Interview

Interview : Textile Designer Helen Baker

Helen Baker Home Blue cushion & lampshade designs

When I first found out I was pregnant back in 2013, I couldn’t wait to decorate our baby’s new bedroom. However, I needed to go gender neutral as my husband and I didn’t want to find out what gender our baby was until arrival day. I was almost certain we were having a boy but we decided a gender neutral theme would be the sensible option. (Good job too as we had a girl!) Coming up with a gender neutral design wasn’t as easy as I had initially thought. We ended up going for green and incorporated a woodland animal theme which is really lovely. You can read about our nursery project here.

It’s not all that easy to find gender neutral products for use in a children’s room that look nice, can grow with them and are great quality. This was a problem that textile designer Helen Baker also had. But rather than compromise she decided to fill this gap in the market by designing her own collection of fabrics, cushions and lampshades. The Cornish-inspired collection is right up my street, being from the neighbouring county myself. I love the graphic elements and if I were to redecorate our girls’ room I would definitely consider incorporating Helen’s designs. But for now, let’s find out a little bit more about Helen and her designs.

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Interview : Mario Joakim of Mushroom Designs

Mushroom Designs Totnes Devon Lighting Showroom

I have been meaning to tell you guys about Mushroom Designs for so long, and now I have finally gotten around to it. I was first introduced to it by a friend who spotted the shop on Totnes highstreet. She told me all about it because she knew I would love it and she wasn’t wrong. When I went to visit the shop myself, I was not disappointed. It is bursting with beautiful, colourful, and elegant lighting designs and accessories, including metallic ceiling roses, hooks and colourful flexes. But it also stocks paint, audio devices and the odd bit of artwork. The shop is owned by Mario Joakim and it is a real treat to visit. So next time you’re in Devon I suggest you pop along and take a look. Or if you’re not venturing down south any time soon you can catch Mario at Top Drawer in London from 11-13th September 2016 on Stand SP120. Don’t forget to tell him I sent you! Now, let’s get on with the interview so you can find out a little bit more about Mario and his beautiful Devon-based business. Read More…

Interview : Natasha Broady of A Splash of Colour

A Splash of Colour - Concrete barrell lamp

Have you ever been looking for a specific product, say a side table for example, but you wanted it in a specific colour like yellow? How do you go about finding it? My guess is that it requires a lot of googling and checking out your favourite online retailers, am I right? And this can take a long time and even then you might not find what you’re looking for. It was exactly this scenario that inspired Natasha Broady to set up A Splash of Colour, a modern design store that allows users to search by colour or product to find a selection of the coolest coloured furniture, lighting, art, cushions, and accessories from a range of designers. I liked this idea as soon as I heard about it and I wanted to know a little more about the site and the lady behind it. Thankfully Natasha was very obliging and agreed to give us a few moments of her time to tell us all about it.  Read More…

Interview : Artist & Designer Simon Hart

Mugs by Simon Hart

A week or two ago, on Twitter, I discovered a number of local designers based right here on my doorstep in Devon and decided to feature them here on the blog. The first, you may remember, was the recently launched Bert & Buoy and I had the pleasure of interviewing the very talented designer behind the brand, Bert Fowler. Well, at the same time, I came across another extremely creative local whose work I instantly fell in love with. Simon Hart was not a new name to me, but I had previously only really been aware of his bright and colourful seascapes focusing on the fishing villages and harbours of Devon and Cornwall. I had not come across his beautiful collage work and illustrations of woodland animals, birds, dogs and cats. So I wanted to find out more about his work and let you guys know about it too.

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Interview : Textile Designer Sam Pickard

Screen Printed Block repeat - Ivy by Sam Pickard

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now you may recall a very exciting post I wrote back in August 2013 all about the new magazine I was writing for. Devon Home magazine is a really great publication that provides inspiration and information for local residents who are interested in home interiors and design. I have really enjoyed writing for this magazine as it gives me an opportunity to take a step back from the international design scene and examine what is going on closer to home, quite literally. I have discovered some really talented people that are right on my doorstep and it has been great to see that despite what many people think, great design can survive and thrive outside of London. One of the talented people I discovered was textile designer Sam Pickard who lives and works in North Devon and specialises in design and print of bespoke interior fabrics and interior accessories. I wanted to share with you today an interview that I have done with Sam all about her career, her inspiration, her design and print process and her newly launched Masterclass workshops in screen-printing for textiles. I hope you enjoy reading! Read More…

Interview : Sebastian Conran on the Meaning of Beautility

Sebastian Conran

Sebastian Conran is a household name. The eldest son of Sir Terence Conran, he comes from a family of successful and well known designers. He went from modest beginnings stacking shelves at Habitat in his teens to running his eponymous and highly regarded design studio. Throughout his career he has collaborated with a multitude of clients including the likes of John Lewis, Virgin Atlantic, Nigella Lawson and Nissan, to bring thousands of enduring products to market. Following his studies in Industrial Design Engineering at Central St. Martins. Sebastian went on to join corporate identity consultancy Wolff Olins before taking moving on to Mothercare where he led hard-merchandise design transforming the appearance and performance of childcare equipment. In 1999, his design studio merged with The Conran Group and Sebastian was made responsible for all product and branding design. A decade later he decided to go it alone and re-established his own design studio which has gone from strength to strength. This year saw the launch of his new venture, Universal Expert, a range of homewares designed with the contemporary, urban home in mind. I caught up with Sebastian to find out more about his approach to design, his inspiration, his proudest moment and what on earth the “Beautility” movement is all about.

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Unique Wall Decals from Vinyl Impression

Vinyl Impression Wall Decal -Dont-Worry3 Today’s post is all about vinyl wall decals. Now this is a slightly controversial issue for me because I really like the idea of wall decals but I rarely find any that I would be happy to use in my own home. The reason I like the idea is that they are very versatile and allow you to add a bit of character to your home in a temporary way. They can be used by renters and people who are not able to decorate in a more permanent way as well as by homeowners and some of them can be repositioned. The issue I have though is that I rarely like the designs that they come in. So when I received a press release from Vinyl Impression I wasn’t expecting to see anything particularly original and I almost hit delete. But I’m very glad that I didn’t or I would never have discovered their uniquely designed products from The Joy Press. Read More…

The Living Furniture Project: Recycling Furniture, Employing the Homeless

Furniture produced by Donna Walker & the Living Furniture Project

Furniture range produced by Donna Walker & The Living Furniture Project

Just before Christmas I was contacted by a lovely guy called Alastair Sloan who wanted to tell me all about a project he is currently working on as he thought it might be of interest for me and for you guys, my readers. Well I’m not sure about you, but this is most certainly the kind the thing that I love to write about and I was only too pleased to include it here on my blog. It’s a truly worthwhile project and I really respect what Alastair is trying to achieve here and the way he is going about it. But instead of me trying to explain it to you, I’ll let Alastair tell you all about it himself in this video that features an interview Alastair did on Radio Shoreditch in February. And then once you get the general gist you can read the the interview that I have done with him about The Living Furniture Project.

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Pop Art in interior design

May '10 issue

In my latest article for Designer magazine I take a look back at the origins of the Pop Art movement and the effect that it has had on modern interior home design. I speak to a number of interior designers to get their views on the influence that the current resurgence of Pop Art is having on their work and I also interrogate the Post-Pop Prince, Karim Rashid, about his love of Pop Art.

You can read the article here or check out the selection of other articles I have written for Designer here

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