15 July 2015 By Sam Duke
Her products were seen at The Ideal Home Show and her designs are a favourite amongst lifestyle mags. We caught up with colourful designer Sian Elin to find out more about her brand and how it's the perfect addition to a conservatory.
How did the Sian Elin story begin?
"I’ve always wanted to do something creative, it just seems to be the way that my brain works! I was always drawing and making things from a very early age. I studied art and design throughout school and university, then started work as a children’s book designer for Oxford University Press and then Penguin. I’ve always loved colour and pattern, both of which are apparent in children’s book design. I’d always wanted to work for myself too, so took the plunge in September 2012 where I launched Sian Elin at the London Design Festival. I find being able to combine pattern and colour to create a beautiful living space very satisfying."
Your designs are striking. Where do you find your inspiration?
"The story behind my designs is a fusion of “East Meets West” – Eastern patterns rendered in graphic Scandinavian shapes, styling and colours. I discovered Islamic and Moorish architecture on my travels to India, the Middle East and Southern Spain, I was so mesmerized, I wanted to do something with them."
We love your yellow and grey prints; what designs do you find popular wherever you go?
"My most popular print is the Rosette in Yellow. I think it’s because yellow is enlivening and works very well as an accent colour. People are really drawn in particular to the Tress Multi wallpaper, I think it’s because it’s so eye-catching."
Do you have a personal favourite?
"I really like the Riad as a large lampshade. It makes a bold statement in a room and works very well as a large lampshade in terms of the scale of the pattern."
Do you have any advice for someone looking to inject colour into their conservatory?
"My advice is to use as many patterns as you like, but to just stick to one colour theme. In fact, the more patterns you use the better. For instance, you could use all of our grey, yellow and monochrome patterns because the colour theme brings them together. Layering up patterns creates a very sophisticated and luxurious look."
You also sell fabrics. What are the benefits of making your own interior products?
"You can create products that are bespoke to your living space such as blinds or curtains which really change the look and feel of a room, especially if they are patterned and colourful. Blinds work brilliantly in a conservatory, especially in sunny, bright colours. In addition, upholstering chairs works really well; we just reupholstered an Ercol chair, which I bought on eBay, in Sian Elin fabric. The wooden frame would work well in a light conservatory."
What advice would you give someone looking to make their own Sian Elin project?
"It’s fairly easy to learn how to make lampshades using fabric and a really fun thing to do too! You can search for YouTube videos online and order the making kits at Amazon."
What can we expect to see from Sian Elin in the near future?
"We will be launching new designs this Autumn which is very exciting. They will be for SS/16 so the colours will be pastel-y and light. They will be a continuation from our brand. I don’t want to tell you too much more about the styling idea behind it, so you will have to wait and see!"