One of the brands we delight in stocking at our Ulverston shop and online is the unique range produced by Lush Designs based in Greenwich and producing a wide variety of lighting, kitchenware, tableware and general interiors. It’s an eclectic mix of humour and imagination to produce a stunning range that really brings character to a household.
If the world were a doodle and full of interesting folk and animals in complimentary colours it would look a lot like a Lush design!
The business is the brainchild of Marie Rodgers and Maria Livings who first met at Maidstone Art College.
Marie's upbringing on the Creggan estate in Derry during the troubles in a household of funny women honed her wit and no-nonsense approach to business and the richness of Irish culture informed her approach to visual ideas. Her weekend job in a bookies taught her how to run a business wisely.
Maria, the daughter of Playwright Henry Livings, grew up in a bohemian home in Saddleworth with a menagerie of dogs, cats, chickens, gerbils and stick insects. Working at Timpsons shoe repairs at weekends she would buy the novelty keyrings at a discount and turn them into punk earrings.
Post art school in Maidstone, the pair moved to South London and set up business, initially as the jewellery based Lushlobes, before evolving into Lush Designs to forge a unique and thriving independent business.
Lush Designs became more focussed on print and the narrative opportunities it presents with the marriage of surface-design and story-telling, applied to range of home wares and gifts. They have become most well-known for their lamp shades, textiles and ceramics which provide a platform for their highly decorative designs, which often depict ideas gleaned from their own lives and observations. They often use animal and botanical imagery and themes involving nature, as well as exuberant pattern that are rich with detail. They have a distinctive palette of shades of teal and turquoise, mustard, chartreuse and olive green and hot orange-red through to fuchsia pink, counter posed with infinitely subtle neutral shades of white, grey and cream and graphic black.
The prints are created from their own ink drawings, which they then put together to make the print designs, which are made to perfectly fit the object to which they will be applied.
Some of their newest work features humans, used in a similarly decorative and characterful way, patterned with what could be tattoos with exotic genderless, painted features, made into ceramic vessels.
There’s a great marriage of both strong and subtle hues combined with the line illustrations. Illustrated patterns and the lovely personalised embellishments within some unique interpretations of nature at large are a delight on the eye.
We adore their styling and individuality and probably what attracts most is its adaptability – it looks equally at home in traditional dwellings as it does in a more contemporary environment. It’s an independent business at its very best because it’s quite fearless and sometimes an eye for catching the eye, is always going to appeal to those looking for something individual to add character to their home.