It is just over a year ago since I first met Poppy at Design Week. I instantly fell in love with her luscious fabrics and wallpapers. Bright, bold and colourful, they possess a true elegance. There’s a real integrity and beauty to Poppy’s work which is influenced by the sights, sounds and experiences of her childhood in Malaysia. Read on to hear more about Poppy’s inspiration, her work and her thoughts on the next trends in design…
What was the main driver behind setting up your design studio?
After working in motion graphics for 15 years, designing for television and advertising, I wanted a new outlet to express myself. I decided to create a brand that represented all that I love and that inspires me. After visiting Malaysia for the first time since I grew up there, my mind was blown with inspiration and designs. I needed a way to channel that creativity so I filled my house with my designs. That blossomed into my own business.
What do you love most about your work?
Coming up with ideas and finding ways to recreate them on surfaces or objects. The fun and stressful part is drawing out what is in my mind, altering and editing it until it reaches my desired standard. Being new to the interiors industry, it’s so much fun to research what possibilities are out there and think about how I can make something that will fill homes with luxurious dreams of the exotic.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration mainly comes from my upbringing in Malaysia. As a child I was exposed to so many different crafts, cultures and styles. I had amazing experiences traveling around Asia visiting temples, religious festivals, fabulous antiques and fabrics shops. I was a little super enthusiastic sponge surrounded by beautiful exotic plants, buildings and people. It was hard not to want to translate those experiences and recreate what I had seen in my childhood. Now, watching my 3 year old explore the world is another daily inspiration; her wonder and awe at new experiences spurs me on to reconnect with my childlike wonder.
Describe your style in 3 words?
Exotic, bold and gregarious
Where is your favourite place to work?
It really depends how I feel. If I want to get my head down and really focus it has to be my studio where I have everything at my fingertips. But I also like taking my iPad out and sketching. This can range from Kew Gardens’ hot houses to a comfy pub sofa by the river.
Do you ever suffer from creative block?
Creative block happens all the time as I lead a very hectic life. But usually meditating and surrounding myself in a creatively inspiring space with like-minded people takes me straight out of it. I find creative block comes when your brain does not have the space to let the design flow out of you. So getting your head in the right space just lets it spill out onto the page in the most beautiful way.
What are going to be the next trends in your field?
Well I think maximalism and dark colours are here to stay which is lucky for me as that’s my passion. But I also think that people are getting bolder and exploring more. So everything is getting mixed up, like gardens coming inside with living walls and rattan furniture. With all the distressing stuff that is going on in the world people are going to go more into the realms of fantasy and escapism. People will continue to look at objects and toys that remind them of a simpler time and enhance them with more whimsical ideas and crazy colour combinations.
What are you most proud of?
This is a tricky question! I am notoriously hard on myself so I always look forward to what I need to accomplish rather than being proud of what I have done. But I would have to say putting myself out there and getting my business off the ground. The response I have seen from people has been so beautiful. When I see the joy on people’s faces at shows when they are drawn to my products or run their hand over my velvet cushions makes me smile.
What’s next for your studio?
It is crazy exciting at the moment. There are so many tantalising opportunities. The main thing I can talk is my craft show this month in Chelsea, as well as the launch of my new collection inspired by Japanese artworks and fabrics. Beyond that I want more collaboration, I love working with new people and disciplines. Feeding off other people’s briefs and dreams really spurs my creativity.
Follow Poppy on Instagram @pwestwell and check out here website here www.pwestwell.com where you can also shop her collections.