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Bespoke Bedding to Tableware: Evolution of Gilly Nicolson

Here at Gilly Nicolson HQ, we’ve been busy behind the scenes planning the launch of our sumptuous new collection of luxury lifestyle pieces. After months of prep, we’re thrilled to finally reveal our handcrafted range of exquisite tableware, guaranteed to elevate your dining experience and breathe new life into your home.

Created in Portugal at the hands of experienced artisans, each timeless piece is wholly unique and effortlessly chic. Choose from crisp, pure white cotton tablecloths, placemats and napkins — beautifully trimmed with your favourite colour and enhanced by our gorgeously glazed crockery and 24K gold plated stainless steel cutlery. Say yes to luxury and create a table setting that’s as individual as you are.

To celebrate the launch of our radiant new range, we sat down with our founder Gilly to hear more about the evolution from bespoke bed linen to luxury lifestyle brand, the inspiration behind the business and what the future holds.

How was the Gilly Nicolson brand born?

“I discovered a passion for design in my 20s. For me, that decade was all about exploring, and the experiences I had around the world paved the way for the birth of the Gilly Nicolson brand you see today.

After graduating from the University of Glasgow with a degree in business, I set off to Japan to teach English for a year. I fell in love with the country, its culture and its simple, elegant design aesthetics.

After a stint in London as a marketer, my wanderlust led me to New Zealand, where I had the privilege to work with a small bespoke bed linen business. I’d spend days guiding customers through their options, laying out their chosen sheet colours and showcasing the limitless ribbon colour combinations until they had created something extraordinary, precisely to their specifications. It was a pleasure watching our customers delight in our custom service. It really inspired me.

So, when I eventually felt the pull back home to Scotland, I knew I wanted to recreate that joy in my own business — but with my own unique spin. So, with the blessing of my old employer in New Zealand, I launched my own bespoke bed linen business in 2007 when I was around 30 years old.”

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Why Did You Choose to Create Such a Bespoke Service?

“People love the personal touch — they want products that capture who they are, their individual tastes and personalities. Trends show that customers are bored of readymade, off-the-shelf items. Instead, they want more input into the pieces that decorate their homes.

Since the pandemic began, many of us have yearned for a sanctuary to feel safe in, somewhere to relax fully. The past year and a half have been incredibly stressful for us all, and while we’ve been spending unprecedented amounts of time at home, there has been a real push to create a sanctum within. As a result, we’re seeing more and more customers shun what’s fashionable and popular in favour of decor that genuinely reflects who they are.

I wanted to build a business that empowered customers to do just that: to create a beautiful bedroom sanctuary adorned with gorgeous, bespoke bed linen that enabled their personalities to shine through. But most of all, I wanted to prove that bespoke doesn’t always have to mean fiercely expensive. It was important to me, when I envisaged the Gilly Nicolson brand, that our bed linen was both luxurious and accessible.

Our clients love the limitless customisation options we offer — so much so that often no two enquiries are the same! As we have an unrivalled Colour Library, customers can customise their bed linen and table linen from a choice of over 400 different corded stitch colours, 60 ribbon colours and eight pure cotton sheeting colours, with more on the way soon.”

You’ve Recently Launched Some Gorgeous New Products. What Propelled Your Evolution from Bespoke Bed Linen Company to Whole Home Lifestyle Brand?

“Everything we’ve introduced so far has been because our customers have asked us to. For example, our new collection evolved through our relationships with high-end interior designers, who requested pieces outside our bespoke bed linen. They knew our quality, attention to detail and customer service are at the heart of everything we do.

After months of work, I’m over the moon to launch our newest collection of tableware, including our crisp, clean, pure white cotton table linen, napkins and placemats (all customisable, of course — with over 60 different ribbon colours to choose from!), 24K gold plated stainless steel cutlery and handcrafted, gorgeously glazed crockery.”

Luxury Table Linen Collection 

Our luxury table linen collection includes table cloths, napkins and placemats available in clean, pure white cotton, accented with your favourite colour in either our Corded Stitch or Grosgrain designs. Bright, sumptuously soft, and always in style, our luxury table linen is perfect for dining al fresco on a gorgeous Summer’s day.

Handmade Crockery Collection

Our handmade crockery collection was carefully crafted and magnificently glazed by Artisans in Portugal. Discover the Tavira collection, an organically shaped, sublime sea blue collection inspired by La Mer. Available in dinner plate, side plate, cereal bowl and pasta bowl. These items are dishwasher, oven, microwave and freezer proof. Create a home in harmony with this perfect table setting.

Or explore our timeless Sintra collection — create lasting impressions with this beautiful beaded edge, crisp white stoneware range with subtle touches of grey. Available in dinner plate, salad plate, cereal bowl and pasta bowl. Dishwasher proof, oven, microwave and freezer proof for your convenience. Add some simple, rustic elegance to your table.

24K Gold Plated, Stainless Steel Cutlery

Our 24K Gold Plated, Stainless Steel Evora cutlery collection adds simple elegance to any dining table. This set makes an excellent addition to any table with an 18/10 stainless steel head, 24K gold plated finish, and gorgeous resin handle in stunning navy. Complement your three or four-piece set with an Evora cake fork, cake slice and salad server.

What does the future hold for the Gilly Nicolson brand?

“I’ve run my business for over twelve years now, and I haven’t looked back since. We keep making so much progress each year that I know that we’re on the right track. The sky’s the limit, really! We have some very exciting plans coming up. You’ll just have to watch this space!”

Experience Bespoke Luxury in Every Room, with Gilly Nicolson

Shop our new range of tableware today and discover handcrafted pieces that capture the essence of the individual. For pieces as unique as you are, elevate your dining room and create a cosy sanctum within your home with Gilly Nicolson.

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