Parris Wakefield Additions: Interview & Giveaway
Additions is a range of interiors products featuring bold, colourful graphic patterns by Sarah Parris and Howard Wakefield. Sarah and Howard's background is in graphic design - they run their own design studio and have worked with clients in the music, fashion and interiors industry including New Order, Pringle of Scotland, Toord Boontje and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
Their new homeware range, recently launched at Tent during London Design Festival, includes cushions, fabrics, wallpapers and rugs. It feels very fresh and contemporary - I love the blend of bold geometric patterns with tribal influences and colours.
Sarah tells me more about the range below... and read on to find out how you can win one of their designs in an exclusive Design Hunter giveaway.
Which three words best describe your style?
Vibrant, playful and flamboyant.
How did you make the shift from graphic design to interiors products?
It began when we finally moved out of London to our barn in Suffolk. Suddenly we had rooms that needed furnishing and we either couldn't afford what we liked, or simply could not find what we wanted. This, combined with the work we were doing graphic-wise for the Danish textile company Kvadrat, working on projects with great designers such as Toord Boontje, Alfredo Haberli and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec really whetted our appetites for interiors. Then Knots Rugs got excited about our designs and wanted to produce them. It really gave us the confidence to produce this collection.
Tell us a little more about the rug collection...
The rugs have been a long time in the making. We first played around with some rug designs many years ago, but nothing came of it. Every so often, Howard and I would have a conversation about the designs and that we should try to get them made. We would revisit the designs, tinker with them and contact companies and see if anyone was interested. For a long time we could not find the right partner who really believed in the designs and who could offer us the support we needed, having no knowledge of what was required to produce a rug. We decided in 2010 to make one final determined attempt, and our break came from an unexpected source - Twitter.
One day @reganmaari tweeted about a carpet she had designed. I liked her style and use of colour, so I simply tweeted her to see if she was interested in collaborating with us. Her reply, I am delighted to say, was instant and enthusiastic. Regan McDonnell expertly interpreted our designs. Her attention to detail and eye for design, especially in the addition of the silks, really brought our designs to life. Regan instantly believed our designs would work and introduced us to Knots Rugs - we cannot thank her enough. She has become a great friend and even travelled from Canada to visit us at Tent and to see the rugs when they arrived in London.
The designs in the Masterpiece collection all draw their inspiration from colour palettes of renowned artists. I would love to go into that more but I think that is a whole blog post of its own.
What was the reaction to the collection you recently presented at Tent?
Showing at Tent was brilliant. To see so many drawn to our stand and loving the explosion of colour and patterns was fantastic. Everyone was very supporting of the fact that the whole collection is manufactured in Britain. People were genuinely excited about seeing something new and we knew we had hit the nail on the head when blogger Susan Cook wrote that 'Bliss' had made her 'grin like an idiot'. We want our designs to make people smile, and a reaction like that was perfect.
Many of the visitors to our stand commented on our design called 'Field' which is full of greens and browns and fitted perfectly with the trends predicted for 2013 by The Mix trend trail at Tent.
The trade reaction from Tent has been equally encouraging too - across the board with interest from residential and commercial interior designers, architects, e-commerce, boutique interior stores as well as the bigger retailers. We are still in the process of following up all our leads, but I am pleased to say we are in the process of signing contracts with several great online retailers, and the possibility of an exclusive with one of the larger high street retailers and a renowned European B2B manufacturer.
We are developing designs as upholstery and curtain fabric. I am so excited to see a whole sofa covered with our patterns. There are lots of products we would love to have the opportunity to put our designs on and we are always on the lookout for other companies and creatives to collaborate with. For the New Year we have a special pattern that we are going to make into a scarf - we hope this will be the first of many.
Parris Wakefield are very kindly offering one lucky Design Hunter reader the chance to win one of their 'Field' cushions (as shown in the image at the top of this post). To enter either:
a) follow @SPWadditions and @designhunter_uk on Twitter or
and then indicate in the comments below whether you've done a) or b) so that I can track your entry.
Entries close at midnight on Sunday 28th October and a winner will be chosen using a random number generator. Good luck!
This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner - Tom Peach.