Meet The Maker - Sophie Van Winden, Owl Design

sophie / pelican story

Intro - name, discipline, where are you based ....?

Sophie van Winden, interior designer and co-owner of interior design studio Owl Design.

We are based in the Silver Building – a brutalist building now full of creative companies in London’s Docklands

What's your pelican story - what inspired you to start out in Interior Design?

I guess it started from childhood, I loved moving my room around and used to spend my time on holidays drawing up pencil plans of my bedroom working out where I could reposition my furniture when I got back!

Also, after my parents separated (from about 11 years old onwards) we moved a lot, always buying run down places, renovating them and then moving onto the next property. I absolutely loved it! It was so exciting seeing how you could transform a wreck to a home with some paint, new flooring and a lot of elbow grease. All through my childhood both my parents loved bright colours and bold patterns, so I am definitely not afraid of colour and they always asked my opinion, which must have given me confidence going forward.

3. The Real Shaker Kitchen by deVOL.jpg

As an interior designer, do you have any questions you ask yourself before starting a new project?

Being a client-based profession it is more about the questions I ask the client rather than myself. First and foremost I find out how the space is going to be used. A space can look as gorgeous as you want but if it doesn’t actually work for the client it is a waste of time and money. Then we talk budget. but I try not to let that restrict me too much in the design process as I don’t want to hold back ideas. – it is easier to scale back than up!

Which direction do you see yourself going in the future?

We have plans to design some of our products and collaborate with other companies as well. We have been so busy with projects the last couple of years the plans took a back seat but this year we definitely want to get the ball rolling!

What are the ingredients for great design and what's really exciting you at the moment in design?

I think the key ingredients are that it looks great and works well! The famous saying by William Morris is still relevant today:

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful“

At the moment recycled, carbon neutral, eco-friendly products are so exciting – there are some really innovative and beautiful materials coming on the market. It doesn’t mean compromising on design anymore, but enhancing it instead!

Cleveleys Road web

Who inspires you creatively outside of homewares and design? It would have to be my parents.  My mum is extremely hard working, a grafter and really carried our family through some hard times - and seemed to stay calm and unfazed the whole time (I am sure she would say it differently!). So inspirational!  And my dad, who sadly isn’t with us any more, for his entrepreneurial spirit, sense of adventure, and love of kitsch.

If you weren't a interior designer, what would you be doing?

A hotelier. My dream is to have a boutique hotel by the sea one day…

Favourite cities, places or people for inspiration?

Barcelona  (especially the Mies van der Rohe German Pavilion, I never tire of that place), the seaside anywhere, woodland walks, my friends – I have a very creative and inspirational bunch.

Can’t live without / Should live without……

Mayonnaise / Mayonnaise

Cleveleys Road web-10.jpg
PHOTO-2018-09-22-09-13-55 4.jpg

Finally, what trends are you predicting will be coming through for 2019 and what will be left behind in 2018?  

For 2019 I think we will be seeing more and more interesting and exciting sustainable materials; the colour coral will be huge  – Living Coral is Pantone of the year and it’s a fabulous, happy colour; the 70s will influence a lot of interior spaces as well. And I think we are going to start seeing the comeback of chrome!

I think the trend of dark rooms is starting to wane, even though it still looks great I know a lot of people who have lived with dark walls for a few years, loved it, but are now craving for light, airy spaces. Less copper and maybe even a little less brass (but definitely still some as we still love it!)

Are there any colours, tones, patterns or materials standing out for you right now?

Earthy tones and textures such as terracotta, rough clay plaster, cork, Marmoleum, burnt oranges, soft pinks, rich browns and mustard yellows are just so warm and inviting – I think we will be seeing a lot more of these over the coming year. Personally I seem to be a walking advert for these colours as my business partner Simone has pointed out- they have crept into my wardrobe as well!  


pelican story recommends

BUY
Quantity:
BUY
Colour:
Quantity:
BUY

Meet the Maker - Maria Gustavsson

For our June edition of meet the maker,  Swedish designer and founder of Swedish Ninja talks about her future collaboration plans, products with heart and inspiring cities. 

swedish-ninja.jpg
 
Grey Darling Wallpaper.jpg
 
 
OPUMO-Swedish-Ninja-Banner.jpg
 
 
images.jpg

 
Little Darling table lamp, multiple colours
395.00
Colour:
Quantity:
BUY

Intro - name, discipline, where are you based ...?

Maria Gustavsson, Founder of Swedish Ninja. We are based in Malmö, Sweden and Vejle Denmark.

What's your Pelican Story - what inspired you to start making?

After being in the furniture industry as a freelance designer for 10 years I felt a desire for a more experimental Scandinavian style both in colour, style and material. I have also always dreamed of starting my own brand and I love challenges and to learn new things!  

As a maker, do you have any questions you ask yourself before making a new piece or launching a new line?

Yes, if the product has a heart! I want Swedish Ninja products to last a lifetime. For that to happen we need to make sure we make brave and functional designs that one feels proud of owning and gets attached to.

Which direction do you see yourself going in the future?

I want to create a multinational Ninja world collaborating with designers from around the world and experiment with style, materials and cultures.  

What are the ingredients for great design and what's really exciting you at the moment in design?

Great design stays in your mind and you start to reflect on the piece and how you would like to use it. Also, I love it if the piece can be used in many different environments and is multifunctional.

I get excited when I can see that many artists have started their own production which is fantastic

Who inspires you creatively outside of homewares and design?

Everyday people and travelling

If you weren't a maker, what would you be doing?

I would have loved to work as a  gardener

Favourite cities, places or people for inspiration?

Cities - Malmö, Copenhagen, London, Melbourne, San Fransisco.

Place -  the farm where I grew up. I love going to my parents and always finds it so peaceful.

People - I find my friends to be very inspiring but also I truly enjoy sitting at a café and just watch people who are passing by.

Can’t live without….

My kids

Should live without…….

Stress

Any final words?

Looking forward to seeing you in September in London

 

Meet The Maker - Troels Flensted

For our May edition of Meet The Maker,  Danish maker Troels Flensted talks about his love for London, art and experimentation. 

Troels_Flensted_Studio_Portrait_Photo_Credit_Jannick_Boerlum_2.jpg

Intro - name, discipline, where are you based ....?

Troels Flensted, I design and make unique sculptural objects in Copenhagen, Denmark

What's your pelican story - what inspired you to start making?

I’ve always been interested in materials and how they behave. It became a natural thing for me to experiment with as many different materials as I could find and from these experiments, I naturally started to make objects based on their unique qualities.

troels flensted pelican story meet the maker

As a maker do you have any questions you ask yourself before making a new piece or launching a new line?

Every object needs, in my opinion, to have an interesting story to tell, otherwise, it becomes meaningless and irrelevant. I try to create objects with new and meaningful stories, so I always ask myself if the project brings something new and interesting.

Troels_Flensted_Poured_Collection_Making_2016_Photo_Credit_Per_Krogh_High_Res_8.jpg

Which direction do you see yourself going in the future?

I’ve started to focus more on commissions and small limited edition collections as it gives me a lot of creative freedom.

What are the ingredients for great design and what's really exciting you at the moment in design?

Great design is something you feel connected to and want to keep and cherish - objects where an emotional connection can occur.

Who inspires you creatively outside of homewares and design?

I find a lot of inspiration in art. It’s not important to consider function in art which gives a creative freedom in the use of materials and techniques which I find truly inspiring.

If you weren't a maker, what would you be doing?

Even though I work crazy hours every week, I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else.

troels flensted meet the maker pelican story

Favourite cities, places or people for inspiration?

I miss London from my time at Central Saint Martins. All the great museums and cultural offers. I also miss hanging out with my good friends who still live there. Fortunately, I’m in London at least two times a year.

Can’t live without….

I would definitely miss good coffee.

Should live without…….

I should probably live without internet – at least for a few months. Would be great not being distracted by notifications, emails etc. for a little while.

Any final words?

I’m very honoured to be Maker of the Month

You can find out more about the process, by watching this short video...  

You can buy his wonderful bowls here 

Meet the Maker - Olivia Aspinall

Welcome Springtime (!) and welcome to another edition in our meet the maker series.  This month Olivia Aspinall shares her world of design with us and what inspires her each day.   

meet the maker April Olivia Aspinall pelican story

Intro - name, discipline, where are you based ....?

My name is Olivia Aspinall and I run a surface design studio based in Nottingham. We produce handmade surfaces for use within interiors. 

What's your Pelican Story - what inspired you to start making?

It was my year studying Art Foundation that really kicked off my interest in making. When I studied it was such an open and free course and the tutors encouraged everyone to explore all the time. I started that year not really knowing what I wanted to do and ended up studying Textile Design at Central Saint Martins, which gave me a really good grounding in colour and design. After graduating I worked various jobs within the interiors industry, but ultimately knew I wanted to do something that involved hands on making. 

As a maker, do you have any questions you ask yourself before making a new piece or launching a new line? 

Quite a lot of questions. Who will want this? Do i need to make this? How can I make this better? How can I make this more sustainable? When i'm working on commissioned work a lot of these questions are already answered for me, which is reassuring that the piece I am creating already has a home. 

meet the maker April Olivia Aspinall pelican story

Which direction do you see yourself going in the future ?

I've recently moved to a bigger studio, which has allowed me to take on larger and more complex projects. I want to keep producing for one off projects, these projects are always exciting and I like the problem solving aspect of these. I will continue to develop new collections. I would like to work on some projects that involve more than just the surfaces, maybe moving slightly into interior architecture. I'd love to design restaurant or hotel interiors. 

What are the ingredients for great design and what's really exciting you at the moment in design? 

There have been lots of amazing new restaurant interiors recently.  The perfect mixtures of materials, colours and furniture. These inspire me to create new surfaces that will work for these sort of spaces. 

Meet the maker April Olivia Aspinall pelican Story

Who or what inspires you creatively outside of homewares and design?

The mountains. I recently hiked around Yosemite.  The colours and textures were wonderful. 

If you weren't a maker, what would you be doing?

I have the illusion that i'd make a great detective.  

Favourite cities, places or people for inspiration?

I've just got back from LA and despite quite a lot of rain, when the sun did come out the colours were like nowhere else, very bright and fresh. Also the 40s interiors were all amazing, especially the bathroom and kitchen tiles.

Can’t live without…. Very boring. A morning cup of tea and a mid morning coffee.
 

Should live without……. I'm slowly moving from vegetarian to vegan, so I should be living without eggs and cheese. It's proving a bit tricky for me so far.  Oh and Easter chocolate!

Thank you Olivia! x

Olivia's beautiful terrazzo coasters are available to buy on pelican story now