Dashwood Designers: Wendy Kendall

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How did you get into surface pattern design?

I studied printed textile design at Derby University after completing A-levels and a foundation course in textiles. I’ve always loved to draw and from an early age enjoyed creating patterns and colour schemes for interiors. So textiles seemed the natural route for me to take.

After graduating I was very fortunate to land my first job at a bedding manufacturer in Lancashire as a junior designer. This was an amazing springboard for my career – being hands on in lots of areas of the business. Whilst here I realised I particularly loved working on children’s designs, so my next move was to a nursery manufacturer supplying bedding to the major high street stores.

I then joined Natural World importers as a senior designer which is where I developed the Studio Textiles bedding brand which saw me exhibiting at the major home trade shows in the UK (which was a great achievement for me!).

Through the contacts I made in the industry I then began working directly for an importer based in Mumbai and became freelance three years ago. I now work on their collections for the European and Australian markets and for their annual trade show at Heimtextil in Frankfurt, as well as designing my own ranges via my website.

It’s very varied but I love it!

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What is your design style?

I’d say my design style is quite simplistic, clean and graphic. I love using interesting palette combinations and playful patterns and texture details.

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Is this your first fabric collection?

Yes,this is my first fabric collection and it’s incredibly exciting for me! It is so different to see my designs on fabric rather than a finished product. I cant wait to see the creations people come up with using the fabrics.

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Did something in particular inspire ‘Petite Street’?

When I created this design back in January,I was conscious of the geometric design trend emerging and wanted to bring this element into a children’s design. The triangle and house motifs seemed to fit well together. It was actually a design I didn’t labour over for too long. It emerged quite quickly… sometimes I think this is the best way if you don’t over think the design.

How did it feel to with the Ideal Home Show Wallpaper of the Year Award for the initial design?

Oh my, absolutely amazing! I was completely overwhelmed to be selected to be in the final to be honest, so to be announced as the winner I couldn’t believe it. I still don’t! The other finalists were amazing so I felt very lucky indeed. It is definitely a career highlight.

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Tell me what the process of designing the rest of the collection with Dashwood was like…

I already had two co-ordinates (the triangle and little flower print) that sat with the house print, so it was creating other prints that completed the collection. Dashwood really helped me here in terms of advising me on scale of designs and colouration and to include a design that was more like a colour carrier to complement the others, hence the little semi plain spot which is actually one of my favourites from the collection!  photo3

What’s your workspace like?

I’ve just moved house and have a bit more room to play with so I’m excited about decorating it. It’s very light and airy with white walls and lots of shelving for my design books and magazines. I either listen to BBC Radio One whilst I work, or I put music on. I love Motown – I was born in the wrong era!

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Do you have a favourite design from the full collection?

I would say the main house design is still my favourite, but I do really love the little spot design, especially in the pink

Quick fire round!

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What’s your favourite magazine?

Elle Decoration

What’s your favourite blog?

Print and Pattern. It’s the must see everyday blog

How do you take your tea?

Mega strong. One sugar.

What are you working on at the moment?

An interior trend boards for 2014…

 

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