Lisa Stickley’s homeware Twitter Takeover
BY STYLE EDITOR, ON 27 AUG 2010 10:06 DESIGNERS AT DEBENHAMSCOMMENTS
If you were on Twitter last Friday you might have seen a flurry of activity bearing the hashtag #askLS. Well, just in case you missed our earlier posts explaining what was going on, the brilliant homeware designer, and new addition to Designers at Debenhams Lisa Stickley, was online to take your questions!
There were some absolutely fantastic questions put forward by you, from what’s inspiring Lisa at the minute (Howard Hodgkin paintings and Renault R4s by the way), to her favourite pieces from the brand new range, to great ideas for personalising your home.
So thank you everyone who put one forward! Our Twitter Takeovers are a fantastic opportunity for you to ask our experts everything you wanted to know; keep an eye out for the news of the next one, and in the meantime, here are Lisa’s responses.
PS: We need your opinions! We’d love to know what you think of our Twitter Takeovers: are you loving them? Are you on Twitter, or would you prefer them to take place somewhere else? Any feedback you can give us (either here, via Twitter, or on our Facebook page) we would love to hear!
Q: Does Lisa have any plans to bring her cool stationery to Debenhams? I love her new aut/winter stationery range
A: The stationary range will be available in selected stores in a couple of months, thanks for asking.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration from?
A: My inspiration antennae are always on the go: at the moment its films from the 1960’s and Howard Hodgkin paintings.
Q: Do you prefer a coordinated or an eclectic style when putting items together for interiors?
A: Much prefer eclectic style, and putting lovely prints next to entirely different styles.
Q: Any ideas for how people can make their interiors really personal to them?
A: Be confident in how you decorate and use colours objects you love. A few home-made items are great too!
Q: If you could invite anyone (alive or dead) over for tea who would it be and what would you ask them?
A: I would ask Giorgio Locatelli – to ask him what’s for dinner! And Eddie Izzard to make me laugh!
Q: Hi Lisa – Love the collection! What’s your top “make do and mend” tip for the home?
A: A great way to make a quirky blanket is to stitch together old cashmere jumpers.
Q: Hi Lisa, to what extent does the catwalk influence consumer demand in terms of design or colour in home ranges?
A: The catwalk definitely reflects onto homeware, but tends to filter down much slower. There’s definitely an influence.
Q: When you enrolled at CSM, did you expect to find yourself designing patterns for homeware?
A: I always wanted to be a designer maker and do my own thing. Designing homeware was definitely on the cards.
Q: Do you sleep under the duvet with the pattern you designed?
A: I do, I do – at the moment duvet sets I hand printed a few years ago.
Q: When expressing your designs, what is your favourite method? Watercolour, stamps… digital
A: I like to mix things up and use a variety of methods when developing designs, then most prints end up as screen prints.
Q: did you have some favourite kitchen items in the past that you wanted to create a new spin on?
A: I’m inspired by anything and everything, especially old enamel and ceramic rolling pins in the kitchen.
Q: Places are pretty scarce at design colleges – any tips for budding designers looking to go it alone?
A: Training is vital and so rewarding, so it’s really important to work hard to get a place. I trained for 7 years (foundation, BA&MA) and I don’t think I could do what I do without that.
Q: What’s a good first homeware project for someone who last made a pillowcase at school 20 years ago?
A: I would recommend making a set of napkins. It’s a great way to get your confidence up. For instructions see page 28 of my new book ‘Made At Home’, signed copies are available from my shop.
Q: Your collections are amazing – but is your flat ever messy or is it immaculate?
A: My flat’s very lived in!!!! I collect an awful lot, but I like it to be organised chaos.
Q: For someone who is designing her first home but is shy about bold colour, what colour themes would you suggest?
A: I would decorate the walls with soft neutrals & white trims, then I would experiment with bold colour highlights, with soft furnishings and storage.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice for someone starting their own business?
A: Work hard, be patient & be flexible. Things don’t happen overnight, so build up slowly and be prepared for very long hours.
Q: My little sister is obsessed with polka dots: do you have a favourite style of print or pattern?
A: I like to mix things up, I have lots of favourite patterns and I like to see them next to each other. Say, stripy next to spots
Q: If you had one piece of advice for women starting up their own business, what would it be?
A: Be focused, work hard and follow your passion.
Q: Hi Lisa! Where do you find your inspiration?
A: I’m constantly inspired by everything and anything, today I found myself inspired by Renault 4s from 1984 in blue.
Q: Do you have a signature design aesthetic?
A: Glorious utilitarian chic with a simple British twist!
Q: Is there a particular piece we should be looking out for from you this season?
A: My favourite this season is fuchsia bloom in our Mrs Rowles tote bag.
Q: I love the “black and white text cushion” from your collection. Are you secretly a Typography nerd?
A: YES!!! I love typography and I’m always collecting packaging and tins. Although Courier New is not to my taste…
Q: Have you always wanted to have your own business?
A: I have always wanted to work for myself and it’s great fun having such a wonderful team to work with.
Q: Hi Lisa, your flower designs are real quirky and different, but what is your favourite?
A: Blackboard hanky flower is my all time favourite!
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: I enjoy cooking, windsurfing, walking by the seaside and karaoke with Jeff Banks in Japan.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: This afternoon I am off to North London to check out a new shop location! Very exciting, but can’t say where!
And some questions we didn’t have time to answer during the Twitter Takeover…
Q: Why did you use only lower case when writing the book made at home?
A: I used to use letraset which is either all lower or upper case and a bit wonky. It stuck and is a signature brand style now!
Q: Can you remember how you felt when you where asked by the fashion house burberry to create a range of table cloths for them?
A: Over the moon and a little daunted, such a wonderful brand to work for, it was my first commission too!
Q: Do you have any advice for that awkward time when the business is up and running but not making a profit yet?
A: Running your own business means putting your all into it – luxuries tend to go by the wayside if you are building it from scratch.
Q: How did you get into design? Do you think it was a good way to get there?
A: It’s my hobby, my love, my life, it’s what I do. Training taught me how to apply my thoughts and focus…it is essential I think.
Q: All your designs are making my kitchen look so pretty! Are you a good cook?
A: I love to cook and bake and I love food. It is one if the things I do to relax. Banana muffins are a fave at the moment!
Q: If you weren’t designing homeware, what would you be doing instead?
A: I would either be a painter a cook or a gardener but probably one of the former two as I tend to kill plants!
Q: All your designs are so sweet and fairy-tale like – what’s your favourite fairy tale?
A: Hmmm, tricky one… snow white, because I was ‘bashful’ in the school play in 1984!
Q: Do you ever design something that you personally love but is not received very well by others, and how do you deal with that?
A: Of course! it comes with the territory. People have different tastes which is what makes life interesting… luckily I get to keep the samples of the bits I love!
Q: What do you enjoy most when it comes to designing something, the process of actually designing and creating, or the finished piece?
A: The whole process really. I love researching, processing ideas and it is wonderful seeing your ideas through to the finished product.
Q: Where is your favourite place to work?
A: in my office/ studio, ideally with headphones on listening to frank Sinatra or billie holiday!