Peter Rabbit has a special place in the hearts of adults and children across the nation – he’s a mischief-maker, an adventurer and a sweet little rabbit all at once. Beatrix Potter’s watercolour illustrations of him and his friends are iconic, and we wanted to update them for the present day home. Our collection takes the original watercolour illustrations and brings them to life through on-trend colours, soft fabrics and fun patterns.
We spoke to Suzi, our Design + Development Manager, Rea, our Studio Manager, as well as Phoebe and Bronte, two of furn.com’s designers, to talk all things Peter Rabbit.
This is one of furn.’s biggest collaborations to date. How did you approach combining the two quite different brands?
SUZI: I think it was important from the outset that the two brands had the same creative vision. New collections should always innovate but just as importantly, we had to stay true to Peter Rabbit. We kept the classic portrayal of the illustrations, but through styling and colour brought them to a new generation.
120 years on from their creation it's wonderful that we can now appreciate the drawings recreated in our own homes. The stories are quintessentially unique to the UK, but celebrated globally. We feel so privileged to work with such a renowned and loveable character.
The bedlinen qualities selected reflect the designs too. Some classic soft cotton, some vibrant easy-care durable polycotton, and a sumptuous soft brushed cotton for cosying up with your favourite cotton tailed friend!
The ranges are set to grow with wallpaper for three ranges being added in the new year. Watch this space!
Peter Rabbit is a bit famous – he’s loved by kids and adults alike across the country (and further afield!) How did it feel designing with such an iconic character?
REA: It was really cool, but also there was a lot of pressure to get the designs right! He’s loved by so many, and it felt important make sure we really did Peter and all his fans justice! I actually had the honor of meeting Peter at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant and he gave me a huge hug.
PHOEBE: When we were told about this collaboration, I was filled with so much excitement I could have cried! When I was younger I actually had a Peter Rabbit-themed bedroom, so it was an absolute honour to design using my favourite childhood character.
BRONTE: My Grandma used to read Peter Rabbit stories whenever we went to stay, so there was a big hit of nostalgia for me designing for this project. It took me right back to being little and drawing the rabbits in my Grandpa’s vegetable patch!
The collection has a mix between very classic Peter Rabbit patterns and more modern ones - how did you balance the heritage of Peter Rabbit with the bold style of furn.?
REA: I created the Dotty and Spot Me designs, and I used a large bold polka dot to replicate a rabbit hole, and “furned” it up with bright contrasting colours. Adding black and off white to the Spot Me nursery collection just gave it a contemporary twist.
PHOEBE: For Scandi Woods, I balanced the traditional illustrations of Peter with minimalist drawings of trees to bring the pattern firmly into the present – I think it’ll go in adult and children’s rooms perfectly!
BRONTE: A lot of it for me was about the colours. You can see the Classic collection has a lot of what you’d expect from Peter Rabbit, soft tones and watercolours, but Sleepy Head and Florelli has brighter, on-trend colours like ochre, pink and navy blue.
He’s a super-mischievous little rabbit. How did his character inspire your designs?
REA: Peter is a cheeky character – I love the idea of him playfully bouncing from rabbit hole to rabbit hole, hiding from Mr McGregor and causing trouble.
PHOEBE: He’s a little adventurer! I created Scandi Woods to show him making his way through the woods to play.
BRONTE: I was inspired by Beatrix Potter and her life in the Lake District. When I first visited her house it was a gorgeous sunny day in late spring, and the garden was filled with beautiful bright flowers. It felt magical and I could picture Peter nestled in the flower beds and hopping along the path.
There’s so much to love in the collection, which piece is your favourite?
REA: I think my favourite piece is the Spot Me bedding. It’s cool, contemporary and gives Peter a new twist.
PHOEBE: My Scandi Woods design because I designed it for my niece and nephew, and I've already bought the Scandi woods fleece for my sister’s new baby!
BRONTE: Mine is the Florelli cushion. It’s the bright colours of the flowers and the yellow pom poms. I can see it in grown-up country style spaces and modern maximalist kids’ rooms.