Grace Collins was born in Bermondsey and grew up in Greenwich and is now making a big name for herself with the Frill of cushions

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Director of cushion brand frill of it Grace Collins tells Eliza Frost about her frilly and fantastic designs – and about growing up in the area

Tell us the story of frill of it… 

Grace Collins: When I was decorating my one-bedroom flat, space wasn’t a luxury I had. My living room armchair stayed empty for months because I couldn’t source the perfect cushion. It needed to have a grandeur and beauty that was worthy of its central placement. It needed to be soft, plush, pretty, bold, fun and beautiful. 

One night, I had a dream of a big frilly square that exclaimed “SOUTH EAST LONDON”. That’s what I needed, but it didn’t exist. That is where the design journey began. And I’m so glad my armchair is now – finally – complete. 

Why did you choose to make cushions?

I love a cushion. I love home. I love sofa and I love bed.

I love comfort, cosiness and calmness – everything a nice squishy cushion symbolises.

Cushions are such a brilliant way to layer a room; they create depth and texture. They are inviting and homely.

Whether scattered on a sofa or bundled on a bed, they are (by their bouncy, cuddly nature) inviting. My empty armchair lent itself to questions about what a cushion should be, what it should say and how it should make a space feel. 

What is the story behind the name?

I’m a sucker for a frill. And a thrill. So, why not combine the two?

Literally, give me anything with a frill around it and I’m sold. I like what they stand for – they are fun, flouncy and frivolous. They are pretty, and plush. A home should be thrilling. Our cushions bring the frill and the thrill. 

Where do you take inspiration from? 

My South East London roots! I was born in Bermondsey and a good old portion of pie and mash will never not make me happy.

The eclectic pockets of our great city endlessly inspire me. I am drawn to areas that are characterful, and a little “rough around the edges” – the chaos and colour and character of our city.

Our brave and bold statements pay homage to London, from its bustling East End markets to its delicious expanses of greenery. 

What spot is next?

We are launching North London and South West London in March (eek!), and our SE London faves are about to come back in stock. Be quick! 

What do you love about working on the designs?

I love envisioning colours together and experimenting with different places. I love working on one-off commissions because they are so wonderfully specific and unique. They elevate anywhere!

A shop in the town of Frigiliana in southern Spain recently ordered one saying: “OH FRIG.” I’m excited to see our linen frills basking against whitewashed walls in the Mediterranean sun. 

You grew up in Greenwich, what is your favourite thing about the area?

It has to be the market, seeing so many creatives in one area, selling beautiful things.

I love the fact that Greenwich attracts people from all over, it’s such a melting pot of culture. The park rivals any in the world. 

What would be your local recommendation?

Goddards at Greenwich pie and mash, of course.


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