We were required to come up with two different Show Homes, fabric and wallpaper designs based on two different artists or designers for a company called Linden Homes. This was our second live client assignment.
I chose two artists to base my Show Homes designs on:
1) Japanese artist, Katsushika Hokusai, see his work here
2) British artist, Rebecca Louise Law, see her work here
Concept boards for Hokusai and Law.
As well as looking at artists, we had to look at trends and really do our research into furniture and trying to stick to a budget of £20,000. I was very excited to get started on this project, not just because it was a Live Client, but because we were using an actual space to base our designs on and we got to visit the building site where we got to see and understand who their target audience were and how they decorate and design their rooms.
The homes were being built on some land in Waterlooville, not far from Portsmouth, that used to be owned by a Catholic Church. A whole new housing estate was being built, with a brand new Church near to the entrance, and the old Church and Convent were being converted in to flats.
They decided to keep the original windows of the old Convent, which were beautiful stained glass windows, and they incorporated them in with their design.
For my first Hokusai influenced design, I looked at his work. I took inspiration from his most famous painting (which is nothing like any of his other paintings) and painted my own version of it, and then deconstructed it to create a different type of wave that is usually seen on origami paper or kimonos. I decided to overlap them and make the overlapped waves transparent to create a lace type of effect in my pattern. This first design would be used for curtains and cushions in the Living Area.
The second design for the Living Area was for the wallpaper. I just love Japanese paintings of Mountains and Sakura (Cherry) Blossoms. I used watered down ink and a dry brush to draw the mountains. I originally drew the Cherry Blossoms on paper, but painted them with gouache (type of paint) on tracing paper to get that delicacy, with petals floating away from the branches and flowers. I used a dry brush and ink to create the water and painted mini bonsai trees with gouache. I combined everything in Photoshop to create a repeat pattern. This pattern could be improved if I did the mountains differently.
The third pattern I designed is for the bedroom. I love Geishas, and Hokusai did a few studies of them in his works. I drew a Geisha on paper and used the painted tracing paper technique for her, too. I placed her in Photoshop, duplicated her and changed the colour of her Kimono and headpieces for each copy. I then took the water and sakura from the previous design, and made each motif repeat. For the background, I thought it would look good if I created a gradient ombre effect, which was also in fashion with interiors at that moment. I love it! This design was originally going to be used for the bedding, however I thought it would look better as wallpaper. It would still look good as bedding, and I am very tempted to get it printed and make some bedding with it for myself.
The fourth Japanese and Hokusai inspired design is rather simple compared to the three above designs, however I still feel it looks beautiful. I took the cherry blossoms, got rid of the branches, and repeated them. I then created a repeating vertical stripe pattern of pink, peach and red. I thought this was a bit risky, as I have never believed that red and pink go together (like the rule of no brown and black together, even though I think that can work, I just never thought pink and red can), but I’m glad I did it. I think it looks great! This was to be used as the bedding.
For every design in this collection I create a colourway option, so that it can be changed for any room.
In the living room, I wanted to give it that traditional Japanese house feeling, but modernise it. So I added false wall panelling to create a faux Japanese screen wall as a feature wall. I then felt I needed to add the blue in to the room somewhere else, so I painted both shorter walls blue. By adding colour to these walls, it makes the room seem wider than what it is. I then painted the wall opposite the feature wall a cream/magnolia colour to reflect the feature wall and to lighten the room a bit as there are a lot of dark colours going on. I also modernised the room more by having a cluster of paper lampshades hanging in the lounge part of the living area and one lampshade in the dining area. I added wooden floors and placed an area rug between the sofa and tv unit to represent tatami mats, linking the modern and traditional designs together. On the feature wall I designed some floating shelves to be hung at random and at different levels. This was to create some more interest in the room and provide some storage space. I really love this design! It’s traditional Japanese meets modern Western design.
In the bedroom, it got a little bit girly… Lots of pinks everywhere. Oops. But as I said, I designed different colourways. I got a Japanese styled bed from Muji, but used a paper screen as the headboard. I added a blue paper lantern in the centre of the room, and mixed it up a bit with a Chinese chair and dressing table. I designed the wardrobe myself, taking inspiration from a company called Sliderobes, who do modern oriental sliding wardrobes. I added mirrors to the middle panels of the sliding doors, to help bring more light in. Thinking about it now, I should have made it all mirror, but I feel that would cause the wardrobe to lose the oriental feeling. On the dresser I added an oriental mirror which has a gold/brass painted piece at the top. The walls are painted a light blue colour to help keep it calm with all the dark furniture.
For my Rebecca Louise Law influenced designs, I wanted to try and capture the delicacy and fragility of her flower installations in my drawings and compositions.
In my first design for the Living Area, I wanted to create something that would relate to the fact that she is a British artist. So I thought I’d create a check design with flower motifs. It’s a simple yet beautiful, light, calming design. I did a colourway of this design as well, which I used in the bedroom design.
For the second design, I wanted to create a wallpaper that related to the hanging flowers in the artist’s installations. So I took the flower motifs from the previous pattern and turned them all upside down. I changed their colours and created a drop repeat pattern using Photoshop. I left the background white and didn’t create a colourway as I felt it would look too busy for the design. I used this as a wallpaper and cushion design.
For my third design in this collection, I really wanted it to relate to the artist’s installations. I took the flower motifs from previous designs, but also borrowed the cherry blossoms from my Japanese patterns to fill in any spaces. I placed duplicates of the motifs everywhere, and added different flower motifs I had painted in with the design to create a contrast between them. I then added less motifs as they went down the design and floating petals from the roses. This was done to really capture that delicateness of Rebecca’s installations. I added blue as the background colour. I love this design! This is possibly my favourite design out of both of my collections. I just love how the flowers float down, with the petals adding movement to the piece. The design is longer than this, with more space for the blue background colour to show. This was used as a wallpaper design. I didn’t create a colourway for this design.
For my fourth and final design, I created another stripe design. I took the roses from the large design and placed them together in a bundle. I then changed the colour of some of the roses, duplicated them and created a repeat pattern in Photoshop. I feel that this is a beautiful, bright and sophisticated design. I love how bright it is, and that it still has the delicateness from the roses. I used this as the bedding in my bedroom design. I didn’t create a colourway for this one, either.
I wanted my living area design to be sophisticated, yet light and delicate. I chose a Chesterfield Sofa in blush pink, an Art Deco-esque gold console table, a large gold mirror hung above the console table, a white storage ottoman that doubles as a coffee table if you place a tray on top and a green rug for the lounge area. For the dining area, I chose some beautiful silver chairs with lilac silk seats, and a glass table. I have pink and gold flower chandeliers in both areas. I also hung green curtains with white voile in the windows to link in with the green rug and green stained glass windows.
For the Bedroom design, I chose a beautiful white metal bed. I hung a white canopy above the bed with a flower garland around the top to tie in with the wallpaper pattern. On both sides of the bed are beautiful pale blue shabby chic bedside tables with pink glass lanterns. I added an awesome test tube chandelier in the room, which has false flowers in. I placed a French dresser in the room that was originally an ivory colour, but I painted it a pale pink and added a chair to go with it that matches the chairs in the dining area. Next to the dresser I placed a white wardrobe that has some gorgeous moulding at the top and beading around the mirrors on the doors. Next to the wardrobe is a beautiful green kidney bean shaped chest of drawers that has white flowers painted all over it. I then painted the walls in a slightly lighter blue than the wallpaper to promote a calming and peaceful atmosphere in the room. I love the mismatched furniture and feel they all compliment each other. In the window I hung the same window treatment as in the Living Area to tie in with the green drawers
I really enjoyed this assignment, and if you’ve made it this far down in the post, thank you and I hope you enjoyed reading about it. I am one of five students from my class that have been chosen to present my designs to Linden Homes. I am rather excited about this and will keep you all updated on how it goes!