Chatting with bohemian loving Anna Hayman who describes herself as enduringly obsessed with pattern, crafts, and design. We have a chat about her brand and some of the notable surface pattern prints that she uses on fabrics, wallpapers and lampshades featured all over the interiors world.
When did you realise your passion for interior design?
This makes me think of when I was a little girl, my friend Sarah used to get infuriated with me, as instead of playing with our dolls I would spend all the time setting up the interiors scenes! I was insistent to get the right layout, decor and mood, that the actual playing was always secondary haha. But in adulthood, I suppose my passion for interior design, and the belief and realisation of my own projects, has been evolving over the last four years. Through gaining experience, insight and shaping (and reshaping) my own home, I’ve learned the necessary skills to take it from a dream to a reality. Now I’m on the brink of completing my first two residential projects, I am excited to install and ‘bank’ these into my portfolio.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
What has your journey into the world of interiors been like?
Because of instagram, it has been extremely welcoming. I’ve really been guided by the customer, and have navigated building a brand aided by this rich and rewarding tool. Working with River Island curating a bar area for their flagship store was an emboldening experience, edging my confidence up to curate and design whole spaces rather than purely products. And now through working with Greg Penn, @manwithahammer I have gained experience in working with residential clients, and period properties. Now I’m emerging more as an interior designer, the journey gets even more exciting as new opportunities are arising, even in lockdown!
Biggest challenges and successes in creating your brand so far?
I never know what to say re biggest challenges, when I get asked this, which I guess means it’s been a pretty easy ride. The thing is, this isn’t a job for me. I would do what I’m doing whether it made money or not, whether people liked it or not, so that fact that my designs ‘chime’ with lots of people is brilliant, but not necessary to me doing it. I’m an artist, I guess, and feel good that I’ve managed to create a recognised business from my love of pattern and texture. I’d never say I’m lucky, I’ve worked hard and thought hard, and I know I deserve my success. My proudest moment I think was when my design was picked out of over 1500 to grace the cover of Thames and Hudson book ‘Pattern Design’ as many of my heroes are encompassed. It also feels good that Liberty, Harrods and Bergdorf Goodman all came to me for my products, that really means it’s working!
Who is the quintessential Anna Hayman Designs customer?
I truly love my customers, they echo my feelings about the world in a way that is expressed through their homes. This dance between us is what I cherish and celebrate. They are knowledgable, primarily I guess. They are brave, and want their homes to be the ultimate expression of who they are. I recently gained a client who had been looking for the right printed cushions for four years, and both her and her husband fell in love with my designs, and have used my cushions in every room. This discerning customer is my favourite, almost the opposite of an impulse buyer haha. It’s ok to think hard about your home, especially now we are spending soooo much time in them.
What are your best sellers?
Bibana ,Siouxsie and Pearl are our bestselling designs. I think Bibana for her arts and crafts historical feel, Siouxsie for her pretty detail and rock n roll soul, and Pearl for that jazz age decadent vibe.
That “Aha!” moment when you were recognized and knew you created something special?
When I exhibited at Top Drawer in January 2016, I took the first parachute lampshade samples which caught the eye of Rockett St. George. When we photographed these on a dark background, and they were picked up by instagrammers such a Nicola Broughton
@the_girl_with_the_green_sofa the business slipped into the dark interiors scene, burgeoned by Abigail Ahern, I then realised really who my market were, and what I needed to make more of. It became a bit of a whirlwind after that, and I’m only just catching up now and really starting to strategise and plan ranges properly. My sister now works alongside me, and is planning to head up retail operations, leaving me free to explore more interior design and product design. This is an exciting plan for the coming year as I really then get to focus on the parts I’m most passionate about.
One design trend you are loving and one that you are glad is over?
I am absolutely loving a self skirted chair right now, and giant loungers. Anywhere you can sink down and dream/read. An item I’d like to see the back of is bar carts, too kitsch for me sorry!