March 7, 2022

SHOP NOW: EJP x Kalinko 70s style, sustainable homeware collection

FILED IN: The Interiors

The wait is OVER. The collection I’ve designed for independent homeware brand, Kalinko, is now LIVE. It’s been over 18 months in the making but it’s finally here and I want to take the time to introduce you to every piece in my little 70s-inspired bedroom capsule. I really hope you love it as much as I do and be sure to check out how it all came about how I designed the collection.

The capsule consists of five pieces; a bedside table, a lamp base, lampshade, cushion and large mug. It’s my idea of what constitutes the perfect bedside vignette but, of course, everything is easily transferable and you can pop it wherever you so desire.

When I first set about designing the pieces, I was determined to bring to life the dream interior pieces that were inside my head but I hadn’t been able to source. I wanted it to look vintage and for every piece to be really special, something that would live in a home forever. With Burmese craft naturally celebrating all things 70s, it made sense for me to really channel the era that inspires me so deeply. I wanted to create a collection that would be a match made in heaven for a 60s/70s celebrity bolthole and I drew inspiration from furniture that I already owned, pieces that I saw in the background of musicians’ homes, memories of vintage furniture that I’d seen online – an amalgamation of everything that I would want in my own home.  

Patti Rattan Bedside Table, £220

The Patti bedside table was my starting point. I knew that I wanted a larger piece of furniture in the collection and I feel as though bedside tables are often hard to find, especially ones with character. The inspiration behind this incredibly low rattan number was the flattened hoop style side table commonly found in the late 60s/early 70. I wanted it to feel very relaxed and suited to lower platform beds, but also a good addition as a side table if preferred. It can be used horizontally or vertically which makes it a super versatile piece.

One of the constraints here was working with rattan as a surface. The nature of it can mean it can be a little wonky, something which frustrates the functional person in me, but Sophie and I agreed that this was part of the charm and One of the constraints here was working with rattan as a surface. The nature of it can mean it can be a little wonky, something which frustrates the functional person in me, but Sophie and I agreed that this was part of the charm and you can simply pop a tray or large book on top of it if you want a super flat surface. The tables were woven by Myint Myint Maw in southern Pathein, the rattan district of Burma. This is where the rattan grows prolifically in the rainforests. She says “it was a bit challenging for us as it required double framing which is quite technical! But the shape is lovely.” The entire point of the Kalinko is to embrace the fact that these pieces are handmade by real artisans and not every item will be perfect. Imperfections are what makes life beautiful.

Marianne Smoked Amber Lamp Base, £175

Speaking of unique, a product that nearly didn’t make the cut was my favourite piece in the collection, the Marianne smoked amber lamp base. I adore smoked glass, and thankfully two years on from the initial sketch, the love for that is still as strong. When I opened this package, I literally squealed with delight as I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. I was inspired by the shape of one my favourite lamps and my instructions were clear – this MUST be oversized and cylindrical. 

Thankfully, after a lot of trial and error (Sophie tells me she nearly had to pull it), the lamp prototype came back spot on. It’s the most wonderful amber hue and the bubbles are a joy to behold. It’s made entirely out of recycled glass which makes it a sustainable purchase too. Obviously we couldn’t leave it without a hat, which brings me to my next design…

Anita Rattan Lamp Shade, £95

Let me tell you, rattan shades that you find on the high street have got nothing on this baby. I’ve never felt or seen quality like it. You know how some rattan shades just feel flimsy? Well, this isn’t one of them. It’s 100% rattan and again, handwoven by Myint Myint Maw, again in southern Pathein.

The top of the lampshade is where things get interesting. It has an extra little bit of detail to set it apart from other designs and bring it together with the bedside table. You can again switch this up and use it on any other lamp base or even as a ceiling fitting if you would prefer. I love the fact that it’s versatile and will go with plenty of interior design styles. I know I could put it on any of the lamps in my own home with zero complaints.

Jane Woven Cushion, £75

Now, let’s get real, it wouldn’t be an EJP collection without a cushion and the textile manufacture at Kalinko is one of the most interesting parts. There are three female makers behind the cushions at Kalinko and they all reside in a tiny village in Chin State in Western Burma. They weave the fabric on a backstrap loom (made from scratch using sticks and leather) with a technique from the Bronze Age. It takes around two weeks to create a single length of fabric (0.5m x 2m) before it’s sent to Yangon to be turned into cushions.

The patterns themselves are traditional designs that have been passed down the generations. Sophie sent me samples of these patterns and I honed in on a single section of one and asked if it was possible for this to be repeated. The section itself really reminded me of a 70s vintage knit and I chose an orange thread to celebrate a 70s colour palette. Kalinko has never done a round cushion, nor a trim, both of which were quite integral to my vision. Round cushions on beds are just so adorable and I wanted the trim to roughen it up a little. Nothing too fancy, just a little laidback addition that would add texture. These cushions will be limited to those made as the vintage trim is likely to never be found again!

Linda Smoked Glass Mug, £12

Last but by no means least, it’s the most accessible piece of the collection – the Linda mug. Originally designed as a dusty pink number, Sophie had pre-warned me that occasionally they’re surprised with a completely different colour when samples are returned. This is one of those happy accidents. The chunky glass mug came back in their stunning shade of mauve. In certain lights you can see the pink shining through, but on a surface it looks more of a purplish brown. I can only imagine that the makers in Burma foresaw my 70s inspiration and decided that mauve and amber was a complete vibe.

However, as I’ve explained multiple times in this post, not everything is always perfect, and upon roadtesting this piece back in the UK (they were all quality checked before leaving Burma), we found that the heat resistance wasn’t quite holding up for our boiling hot morning brews. I hate waste, Kalinko hates waste, so instead of chucking hundreds of mugs in the bin, we’ve decided it’s a beautiful accident. We’ve renamed it the things mug and you can use it for cold drinks, jewellery, pens, plants, cotton buds. In fact, the best use should surely win a prize?

Note: we’ll try and get some heat resistant ones made, so be sure to let us know if you want one!

Shop my sustainable homeware collection

Now that I’ve walked you through EJP x Kalinko, you’re surely ready to fly off to buy some of these sustainable homeware pieces. If you do, please let us know by tagging us on Instagram, and if you have any further questions on the collection or the brand, my DMs are open. I’m so grateful for the support we’ve seen in the last week and I can’t wait to see my designs going to their new homes. Shop our sustainable homeware collection NOW!

Photos: Joanna Bongard



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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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