What is your earliest memory of design? When did you first know that you wanted to become a fabric/wallpaper designer?
It’s not a memory of design as such but one my first ever memories was colouring in a chameleon print in nursery in an array of colours. Looking back, it's funny how that has stuck with me because I love exploring colour palettes and how they transform designs.
There was no specific lightbulb moment that made me realise I wanted to be a fabric designer; it was more a series of paths that I either chose or found myself going down that led me to where I am now. I always knew I wanted a career in design. I convinced with my parents to allow me to give up my A-Levels for a foundation in art and design at school aged 16, instead of sticking to the traditional academic route. Luckily, I thrived in that creative environment and passed with a triple distinction. I then went on to be model, but I still pursued my studies with a 1st class degree in Creative Advertising and then a Masters in Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Art. After modelling and my studies, I worked in variety of different creative industries until the beginning of Covid-19. This is when I learnt Surface Pattern Design and decided to start Eloise Home.
Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a fabric designer? Did this start from prior experience as an Interior Designer?
During lockdown, I explored different skills and took a Surface Pattern Design course. I got completely engrossed and started getting my designs digitally printed. I sent some of my designs to designer, Judy Hutson and she chose our Dawn Chorus print in her latest hotel, The Pig in the South Downs. It was a dream come true, and the brand has been building momentum since.
Eloise Home’s Dawn Chorus design featured at The Pig on the South Downs chosen in custom colourways for the Shepherds Huts
Where do you find the inspiration for your designs? What would you say are the main influences on your work?
I find nearly all my inspiration in nature, which may seem cliché, but the natural world is full of patterns and beautiful forms. I also draw influence from design magazines, coffee table books, and industry paint brands for colour selections.
Where is the most surprising place that you’ve found inspiration for your designs?
Anything around me can spark inspiration, but it’s usually when I’m out for a walk. I take photos of plants I like and write potential pattern ideas down when they spring to mind.
Eloise’s sketching against one of her wallpaper designs
What’s your creative process? Take us through the development of a design from idea conception to the final product.
My creative process starts with mood boarding a theme that has usually already been manifesting. From the theme, I sketch or watercolour potential layouts and motifs, and how they might work together. Next, I decide on designs and try to determine the composition, size, and pattern repeat. Once I've set the parameters for my designs, I embark on sketching the designs. Then these are either drawn over in black fine liner or painted using gauche or watercolour. I then scan the designs into the computer and use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to finalise the composition, and to clean up any mistakes. From there I experiment with different colourways and begin the colour trials to decide what should be released as part of a new collection.
Eloise’s thumbnail sketches in watercolour
What types of materials and production processes do you prefer to use and why?
We print everything on natural fibres and offer all our designs on linen-union or 100% linen from Belgium. I'm particularly keen on linen because it requires little water when growing, making it one of the most sustainable fabrics. Sustainability is very important to me, and I am committed to reducing my business’s impact on the planet. In terms of production, we have embraced a fully digital approach since the start which enables us to achieve vibrant colours and unmatched flexibility without generating unnecessary waste as we print to order.
Eloise in her London studio finalising colourways of her designs
What is something that most people don’t understand or appreciate about textile design that you wish they did?
There's a misconception that digital printing is inferior to traditional printing. I have an enormous appreciation for hand and screen printing, but digital printing also requires a lot of thought, artistic intention, and skill. I draw and paint everything by hand on paper or in a sketchbook, and spend days creating the compositions on computer programmes, not to mention the back-and-forth colour trials.
Eloise with her initial drawing of Furling Ferns
What advice would you give to someone who wants to experiment with adding more colour and pattern to their interiors with fabric/wallpaper but is scared of making the wrong choice?
Be bold and playful - combining patterns and colours can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. I like to start with something that exists in the room already, and then bring complimentary patterns and colours in. For example, in my living room, we started with a painting, looked at the colours within it and chose fabrics and colours that made it pop.
Is there a particular design in your collection that’s your favourite and if so, why?
My latest designs are usually my favourite! Although Pinecones is probably one of my favourites because it is so versatile – it's medium-scale and so works fantastically for curtains, blinds, ottomans, sofas, headboards, and cushions.
How has the fabric and textile industry evolved since you became a part of it and what do you see and hope for the future of it?
I've noticed a growing demand for sustainability, and clients also want to know more about the fabric, particularly its composition, origin, and rub count. I think it's a positive shift towards higher quality and naturally durable products.
Eloise Home’s Shell Grotto design as fabric and matching wallpaper