Q & A : Thornback & Peel : Designers : London

If you like gorgeous gifts for the home, beautiful illustrations and great design you will probably already know about the duo that are Thornback & Peel. We really do love their use of colour, simple design, humour and clever ability to turn some everyday things into ‘must have’ treats.

What type of engravings inspire the work of Thornback & Peel?

If and when you get your beach house, with white washed walls, vintage shutters, and reclaimed treasured furniture you could do no better than decorate all the rooms with their wallpaper, cushions, deck chairs,  place mats, napkins, tea towels, stationary and for those still with a lingering cold, their gorgeous hankies.

Delia and Juliet - Thornback & Peel-1

They are on the way up, and rightfully so. Last year they launched a pop up at Liberty, and opened their first shop just off the revered Lambs Conduit Street in Bloomsbury. Originally back in 2003 they started their screen-printing business at a studio in Cockpit Arts, after both having successful careers as a florist (Thornback) and theatre designer (Peel), they quickly turned their dream into a reality with a high demand from their online shop, and now they still appear at the artisan hand-made markets around the UK, as well as run their very welcoming shop.

We hear on the trifle-vine that they are launching a Private View of their Limited Edition Prints on Paper in their shop on Thursday 18th April until Sat 27th April. They will both be hand printing their signature designs onto paper to create a limited range that will be available for you to buy. Post preview they will be available online from Tuesday 30th April.

thornbackandpeeljellyaproninsitu high-1

When we asked, they were both super helpful and happy to share some of their insider secrets for a quick Q + A, so you can find out a little bit more about the magic behind the beauty …

Thornback and Peel Linen Children's T-shirt

–Where is your favourite place for a weekend lunch with the family ?

Pizza East on Highgate Rd and the cafe on Hampstead Heath – the spaghetti bolognese is always a crowd pleaser.

–What are the 3 most important (kiddy) items in your handbag that you can’t leave home without?

Box of raisins, dinky car, copy of Blue fish, Red fish


–Where would you love to spend an afternoon (with your girlfriends), and why ?

A picnic in the dunes at Camber Sands (could be the Hamptons but could be tricky if we had to be back for bath time)

–Which are your 3 favourite (kids and or yours) designers/ shops ?

It goes without saying that all our children are uniformly dressed in T&P kids t-shirts. The tortoise (aka ninja turtle) is the favourite.  Otherwise Eenymeeny in Tufnell Park and After Noah for children’s stuff and 2021 for us.

–What products have made the top of your present list this year, for you (and the kids) ?

The playmobil catalogue is much thumbed by adults and children alike. Thornback wants a Claire Sandar’s www.clairesandars.co.uk charcoal portrait of her 3 children and Peel wants a fire pit.

–Which is your favourite place (museum, park or venue) to spend a creative afternoon with the kids ?

Tate Modern, the Turbine Hall installations are brilliant or the beach for mad sandcastle/seaweed faces and mermaid sculptures.


–What creative tools, can you not live without ?

Old school – pencils, scissors, glue and a 30cm ruler.

–What do you use for inspiration with your work ?

The illustrations in the books we read to our children are a huge influence.

APRON RABBIT CABBAGE cut out high res-1

— Can you leave us one creative secret/tip to share please ?

This is more of a housekeeping tip:  To get surface grubby-ness off dry clean only fabric try rubbing with a (white) eraser.

Ladies, a huge thanks for your time, we love your work, and can’t wait to see what you will pull out of your magic bag next. We will be the first in line at your Private View in April — see you all there. xo