To me, a home is a place where you can be surrounded by the objects and items that you love most, whether they are old or new or your home is big or small, it is a place that should hold your memories of your favourite moments in life.
One of the reasons I launched my debut Safari wallpaper and fabric collection, was to do just that. I was lucky enough to first visit when I was 11 and my husband grew up on a game lodge called Imire in Marondera, Zimbabwe, so Africa will always be a strong theme in our home in the UK.
Those that have been lucky enough to visit the continent will have come away with such precious memories of the colours, smells, people and of course the wildlife. There is no other place in the world like it and even if you haven’t been, the beauty and grandeur of their exquisite wildlife is iconic.
As a new and young company, I wanted to produce a collection that was exciting and unique and after working for de Gournay and then carrying out extensive research, I realised African wildlife had not yet been used in the industry. The use of imagery is of course endless, and the idea was the perfect catalyst to develop my Safari themed collection.
I began drawing and designing on my kitchen table at my home in London, back in January 2013. I sketched from photographs as well as working back into initial illustrations I drew from life during my trips to Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Kenya in past years. My main aim was to capture the detail as well as the typical characteristics of each animal so I worked with mixed media materials to create life like textures and tones.
The collection soon came to life with a combination of Farrow and Ball paint colours as a reference and the use of silver and pearlescent hues to make various design features ‘pop’ and create the effect and impact I was wanting.
The finished collection consists of seven designs which focus on just a few of the animals that have moved me the most throughout my experiences in Africa and all have been ordered for various rooms in peoples homes all over the world.
It is so lovely to get feedback from all my customers after a project is complete. The reply is nearly always that the collection captures their memories of a very special holiday, honeymoon or family experience and they love that their favourite African animal is now decorating their walls and/or windows in their own home. It is very special to know that my designs have achieved their main purpose and I am currently working on a new collection, which I hope to launch in September 2015!