Is this gorgeous or what?

Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives by Helen O’Neill


Just this morning I happened to see the Lonny Magazine blog :

“Watercolor Wednesdays: Florence Broadhurst”.

I have had this post ready to go for at least two months….so today is the perfect day, with the bonus that I can link it to the Lonny blog. You DO know Lonny Magazine, don’t you????? Shame on you if you don’t: take a look here.

Florence Broadhurst (1899-1977) was an extraordinarily prolific designer!  Her story is truly one of a kind: she wove tales about her past, some true, some not; she had boundless energy; she loved to be in the spotlight; she had a tragic death;  and yet her life was a mystery for many years. 

This “Chinese Floral” wallpaper was one of her most successful: 



Here she sits in front of another popular wallpaper, “Peacocks”:


 From geometrics “Honeycomb”:



to “Florentine Tapestry”:



and the very contemporary “Solar”:


And here, from an advertisement for her new shop at Bond Street, London in 1933 where she “became” Mme Pellier (!) aka Florence Broadhurst.


Aside from the captivating story, and, for all you designers out there, a very rich treasure trove of design, there is the physical book! It looks stunning on any bookshelf or table! 

To be honest, I had never heard of her until a few years ago when I saw this book mentioned in a design magazine. Broadhurst was Australian and lived both there, in Sydney and in London. In her later years she encouraged and mentored young designers and up until her sudden, tragic death, she continued to be active in all phases of designing. 

Her print designs are now handled by Signature Prints and the newest product evolution is rugs from Cadrys in Australia. Take a look, and in reading the sidebar you will find out more about Broadhurst.

There are women in our lives to whom we look as role models. Do you? Well, from a very great distance, I see Broadhurst as a role model: I hope to be as involved and active for many years to come.