behind the scenes - under the sea rug and wallpaper collection

These long, hot summer days have got everyone going to (or dreaming about) the seaside, so what better time to shine a spotlight on the Under the Sea collection? The underwater world has always been a huge fascination for me and an endless source of inspiration. I recently fulfilled a long-held ambition to learn to scuba dive which means that I can now finally seek out underwater inspiration in person rather than from books, which has been really exciting for me! Here I divulge the often seldom-seen natural phenomena that have inspired my Under the Sea ocean-inspired rug and wallpaper collection.

labyrinth shaped rug

I have been seeing images of brain coral in books and magazines like National Geographic for many years, so I was really excited to spot some fairly sizeable pieces of it in person on one of my first ever dives. It was a great starting point for my graphic Labyrinth rug. The maze is one of the most common recurring shapes in nature, and also features in my logo.

labyrinth-shaped-maze-rug-behind-the-scenes

kelp forest

The Kelp Forest rug was inspired by the towering kelp forests that can be found in cooler waters such as the Pacific Northwest. I discovered these at the Toronto aquarium and would love to see them in person one day. This relaxed, versatile rug is a great fit for a cool, modern bedroom or living space.

kelp-forest-scandi-rug-behind-the-scenes

star coral shaped rug

I remember finding fragments of this coral washed up ashore when I lived in Kuwait as a child (oh, to live five minutes away from a beach again!) Nevertheless, I was still amazed to see much, bigger pieces of it still alive underwater on many of my recent dives abroad. It has been the inspiration behind my Star Coral shaped statement rug, as well as a few other pieces - namely the Star Coral and Coral Atoll wallpapers.

star-coral-shaped-rug-behind-the-scenes

seaweed knots rug

Most people generally find seaweed boring and/or a nuisance, however, I found the unusual circular pattern on strands of bladderwrack seaweed interesting enough to turn into the elegant, modern Seaweed Knots rug design. If it wasn’t for the name, I imagine seaweed would be the last thing you think of when you look at it.

seaweed-contemporary-blue-rug-behind-the-scenes

coral atoll rug

Mushroom coral is probably my favourite coral (doesn’t everyone have a favourite coral? What, just me?) It is such a spectacular, intricate form that really makes a big impact. I would just love to have it in my living room in the form of the Coral Atoll statement rug. Ocean is my favourite standard colourway of this rug, but it is versatile enough to work in any number of custom colourways – visit the bespoke rugs page for more information.

coral-atoll-shaped-rug-behind-the-scenes

See the whole Under the Sea rug and wallpaper collection for more fascinating ocean-inspired products, or visit the bespoke rugs page to learn how to commission your own.

posted on 2017 / 07 / 19

interiors by element to exhibit at london design fair 2017

I am really excited to announce that I will be exhibiting at the London Design Fair as part of the London Design Festival in September.

Located in the Truman Brewery in the vibrant, creative hub of East London, the London Design Fair is one of the largest and best-known London Design Festival destinations, attracting exhibitors from around the world. I am thrilled to have been selected to take part and am really looking forward seeing you there and showing you my colourful, eclectic products in person. Come find me on stand E22 from September 21-24, 2017.

Over the next few months I will be hard at work behind the scenes planning my stand as well as a few new design additions that will be revealed at the show. Be sure to sign up to my newsletter for sneak peeks at my progress over the coming months.

interiors-by-element-to-exhibit-at-london-design-fair

posted on 2017 / 07 / 04

how to choose a rug for your space

Buying a rug is a big decision – whatever your budget, and whether you’re furnishing your home or doing up an office or other business space. To give you some guidance into the process, I’ve put together a list of all the key rug elements – from how to decide on colour and texture, to ensuring your new purchase is the right size and shape for your space.

size

One of the most important aspects in choosing a rug is how large it should be. For open-plan living, rugs are a great way to create different zones in the home, whether grounding a seating area or sectioning off your dining.

A good rule of thumb is to choose a rug that’s slightly larger than the area you’re creating – it should incorporate at least the front legs of your living room furniture and overlap your bed, dining or office area.

If you go for a smaller size rug, bear in mind that a bold pattern can make it look a larger size – but if you want even more impact, layer it over a cheaper, larger jute rug.

how-to-choose-a-rug-size Images courtesy of diningroomideas.eu and domino.com

colour

A great way to set the tone and mood of a space from the minute you step inside is by playing with colour. Dark tones typically evoke a more intimate mood and lighter hues feel more playful – but of course, there’s more to colour than mood.

When choosing a colour, it’s best to think along the lines of subtle versus statement. Calming, soft colours, like light blues and greens, can be the perfect backdrop for relaxing living rooms and bedrooms, while spicier reds and purples add vibrancy to kitchens and entertaining spaces, meaning your rug can be more of a talking point. As for earthy tones and rich greens, these can really help bring the outside in for conservatories and garden rooms, while colourful rooms benefit from single-colour designs and pared-back neutrals. You can always commission a bespoke design if you need to match colours exactly, and if you’re not sure what colour you want for your space, neutrals make the perfect base for layering colours.

how-to-choose-a-rug-colour Images courtesy of kitchenbuilding.com and arloandjacob.com 

shape

Your rug shape should complement your interior – so it’s best to go for something that mimics your furniture. Round rugs work best with round tables, narrow runners are ideal for corridors and rectangular designs can help anchor a sofa suite. Round designs are also ideal for adding a softer, more relaxed note to your interior, and unlike rectangular designs, don’t need to perfectly fit your space.

Whatever design you pick, ensure its key shapes and colours aren’t covered by any furniture or accessories. Alternatively, make your rug a great standalone talking point – such as by choosing a quirky cut-out design.

how-to-choose-a-rug-shape Images courtesy of Wit and Delight and remodelista.com

texture

It’s often the last consideration on the list, but texture is a key aspect of any rug – not only because the type of pile affects how the piece will wear over time, but also because different weaves can elevate certain design features. I offer four different types of pile for my rugs, which can be viewed on my website here. Ordering a rug sample is a hassle-free way to try out how these different piles look and feel.

how-to-choose-a-rug-texture

Choosing a textured rug can help break up your space – especially if you’ve opted for smooth laminate flooring and painted walls. In fact, rugs can provide a textural contrast to just about anything in your space, and using lots of different textures in both your rugs and in other soft furnishings will add layers of interest to your décor.

Whatever you’re looking for, you can browse my rug designs by shape or collection, or commission your bespoke design today.

posted on 2017 / 06 / 11

behind the scenes - the inspiration behind my rug and wallpaper designs

This month on the blog I am giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration behind a selection of my most popular designs.

Inspiration can come from anywhere. One of the really unique things about Interiors by Element products is that, because all of the designs are quite abstract and ambiguous, the end result often resembles something very different from the original inspiration. Indeed, it can be quite a fun game to try to figure out what some of the designs represent (and even more fun if you don’t look at the names)!

Living in London, it is a privilege to be able to easily pop over to world-class institutions such as Kew Gardens or the Natural History Museum for research trips, which is where I often look for inspiration when beginning a new collection and where many of these photos were taken.

palm frond rug

I snapped this beautiful composition on a research trip to Kew Gardens, and it has quickly become one of my most popular rug designs - the Palm Frond rug. Sometimes things just fall into place to create the perfect piece.

palmfrond-inspiration

palmfrond-brown-red-leaf-patterned-rug

 

dahlia rug

I saw such a fantastic display of Dahlias in the garden at Holland Park one September that I had to return later that day with a proper camera to photograph them. I knew one of these would end up being a fabulous Dahlia-inspired rug design.

dahlia-flower-inspiration

dahlia-orange-bold-retro-rug

 

dew drops rug

When I first moved to London and was studying in the Westminister/Pimlico area. I grew fond of capturing the texture of the tree bark on the old trees in the area. It was only after I created a drawing from one of the photographs that I realized it looked a lot like water droplets - and so, the Dew Drops rug was born.

dewdrops-treebark-inspiration

dewdrops-blue-circle-patterned-rug

 

prism rug

The rock and mineral collections of the Natural History Museum provided a wealth of inspiration for my Geology rugs and wallpaper, like this fan-like crystal formation that inspired the Prism Rug.

prism-crystal-inspiration

prism-art-deco-sunburst-blue-rug

 

kaleidoscope rug

Who would have guessed that the flamboyant, showy Kaleidoscope rug, the first rug I ever created and still one of my most popular, was inspired by this humble leaf?

kaleidoscope-leaf-inspiration

kaleidoscope-green-leaf-pattern-rug

 

flutes wallpaper

I have never seen such interesting, exotic-looking reeds until I snapped these at Kew Gardens on a research trip. I later found out they were called Pitcher plants and were actually carnivorous! They were the inspiration for my Flutes wallpaper.

flutes-inspiration

flutes-vertical-stripe-green-wallpaper

 

polygon wallpaper

While looking around for inspiration in the cactus section of the Cambridge Botanical Gardens I stumbled upon this intriguing hexagonal rock formation as well - which provided a great source of inspiration for my Polygon Wallpaper.

polygon-rock-inspiration

polygon-hexagon-print-wallpaper

 

posted on 2017 / 04 / 09

urban jungle - how to decorate with plants this spring

With biophilic design and Greenery at the forefront of the interior world, it makes sense to take a leaf out of nature’s book and bring some of the outside in. Here are three great ways to use plants to bring your home to life and create a fresh, Spring-like look.
 

standing out – in the studio/craft room

For a functional space with a fun, fresh feel, pair hardwearing, natural materials with bold colours and a statement, standing plant.

With striking, sword-shaped leaves and eventually blooming with tiny white flowers, the Yucca plant is ideal for livening up what should be a creative, inspiring space. Style with the Tree Stump rug, Made’s ash-and-metal ‘Edelweiss’ desk and Habitat’s recycled newspaper bin for a cool, colourful, look.

how-to-decorate-with-plants-office-studio
Waste paper basket, Habitat; desk, MADE.com; Yucca plant, B&Q;
 

trail blazing – in the lounge

Your lounge should be a place for relaxing and rejuvenating – perfectly captured with a few trailing plants. Cement the laidback vibe with calm colours and soft textures.

My favourite trailing house plant is the Fishbone Cactus, which sports elegant, zig-zag leaves. Stagger several different pots of the cactus on minimalist ladder shelving (here I've chosen the beached fir style by Loaf) and continue the tranquil theme with a light backdrop, like the Turtle Swarm wallpaper in Frost. Finish by taking five in a plush armchair – this teal option, from Dwell, is ideal.

decorating-with-plants-calm-lounge Cactus, Perfect Plants; ladder shelving, Loaf; chair, Dwell.
 

hanging pretty – in the kitchen/diner

Tick two trends off at once – luxurious copper tones and refreshing foliage – by hanging a terrarium in your space.

The artisanal continues to be a big trend in 2017, so Etsy is a great place to start for terrariums – whether a DIY kit or a ready-to-go design. Continuing the handmade theme, our hand-tufted rugs, like Glow in Vivid Orange, make a stylish addition to any room, and hand-finished wooden pieces, such as this table from Multiyork, together with these gorgeous reclaimed timber chairs from Little Tree Furniture Co, are practical yet handsome.

how-to-decorate-with-plants-rustic-kitchen-diner Table, Multiyork; terrarium, Etsy; chair, Little Tree Furniture Co
 

The theme doesn’t have to stop there. It’s not unusual to adorn a bathroom window ledge with coloured pot plants, or incorporate a living herb garden into your kitchen – see my Pinterest for more great. And, of course, you can always reference the look of plants and flowers with my nature-inspired rug and wallpaper collections, like Woodland and Floral Explosion.

posted on 2017 / 04 / 04

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