Homegirl London pays homage to Cordello Home. This lovely homeware brand is centred on beautiful heart patterns. These bold, geometric and colourful heart motifs adorn everything from fine bone china tableware to round serving trays, cotton napkins, oven gloves, tea towels, lambswool throws, cushions, stationery and much more. With a passion for graphic design, all things Italian and a penchant for pretty homewares, Kate Shaw set up this business to bring colour, vibrancy and fun into our homes. Whether you want to make breakfast a special occasion with one of the cute egg cups or wrap yourself up in a super soft Geelong lambswool you’ll certainly find something special to fall in love with. I caught up with the queen of hearts herself, Kate Shaw, to find out more about Cordello Home.
Fine Bone China Mugs
Meet the Cordello Home Owner
Kate Shaw is the founder and design director of this homeware business. Her background however was quite different, she reveals – “I’ve had a varied career, from trading at an investment bank to running a global branding agency as well as my homewares business. I fell in love with the idea of trading when I was in New York as an intern and when I returned to London, pursued that as a career. After working for a global investment bank for a number of years, I needed a new challenge. It felt like the right time, for my husband and me, to start our own venture called the Living Group. We specialise in branding and communications for clients in the financial, professional services, property and technology sectors. This put to good use my experience in the financial sector and my husband’s fantastic graphic design skills.”
Kate thrives in her role at Living Group but felt she wanted to explore her passion for interiors, home accessories and her idea for a homeware business. Kate explains – “My parents ran a creative business so you could say that the design side has always been in my blood and I feel I have finally returned to these roots. I decided to take the plunge in July 2014 and funded my homeware business from my personal savings. It’s something I feel passionate about and happy to risk my own money. Because I love all things Italian from the food, the culture, the fashion and the people I decided to call the brand Cordello. This was born out of two Italian words; heart (cuore) and pattern (modello), so it means Heart Pattern.”
Kate runs Cordello from the amazing Tea Building located in the heart of Shoreditch, London which is where her branding agency is based. She has a small dedicated team with extended help, she elaborates – “Luckily, I have access to the wider team of my branding agency, including designers and website developers. I’d love Cordello to be a global business and would like to be stocked in the USA and Asia. Both of these markets are quite different to the UK and Europe, so I’m exploring the opportunities. My branding agency has offices in New York and Hong Kong so I would love to see my products on the shelves in these countries. Although I wear two business hats, with Cordello I get total freedom to make my own creative decisions, implement my own ideas and see my vision come to life which is incredibly exciting.”
View the Cordello Home Collections
Kate explains her design style – “It is very much in keeping with my love for graphic design; distinctive, bold and geometric. All of our patterns are inspired by a simple heart motif and our aim is to bring vibrancy and fun into your home. The simple heart shape is a globally recognised icon associated with love, emotion and passion which is why it is at the centre of my brand. I find it fascinating to apply the designs to different materials, thinking about the scale of the pattern and the right product. Getting the colours right across different materials is quite challenging.”
These adorable patterns are applied to a variety homewares and lifestyle products which includes bone china tableware (teapot, cup and saucer, mug, egg cup, side plate and selection of plates), round serving tray, round tray table, melamine coasters and placemats, cotton napkins, oven gloves, tea towels, lambswool throws, cushions and stationery (gift wrap, gift bags, stationery notebooks). Kate explains her manufacturing ethos – “My products are made in the UK where possible because I like to celebrate the tradition of the manufacturing industries we are renowned for. My fine bone china is made in Stoke-on-Trent and textiles are from the north of England, such as Lancashire.”
Oven Gloves and Placemats
Kate tells me about her debut collection – “This featured bright colours such as a yellow, grey and blue combination or purple with pink and blue. I explored different pattern repeat variations of hearts which I named; Queen of Hearts, Hearts and Flowers and Cross my Heart. These are printed onto textiles such as cushions, tea towels, napkins and oven gloves.”
Coaster, Placemat and Napkin
The Signature Collection is the latest design offering, Kate elaborates – “I’ve moved from the brighter colour palette to a more sophisticated blue accent hue. It comprises of hand decorated fine bone china pieces, a round birch wood tray handmade in Sweden and a luxury lambswool throw woven in Scotland. I’ve kept the ritual of breakfast at its heart, celebrating the most important meal of the day. The fine bone china pieces include a cup and saucer, side plate, egg cup and teapot and the geometric patterns are perfectly complemented by the inverted bold marine blue design of the round tray. My products also work equally well for afternoon tea lovers with my side plate which is perfect for arranging your biscuits upon.”
Round Birch Tray Table, Teapot, Cup and Saucer and Side Plate
Although these two collections differ in terms of colour palettes they still work well sitting next to each other. Because of the commonality of the heart motif you can mix and match the designs to make up your own unique tableware sets or cushion combinations.
Fine Bone China Plates
Inspiration for Kate comes from a variety of mediums, she elaborates – “I gather ideas from interiors magazines, Instagram, Italy and generally when I’m travelling. I love mid-Century furniture, eclectic interiors and Art Deco so inevitably these influences come through in my designs. The two people I admire most in the design world are Jonathan Adler for his colourful, bold, quirky and fun homewares and Paul Smith, for his creation of a truly recognisable global brand from clothes to interiors.”
Buy the Cordello Home Products
If you heart Kate’s products you can buy these from the website: Cordello Home Link. These products can be shipped overseas. To give you an idea about prices points a teapot is £33, cup and saucer £19.50, mug £12, egg cups £6.50, side plate £12, plates £14.50, round tray £42, tray table £125, throw £270 and cushions £35.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: CH / Kate Shaw. Thanks: Kate Shaw.