Directorio Deco by Gloria Gonzalez

Gloria’s Favourites

Carnations Forever

I have always loved carnations and was longing to find time to write a blog post about them. I have never understood the bad reputation of these flowers: they last for weeks, are budget-friendly and I find their ruffled petals extremely beautiful. They are also Spain’s national flower so my carnation obsession might have something to do with that.

They were introduced in Spain by Emperor Charles V who gave the ‘Persian Flower’ as a present to his wife Isabel of Portugal while they were in La Alhambra, in Granada. Shortly after, Charles V ordered that carnations should be planted in all the gardens of the Alhambra. Over time this flower expanded throughout the southern part of Spain, adorning gardens, courtyards and balconies as well as the hair of women dressed in flamenco dresses.

But carnations, members of the Dianthus family, have been cultivated for at least 2000 years. Wild Dianthus caryophyllus is likely to have originated from the Mediterranean regions of Greece and Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia), but the long time in cultivation makes it difficult to confirm its precise origin. The genus Dianthus contains several species that have been cultivated for hundreds of years for ornamental purposes.

It was the Athenians that named the flower Dianthos, from the Greek words dios (divine) and anthos (flower). Gillyflower, another name by which the plant is known, probably came from the French who called dianthus, gelofre. Carnations probably originated in the Pyrenees as single flowered specimens, but none of these naturally occurring, single wild varieties exists today. The beauty of its flower, its longevity as a cut flower and the ease with which it could be cultivated combined gave it instant popularity in many cultures.

The plant was subjected to massive breeding programs and by the early 1700’s there were single, semi-double and double carnations available in crimson, blush, purple, red, scarlet, white and tawny colours There were also striped, stippled, spotted and veined carnations with smooth or picoteed petal edges. Many of these hybrids were divided into very specific classes: Bizarre, Flake, Flame and Picatee.

Since Victorian times, when the interest in botany went hand in hand with the interest in the ‘language of flowers’ Carnations symbolize love, affection and fascination.

Quoting Caroline Roehm (a fellow carnation lover) ‘there are no bad flowers, only people who do them badly’ I hope this blog post and the images below inspire you to embrace the simple beauty of carnations.

Henri Fantin Latour, Carnations without vase, 1899

Georg Flegel (1566-1638) Still life with Carnation and Eggs 1600Georg Flegel, Still life with carnation and eggs, 1600

Lobmyr persian flower handpainted glassesPersian Flower Hand-painted tumblers

Table setting with carnations in a home in Notto (Italy) featured in Architectural Digest. Mattia Aquila photography.

el vendedor de claveles francisco bayeuEl vendedor de claveles, (The carnation seller) Francisco Bayeu y Subias, Museo Nacional del Prado, 1786.

william de morganTile with two carnations and foliage, William de Morgan, c.1881, The British Museum

william de morgan tileBlue carnation with prunus leaves, William de Morgan, 1872-1907, De Morgan collection

carnation strip fabric bernard thorpCarnation stripe fabric by Bernard Thorp

carolina irving and daughters table top collectionCarolina Irving and daughters

iznik carnation plateAn Iznik polychrome pottery dish with carnation bouquet, Turkey, circa 1580, Sotheby’s

María Ana Victoria de Borbón, niña (futura reina de Portugal) Museo Nacional del Prado, Jean RancMaría Ana Victoria de Borbón, niña (futura reina de Portugal), Jean Ranc, Museo Nacional del Prado, 1725.

the book of carnationThe book of carnation, R.P. Brotherson, Martin R. Smith

Louise Savitt’s bedroom. Horst 1965. 

the language of flowers carnationThe Language of Flowers: An Alphabet of Floral Emblems (London; New York: T. Nelson and Sons, 1857)

cutter brooks table setting in pink with carnations by amanda brooksCutter Brooks

A camel, giraffe, chameleon in a tree, flying dragon, ichneumon, spider, and various insects and flowers, including a carnation. 1663 EngravingAnimalium, Ferarum, & Bestiarum (A camel, giraffe, chameleon in a tree, flying dragon, ichneumon, spider, and various insects and flowers, including a carnation) print; Wenceslaus Hollar (After); David Loggan print made after Wenceslaus Hollar. 1662-1663; The British Museum.

gitana con clavelGitana con claveles, (gipsy with carnations) Santiago Martínez, 1919
D. Portahult ‘Oeillets’ (Carnation) collecion 


Must visit London pop-up stores

Wicklewood 123 Sydney Street, SW3, 19th-29th Nov. 10am-7pm.

Remember the amazing pop-up that Wicklewood did last Summer? Well, get ready for more pattern, colour, irresistible gifts and new arrivals at their Winter Shop. Throughout the pop-up, they’ll be also welcoming leaders of design into The Revolving Room to transform the space using their own signature style. Each designer will makeover and take over the room, using their favourite pieces from Wicklewood and their partner brands: BlithfieldPookyPartnership Editions and Arlo & Jacob

Matilda Goad 297 Westbourne Grove W11, 7th-18th November. 10 am-7pm 

Decorated in a palette of handpicked hues from Farrow & Ball’s new colour collection, Matilda Goad’s pop up store will offer her covetable homeware collection – including her iconic scallop lampshades, glazed jugs, ribbed beeswax candles and tole planters – amongst an eclectic mix of antiques and other treasures sourced by Matilda. It will also unveil brand-new Matilda Goad products including richly coloured table lamps and a tabletop collection as well as Matilda Goad x TART London Christmas crackers.

Cabana Magazine  Burlington Arcade, Unit 68-69,  51 Piccadilly, W1 From Nov 7th until Christmas. Mon-Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 12pm-5pm

Cabana has brought its exquisite maximalism to one of London most iconic shopping destinations: Burlington Arcade. A selection of handcrafted and one-of-a-kind tableware (including the new collection of Carolina Irving and daughters), home accessories, antiques and many other desirable things.

Salvesen Graham 364 Old York Road, SW18, 15th November, 10am-8pm  

This pop-up brings together a carefully curated selection of gift ideas of things that this design dynamic design duo love. The shop will be packed full of wonderful pieces including fabulous accessories for the home sourced or designed by them (including their new cushion designs) as well as a cast of design-makers, including Edit58, Punica and ERA Calligraphy, renowned for their unique gift ideas.

Salvesen Graham Pop Up

The Mews 340 Kings Road, 20-25th Nov. Tues-Fri 10am-6pm Sat-Sun 11am-5pm

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to meet The Mews’s founder, Annabel Haan.  She distributes fabrics, quilts, table linens and accessories from one of my favourite Australian interiors shop, Pigotts Store as well Alice Peto gorgeous fine English china. Grandy Art will be also part of the pop up with an exhibition of Emerging British Artists.

Morpho and Luna 123 Sydney Street, SW3, 12th-14th Nov, 10am-6pm

For three days this fabulous luxury brand will be having a special Christmas shopping event with exclusive discounts up to 50%  on selected items. Morpho and Luna refined, exquisitely crafted nightwear and pyjamas are made in Italy using only the highest quality materials.

Current Favourites

Salvesen Graham x Jennifer Manners: Celebrated interior design studio Salvesen Graham and renowned bespoke rug designer Jennifer Manners have brought their creative minds and technical expertise together to design a flatwoven rug with a twist. SCALLOP takes a classic double-border format and adds a little flourish: the crescent detail. The result is a sophisticated piece with a playful edge (quite literally), that perfectly marries Salvesen Graham’s fresh take on timeless interiors and Jennifer Manners elegant aesthetic.

Salvesen Graham x Jennifer Manners Salvesen Graham x Jennifer Manners Salvesen Graham x Jennifer Manners

Salvesen Graham x Jennifer Manners


Cutter Brooks and Co – Amanda Brook’s new store in Gloucestershire is filled with beauty in every corner; home decor, fashion and gifts inspired by country living. The new must-visit address in the idyllic Cotswolds.

Cutter Brooks and co, Amanda Brooks new store in the CotswoldsCutter Brooks and co, Amanda Brooks new store in the Cotswolds

Farm from Home by Amanda Brooks

Amanda’s new book, Farm from Home

Cutter Brooks and co, Amanda Brooks new store in the Cotswolds Cutter Brooks and co, Amanda Brooks new store in the Cotswolds Cutter Brooks and co, Amanda Brooks new store in the Cotswolds Cutter Brooks and co, Amanda Brooks new store in the Cotswolds

Cutter Brooks and co, Amanda Brooks new store in the Cotswolds


Molly Mahon’s Jaipur collection: Launching in September, the Jaipur collection encapsulates Molly’s Anglo Indian influences. Combining rich and unique colours created in the dying vats in Jaipur with her quintessentially British designs, the collection is a fest of considered colour, pattern and intricate craftsmanship.

Marigold, Luna, Oak, Pattee and Rose are hand block printed linens that have been carefully designed to work beautifully together.

Molly MahonMolly Mahon with the collection 

Jaipur Collection by Molly MahonLuna and Marigold

Molly Mahon's Jaipur collectionOak natural linen green

Molly Mahon's Jaipur collectionPattee and Marigold 


Land of Belle’s Summer Pop Up:  Annabelle Moehlmann has carefully curated a collection of special home accessories that will make the perfect summer wedding presents, hostess gifts, and excellent additions to your own abode. June 13-24 , 171 Elizabeth Street, Open daily – 10 am – 7 pm.

Land of Belle's Summer Pop Up

Land of Belle's Summer Pop Up Land of Belle's Summer Pop Up Land of Belle's Summer Pop Up