Homegirl London pays homage to Louise Body. Maker of pretty wallpaper, fabrics, prints and stationery. Her wallpapers have been included in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s prestigious wallpaper archive and can also be seen decorating the walls of the Arts Council England Head Office and flagship London stores of Ted Baker, Selfridges and Topshop. She’s collaborated with iconic British brands like Paul Smith, Dr Martens, Laura Ashley and Liberty. I caught up with Louise to talk about wallpaper and a few other things …
Q: Tell me how you came to be a designer.
A: I have always wanted to be either an artist or a designer and studied Fine Art at University. Receiving a small loan and a mentor from the Prince’s Trust in 2003 made me think seriously about turning my creativity in to a viable business and helped give me the confidence and support that I needed to start up. Exhibiting my wallpapers for the first time at 100% Design in 2003 definitely helped to pave my way into the design world.
Q: What made you set up your own business?
A: I saw an opportunity to create interesting wallpapers as there was limited choice for those who wanted something different and more ‘artist made.’ I was a painter at the time and In 2001 in Brighton where I was living, I took part in an exhibition called ‘Housebound’ I screen printed some wallpaper as an installation piece and it received a great response and I thought I could make a business out this! My husband has worked with me for the past few years and has been great. We work well together as I am allowed to be creative while he runs the office and business side of the company. There are obvious downsides to this arrangement but the freedom that it brings us as a family far outweighs any negatives.
Q: Describe your design style.
A: I use my drawings and photographs in my work which gives the designs a slightly quirky illustrative feel.
Q: Where do you draw your design inspiration from?
A: Inspiration for me often comes when I least expect it. It could be a conversation and a chance meeting or an old wall on a country walk. The camera on my phone which I have on me at all times, has allowed me to spontaneously capture something that interests me, however random it might seem at the time, and this has definitely impacted on my work. I feel a strong connection to my family history and this feeds into my work. Both of my grandmothers were artists and I have used their paintings and objects in some of my designs.
Q: Why wallpaper?
A: I have always been interested in repeating patterns and I love to bring a form of art into the home without being exclusive. When I first started designing wallpaper it hadn’t yet become fashionable again and this was attractive to me as it seemed like un-chartered territory!
Q: Why branch out into other products?
A: Since a child, I have always loved stationery and stickers and I have just been having a bit of fun designing the card sticker sets! It feels less serious than designing wallpaper and it makes my designs affordable to a wider audience. The Limited edition prints were a very obvious choice for me as this is going back to my beginnings as an artist. I was also getting a lot of requests to sell the original artwork for my wallpapers and this is a great way to fulfil that demand.
Greeting Card Sticker Sets
Q: Do you have any of your wallpaper at home?
A: Yes! We have lots of wallpaper in our home. It is continually changing as we bring out new wallpapers because we use our house to style and photograph them. We have ‘Paper Tiles’ in our kitchen which I love and we have ‘Flight’ in our breakfast room. ‘Perched’ is up in the dining room and ‘Shelf’ in the living room, ‘Traily Plant’ is upstairs and ‘Garden Birds’ in my daughters room. My son is the only one whose room has escaped being wallpapered!
Q: Do you think wallpaper is enjoying a resurgence and why?
A: I think that it has been enjoying resurgence for the past 10 years. Partly as a kickback to what came before (a more minimalist look) but also because now there are many more talented designers / artists using this medium as a platform for their designs and embracing new technologies which allows more freedom in producing really interesting designs and looks.
Q: Which celebrity (dead or alive) would you most like to create wallpaper for / and for which room?
A: Hmm this is hard … how do I answer this without sounding pretentious whilst still maintaining some credibility?! Um … Louis Theroux’s bedroom? No, Richard Hawley’s recording studio … or Roald Dahl’s writing hut perhaps.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: I am working on a new wallpaper collection for SS13 and you can expect to see more Limited edition prints and sticker sets.
See below for a selection of products from Louise Body. You can buy her beautiful wallpaper, wallpaper tiles, fabric, prints and stationery from www.louisebody.com. To give you an idea on price; wallpapers on the roll are 10m x 52cm and cost £60.00 per roll. Paper tiles wallpaper are 70cm wide and cost £20.00 per metre. Stonewall wallpapers are 70cm wide and cost £80.00 for a 3 metre panel. Fabrics are 138cm wide and cost £55.00 per metre. Limited edition prints, which are signed and numbered, cost £35.00 each. Greeting card sticker sets cost £17.50. Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Louise Body, special thanks to Louise Body.
Flight Flint Wallpaper
Garden Birds Blue Wallpaper
Old Blue Wallpaper Tiles
Patchwork Jade Wallpaper Tiles
Harry’s Garden Fabric