The first up in our series of interviews with some of the homeowners featured in Extraordinary Interiors In Colour, our interview is with rug designer Wendy Morrison.
Packed with pattern and colourful maximalism, Wendy Morrison's home is a testament to her limitless creative ability. Living in Dunbar in old Georgian Farmhouse, Wendy has a background in clothing design and is the founder of Wendy Morrison Designs which specialises in incredible rug designs. A natural creative, Wendy's home is every bit as incredible as you would expect it to be, filled with vivid colours, daring pattern and glorious embellishments that make her home so wonderfully extraordinary.
So, to celebrate the launch of our second interior design book, Extraordinary Interiors In Colour, we have sat down for an interview with Wendy Morrison Designs to discover more about Wendy, her career and her home.
Interview with Wendy Morrison Designs
1. Let's start at the beginning. Tell us a little about yourself?
Hello! I grew up in the country, in the cleugh of a hill. Growing up, I had lots of animals and spent most of my time with my ponies. When I finished school I went onto study fashion and I always had a love for hunting charity shops and customising clothes for going out at the weekend.
I worked hard in the clothing industry for around 10 years designing lots of different clothes for the high street. My role included designed clothes for all departments including ladies dresses, men's leisurewear and childrenswear. I also had a job predicting colour trends which were a lot of fun. Sportswear was my final department and this was where my interests began to naturally move towards interiors as one starts to build their own nest!
We moved from London back up to Scotland where we resumed life in the country and this where I discovered a local rug manufacturer. I fell in love with hand-tufted rugs. So, I began by designing custom pieces for interior designers and then I sourced our workshop in India from which we could supply retail. We then began working on exclusive collections for John Lewis, it was there that we gained huge brand exposure.
2. Describe a typical working day at Wendy Morrison Designs?
There is no typical day, especially at the moment as we are trying to create a more formal studio space in Edinburgh. This is taking time to come together.
I like to have days at my studio close to my home, where I can focus on drawing. It's the solitude and a walk along the seafront that I love. At least one day a week, I spend at home styling rug shots for my Instagram. Yesterday I had a gallery day, some days I go hunting for treasure and I have weeks where I travel too. So no day is really ever the same. I do feel very fortunate to work the way I do.
3. When designing new collections where do you look to for inspiration?
Exhibitions, galleries, books, history, magazines... anything that attracts my interest.
4. Which room in your home is your favourite and why?
I like my snug in the morning, this is when it captures the morning sun and is perfect for coffee and a view of the garden, the hens like to sit on the windowsill at this time too. I rather enjoy our lounge at the end of the day, perched on my chaise as I have a perfect few of what's going on inside and outside. In the winter my feet are warmed by the fire.
Conversely, I love our bedroom at the weekend when I can have a morning cuppa in my bed and enjoy the elevated garden view. We mostly watch the trees swaying in the wind and the squirrel hopping from branch to branch. It does feel quite grown up now, although I still need to work on the curtains!
5. Your home was featured in Extraordinary Interiors In Colour. Describe it in three words?
Colourful, eclectic and homely.
6. How do you combine pattern and colour without making a room feel 'busy' and disjointed?
Although our house is colourful the thread that runs throughout is the black woodwork, the long hallways are all white with black door and skirting surrounds I think this has a good grounding effect. Also, restricting yourself to one or two main colours and allow the rest of the colours to become complementary accents.
7. Your home is filled with vintage treasures and one-off finds. Where is the first place that you look for unusual pieces?
We have a good local salvage yard, I have also made a few rather special friends who are professional treasure hunters and they do let me know if they find something I might like.
8. What top three tips would you give to someone who wants to incorporate more colour and pattern into their home, but is feeling tentative to try?
If you are nervous about colour why not keep your walls white and build on this blank canvas with colour and pattern through textiles? For example, in your furnishings include a gorgeous statement patterned sofa, a colourful rug perhaps and then you can layer up with curtains, cushions, lampshades etc... what fun!
9. What's next for Wendy Morrison's Design?
It’s got to be wallpaper and fabric, I keep getting asked, I just need the right partner with all the right expertise!
10. Finally, name three Rockett St George products that you are lusting over.
Well, there’s a black & gold egg dish which I think Lucy subconsciously bought for me after my little black hen Lucie! I rather like the new floral headboard and then there’s a rather nice gold sofa too.
1. I'm happiest when… in the woods or on the beach with all my boys.
2. My ideal day would be spent…. a long walk, a gallery, a spot of treasure hunting, a nice meal followed by a trip to the Filmhouse.
3. The Instagram account that I'm currently loving is... @pete_bermejo
4. My guilty pleasure is… Escape to the Chateau.
5. My design hero is... Alexander Mcqueen.
6. The last film I saw was… JoJo Rabbit.
7. My favourite book is… Corrag by Susan Fletcher. I thoroughly recommend this book.
8. I kick back and relax by... flicking through World of Interiors in a quiet comfy armchair.
9. In five years’ time, I want to be… happy & healthy and in an apartment in the South of France to faff with would be good!
10. The three things I can’t live without are… a bath, culture and my little family.
Follow Wendy Morrison on Instagram - @wendymorrisondesign