Spotlight on Design: An Interview with Avalana

As part of our ‘Spotlight on Design’ series we are celebrating the role of pattern in the home, and in this first edition we caught up with a young brand that is making a big impact in the interiors arena right now for its show-stopping style.

Speaking with Creative Director Avalana, we talk about the journey so far, how the brand has already evolved and what inspires design creation.

We love seeing homes that incorporate a little creativity especially when we see people enjoying experimenting with our Artisan range on feature walls or full rooms. Have you been surprised by the trend for large-scale murals over traditional wallpaper?

I haven’t been surprised - coming from working through various design industries, my last job was Senior Designer/ Trend Specialist at a Home textile company and the move towards panels & specifically digitally printed panels was rising in popularity. Now the mood of the market is very much filled with consumers looking for a more unique take on design. These choices are driven by social media and ‘instagrammable’ photo opportunities  - the bespoke design market is set to keep growing!

You’ve been able to develop a real strong identity that people are clearly drawn to.  Your designs are incredibly detailed and impactful.  How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as bold, playful with an edge of escapism. It was a real focus of mine when I started Avalana that I would start each and every design with painting. I am a watercolour artist at my core and this medium is what I predominantly use to create my artworks and designs. I then digitally curate the final designs, which are then tailored ready for printing on each product. Almost all of my products are made to order in the UK so I have the ability to offer a completely bespoke design service to my clients which gives me a real sense of uniqueness in a busy space.

All of your designs feature scenes from the natural world - do you think that will always be an important factor?

Yes, the natural world has always been fascinating to me. It has been the focus of my creative work since studying art at university. The natural world holds so many truly wonderful patterns, shapes and forms, it is an endless source of inspiration. One of my long-term goals of the business is to be able to donate profits towards helping save and preserve our worlds most in need natural habitats.

Avalana designs are loved by maximalists and pattern fanatics, all confident at combining bold print in their home.  How would you suggest people should incorporate print into their scheme if they are less experienced at this?

I always recommend using colour as the glue to create a cohesive interior theme. Even if you are mixing multiple patterns and textures - if you stick to a colour palette that flows across them all you can’t really go wrong. Another great tip is to start with a piece that is quite big on pattern or holds a lot of colours that you love and then select those colours for the rest of the room. For example, choosing a stunning mural or gorgeous piece of art as your starting point is a great way to get your colour palette nailed down. My designs allow homeowners to add a touch of intricate design, ombre effect wall or, they can go all out creating a statement space with co-ordinating bedding, textiles and my clients may ask me for bespoke murals for their ceilings too. A lot of homes are now Avalana from floor to ceiling and I love it!

Avalana designs are available on not only wallpaper and murals but bedding, cushions, lampshades and even Kimonos!

Your bold colour palettes are also a striking part of their appeal.  How do you decide what route to go down when colouring one of your new designs? How early on in the process do you decide on colour?

I am forever thinking of colour - whether that’s searching for inspiration during the day or when I close my eyes at night and dream. It is so important and really can impact the way we feel when we walk into a space. Colour is a constant in my design process. Considering colour combinations for my designs is one of the most fun and satisfying parts. Even after the designs are created - I love re-colouring these as it can completely transform the designs themselves. It’s also fascinating for me as I offer a re-colouring design service that enables me to work alongside clients creating colour schemes or ensuring the Avalana designs they love fit perfectly with the rest of their decor. I really enjoy this type of challenge.

How would you encourage people to embrace colours that are new to them?

Trust me - I’m a designer! In all seriousness, it can be a challenge to push people to introduce bolder & brighter colours into their homes and spaces but I feel there has been such a shift away from the bland so it is getting easier to encourage people to take a step out of their comfort zone in order to achieve something very special. The main thing I come across with my clients is lack of confidence in what they are choosing. This is where my interior design service really comes into play as they can see what wallpapers and paint colours look like together with furniture and accessories before committing to buying and making final decisions.

Do you have a personal favourite design?

My favourite Avalana design is always changing - usually, the newest design as I am so involved in my art and designs it’s always extremely exciting to focus on fresh new artwork!

Can you talk us through a typical day at Avalana HQ?

There is no typical day at Avalana HQ! Which I do love. The day does always consist of me whizzing about and taking care of a million and one things: client calls, design development, posting & packaging orders, bespoke projects, constantly trying to take a moment to paint the latest design (which can be a challenge when running your own business) and of course EMAILS! I have taken on a couple of studio assistants once a week who help me with sampling and other tasks which was a great decision! I also always take time to walk my dogs during the day and exercise on an evening, or I think I would go mad! Exercise for me is like my reset - if I ever get creative block I put on my running shoes and run to get my ideas and thoughts in order.

Finally, what do we have to look forward to from Avalana in 2022?

For 2022 there are some super exciting new product developments coming which I cannot wait to reveal! The next collection for will focus on the British Isles but with a very Avalana take on this theme. No paint has touched paper yet but the vision is clear in my mind and I am really looking forward to sharing this with you next year.

To find out more, head to the website or give them a follow on Instagram or Facebook.

Big thank you to Avalana for taking part in this interview, we hope you all enjoyed it too!