Interview: Delight in the designs of Ella Doran
We catch up with designer-du-jour Ella Doran to talk about her Grand Designs and Evening Standard awards, the products that make her go 'ohh and ahh' and why sunshine is so important to her work...

You won twice at the Grand Designs Awards 2010 for your new GEO wallpaper, grabbing Best Wallpaper/Fabric and the Evening Standard Product of the Year awards. What was the inspiration behind Geo?

I was chuffed to win those awards as wallpaper it's still a new area for us, and we were applauded for standing out and looking ultra modern, yet it's a design that could work in a baroque or old fashioned home too. Barabara Chandler from the Evening Standard said some lovely things about me.

GEO is a design that I have wanted to create for some time - a wallpaper that appears to be very 3D and graphic, modern yet timeless. Thanks to being in the right place at the right time with my camera, and my team on the computer in post production, working the design into a seamless repeat, we have achieved just that.

Did you always want to be a homesware designer?

I've always been creative since a young child - I used to meticulously colour in paper doilies and hand make all my presents for my family from paint, wood, clay or wool! I've always loved the home, making it individual, special and welcoming is important to me and I've got to where I am today through hard work, commitment, compassion, laughter and having a strong eye for colour and design.

What inspires you?

Sunshine is my biggest inspiration, it's the basis of my work - my best photographs are taken when I'm not consciously trying to get a 'NEW' design. The award for the GEO wallpaper would not exist without the glorious sunlight we had on that day.

Are you a city or country girl?

I was born in London and brought up in Bristol - both cities I love and I've been living in London for 20 years now. I'm lucky though as my father lives in Hereford and my mother in Devon, so the kids and I can get away from the city if we need to and hang out in the real woods!

How would you describe your own homes' style?

Eclectic, I have two sons and a husband who is a music fanatic, so records rule supreme, as do a million and one other very important things!

Everything works because we have very high ceilings and huge sash windows, seven of which are in our main kitchen/living space.

I love mid-century modern furniture and design, which mixes well with my charity and antique shop finds, along side a mix of my textiles and roller blinds.

What do you think will be a big trend this summer?

Family holidays in the UK. Eating healthy food, Picnics, lovely rugs and gorgeous melamine for your picnic to look cool. Products that make you go 'ohh and ahh' and want to hold and to have them.

Can you share your top decorating tips with us?

Accent one wall with a wallpaper and use as a backdrop to your sofa and lamp.

Take down your curtains and put up the blinds, let as much light into your house as possible. Even consider bottom-up roller blinds so that you can be concealed from your neighbours, but still let some light in first thing in the morning.

For beautiful furniture, accessories and daily design ideas for your home and lifestyle,
shop at ACHICA.

Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor