lily of the valley

March 19, 2012  in flowers, handmade goodness

lily-of-the-valley by Sania Pell

Spring has sprung here in London. The sun is shining, it feels joyful out and about and the bulbs are starting to flower in my little London garden. It is my favourite time of the year for flowers, all the bulbs I planted in the autumn are now bursting into life. This is a welcome change to the grey days we have seen recently and has lifted my spirits as I have had an extremely busy few weeks. It feels like I have been working non-stop, but all for wonderful projects that I love. My new book The Homemade Home for Children is due for release early next month, I have been working with an award-winning architecture practice on an exciting project and I have an editorial shoot next week that I have been working on over the last few weeks and am really looking forward to.

lily-of-the-valley by Sania Pell

I haven’t had a spare moment to take any new pictures this week, but looking through my archives I found this series of photos I took early last Spring and didn’t get around to posting at the time. With the Spring flowers appearing I thought it perfect timing to share them now.

lily-of-the-valley by Sania Pell

These Lily of the Valley were plucked from my parents-in-laws’ garden where swathes of them grow in the shade under the hedges. I adore their fresh, crisp coloration, their slim elegant leaves and their smell – just divine!

lily-of-the-valley by Sania Pell

lily-of-the-valley embroidery by Sania Pell

As I was playing with my camera, placing the stems on fabric it reminded me of some of my old textile designs where fresh flowers were always an inspiration – whether drawn, painted or embroidered. I placed a stem next to one of my old embroidered designs of the same flower above.

lily-of-the-valley and embroidery by Sania Pell

This is a simple freehand machine-stitched textile design of bottles that I made a few years ago. I placed a stem as if displayed in its vase. You can get wonderful effects by freehand machine-stitching on paper or fabric with practice. The embroidered portraits project from my first book uses this technique.

lily-of-the-valley by Sania Pell

A single, simple stem in a simple vase looks delicate and sweet but with an understated elegance that I love.

Hello Spring, I’m happy you’re here.


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  1. Jane says:

    Oh Sania! These images are just heavenly in their delicateness. It’s funny to see them as we swing into autumn down here in Australia.

    I have received my copy of The Homemade Home for Children and adore it! I especially love the curiosity cabinet – I can see my 4 year old Miss India would be smitten to have one.

    And I was amazed to see your birdcage idea. I had just done something similar at home (see but find your idea of adding string lights (we call them ‘fairy lights’ here) just charming. Thanks for the inspiration! J x

  2. Rona says:

    Yet another beautiful blog post Sania with stunning images :-).

    I love the synergy between the lily of the valley and the textile and embroidered designs…

  3. allesistgut says:

    Wonderfully photos. I love the spring also and you show so stunning photos here. So the anticipation for spring raises more and more.

  4. elisa says:

    glorious, i adore lily-of-the-valley. particularly with your textile drawings. i agree, elegant with a little bit of childlike sweetness to them. i want to grow fields of them! x

  5. alex says:

    wow, lily are my favourite flowers. They are so delicate and beautiful.. Just stunning pictures.

  6. Heather B says:

    So lovely!!! Lily of the Valley is so delicate and fragrant. You captured it beautifully! I have your new book on pre-order, I can’t wait!!!

  7. Theresa says:

    Lovely post I love the lily of the valley next to your sewn lily’s{stitched study}
    Your photography is brilliant! I can’t wait to find spring blooms here where I live.

  8. Toni says:

    Stunning styling as usual – not surprised but still delighted xx

  9. Lydia says:

    Beautifully delicate and photographed so well. We love a single stem flower in artwork and happened to recommend a lovely print for Mothers Day to our followers that I think you will appreciate

  10. sue says:

    Hello, Hello! Today, I received your new book in the mail… The Homemade Home for Children! I am beyond excited…
    Thank You again for starting up your blog space and sharing your projects. I have such a soft spot for children’s things and to read about your doings and thoughts – it’s such true fun for me. I am not so good at keeping up with my end of the blog world ~ not enough hours in my day! So, therefore, this is another reason why I so much appreciate your generosity…
    Sue from Wisconsin {{ raccoon studios }}

  11. Just wanted to say Hello….just found your beautiful blog, looking forward to reading more soon:)

    Happy Wednesday!

  12. Nicola (BYW) says:

    Sania – this post is absolutely beautiful, the Lily-of-the-Valley, the embroidery, the photographs, everything. And I love the litle white vase.

    This has brought to mind how I sneaked into Westminster Abbey coming back from a meeting last year after The Wedding & saw all the lily-of the-valley around the base of the trees, in displays and the bouquet – must be coming up to a year soon then! x

  13. Oooh Sania – gorgeous! I love the juxtaposition of the flowers and the textiles / stitchwork. And that delicate green just captures the mood so well, spring is here! : )

  14. Alex Berdos says:

    Sania I can say only WOW! Incredibly nice. Sometimes I think that designers are really some aliens.

  15. […] lily of the valley blog post, with wonderful images by Sania […]

  16. Sania Pell says:

    Thank you all for your lovely comments!

    @Jane @Sue – wow, so happy you like my new book. Thank you! You must have got some of the very first copies as it isn’t officially out yet!!

  17. Long time fan , first time commenting….I love this post so much, it’s gorgeous simplicity…so inspiring! Thank you!

  18. Sonia Rumzi says:

    I adore Lily of the Valley and this is a gorgeous post. Thanks again for the beauty.

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

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