Welcome to our first Designer Interview: Louisa Charlotte is in the hot seat! Get to know Walls and Floors’ exclusive designer Louisa Charlotte a little better in this exclusive interview! Don’t forget to take a look at her popular Designer Tile Collection.
Tell us a little about yourself, Louisa
I’m a young designer from Barton Seagrave, Northamptonshire. After spending seven years focusing study on design, and 4 years practising it, I finally have a job that I love. It lets me use virtually all of the skills I have learnt! I’m lucky to have grown up in a family that appreciate all aspects of arts & crafts. My mum and dad have always been very supportive of my career choice as finding work as a designer has not always been easy; especially in the current economic climate.
When did you decide you wanted to become a designer?
When I was little I loved animals, so naturally I wanted to be a vet. But when it came to Biology at school, I changed my mind!
My second love growing up was always arts & crafts. My mother had her own floristry business where she also made cards and Jewellery, and my dad has his own building company, so school holidays were split between the two of them, “helping out”. So when it came to Design & Technology and Art & Textiles at school, I seemed to always enjoy this, so it just made sense that I would make a career out of something I had a passion for.
What have you studied, to get to where you are today?
I spent five years at university which is a little longer than most people, but I undertook courses which would give me a wider knowledge as I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to focus on, so I thought I should make sure I’m good at everything! The courses included a ‘Foundation in Art & Design’ which included an NCFE in creative craft. My bachelor’s degree was in Design Management & Innovation, which included a year of product design, and a night course for a UPDC (University Professional Development Certificate) in Business Enterprise. My dissertation was focused on the use of design to improve revenue in business. I have also won several Awards including a Bosch Excellence in Design award, 1st place for the logo design of the MLA Youth “ONE” festival, and 2nd prize in Creation of the “Blue T” brand.
What did you enjoy most from your time at university?
Apart from the social life and shopping, my favourite part was the Art and Design Foundation Course because it enabled me to try every creative avenue possible and broaden my skill-set. For my final display I created a series of glass tiles with various textures trapped within them. I did attempt glass blowing but I wasn’t strong enough for that! Other aspects included Ceramics & Pottery, Photography using photograms, Fine Art, Screen Printing and of course CAD – Computer Aided Design. My foundation course enabled me to excel in the Expressive Art & Graphics modules each year on my course as I could incorporate all these different techniques.
Do you read at all?
I like to read interior design magazines such as Living Etc. & Grand Designs, however my favourite magazine is Elle & Elle Decoration. These focus on more global trends; from the catwalks of Milan and Paris to the latest architectural designs from New York and Sweden, which I think are important to understand and take in as a designer.
Who are your influences?
I take my inspiration from many abstract artists such as Georgia O’Keefe who specialises in paintings of flowers up close. She takes a simple element and magnifies it so all the colours and shapes become a lot clearer. Sonia Delaunay is another one of my favourite artists – she creates pictures from layered circles. My favourite product designer is Philippe Stark – one of his most famous pieces is a lemon squeezer… I have one, I like getting my friends to guess what it is! More recently I have been inspired by the new concept store created by Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama. It looks like a magical world, and I love anything that looks enchanting.
What themes do you think will be big in the later part of 2013?
Over the last 2 months I have attended 3 interior design shows, (Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live & The May Design Series) and carried out my own research into the latest trends. Some of the biggest themes for the later part of 2013 will be “The Far East” and “Glamour of India” where designers are using fascinating Asian motifs and sumptuous patterns, used alongside jewel tone colours and gold accents, adding luxurious connotations to any home. “Floral Fantasy” “Lace” and “Embellishment” are also heightened for the later part of 2013 from delicately painted prints to boldly patterned textiles, inclusive of crystals and gold brocades. These trends will add glamorous finishing touches to any room willing to take it on board. The last theme that is by far the biggest I have seen; “Touch” uses textured soft natural organic colours as a base with specialised lighting, enabling the consumer to get the impression they have “touched” the surface without actually feeling it – it also adds to the theme of “Enchantment and Surrealism,” helping a space to tell a story.
Tell us about your Designer Tile Collection at Walls and Floors
The collection combines a host of chic and stylish tile designs, offering unique and opulent ranges exclusive to Walls and Floors.
I feel that all the ranges are both contemporary and artistic enabling an elegant, modernistic feel into any home. I find all the ranges extremely aesthetically-pleasing, and feel that a stunning exuberant wall display can be pieced together when including the graceful decorative pieces.
By installing a new set of feature walls, a plain, bland space can be transformed into a beautiful and eye-catching delight that you’ll love to spend time in.
Where do you see your collection in 12 months?
I feel that over the next few months that the collection itself will be diverse in that it will take on all the key interior trends for 2014 and possibly even set trends. One of the new ranges I have designed myself will definitely cover most of this.
What have you got in the pipeline?
I have designed a new collection called “Eden”, produced by British Ceramic Tile. It has a very subtle pattern which can be accentuated dependant on colour choice. It brings the themes of nature, texture and shape together in a very elegant, graceful style.
What are the most important things to consider when creating a designer range?
It’s important to be aware of the current trends as well as up and coming; but to set trends, it’s important to keep in line with your own personality; keeping the design unique to yourself. I also believe that taking on particular styles and adding your own innovative spin on them brings new life and creates individuality for a new season.
What themes do you think will be big in 2014?
In 2014 two new identified trends are, “Neoclassical” – Greek, Roman and even a revival of an Egyptian theme; all with a modernistic twist. “Fragmented” – sliced geometric shapes and elements that look as if they have exploded, with one of the most popular shapes being the circle. I believe that the fascination for enchantment and nature will still remain strongly within floral patterns and raw materials, as will the use of embellished texture accentuated by lighting effects. Consumers are also increasingly aware of colour, which they relate to the above trends by purchasing statement pieces with distinct style and vibrancy. This leads me onto the nine colour palettes presented by Pantone; Techno Colour, Physicality, Sculpted Simplicity, Fluidity, Collage, Intimacy, Moda, Tribal Threads and Eccentricities.
If you were sent to a desert island what 3 things would you take?
Mascara, a sketchpad to help keep me amused, and a never ending supply of Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations!
Keep up to date with Louisa Charlotte on her Google Plus account!
Download our Dream Colour Scheme: Ooze Lookbook
It’s full of ideas and accessories for recreating the Ooze colour scheme in your home. Fill out the form below* and we’ll give you the download link instantly.
*By providing an email address above we’ll add you to our mailing list to receive our newsletters which are full of interior design trends, fantastic giveaways and our latest unmissable offers. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Other posts you might like…