DESIGNING FOR CONTRACT INTERIORS: MEET ANNETTE TAYLOR-ANDERSON
Annette Taylor Anderson was quick to utilise Digital Print Technologies when she formed her business in 2006.
Focusing on the Interiors Marketplace, her designs adorn many Hotels, Bars and Restaurants across the UK. Utilising CAD, alongside hand-painted techniques she works closely with Interior Designers, Architects and Specifiers to create bespoke artwork for their projects. Originally specialising in Wallpaper, Annettes patterns are now also available as Contract grade, Fire Resistant Fabrics.
Bespoke Design for the Leisure Industry is big business as Hotel chains strive to create a lifestyle experience for their visitors and Hotel chains. The Industry is regulated and great care must be taken to specify, durable, fire resistant fabric and wall coverings.
Digital Printing offers the perfect solution for Annettes business, and her patterns can be manufactured in large or small volumes for her clients projects at the push of a button!...We caught up with Annette and asked her to share her inspiring story:
Thanks for joining us today, tell us about your business?
My company is called ATADesigns. We design bespoke wall-coverings, murals and fabrics for the interior industry. ATADesigns has two meanings: Annette Taylor-Anderson Designs and Artistic Tailored Approach to Designs. We work with interior Designers, Architects, Hotels, Bars, Restaurants, Offices and the Residential market.
Why did you choose a creative career, where did you study?
I have always been creative from a very young age, so you could say that being creative is in my blood. Before starting the company 11 years ago, I used to paint and sell my work at small art shows. I still paint in my spare time with a view to one day incorporating it into the company. I studied “Textile Design & Surface Decoration” at University. It was at University where, I learnt and fell in love with wallpapers. When I graduated, I set-up ATADesigns.
When was your business formed and what do you offer?
ATADesigns was established between 2006-7. We design wall-coverings, murals and fabrics for the interior industry. As well as having our own design collections, and we also provide a bespoke design service. So we love to work closely with our clients to create bespoke designs specifically for their project. I see any new projects as a blank canvas, ready to start creating and painting. It’s always a challenge but a good challenge.
Who was your Inspiration / Mentor?
When I first studied wallpapers, I was very much inspired by “William Morris” “Piero Fornasetti’ and “Timorous Beasties”. Even though they all have very different styles, I felt that I could also design outside the box.. I didn’t have a mentor, although at times I wish I had, to help avoid some of the mistakes I’d made at the beginning.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I was told on many occasions by different people to “follow your dreams”. I believe that you can follow your dream no matter how hard it is to get there. Right now, I’m living my dream, and there are sometimes obstacles in the way, but I’m happy in my work.
Of all your achievements, which are are you most proud of?
I have many, but I will present four to you:
1. I’m proud that ATADesigns is still standing today. When I look back at how and when I first started, I have to pinch myself and pat myself on the back to reaching this far with the business.
2. Winning best wallpaper design for “design et al, Design & Architecture Award” 2011 (https://www.atadesigns.com/collaboration-murals-by-atadesigns-adrienne-chinn-wins-design-award/). A collaboration project with Interior Designer Adrienne Chinn. We presented “Urban London” collection.
3. Becoming finalists in the “Designer Maker category” for the 2017 Northern Design Awards. A collaboration project with Interior Designer Elisa Interiors. We presented the “Italian Infusion” collection. (https://www.atadesigns.com/italian-infusion-collection-wallpaper-murals/)
4. Being involved with The London Marriott County Hall Hotel revamp project. Our Bowler Hats wallpaper is installed on five floors, in the corridors.
How do you find suppliers, partners?
Finding the right suppliers/partners is not always easy, especially if you don’t know where to look. I remember when I first started the company, I worked with a couple of printers both here in the UK and abroad before finally finding the right one to work with. So you could say, mistakes were made along the way, but I got there in the end. Now I work with three very good wallpaper printing companies, and also a fabric printers I can rely on. I don’t have to worry about the print because the quality is outstanding. Visiting trade shows, and word of mouth are a good way to find suppliers.
Digital Print has been a game changer for business's large and small. What are the benefits for your brand?
Well, we have been all about digital print from the beginning. Our wallpapers are digitally printed. There’s a lot of scope in terms of:
Variety of printing on different materials, not just wallpapers.
I don’t have to print in bulk.
Having the freedom to print in many colours-ways.
No restrictions to design. That’s why I love to design murals, its endless.
What’s next for ATA Designs?
I have a few projects in the pipeline, and right now I’m preparing for two trade shows:
Restaurant Bar & Design Show 15-16 Sept 2018
Independent Hotel show 16-17 Oct 2018
I will be showing new wall-covering and mural collections at both shows. I’m very excited about this. All will be revealed soon.....
I’m currently working with a company called “Sleek Editions” creating new fabric collections for trade to launch later on in the year. I’m also developing ATADesigns furnishing fabric ranges, to introduce as well as our wallpapers into more projects. I’m proud to say that multi-award winning Interior designer Matt Rawlinson from Raw Design has already introduced our fabrics into the “Jones Family Kitchen” project. A new independent restaurant and bar based in Victoria, London. Our designs are printed on Velvet fabric, and furnished Bonket seating and around 60 chairs along with our wallpapers.
I’m working with Mark Hinchcliff owner of The Chapel, a luxury beautiful bed and breakfast hotel in Harrogate. I’m creating a range of wallpapers inspired by his antique collections due to launch soon.
I’m working on a bespoke mural for Yearsley.
I’m also hoping at sometime to incorporate my paintings into the business. I was commissioned by a Journalist to paint a mural on his garden wall a couple of years ago. And, there is a potential project with a small hotel in London for another garden mural.
There’s many more projects like these in the pipeline.
How do you plan to expand you’re business
I have just joined the London Chamber of Commerce and through this I’m hoping to join more business networks through various events.
I would like to add more materials to my brand, such as:
Printing on vinyl for wrapping furniture, etc.
Printing on external wall so that I can work on exterior as well as interiors.
I’m currently in talks with a company that can do this.
Working on new fabric ranges.
If we could grant you one wish, what would it be?
Now that’s a hard one, as there are so many wishes to choose from. But if I have to choose, then it would be to have the time to help those new to the creative industry more. Because I remember when I first started, I found it very difficult. I suppose you could say giving back to society what I have learnt. One day I will do it, but right now, I don’t have the time. I do what I can when I am approached by a graduate or startup, but I know it’s not enough.
What’s your favourite day of the week and why?
It has to be Mondays, why? Because it’s the beginning of the week, the start of all things new. I have the rest of the week ahead of me to either prepare, start or finish projects. I very much enjoy what I do, so Mondays is always fresh.
What advice would you give to a new designer?
Follow your dreams.
Do lots of research when setting-up a company.
Talk to other designers, find out how they started.
Visit trade shows - there are a lot of independent designers and manufacturers at these shows.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
Find a mentor who understands your industry if you can.
There will be mistakes made along the way, don’t be afraid of them but learn from them.
Where can our readers buy your products?
Contact me direct email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is better to contact me direct, especially all trade enquiries.
You can visit me at:
Restaurant Bar & Design Show, Excell, London - 25-26 Sept 2018 (stand no. 3386)
Independent Hotel show, Olympia, London - 16-17 Oct 2018 (Stand no.17)