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May 2019 / Homes & Interiors / by Ali Howard

At Home With: Melinda Marquardt

Textiles and wallpaper designer.

Melinda Marquardt, the founder of luxury wallpaper and fabrics brand The Vale London shows us around her bright and modern one-bed duplex, which functions as both home and studio. The apartment is filled with homely furniture pieces and quirky wall-coverings, mixing cosy accents of nature-inspired textures with unique travel finds. For Melinda, Scandi-chic was a little too austere for her liking. Instead, she’s gone for her own take on the trend: Scandi-maximalism – a look that’s bursting with personality.

How does the apartment work as both a home and creative studio?
I really wanted two floors so I could split my work-life balance. Most of the daytime I spend in my studio on the ground floor, overflowing with swatches of fabric and new drawings. But upstairs is dedicated ‘life’ space – my bedroom takes up most of the upper floor, and I’ve popped a chaise longue and extra seating into the room to make it more versatile. I’ve also created a photoshoot space in the entrance hall, where I capture my latest designs and products, ready to be uploaded straight to Instagram.

Melinda Marquardt Fabric Magazine Interview

How was the buying off-plan process?
It gave me the flexibility to make some small edits. I completely re-designed the wardrobes and had them custom-built to fit my clothing and shoe collections, and I chose light kitchen units to keep the space as bright as possible.

What do you usually look for in a property?
It’s crucial for my business that I have a concierge service for accepting packages while I’m away. I regularly take mini-breaks to source ideas for my next collections and I’m travelling constantly to meet my distributors and agents all over the world. Needless to say, the concierge and I are now on first-name terms – he’s a lifesaver! The building I live in is perfect – it’s small enough that I know all my neighbours, and I always feels safe and secure. I also want a busy neighbourhood close by – somewhere I can easily pop out for a drink with friends, or grab some supermarket essentials. I have loads of restaurants, pubs and bars to choose from here, plus a good selection of parks for me to walk my Cockapoo, Milo.

Melinda Marquardt Fabric Magazine Interview

How have you personalised the space?
I love to incorporate eye-catching pieces within a neutral palette – they bring focus to a space and are a great talking point for guests. In the kitchen/living room I’ve complemented the neutral walls with some of my favourite pieces of art – from an original Twiggy poster, to a patterned Élitis wallpaper on the sliding door to my studio. My David Linley mirror is a pride and joy – I love how it reflects the wallpaper design across the room.

Tell me about your collection of travel pieces
I’m always picking up pieces as I travel across the globe and I can’t resist going into local interior design stores. I picked up a wonderful rug in Azerbaijan recently, and some metal trunks from India, which bring real personality to the hallway. On the wall as you walk down the staircase are a set of Emberá masks, woven by the Emberá tribe in the rainforests of Panama. I was inspired to convert these into a wallpaper, Panamania, which is part of The Oakley Collection.

Melinda Marquardt Fabric Magazine Interview

Which furniture piece is your favourite?
My dining table from Nina’s House. It can be extended to sit 14, which is ideal for an impromptu dinner party. The neutral colour of the wood is really versatile, so I can dress it with all kinds of runners and tableware for different seasons and styles of event. At a recent dinner party I used my Lion Toile design as a tablecloth, which was a real crowd-pleaser. The open-plan kitchen/living room itself is a fantastic space for hosting a party. While I prepare food, guests can relax on the breakfast stools or chaise longue, or if they want some fresh air, they can access the private terrace via French doors.

Which room is your favourite?
My bedroom. Largely because I’ve recently installed one of The Vale London wallpapers behind the bed, which gives real wow-factor. The navy, grey and cream are carried into the soft furnishings, mixing up textures and patterns to create a vibrant yet soothing scheme. I’ve also put up some of my favourite photographs from my travels, which makes the room feel very personal. I think it’s important to have separate sitting areas in the bedroom,
so I placed a day bed by the window and I have a chrome chair with my desk. An essential for me was a dedicated dressing table, which I integrated into the fitted wardrobes to create a sleek design that maximises on space.

What’s next for The Vale London?
We’re launching our first collection at this year’s Decorex in October, which I can’t wait for! We’ll be showcasing The Oakley Collection primarily, which features delicate florals, striking tribal masks and ferocious lions, alongside timeless linens, textured embroidery and luxurious jacquard woven designs. We’re also launching in showrooms across Europe and, closer to home, the Simon Playle showroom this May.

thevalelondon.co.uk