Whatever happened to Zak?

Cast your mind back a couple of years and if you’ve been reading our blog since around 2012/13 you might recall a Work Placement student at Scarlet Opus called Zak who wrote a whole bunch of posts and helped to create our Autumn/Winter 2014/15 & trend boards.

zak and vAlthough Zak left us last summer to return to University to complete her degree, we’ve kept in touch and kept a keen eye on her development during her final year until last month Zak finally finished her degree and showcased her final collection.  And today we’re proud to share that collection with you!

Zak’s print designs were heavily influenced by our ‘Dangerous Apparitions’ trend forecast for 2014 (it’s a trend that Catherine took inspiration from for our dark, seductive Valentine’s Day post this year which included a fab montage showing how to translate the trend for Interiors – check it out if you missed it!).  It was fascinating for us to see Zak’s take on our trend and her translation into a truly sumptuous wallpaper collection.  Below Zak talks us through her designs, the inspiration and intention:

1ABOVE: Initial inspiration board

‘Hidden wonders” is a concept which is based upon what lies beneath the surreal transparency of the wild garden. It has an explosion of colour from my artistic expression of the imagination through dreams, free of conscious control and is linked with the perception of reality. It is a naturalistic approach revealing the unconscious and relating it to the realistic world, as there is ‘more that meets the eye’.


ABOVE: Initial Market board

It has two characteristics – dark seductive surrealism fused with light delicate femininity creating a mysterious mood full of soft, dreamy layers of the natural environment, which intervenes with releasing the imagination.

3ABOVE: Final wallpaper designs

The aim of the project was to create a tranquil, relaxing spa environment, which is stress free and transports the mind to a heavenly haven. It is an ultimate vision for a luxury majestic spa that is designed for the high-end of the market.


ABOVE: Close-up sections of Market board showing design in-situ

The wallpaper and cushions give the appearance of tactile textures and allows one to explore the potential of the luscious natural floral wild garden. The inspiration and creativity forms an escape to a Riviera of bloom and allows the individual to drift into a dream, opening doors to a new reality.


ABOVE: Close-up images of designs on cushions on Market board

78We are pleased to announce that Zak was awarded a 2:1.  Congratulations!!!

As she sets out on her journey into industry we wish her well.

zakYou can contact Zak regarding commissions or employment via: zakiya_iqbal@hotmail.com

Trend Seminar at Decor + Design 2014

If you’re one of our avid Australian blog readers or Twitter followers then we’ve got some exciting news for you!  We know attending one of our Trend Seminars would normally involve a lot of travelling for you, and that’s why we’re so thrilled to be able to announce that we’re coming to YOU … well, as far as Melbourne anyway.


As part of the fantastic line-up of international speakers at Decor + Design 2014 our Lead Futurist, Victoria Redshaw, will be presenting a seminar entitled ‘Design & Colour Trends for Interiors 2015 & Beyond’ at 12 o’clock on Thursday 10th July.  During her 50 minute presentation she’ll explore the key design trends for Interiors for 2015 (and beyond) including a brief look at how we forecast design trends at Scarlet Opus.  Victoria will explain the factors driving each trend’s emergence and then discuss in detail their translation into the key colours, patterns, materials, shapes, and styles for interiors & interior products.  And then there’ll be the chance to ask Victoria questions.

This seminar will provide crucial content if you’re a Retailer of interior products, an Interior Designer, a Manufacturer of products for interiors, a Journalist / Blogger or simply passionate about all things decor + design!

We really hope you’ll come along and join us.  To find out more and book your seat click HERE.

London Design Festival: The Bits You Might Have Missed

We’re always keen to share our fab findings and easily overlooked design gems with you.  So when our past intern Gemma Tovey offered to visit some of the smaller shows and exhibitions being held during London Design Festival and guest blog for us, we knew we’d have an interesting and inspiring post to share.  Here’s what Gemma discovered … 

GT headDuring London Design Festival (from the 14th – 22nd September) I took some time out from the major exhibitions to visit some of the smaller shows around the city, on the look out for inspiration and trends for my final year at the University of Huddersfield where I’m studying Surface Design. 

Firstly I visited British European Design Group  – Caribbean Design Diaspora which celebrated the best outstanding creative talent of black artists and designers from 2010 – 2012. It was located in central London next to the Oxo Tower in a very old building. There was quite a nice level with some beautiful hand woven black & white textiles, which I saw again later at 100% Design by African Authentique:

African Authentique

Having been inspired by my recent trip to Malawi I then also visited Platform at Habitat, “Graphic Africa” which showcased 16 designers from around Africa as part of their ‘centre for culture’ project to encourage and inspire other local design businesses and to promote designers talent. This was quite a small exhibition inside one of Habitat’s shops on Kings Road in central London:

Habitat montage 1

Habitat 2

I then went onto Squint, a London based brand which showed a bespoke, handcrafted range of furniture, lights and mirrors, inspired by traditional patchwork updated in bold striking materials and colours. These were shown alongside the quirky work of ceramic artist Myung Nam An:


Whilst on route to my next exhibition near Oxford Street, I also came across a rather interesting window display at Anthropologie “365 – a year in cups” by Gwyneth Leech. The installation consisted of hand drawn and painted cups:

Window Display

Finally I visited CAMAC Design 5th annual student wallpaper competition exhibition which showed a ranged of new wallpaper designs, both 2D and 3D.  Inspiration was drawn from archival resources from both personal archives and those collected through the museums:

CAMAC Montage

Many thanks to Gemma for sharing her design discoveries.

Hot Trend: Blue & White

catherine polaroidI’ve been inspired to put today’s post together (following the ‘New Blue & White’ exhibition at Boston’s MFA),  in order to share the blue & white porcelain look with you that’s trending in Fashion as well as Interiors. It’s exciting to see a range of designers exploring this theme.

17th Century Dutch Delftware is the main influence for many designers, along with colours inspired by Chinese porcelain, and Wedgewood’s signature powder blue also providing inspiration for more delicate embellished pieces, prints and accessories.

As well as beautiful garments, contemporary ceramics and surface pattern designs, it’s very effective to combine the 2 styles of Delftware and Wedgewood together to create a quirky, fresh look for the home, with key pieces being easy and cheap to acquire from vintage stores and car boot sales…

Wear the ‘Blue & White’ trend:

Fashion Montage

1. High on DIY 2. Giambattista Valli 3.Li Xiaofeng 4. Etsy 5. Nail Art 6.Etsy 7.Roberto Cavalli 8.Therese Dombek 9.Just Cavalli  10. Abed Mahfouz 11.Tibi 12.Just Cavalli 13. Forever 21 14.Golden Ink

Live in the ‘Blue & White’ trend:

wedgewood interiors montage

1. Martha Stewart 2. Marcel Wanders 3. Marcel Wanders 4.Jacco Maris 5. Prince Design UK 6. Lagom Design 7. Catkin Collection 8. David Hicks 9. Etsy 10. Boca Do Lobo 11. Duffy London 12. Laviva