Matilda Goad's home is awash with shells. Woven wicker ones, mid-century metallic ones and now real, ribboned ones hanging from her idiosyncratically adorned Christmas tree. Followers of the creative consultant and homeware designer will be well aware of this aesthetic obsession; from lampshades to planters, napkins to placemats, (and even her own brand's logo) scalloped edge designs have become something of an early trademark for Matilda.
Recently, she has been working with artisans from around the world to develop an extended, unique range of decorative objects and home accessories – all of which were available in her beautiful Notting Hill pop-up back in November. But when it comes to decorating her flat for the festive season, it’s very much jingle shells.
We dropped by to chat about Matilda’s year, what’s on her yuletide To Do list, and her Christmas decorating tips.
Hi Matilda, how’s 2018 been for your brand?
It’s been the most exciting year yet! We have focused on developing and expanding the product line and each new item we have introduced has been happily welcomed by our customers which is very gratifying and encouraging.
Where do you find your inspiration for new designs?
Travel – there is no greater inspiration than immersing yourself in a different culture. I like all the small details, the people, the fonts, anything unfamiliar. We are so lucky to have so many inspiring locations nearby and that doesn’t just mean abroad. I’ve been visiting lots of the British seaside towns on the weekends recently, Margate, Deal, Whitstable. I really feel if you are having a moment where you are starved of inspiration you have to get out – there is nothing more creatively vacuuming than a Pinterest tunnel!
What’s the process like working in collaboration with makers and how do you find them?
It’s a long trail from the first sketch to the finished product. In the fast paced world we live we are all so used to getting things quickly that no one really considers the time and energy that goes into each design. I work with artisans across the globe who specialize in a particular technique, and develop unique and exclusive designs with the unique craft they are trained in. It’s like Christmas when the first sample arrives all from an idea in your head!
Your tree is looking wonderful – and very you! What decorations have you used?
I’m obsessed with shells (as you will have spotted when you were at my flat!). So I really wanted to find a way to incorporate them on the tree this year. They remind me of the traditional pilgrimage markings but feel more modern with the bold jewel colours of the ribbon bows. I mixed these in with traditional Scandinavian straw star decorations and think the two styles marry up well. We used one of our metal planters as the tree stand which to me is far more attractive than a usual tree stand and has far more uses come January!
Which of your pieces are you excited for using this festive season?
This year we have created some Christmas crackers for the first time. I wanted them to have some purpose and not have another plastic toy that lies unwanted so we teamed up with London based chefs, Tart, who created six recipes that incorporate leftovers that come alongside test tubes of spice mixes. (And a treat fortune fish!)
"Ribbons make wrapping. I love bunching various different colours and thicknesses together into one bow."
What are your top 3 Christmas decorating and wrapping tips?
One: Fill the home with tons of flowers and foliage. The smells alone are worth it and they fill spaces so well. The variations of eucalyptus are all lovely but it’s also so easy to salvage greenery from anywhere outside. Put these in a giant jug or vase and the scale alone will create an impression. Or gold spray never goes amiss at Christmas and it’s such a quick and easy process. (Just be sure to wear clothes to stop you looking like a mime artist with your gold hands at the Christmas parties!)
Two: Ribbons make wrapping. I love bunching various different colours and thicknesses together into one bow. Throughout the year I cram any stray ribbons I come across into a shoebox that’s now bursting at the brim – you don’t need to spend money on wrapping for it to look charming and elegant.
Three: Add some nostalgic charm around the house. Bowls piled high with chocolate coins, striped candy canes on the table or tree, a gingerbread house out in the kitchen. (They are also so fun to make!)
What’s your favourite thing on your Christmas To Do list?
I love the feeling of finding the perfect present for someone and taking the time to wrap it up beautifully, knowing they are going to love it.
And your least favourite?
Hoovering up pine needles!!
What are you most looking forward to for the Matilda Goad brand in 2019?
Lots of designs up my sleeve, I’d love to work on the design of a physical space at some point and another larger, pop-up shop later next year.
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