Thursday, 7 July 2011

Shopkeeper of the Week - Sarah Hardaker

There is an ease and elegance in the work of print designer Sarah Hardaker which evokes feelings of faded country houses, chabby-chic garden sheds and long summer holidays.

Designing extensive collections with various co-ordinating patterns and products requires talent and lots of experience, something Sarah has by the bucket load. Spending the first half of her career as one of the UK’s leading fabric and wall-paper designers, designing for some of the biggest names in interiors such as Osborne & Little, Nina Campbell, Habitat and Harlequin, Sarah felt it was time to put her experience into practice and create her own product range.

Because everything is printed to order the team at Sarah Hardaker can print curtains and wall coverings to the exact length of a window or wall drops, creating dramatic results.

We take a few moments out with Sarah to chat travel and inspiration...

1. How would you describe your work?

Beautiful, natural, accessible and easy to use fabrics and wallpapers which are all designed and produced in the UK.

2. Who/what are your biggest influences?

Probably my two old bosses Antony Little and Nina Campbell, two amazingly clever and creative individuals.

3. Where is your favourite summer place to visit for inspiration?

I don't have a favourite, I think you can be inspired no matter where you are, just getting out of the rut of sitting behind a desk is inspiring, but if money and time were no object it would have to be India or brocante hunting in France or Italy.

If the desk won't allow for travel inspiration then I head out into the 'blogoshere' and get my fill of design inspiration from the thousands of talented individuals creating, photographing, travelling and writing there.

4. What is your favourite item from your current collection?

I think my new Pompadour Toile design.

Toile de jouy is great because it is timeless and classical, what makes this one different is that we are offering a custom colouring service so that customers can have it coloured to exactly their specifications, so you can have a bespoke colourway which matches a paint or a fabric, it means people can have some lovely funky colours which aren't normally seen in classical toile prints.

5. Do you have any new items/collections about to be launched?

We are about to launch a plain linens collection which we have worked on with our lovely UK based weavers, everything has a slightly vintage battered quality. I adore old french linen sheets and this was the starting point for the collection.

6. What do you enjoy most about being one of the shops in The Secret Arcade?

The Secret Arcade is different from the multitude of online retail opportunities, it feels intimate, beautiful and aspirational. An altogether nicer shopping environment plus all the shops within it are all small UK based companies.