Suzanne Miller Farrell searched the world for the most unique, high-quality fabrics that could tell her story when decorating her historic home in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood. But she became frustrated after continuously finding mass-produced textiles of the same colors and patterns.
Tired of the monotony, she decided to design her own solution.
The St. Louis native and former communications consultant used her travels around the globe and her textile design education at Central Saint Martins art school in London to build her own boutique fabric studio: The Storied House.
In April, The Storied House launched with 10 traditional and contemporary collections featuring 150 vivid color and bold pattern combinations, all available for $98 per yard on its website, storiedhouse.co. “I created The Storied House to design a variety of bold, colorful and beautiful fabrics,” Farrell says. “I am inspired by my travels.”
Many of The Storied House’s fabrics are produced in microbatches in North Carolina and made up of a blend of 45 percent combed cotton and 55 percent linen, yielding a soft yet sturdy canvas feel. The material is ideal for home décor projects, from furniture upholstery to curtains and throw pillows, Farrell explains, adding that the company’s microbatch production process allows it to consistently offer unique and fresh fabrics as well as custom designs, resulting in truly authentic décor to reflect each homeowner’s personal story.
A reflection of the company’s name, each collection shares a story: The French Quarter collection is an abstract nod to the ironwork in New Orleans; the Marquis collection is a distortion of the Union Jack honoring the Marquis de Lafayette’s voluntary role in the American Revolution; and the Wild Atlantic linen line, which will debut this summer, pays homage to Farrell’s husband’s and children’s Irish heritage, as well as her own.
Wild Atlantic has brought Farrell’s personal story full circle. The range of blue-hued designs on soft Irish linen showcases Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way – the world’s longest coastal touring route, known for its fresh, gentle sea breezes. “It is a scenic journey in the west of Ireland that has rugged landscape, buzzing towns and over-the-top beauty and views,” Farrell says, noting that she fell in love with the country when she and her husband lived there for six years. “I love the idea of a journey that Wild Atlantic represents – it’s been a journey [for me] to this new career and company: rugged, beautiful and inspiring, and a journey that has brought me back ‘home’ to Ireland.”
The bespoke fabric, which is milled and printed in the traditional textile haven of County Donegal in northwest Ireland, boasts four captivating designs, including Skellig, inspired by the Skellig Islands (where Star Wars: The Last Jedi was filmed). “They are two rocky points that come out of the sea,” Farrell says. “This design is angular and contemporary, yet timeless, like the islands themselves.”
The second pattern is influenced by the buzzing bayside Irish market town of Kenmare. “The diamond shapes are reminiscent of the town square, where bartering and trade still occur after hundreds of years,” Farrell says.
A third design, Eileen, is named for Farrell’s mother-in-law. “She grew up [along the Wild Atlantic Way] on a small island off the Ring of Kerry and is strong, yet very feminine,” Farrell says. “Anyone who had to row a boat to school as a child is strong and courageous in my book.”
The fourth pattern, Grace, pays tribute to the legendary Irish pirate, Queen Grace O’Malley, who led her family’s dynasty and received a formal education – unheard of in the 1500s, Farrell notes. “This pattern has lots of movement with abstract florals,” she says.
Farrell has high hopes for the company, not only to create beautiful textiles that tell a story and reflect yours but also to make a positive philanthropic impact. Its first charitable mission focuses on raising funds for One Moore Book, which publishes and distributes culturally relevant books for children from countries with low literacy rates and underrepresented cultures. “I love the common thread that both of our organizations are sharing stories,” Farrell says.
The Storied House also tackles custom orders and design consultation services for clients who contact Farrell through the company’s website. The textile designer has created special fabrics for families from Dublin, Frontenac, Kirkwood, Ladue and New York, featuring everything from clients’ favorite color schemes to a script of the first initial of their individual last names for indoor and outdoor furniture upholstery, throw pillows, curtains and place mats.
The textile business plans to offer even more ways to accentuate customers’ personal style with home décor, including eye-catching, family- and pet-friendly throw pillows set to be available by late summer, as well as a high-end, statement-making wallpaper in the future.
Farrell believes every home should tell its owner’s story, like her own historic house. “It’s the story of where I came from, who I am and where I want to go,” she says.
What’s your story?
The Storied House, 646-405-5992, storiedhouse.co