Anna Jeffreys – new wallpaper and fabric collection

I keep my eye out for new textile and wallpaper designers and one whose work stood out recently was that of Anna Jeffreys which was showcased by Tissus D’Helene at a press show at The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour. Journalists usually keep their own thoughts to themselves at these events, but there was a little gasp of surprise and delight at Anna’s swatches. Anna’s seriously pretty designs stood out for their fresh colourways which mix traditional motifs with more contemporary flourishes. What makes them difficult to place is that the colour palette particularly doesn’t seem like it comes from a British design stable and that’s what makes them so interesting.

What has also delighted me about Anna is that this collection has been brewing for some time. Anna isn’t a student in her 20s just out of art school – she has had a rich and varied career in the interiors industry. Sometimes, I believe the best creative work emerges when we have had life experience and really had time to think about who we are and what makes us tick.

Anna’s time

Anna jeffreys and prince charles
Anna being presented to HRH Prince of Wales after completing the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise.

So here is my interview where stylist meets designer:

Early influencers

Anna was South African born, half French with ‘a lot of Irish’ she says.  ‘My grandfather, an architect (Trinity trained), and my grandmother were a massive influence. They educated me and brought me up. My grandmother had a strong love of East Coast USA and the lifestyle there.’ Anna’s grandfather brought architecture and practical art into Anna’s early life and gave her the passion she has for design.

Anna J green wallpaper mantlepiece
GATE – Greener wallpaper by Anna Jeffreys at Tissus D’Helene

Design promise

Anna came to the UK in 1972 when she was 15.  ‘I studied A-level Medieval Church Architecture and Textile Design’. Anna’s piece of weaving won a place on the Oxford and Cambridge Schools Exhibition (in Oxford). Anna then enrolled herself on the then new 3 year course at the Chelsea College of Art, Interior and Environmental design. ‘I was loyal to the architectural sway, but I was torn between that and textile design, so decided that technical/draughtsman skills could be combined, ultimately with my love of textiles and pattern and would help me find a career in the world of Interior Design.’

Anna J pink bedroom wallpaper shot
GATE – Pinkish by Anna Jeffreys at Tissus D’Helene

Sir Hugh Casson

‘To my discredit, I turned down a job offer from Hugh Casson to join his team of backroom draughtsmen’. Instead, Anna joined the small team at Jean Monro’s showroom in Montpelier Street, the day after graduating.  A year and a half later, Anna knew the name of every fabric and wallpaper house and had learned about archive material, and printing processes.

anna J mustard wallpaper lamp shot
BUD wallpaper design by Anna Jeffreys

Nina Campbell

Nina Campbell took Anna on to manage the building project of her shop in Walton Street, London. Anna stayed on for a year to the run the shop but whilst she was undecided as to what direction she should take next. With a three-month trip to India inbetween, Anna’s next interior direction was one she says was perhaps not her best decision.

Textile shop on the Kings Road

‘I opened a shop on the Kings Road in London with the objective of selling as many wonderful fabric designs as I could under one roof and all for less than £20/m – which was a reasonable price in the 80s.’ The shop proved popular! ‘The actor John Standing was the first of a raft of well-known actors who became my clients and unfortunately endless interior decorators shamelessly brought their clients in, but bought elsewhere!’ After 3 years, Anna married and had a baby and left London.

Interior design in Leicestershire

From home in Leicestershire, Anna continued designing interiors and anything else that made use of her technical skills. Six years ago, Anna says that internet sales began to take a toll and no matter how thrilled people were with schemes she produced, they too often knew where to buy products somewhere cheaper and usually at ‘trade’.

Anna jeffreys studio
Anna Jeffrey’s design studio in Leicestershire

PRIME – Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise

Anna then did two things. She decided to up her computer skills and embarked on an intensive Photoshop course. As well as this, Anna enrolled on a scheme run by Prince Charles called the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise.  ‘The open day was at Nottingham University – it was pretty uninspiring.’  However, Anna persevered and was 3 out of 20 who completed the course. Impressively, Anna alone succeeded in getting her product to market and was proudly presented to HRH The Prince of Wales to celebrate her achievement.

NEW Designs: tradition with a twist

For me as a stylist, these designs have a hint of Georgian or even Swedish Gustavian style to them.  I could see them being used in so many different situations from country cottage to grand town house. ‘Ladder leaf’ might even make a good wallpaper for a nursery, bridging that decorating gap between baby and child.

NEW Designs: Left: Ladder Leaf Egg on Grey, right: Laurel Sunshine (amongst others) Available for order through Tissus D’Helene.

Anna’s design heroes and heroines

‘Where do I begin … in no particular order … Gaudi, Coco Channel, Ferragamo, Manalo Blahnik, Fortuny, Zaha Hadid, Jean Muir, Bill Gibb, Dior (the man), Corbusier, Raoul Dufy, Anish Kapoor, Chagall, the list is a long one. I admire Kit Kemp for her very individual style.’

East meets West at Tissus D’Helene

I was recently lucky enough to work with some of Anna’s wallpapers for the Japanese Style window I styled for Tissus D’Helene’s Autumn/Winter 17 window display at the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.

image
New design ‘Helene blue/ochre’ wallpaper by Anna Jeffreys at Tissus D’Helene
Japanese style window for Tissus D'Helene by Charis White stylist
Tissus D’Helene’s Japanese style window at The Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. Featuring ‘Helene’ by Anna Jefferys in the semi circle facing camera.

Meet Anna’s top dog

What serious, interior stylist/designer would be without a faithful friend or two? They often make the best creative directors… This is Anna’s ‘Dora’  – a black and tan Lucas Terrier –  who is just quietly blending in with her namesake wallpaper.

Anna Jeffreys dog on wallpaper
Dora Lime and Blue wallpaper by Anna Jeffreys

Finally, do check out all of Anna’s new wallpaper and fabric designs on her website which are available through Tissus D’Helene. Contact Anna direct for stockists of her decorative stationery range below.

ANNA banner shot
Decorative stationery range by Anna Jeffreys.

Thank you so much for reading. If you have enjoyed this and would like to receive emails alerts for future posts, then please press the large blue ‘Follow’ button either at the beginning or end of this post.  Hope you have a lovely weekend! Charis x

Charis White, interior stylist
Charis White – interior stylist/blogger

 

6 thoughts on “Anna Jeffreys – new wallpaper and fabric collection

  1. Charis, good morning! Is that all really about me! We all tend to race through life, and compacted into a bio brings it all rushing back – it’s almost as if I were reading about someone else!

    Thank you Charis, so much. What a boost for me, and how flattering that you should choose me to write about. There are so many unbelievably good designers out there, that are far, far more worthy. It is still ‘early days’ and I hope to improve as I move forward and gain more experience. Thank you too for including my designs in that amazing window display!

    It was so good to meet you at Helen’s showroom, and I hope we meet again soon.

    A million thanks,

    Anna

    Anna Jeffreys

    design and decoration

    DESIGNED and MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN 🇬🇧

    All copyright, design rights and intellectual property rights existing

    in our designs and products and in the images, text and design of

    our website / marketing material are and will remain the property of

    Anna Jeffreys Ltd.

    From: Charis White – interior stylist Reply-To: Charis White – interior stylist Date: Friday, 15 September 2017 at 06:08 To: Anna Jeffreys Subject: [New post] Swatch watch: Anna Jeffreys – new wallpaper and fabric collection

    chariswhitestylist posted: “I keep my eye out for new textile and wallpaper designers and one whose work stood out recently, was that of Anna Jeffreys which was showcased by Tissus D’Helene at a press show at The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour. Journalists usually keep their own thou”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s totally deserved Anna, so inspiring to find out how you came to design and bring to market your very beautiful collection. It was really lovely to meet you too. I am sure readers of the blog will join me in wishing you the very best for your business. Charis x

    Like

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