Homegirl London pays homage to Charlotte Jade. This is a design collaboration by sisters Kate and Charlotte O’Reilly who make luxury wallpaper, textiles, cushion covers and illustrations for bespoke wedding stationery. They are known for their hand drawn designs which are then digitally enhanced. You’ll find striking designs in bold colours featuring everything from pineapples to lush tropical palm leaves, toucans and flamingos. These sit alongside the sharp lines of geometric prisms and art deco prints. I caught up with the talented sisters to find out more about Charlotte Jade.
Selection of Cushions
Meet the Charlotte Jade Sisters
This business is owned by North London based sisters; Kate and Charlotte O’Reilly. Charlotte explains why the business name is different – “Charlotte and Jade are my first and second names. I used these as the brand name in 2014 when I started self-employment. When Kate and I became business partners late last year, we did discuss changing the name to incorporate both our names. However, we felt the progress I had made on establishing the brand prior to us becoming partners would be wasted if we changed it now, so we decided to stick with Charlotte Jade.”
Meet Kate and Charlotte
Charlotte tells me about her background – “I studied BA Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts in London from September 2011 to July 2014. Upon leaving university, I did a print design internship where I learnt so much about pattern design; techniques, style and use of colour. This was a real turning point not only for my design skills but for my future. From then I travelled Asia for three months and afterwards I went straight into being a freelance illustrator and print designer.”
Art Deco Wallpaper
Kate explains her background – “After finishing my degree in fashion I set out to achieve my dream of becoming a fashion stylist. I interned at a number of high end publications before landing my first role as a Fashion Assistant at POP magazine. This niche high end art and fashion magazine opened my eyes to other levels of creativity. My next career move was in the world of commercial fashion. I got a job within the buying team at Topshop where I’ve worked for five years. The biggest buzz from this job is when the styles you buy become best sellers or you see people wearing them down the street! More recently I’ve been working on the Beyoncé sportswear brand which has been amazing.”
Since the beginning of 2016, Kate joined forces with Charlotte. Kate tells me – “My background in buying and commercial retail means I deal more with the production and sales of the range which will help push the brand to the next level.” Charlotte adds – “Kate and I work together to develop initial concepts and themes, discussing colours and the general direction of the range. Then I get on with the designing side of drawing and creating the prints and any commissioned illustration jobs. It’s great to have Kate on board selling the products, liaising with suppliers and looking for new business opportunities to expand the brand. Because we both have design backgrounds, similar interests and the same career goal it makes sense to join forces.”
Wild Garden Wallpaper
Being entrepreneurs is in their blood, they explain – “Mum and dad are great role models and a constant source of inspiration to us. They’ve worked so hard together to build a fantastic property development company which is extremely successful. They have always encouraged and supported us in having our own business, which we can’t thank them enough for! When we get busy mum is always on hand to pitch in which is amazing. We love being our own boss. It isn’t easy, but it is very satisfying being in control of our success and our futures. We’re aiming high with this brand and we are extremely determined to make this a success.”
View the Charlotte Jade Collection
The sisters currently make bespoke wallpapers and fabrics. You can also buy the wallpapers and cushions online and they have plans for bed linen and crockery in the future. Charlotte talks me through the design style – “The focus is very much on digital patterns taken from nature; plants, foliage, birds and animals. The detailed designs are hand drawn first in pencil, ink and sometimes a combination. Colour is then added and the design is digitally edited. We use very bold colours so our designs are very strong which sits alongside a selection of softer prints using brush strokes.”
Tropical Flora Wallpaper
Four of the patterns you’ll find printed by the roll for wallpaper and made into cushion covers are Migration, Wild Garden, Tropical Flora and Feathers. These are just some of the designs available, there are many other patterns which can be made to order into fabric or wallpaper. Botanical Palm and Pineapples give you a taste of the tropics while Bees and Butterflies bring you closer to nature. They also have plenty of fabulous floral creations in bright colours to fall in love with. Other designs are more abstract like Geometric Prism and Art Deco. Here are some examples of their work for you to admire. I’ll start with Migration which is a beautiful pattern showing the movement of birds through seasonal migration. You’ll see exotic birds combined with British apple trees. With delightful shades of blue, this wallpaper design has been created for rooms where you want to bring a touch of calmness and tranquility.
Wild Garden is a lush pattern filled with banana leaves in a trellis effect, willow branches and South American toucans. This design is bold and intoxicatingly exotic with a focus on deep, dark greens. It is a must for any conservatory and sun room wallpaper covering or where you want to add a dramatic feature wall.
Wild Garden Pattern
Tropical Flora showcases elegant pink African flamingos set against a tropical green background. You’ll love the fine pencil drawings and brush strokes which bring the subject matter to life. It’s a ravishing wallpaper design for feature walls, conservatories or sun rooms.
Tropical Flora Pattern
Feathers is a strong black and white pattern is full of fabulous feathers in a scattered and layered composition. The wallpaper would look brilliant adorning the walls in your boudoir or living room space.
Aside from nature, the sisters are also influenced by fashion – “We love keeping up to date with styles from the runway and current fashion trends. Spending time visiting art exhibitions or wondering round the V&A looking at vintage prints is very enjoyable.” They tell me about their admiration for William Morris – “He is absolutely incredible. The detail in his designs is stunning and we love his creative patterns. Along with this, Timorous Beasties is a fantastic company and we love their design style and use of colour.”
Buy Charlotte Jade Products
If you fancy buying any of these designs for wallpaper or fabric take a look at the Charlotte Jade Website. All products are printed and produced in the UK and can be shipped overseas. To give you an idea on prices, the wallpaper is £68 for a 10m roll which is 52cm wide. This is printed onto wallpaper which has a coated non-woven finish and a 180gsm paper weight. The cushion covers are £65 for 45cm x 45cm. The material is 100% polyester with a suedette finish. Please note that the inner pad is not provided. They offer a bespoke service for wallpapers and fabrics. This involves working with clients or customers to design something completely new or to adapt current patterns or colours. Due to the unique, hand drawn style of the brand, they also offer a bespoke wedding stationery service.
Author: Homegirl London. Thanks: Kate and Charlotte O’Reilly.