An interview with interiors stylist and wallpaper designer Abigail Edwards
I saw Abigail Edwards‘ gorgeous wallpaper at TENT London this year and I was instantly smitten! She very kindly agreed to tell me a little bit about how her designs came into being and what inspires her…
What’s the most important thing to know about you?
There isn’t anything that is very important to know. I am an interiors stylist and I design wallpaper too. I love London, where I live, but my heart is in the Cotswolds.
Describe a really good day and a really bad day in the life of Abigail Edwards.
A good day is sitting in my studio room, drawing, with the sun shining in through the window. Nipping out for hot chocolate at my local Italian café that does a really gorgeous, thick hot chocolate that’s more like a pudding. Then meeting friends for dinner and red wine in the evening.
A bad day is getting up at 4.30 in the dark, to get to a location for a shoot that is far away, standing in the rain and cold for about 10 hours trying to make a Winter garden look like it is ready for a summer picnic. This happens pretty much every winter for summer commercials and magazines. It reverses in the summer covering lush green grass in fake snow for Christmas shoots but everything is so much more fun when the sun is shining.
What inspires your ideas?
Inspiration is everywhere; music, films, art, books – but I am especially inspired by the place that I grew up, surrounded by woodland with an over active imagination fed by a great love of fairy tales.
Describe the process you go though to turn your ideas into products.
It was a very long process! My background is fine art, not surface pattern or product design and I have been working as a stylist for years, so I didn’t know what the process should be. I finished the owl designs and seascape in 2010 but started working on them back in 2009. The Owl Collection wasn’t launched until early 2011 and seascape only a couple of months ago. This is mainly because I spent ages reworking the drawings by hand as I don’t really understand the technology. I did this so many times I can’t remember and it was really time consuming. But I also researching where and how to get them printed at the same time. Even though I had all the designs finished at the same time I launched seascape later just because the process is so expensive.
What advice would you give to an aspiring wallpaper designer?
I am not really in a position to give advice because I’m learning as I go and I’m very new to the wallpaper business! I was worried that just having two designs for my first collection would appear a little insubstantial and that I should have had several more, but this didn’t matter at all and I am really glad that I did it this way. So the only advice that I could give would be to do everything at your own pace and only launch a design when you are really comfortable with it, rather than launching designs for the sake of making an impact with a larger collection.
Which three items could you not live without?
For the last year I haven’t really had a base and only moved back into my flat a few weeks a go, so I’ve got used to living with very few possessions. I couldn’t have coped without my laptop, my phone and my much loved and very battered, red leather Orla Keily suitcase.
What are you most proud of?
That people are buying my wallpaper
And finally, what’s your favourite colour?!
A very pale grey with a subtle pinky tone.
(Photography by Alun Caleneder.)
Katie Treggiden writes confessions of a design geek, winner of mydeco's Best Interior Design Blog in Great Britain and has recently published Interviews, a collection of eighteen conversations with designers. You can follow her on Twitter @coadg. Read more posts by Katie Treggiden.
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