One of the great joys of my job is finding beautiful fabrics and discovering designers with a fresh and inspiring look. Every now and again someone comes along who becomes a firm favourite. Becca Who’s statement fabrics are a riot of glorious colour and dramatic patterns.
I decided to catch up with her as she launches her second captivating fabric collection – Earth Odyssey.
Hi Becca. You’re best known for your Curious Creatures collection. Tell us a bit more about that.
“I love creative and expressive interiors and I’ve been so thrilled with the reception of my designs for fabrics. Seeing the many fabulous creators using my Curious Creatures Fabrics has been simply amazing – a highlight being your very own use of my Garden Treasures design for the unbelievable ottoman transformation which we saw on BBC One’s ‘Money For Nothing’!”
How did you get started in design?
“I’ve enjoyed being creative ever since I was a small girl and my work is centred around my values of a lifelong love of art, as well as in inspiring creativity in others to create expressive interiors and, of course, a mindfulness for sustainability.”
“By creating designs from works of art, my aim is to offer timeless products which can be cherished for years to come. I absolutely love the excitement of seeing new life breathed into something old, resulting in a revamped future heirloom. This ‘slow movement’ of buying things to last is an intrinsic part of being considerate of our environment and reducing our impact on the planet.”
How and where do you work?
“I work out of my home studio where I am lucky to be surrounded by the rural landscape of Lancashire. I’m a mum of two energetic boys and we spend a lot of time outdoors as a family exploring local woodlands and hills and taking on various sports such as mountain biking, windsurfing, kayaking – it’s a time where the boys always get on. Any brotherly bickering is forgotten – and we all feel refreshed and happy for it! I often take to creating my artwork outdoors too, which I love as I am surrounded by inspiration.”
Although you create all kinds of homewares and even gifts, your designs work so well for upholstery. Is that a conscious process?
“Upholstery is always at the forefront of my mind when I create my designs and I aim to offer fabric that upholsterers and their clients find exciting to work with. I love to offer compositions that upholsterers can use to spark their creativity when planning out a piece and see the results of others’ creativity when it comes to the placement of the design elements For instance, a dragonfly centred on an ottoman lid or a snake curled upon a chair armrest are irresistible touches which really make the pieces special.”
“A dragonfly centred on an ottoman lid or a snake curled upon a chair armrest are irresistible touches which really make the pieces special.“
How did you come up with your inspiration for the new Earth Odyssey collection?
“When creating the Earth Odyssey collection, I really wanted to offer inspiration from many of my favourite aspects of the natural world. I always start by hand rendering the artwork – I work in both traditional methods of ink drawings on paper, as well as digital painting techniques which offer a striking level of painterly details, whilst this way of working also sits perfectly when developing multiple colour palettes for the designs.”
“Combined with my other inspirations of a love for Art and Design – particularly Art Nouveau and the Arts & Crafts Movement – my enjoyment of nature and the outdoors means that I automatically want to celebrate the beauty of florals and wildlife in my work.”
Do you have any favourite designs from the collection so far?
“I’d have to say that Crocodilia has been met with a fantastic response – this is a design which I feel really works well in a variety of interior styles. I can’t resist drama in a design, but I always try to temper this with elegance in the composition, enjoying symmetry in my work and featuring natural elements celebrated in a way that portrays them as an ornament.”
“The ‘Rockstar’ of the collection has to be Bengal Rose Garden – I have always loved a dark floral and this one has my signature touch of the unexpected when we are suddenly met by the golden eyes of a Bengal Tiger amongst the foliage – and the Tiger tail peeking out seems to me to be just perfect for the seat of a chair!”
What will you be working on next?
“The Earth Odyssey collection has so far been met with an enthusiastic response and we’re already seeing so many fabulous pieces created with these designs, which is fantastic. Makers always tell me that the velvet is wonderful to work with – it has a beautifully subtle sheen to it which I think really adds to the definition of an upholstered piece. Currently, I am developing Wallpapers to complement the fabrics, which I’m very excited about.
Are there any particular ways you love seeing your work come to life?
“I love that the Vintique stance is ‘life is too short for ordinary furniture!’ I couldn’t agree more with this – I love seeing people create their homes to be spaces that reflect the things that they love, embracing colour and artistic design, choosing items that speak to them personally. It’s fabulous to see the shift towards eclectic, bolder interiors, richer colour palettes and more dramatic design choices.”
“I am always excited by makers – such as yourself – embracing a truly creative approach, inspiring artistic choices in their clients, whilst being dedicated to high quality in their craft and to providing the best customer experience. To me, it is this combination of values which results in very special, timeless items to be treasured for a lifetime.”
Find out more about Becca Who
Becca Who’s latest collection ‘Earth Odyssey’ is an exciting journey of discovery, through the eclectic beauty, rich colours and exquisite forms of the natural world – celebrated on sumptuous velvet. Find out more about Becca Who and view the collection at beccawho.com.
Drop me a line if you have an upholstery project you need help with by filling in the online contact form. You can also email me directly at email@example.com or call me on 07764 182 783.