire you to tell your story through your home.


The Marchmain Collection is pure decadence, like a chocolate cherry and cognac. This richness is expressed in rich, deep-hued velvet and chenille woven designs inspired by the textiles of the 1920s and ’30s. Marchmain, in case you are wondering why it sounds familiar, is taken from Lord Marchmain in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. Grab a copy and reread it in a plush armchair.

With tighter patterns and restrained color contrast, the Charlton collection works in the supporting role to the outspoken designs. The upholstery, in other words, complements bigger patterns of Ashdown and Marchmain. The name comes from territory in southeast England.

The Ashdown Collection has pretty and playful patterns that are anything but cute. They have a graceful and charming English-country feel. It would be as appealing to an eighteenth- century botanist exploring the grounds as to a contemporary lady who lunches. The collection comes in prints and embroideries on linen. It is named for Ashdown Forest in the county of Sussex.

Images courtesy of Osborne & Little

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