Colour me happy!

Posted: Jul 05 2014

We had fun last week being interviewed by the lovely Plume Magazine, brought to you by the fab, fab homeware site Joss & Main...

The design team at Palm Valley in London are happiest when surrounded by colour and it shows. From the next-to-neon ombre prints to the iconic palm tree silhouette canvas, each artwork is an infusion of colour for your eyes – and your walls. With Palm Valley’s first Joss and Main event Colourful Canvases starting July 2, we decided to catch up with busy co-founder Fay Vowell to discover the golden key to decorating with colour and just how Palm Valley came to be.

How did you get started with Palm Valley?

I have another company, Bitten London, which designs luxury homeware, handmade cushions and art, so I’m experienced in the interiors world. My partner, Roberto Bertucci, also runs Bang Bang Tents, making beautiful, explosively colourful tents. We both firmly believe that colour makes you happy and we thought that there was a definite gap in the market for affordable and colourful artwork. We came up with a few designs and the printed art grew from there.

What role do you think art plays in the home?

There are different ways to look at art in the home. One common way is as a long term investment. But our feeling is you can get bored looking at the same piece of art quite easily.

People often say that paint is an easy way to update a room. We look at art in the same way.

It can be daunting choosing wall art so we try to make the process easier. We have people send in pictures of where they’d like to put art in their homes and we pick out what we think might look best. Then we mock it up for them so they can see how it works in their space. I think it takes away the mysticism of buying art, which can be a barrier for some people.

What does your design process look like from start to finish?

All our artwork is made in London. Roberto and I come up with or oversee the development of almost all the designs. We take the colours we feel go well together and sketch them, sometimes in ink, sometimes in acrylic. Then we shoot the work, scan it into the computer and play around with the design a little more.

Tell us about your studio space.

It’s shared with the designers in Bitten London. There are probably about ten of us at any given time. It’s often buzzing and it’s, of course, very vibrant!

Which artists do you admire the most and why?

I’ve always taken inspiration from fashion and photography rather than from more obvious sources like other artwork or artists. Inspiration is everywhere, it sounds a little cheesy but I think it’s true. As for my favourite painters… Well, having a background in art, I’m a big fan of the abstract movement, which you can probably guess by a lot of our work. Picasso was a huge influence on me.

How easy is it to incorporate colour into a scheme?

It’s easier than you might think. If you can just choose two or three colours that you want to mix. The secret is not to go crazy. Start with two to three colours at most then add more. For example, if your artwork has colours like yellow, blue and pink, incorporate these three in your furnishings and décor. It’s important to tie it all together. Pick key colour pieces out of the artwork. Too much colour can be a bad thing. I would say three is the golden number.

Do you have a favourite Palm Valley print?

I think it has to be the Manhattan Sunrise print. It just made such a brilliant pattern. We’ve incorporated it onto cushions as well and it works amazingly!

Where did the name Palm Valley come from?

Ha! Well, we just wanted it to sound really colourful and happy. We hope that comes across when you see our artwork… The name itself just came from a brainstorm. Lots of people get so stuck on the name of things, but if the products are good and the service is good the name will work. It’ll take on a life of its own.

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