Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Hometown: Essex/Suffolk, UK.
Studio location: Wiltshire, UK.
Describe what you make: We make beautiful sustainable cloth and wallpaper for the curious and imaginative.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: POW! The design was taken from a Victorian mourning jacket I found at Portobello Market. The inner linings of Victorian mourning clothes were often bursting with color and intricate design, as if to express something repressed by the dull requirements of social respectability. I reworked the idea into a large-scale, joyful print that’s proved to be the best-loved KLS pattern. It can bring a whole room to life.
Describe the problem your work solves: Patterns that are well-made, sustainably designed, and that can stand the test of time are not always easy to find. We create patterns with a strong narrative and good intention that will last.
Describe the project you are working on now: Our new house. We just got the keys!
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: We have just launched our first wallpaper collection, and are soon to release a bunch of new block prints and two new embroideries. I’m looking at wovens next, working on new wallpaper designs, and a new line of cushions! So a lot is going on.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Essential oil burner, calm blend. Warm light. Music must be varying from classical to hip-hop. Piles of books, historical especially. Coffee and tea on tap and a secret stash of cigs for when things get stressful.
What you do when you’re not working: We’ve just bought an 18th-century house so I’m currently tearing down blocked fireplaces and unblocking drains. It’s definitely an adventure. Inside the 18th-century stone jacket, as it were, there’s an earlier, wooden house, from medieval times. People just kept adding on. Many of the big wooden beams used to extend the place in the 18th century were actually imported from America, because there was no wood left in Britain at the time—it all went for shipbuilding. The place is full of leaks and draughts and asbestos and all sorts of things, so we’ve got our work cut out. But I couldn’t be happier. This is my passion.
Sources of creative envy: I love and probably envy female artists like Vanessa Bell, who has guts and talent. There’s also the enigmatic Anna Maria Garthwaite, who was a Huguenot silk designer in the 1700s, and an amazingly prolific and a clever businesswoman in a man’s world.
The distraction you want to eliminate: My own internal voice.
Concrete or marble? Concrete. I love concrete. My brother-in-law, Leigh Cameron, works in concrete and makes tables, chairs, even jewelry with it, in warm colors and curved lines. It’s amazingly versatile and still underappreciated as a material.
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse.
Remember or forget? Forget. It’s just not worth it.
Aliens or ghosts? Tough one! Both I think, possibly together, at a dinner party maybe?
Dark or light? Light. I’m not a holy roller but I do go after the light more than the dark.