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Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

I know that you’ll walk away feeling motivated and refreshed after reading this interview and seeing this quirky East London studio so I’m just delighted to share it… But first, a little background… I recently had the honor of interviewing Vicki Murdoch, the creative lady behind the Silken Favours brand who recently launched her first collection of scarves at the prestigious Liberty of London. I first found out about her via Liberty and this video, which made me want to learn more since I fell in love with her scarf patterns and colorways. I want to purchase one to frame or turn into a giant cushion for my sofa.

SIlken Favours

In her video, I caught a glimpse of her work studio and simply had to learn more, and see more, so I approached her for an interview and was delighted when she said her friend and photographer, Martin Zahringer, would be happy to take photos to share on decor8 that haven’t yet been online before so I hope that you enjoy these views. Vicki is an inspiring young woman, just barely 30-years-old, this gorgeous talent is one to watch for sure! Would you like to meet her? Of course you would… so let’s get started, shall we?

SIlken Favours

Hello Vicki, can you tell us where you are from, where you live now and what you do? Yes, I’m from Aberdeen, Scotland, live in London and I’m a designer.

How did you get into design?
I moved to London twelve years ago to start a career in modelling, I was lucky enough to travel the world for a couple of years, living in Tokyo, Cape Town, Sydney and New York but then settled in London and went on to study textiles at Chelsea Art School. When I graduated I worked for a few companies but realised very quickly that I wanted to design for myself, so created ‘Silken Favours’ which started as a bespoke scarf service and I then went on to design my new range.

SIlken Favours

How did you get to work with Liberty on your collection? I went to their Best of British Open Day in April 2011. They give you three minutes to pitch your designs, they then give their expert advice, which I took, and added a dog scarf to my ‘heart collection’. I was then told they would be in touch. Two weeks later I got an email inviting me back for a second interview and a week later they placed an order. So it all happened pretty fast.

Silken Favours

What are you goals for the future regarding your pattern designs? Do you see them in interiors? I would love to design for interiors, For my final degree show piece I created an environment inside a 1960s Cheltenham caravan (photos above), which I named the ‘Catavan’. Every print was cat-inspired – and I used over thirty designs – on upholstery, curtains, wallpaper, flooring, pillows and dresses. I did a short course on upholstery so I could revamp old chairs using my prints. Basically I would love to see my patterns on most objects.

SIlken Favours

SIlken Favours

What inspires you about your studio space? I live and work in a large, light-filled warehouse in East London which is shared with five other people.  I’ve been here for four years now. We are all creatives and lead busy lives and we each have our own studio space within the warehouse so there is always something going on.  It’s not as noisy and party-filled as it used to be, through our own choice and the small threat of eviction.

SIlken Favours

What motivates you to work freelance? I love being freelance, I was a freelance fashion model for 5 years then a student for four years and now I’m a freelance designer. I don’t think the structure of a 9-5 would suit me. I suppose I’m just used to being freelance so I get on with it. I know you have to put certain amount of pressure on yourself to get things done, but also not to beat yourself up and enjoy life when you can.

SIlken Favours

SIlken Favours

SIlken Favours

What do you do to find inspiration? I find a lot of my inspiration from nature, I had an epiphany once out running in Victoria Park, “All I want to do is dance and draw”, I ran back home very excited and started drawing, the dancing isn’t going as well.

What inspires you about living in London? Lots of things: my friends, Victoria Park, Kew Gardens, the markets, Hackney Farm, the V&A and small up and coming galleries.

What are your favorite interiors and fashion magazines?
1970s ‘Ideal Home’ and ‘House and Garden’, Nest, Wallpaper, Casa Vogue, Amelia and LOVE.

SIlken Favours

SIlken Favours

SIlken Favours

How does a designer get their line into a store like Liberty? The Best of British Open Day, the next one is Saturday, August 20, 2011.

What do you think matters most when it comes to working for yourself? Focus, Determination, Belief and Enjoyment.

What are some trends in pattern design that you find inspirational? Mirrored opulence, nature, animals and anything 1970s.

Thank you so much Vicki for this peek into your life and studio, I’m sure decor8 readers are all going to be big fans of yours now after seeing you in action in your fun space. Thanks again!

(Photographs: Martin Zahringer)

Posted in workspace on August 04, 2011

A Clever Desk For Standing: INSEKT

I recently came across the INSEKT desk by designers Buisjes En Beugels in Rotterdam in a copy of VTWonen magazine and bookmarked it… BUT I then put the magazine down and forgot all about it as I normally do with magazines until today… When Buisjes En Beugels contacted me. I really, really love their desk for so many reasons — but first, let’s get something out of the way…

Love this work table

It’s being marketed as a kid’s desk because it is available in three sizes, two sizes made for sitting and one size made for standing or using a stool and the desks for sitting are more for children…. so when I read that this was a kid’s desk I nearly deleted the email until I looked at their press release and found the image I had seen in VTWonen shown above. That is definitely not a desk for only kiddies, but definitely for someone like me who hates sitting all day online and enjoys standing to sort through paperwork, email and even have lunch or a cup of tea.

desk

Sitting all of the time is such a growing issue for web freaks like most of us because once you hit thirty (or even sooner these days) you start to pay more attention to your posture, overall health and things like slouching and sitting for hours and hours start to take their toll on your health. I love the INSEKT desk because it’s good looking, has great storage beneath it that is open so it’s easy to find things, and it comes in several nice colors and three sizes – one being the taller model that I’m a big fan of.

I have a desk in my office and a very long work table where I stand to sort through things but it’s standard table height so after awhile of bending down to sort things I notice that my back starts to hurt a bit — so a desk like INSEKT is what I need for sure.

What do you think, do you like having the option of standing more often to use your laptop? To craft? To work on miscellaneous administrative tasks?

(images: vtwonen tear sheet with permission via Buisjes En Beugels)

 

Posted in workspace on May 24, 2011

Handmade Home: A Quick Office Nook Transformation

Hello everyone, it’s Anna-Malin here with Handmade Home and a quick office nook transformation to inspire you today. If you recall, I’m the “new girl” on decor8 who writes once a month about handmade living and little creative projects that I do around my house to refresh my decor on a budget. All of the decorating that I do also lifts my spirits and keeps me creative! Here in Sweden we are enjoying the most wonderful spring and with spring comes creativity. So this time I would like to show you how I redecorated my workspace.

Handmade Home: Office Nook Redux

First, I moved the turquoise cabinet (Remember? It’s here and shown below) to the garage, and now it is waiting for me to find a new place for it. I placed the desk where the cabinet was and got started on my office nook transformation.

Handmade Home: Office Nook Redux

Before (above)

Handmade Home: Office Nook Redux

After (above)

I wanted to bring more pictures of things that inspires me so I thought a moodboard on the wall would be perfect. I started by printing some of my favorite photos and then I put them on the desk to see how they would work out together. I also used color swatches in different, subtle colors and then I started to build a large collage on my wall above my desk using masking tape.

Handmade Home: Office Nook Redux

Handmade Home: Office Nook Redux

Then I bought a wooden shelf for storing some of my brushes, interiors books and other inspiring stuff. I had some wallpaper and other beautiful paper that I’ve collected over time so I decided to hang them on a wire and I placed the rest into a zinc basket on the floor.

Handmade Home: Office Nook Redux

Handmade Home: Office Nook Redux

Handmade Home: Office Nook Redux

Handmade Home: Office Nook Redux

I really like my newly decorated work place. It feels personal and so “me”. Here are some views of my kitchen and you can find other things that I’ve done recently to decorate my home here.

Inspiration

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing my new workspace. Thank you for having me and I’ll see you again in June!

xo, Anna-Malin

(photos: anna-malin lindgren)

Posted in workspace on May 19, 2011

Work Spaces & Ergonomics

Man, going from a laptop to a desktop presents all sorts of chaos! I can’t find email on this computer because duh, it’s on the other one. And I can’t access this and that software because duh, I don’t have the license for it to pop it onto this machine too. I mean hello! This is a pain! Thing is, ever since my doctor gave me an ergonomic lecture I’ve been working on my posture, doing all sorts of pretzel-like poses on my floor mat, and working at a real desk vs. anywhere I can open my laptop and start beating on the keys. No, I must work at a proper desk with a proper chair and with my eyes 18-24″ from the screen. BUT IT IS HARD. SO HARD. I want to blog in all rooms, anytime, anywhere, legs folded, crossed, standing, sitting… And I can’t.

Workspace

I could not, would not, on the couch
I would not, could not, I may slouch
I would not type stuff on a stool.
I would not cos it just ain’t cool.
I would not blog stuff here or there
I would not blog just anywhere…

Funny thing about all of this is that I studied ergonomics as part of my job in Human Resources back in the day as I needed to schedule assessments for certain employees who I observed to be working in a way that would eventually transform them into slumped over groaning in pain employees. My job was to nip it before it grew into an issue. And now, years later, I’m the problem employee and my doctor is trying to change my evil blogging from anywhere ways. Go figure.

Workspace

Workspace

Workspace

As I moved furniture around in my living room until midnight last night trying to create a workspace, I thought about all of those that I’ve seen or featured on decor8 before that have inspired me and other workspaces that I’ve not shared before that rock my world. Perhaps you will like these spaces, and if you are blogging from your sofa, kitchen table, or on some pouffe or stool perhaps you will think it over and read up on ergonomics and consider ways in which you can work more properly. Ways that will make you feel better and even look better because good posture does a lot for a person, doesn’t it? Here is a good ergonomics guide to get your started.

Workspace

Workspace

A simple day set aside to access and organize your room can work magic. It did for me… now if only I could figure out how make my move from the laptop to desktop easier!

(images: house to home with permission by Claire Toms.)

Posted in workspace on June 28, 2010

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