You are likely to have seen Fiona Howard’s work before. In fact, it is very likely. She created some contemporary classics, such as Sanderson’s ‘Dandelion Clocks’. But she also designs for Pierre Frey, Colefax & Fowler, Laura Ashley and so many others. Fiona is coming to Indigo for the first time.
A great opportunity to talk to her about trends.
As an experienced developer of prints and patterns for home furnishing, what trends do you think will endure in the coming seasons?
Fiona Howard: There is a sway to explore nature through design, from jungle to seashells and everything in between. A return to something solid and quiet, somewhere wholesome and peaceful, finding an inner peace through our surroundings. If we can’t live in the countryside or on a beach, we can still surround ourselves with plants and prints which bring nature into our habitat. So exploring the wilder areas of nature, themes of jungle will continue, forest, seeds, pinecones, ferns, garden, wildflowers and unkempt areas, the seashore, including shells, stones, seaweeds. Designs which are both natural and stylised.
Why are we so focused on nature?
Fiona Howard: There is so much uncertainty in the world at the moment, we are seeking somewhere safe and peaceful. We seek to connect with our senses, touch, smell and taste, a tactile environment in a world which is becoming ever more virtual.
You work very traditionally. What kind of technical innovations are you welcoming?
Fiona Howard: Everything I design is created by hand. I don’t use anything technical in my work. My process is a very traditional one, drawing my designs with a pencil, carving into and printing the lino by hand which creates a final piece of artwork which smells of the oil paints and has texture and soul, giving the client a connection to the design process.
However I welcome the move towards green energy, electric cars, and products made from cellulose, bamboo and other materials which can replace the single-use plastics on which we have become so reliant.
People want greener and healthier places to work and live. Can you give some tips for buyers who source designs for these environments?
Fiona Howard: From bold florals to intertwining leaves, climbers and trails, from the wild forest to the vegetable garden, the natural world is coming indoors. Plants and natural objects are echoed in furnishing fabrics and wallpapers which evoke nature. Pattern takes inspiration from Dufy’s bold one-colour prints to Josef Frank’s happy stylised vision of the garden.
What is your favourite colour tip for MoOD+Indigo?
Fiona Howard: Green green green. From olive to emerald, jade to leaf, acid to pine and every shade in-between. If you want one specific Pantone: 17-0145 TPX.