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The Vale London

The Vale London

In Profile: The Vale London

The Vale London have been shortlisted in The International Design and Architecture Awards 2023. Read more about Founder/CEO, Melinda Marquardt, below:

The Vale London

Name:           Melinda Marquardt

Company:    The Vale London

Position within the company:  Founder/CEO


Tell us a little about your background in design:

I knew I wanted to be in textiles since studying at Bedales. They actually offered textiles as an A-level, and I loved it. I studied fine art at University, and after I graduated, I went straight into sales for Fabricut. Over the following ten years, I was promoted through the company and became Sales Manager for Europe and Russia. I gained a wealth of experience during this time and finally put my degree to use. I left Fabricut and started my own company in 2019. We are now represented in many countries worldwide, and Fabricut is our distributor in the United States. We are on our fifth collection, and the company is steadily gaining recognition in the industry.

How would you describe your personal design style?

I consciously create balanced designs so there’s something for everyone in my collections. I find the middle ground between masculine/feminine and modern/traditional. For example, “Felix,” our first hand-painted mural, really came from the heart. It truly reflects my personal design style—happy, hippy, luxurious, home couture.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

Experiences and travel. Each collection has been inspired by a specific place I’ve visited. Felix is part of the Hyde collection, based extensively on many North African traditional textiles and architectural details.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

Design is becoming freer and less disciplined. Designers are recognized for being increasingly creative in the luxury space. It could be due to consumers wanting more original, one-of-a-kind pieces for their homes. Furniture/textiles/wallcovering can double as art in their house.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2023 and beyond.

  1. Sustainability – I believe that we are responsible for monitoring our footprint. The Vale is dedicated to using 100% natural and renewable materials. All of our packing is 100% recycled materials, all sourced within 5 miles of our warehouse.
  2. Creativity – Don’t hold back. No one is looking for the same old designs.
  3. Balance – Keep a healthy work-life balance. It’s impossible to be your most creative on 2 hours of sleep.
  4. Kindness & Generosity – There is plenty of space in the industry for all of us. Creativity sparks creativity. Support others around you who are creating beautiful things. Lend a helping hand or advice to young creative minds.
  5. Technology – embrace it, or you’ll be left behind.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

If you’re not an expert, keep it simple and only buy the things that you love. Your home should be filled with things that bring you joy.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?

Overall, The International Design & Architecture Awards serve as a benchmark for excellence and innovation. They inspire, motivate, and recognize the talents of individuals and firms, shaping the landscape of design and architecture on a global scale.

What projects are you currently working on?

We preview our annual collections every year at Paris Design Week within Deco Off. This January, along with a new collection of wallpaper and textiles, we will unveil our first complete collection of trimmings!

What was your favorite project to work on and why?

Definitely the one that’s been shortlisted – “Felix” has been in the back of my head for years. I didn’t know how to execute it until I met Laura of Lala Curio last year. She helped bring my dream to life.

What was your most challenging project to work on and why?

Our new trim collection has been the most difficult to date. Our designs are so unique that we are still looking for manufacturers who have the capabilities to bring my designs to life.

Which products/services could you not live without when designing?

I just got a new iPad and downloaded Procreate. I feel like my skills are outdated, so I’m trying to learn new ones to keep up with Gen Z. I love Procreate and Adobe CS.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

To get the next collection out on time!

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?

My dog Milo

What is your favorite holiday destination?

The Maldives are so relaxing. No shoes and no phone service.

Your favorite hotel, restaurant & bar?

  1. Restaurant – Fallow, they treat me like family there.
  2. Bar – Franks
  3. Hotel – Song Saa Private island

Your favourite book, film & song?

  1. Book: Switch Bitch, Roald Dahl. I have a short attention span, so I love short stories.
  2. Film: Drop Dead Gorgeous (who doesn’t love a mockumentary)
  3. Song: I’m weirdly obsessed with Jamiroquai

What is your favourite food and drink?

Mac and Cheese, Dirty Martini

What is your favorite way to spend an afternoon?

At the beach with my dog Milo.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

It would still have to be something creative, most likely an actress.

Is anything else interesting?

I am a dual citizen of the UK and USA. I was born in Chicago, and we moved to London when I was not even one year old. Travel is endemic to who I am, and I am grateful for my time in the US and England. It moulded me into who I am.

The Vale London

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