Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Funky Little Darlings

I love finding new exciting interior items, coming from an interior design background myself. It doesn't happen too often but it does happen... like when I came across a company called Funky Little Darlings, who specializes in high-end wall-coverings and prints.

Just had a chat with Mandy Colliss, the creative Director, to find out more about them.

Tell me a bit about yourselves ?

David and I are both designers and have worked in the toys and games industry for most of our careers, most notably Hasbro - a leading toys & games company based in the US. I am a graphic designer by profession and David is a 3D designer with a specialism in structural packaging design. We met in 1999 while we were both working at Hasbro's London office. We both love design and Interior Design is our absolute passion.

I design most of our concepts, visualize rooms, create concept drawings (illustrations and rooms layouts). David does a lot of the fine detail drawing and artwork design as well as creating 3 dimensional furniture designs for bespoke commissions.

Why did you start FLD ?
Our daughter Daisy was the catalyst for starting Funky Little Darlings. We saw there were very few 'design-led' interior products available especially for children and although she loved watching things like 'Thomas the Tank engine', we didn't want her room to be slavish to a particular 'licensed' products. Our aim is to design beautiful, inspirational and stimulating products to create rooms children will always remember.

We started our business designing large scale, contemporary murals but this has naturally evolved to encompass designing for interiors in a much broader way. We have a developed a range of products as well as designing bespoke furniture and wallcoverings.

What has been the main challenge since starting FLD ?
Oh there have been many.... the best one was David happily quitting his full time job to join me and having the 'credit crunch' announced the next day! As a small company, the amount of time needed to run things is astonishing - it really is 24 hours, seven days a week! It has been a tough couple of years developing new products, finding the best quality and most reliable suppliers, finding the time to get things done, as well as establishing ourselves but the rewards are knowing that we make beautiful things other people love. Running your own business isn't easy, but the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

Tell me more about your collections. What are the thoughts and inspirations behind them ?
Our designs are inspired by our surroundings, usually from nature but also urban and industrial influences play an important part. Wherever we start an idea from we always take it to an 'other world' level: our imagination is the key. Although our work is contemporary we don't design for a particular period and blend elements that are both traditional and modern as well as being pan-cultural.

Having spent so much of our careers designing for children, we have a real insight into what they do and don't like. Our designs contain a subtle narrative blend of highly detailed and coloured elements - we love colour, scale and drama and our designs feature lots of this.

Do you have any products that you are working on at the moment ?
On the way are more Wall Stickers, Wallpapers and Bed Linen and Soft Furnishings. We can't wait to get these all finalised. We are also considering expanding our website to sell contemporary children's furniture (which will also compliment our interior design business). We would also love to collaborate with other designers on all manner of children's (or grown up) products.

To view Funky Little Darlings collections at Monsters and Munchkins, click here.

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