What a lovely treat to have chatted with Jamie Watkins this week, one half of design house Divine Savages alongside his husband Tom Kennedy. If you love maximalist and wonderfully bold interiors then you will already know of them because in just a short space of 4 years they have had great success with their wallpapers, textiles and home accessories.They create timeless prints while encapturing eras and each time with a quirky twist – just like this Crane Fonda one above,
Jamie originally comes from a TV background and Tom was involved in fashion and design so naturally I wanted to ask what inspired them make the change to starting their own Design House and how they a business work collectively.
So much work and creative energy goes in to a design process and Jamie explains how Tom develops their colour palettes carefully using his vast background experience.
Behind every collection lies inspiration, of course, and because they often merge more than one element I found the way Tom forms his ideas very interesting to listen to and I hope you do too.
One of my personal favourite prints is Bloomin’ Marvellous – one of their newer designs and from the Nana Nostalgic collection. Large peonies on a deep colourful background and if you look closely you’ll spot the pelicans, This design is inspired by St James Park in London.
This Autumn/Winter they have worked with Heals on a collaboration on their Botanize velvet cushions. I ask Jamie about this as it is surely a milestone in any designers career to work with such an iconic and well known interiors company.
Having worked withThe National History Museum as well a little while ago on a wallpaper named Extinctopia. Featuring prehistoric beasts as they skulk in the bushes and frolic in the water with Victorians wandering through their Jurassic fantasy world. Again, another great back story to how this all came about.
I’m very much of the same opinion as Divine Savages that bathrooms should be full of character and that it is a space that can easily be neglected so it was interesting to hear about their first shower curtain design and what spurred it on as one of their first ever products.
There is a shout to the lady in their life who inspired their Cat-titude collection. What a legend she is.
Divine Savages definitely gives a distinct nod to the 20s with a lot of their creations including one of their first ever – Deco Martini which oozes glamour with the metallic giving a feeling of decadence.
With such incredible and clever names for all their collections and of course their own brand, Jamie tells me how they develop them and whether the name defines the design or the other way around.
Jamie gives some excellent advice for anyone wanting to start a unique business and offers some ways for staying on brand which they are excellent at. It is not always an easy task as I know only too well, so I would say his thoughts on this are well worth a listen.
As well as winning a coveted award this year they are going from strength to strength and have lots in the pipeline for 2022 to hear about so enjoy listening on any of the channels below.
All images copyright: Divine Savages