Shades of Brilliance : Our Winners


We are delighted to launch two absolutely stunning new shade designs that were selected as the winners of our student design challenge last year.  Our panel of judges, including two highly regarded stars of UK interior design, Matthew Williamson and Beata Heuman, chose from an incredible selection of designs submitted from students and recent graduates around the country!

There are so many young, highly creative and dynamic designers coming out of the UK's brilliant design colleges and it's a pleasure to be able to offer some support by showcasing these designs and paying royalties to some of these young designers as they begin their careers.  We hope you will love their designs as much as we do.

The Dance in Mineral by Tamar Kalif

The Dance in Sage by Tamar Kalif

Tamar Kalif

The Dance was the winning entry in our "Shades of Brilliance" competition for young, emerging designers. The judges loved it for its originality, wit, cheek and its joie de vivre. Tamar's design caught our eye straight away when she sent it in last year.  Not just due to the fact the design was so different to anything in our range but also it was so different to anything we had seen before!  

Tamar is from Israel and came to the UK for a student exchange programme to study illustration at Camberwell UAL for the spring term 2021.  She has since returned to Israel to complete her BA in Visual Communication.

Design inspiration

"I searched back into art history looking at different art streams that advocate the celebration of emotions, like the Hellenistic period and the Baroque.  In both of them I found expressive figures and body posing, communicating emotions and telling a story. Those references are what I wanted to do with my illustration, creating expressive works using the human body.  After assembling a collection of mini scenes I placed them as a pattern to create this holistic vibe of a dancing group caught in the middle of a performance."

Find out more about Tamar here

Poppies in green

Poppies in pink

Ellen Merchant

Ellen's "Poppies" came a very close second and we simply couldn't resist putting it into production! The judges recognised it for the intricacy and subtlety of its floral theme, and its contemporary take on the Arts and Crafts style. Ellen's design came in towards the final weeks of the competition and we were immediately struck by the detail and drawn to the hand block nature of her design, as well as her intuitive use of pattern and colour. 

Ellen Merchant is a decorative artist, designer and printmaker based in London. Drawing from a love of antique textiles & botanical forms, she creates hand-drawn, uplifting prints with a decorative aesthetic that pays homage to the British Arts and Crafts movement.  Ellen specialises in original pattern design, impactful colour & the application of traditional craft skills and values to vibrant, contemporary design for a modern audience. 

Design Inspiration

"My design is a two colour, hand-carved block print featuring a single repeating Poppy and some interlocking meadow flowers. I first sketched out the design during the first lockdown in London, when I would go on daily morning walks and see the abundance of hopeful wild flowers spring up from the ground.  I wanted to create a pattern that was both elegant and playful, so the artwork for this design has a conventional repeat but retains a liveliness due to the method of hand-carving and printing.  I first started block printing as a means to bring my pattern designs to life physically rather than on a screen, and I quickly fell in love with the whole process.  While carving my designs out of lino or wood can require an immense amount of time and patience, I find it endlessly rewarding when it comes to printing and you can see the pattern growing across the paper or fabric.  Block printing is a very physical process that gives instant (and often unpredictable!) rewards.  However, it's the imperfections that give the prints a certain character that's so charming and hard to replicate."

Find out more about Ellen here