Q&A with Laura Taylor, Junior Contract Designer at ILIV

Laura Taylor has worked for BCFA member ILIV for over 4 years.  In her role as Junior Contract Designer Laura works closely with Senior Designer Emily Arch, as part of ILIV’s thriving design department, which currently includes 3 textiles designers, 5 home designs and 2 contract designers.

Design Insider sat down with Laura to ask her a few questions:

What is your starting point when designing a collection?

We’re always searching for the latest trends and new ideas. It’s important in the contracts side of our business that we always consider catering for the needs our clients and the markets we sell to in a commercial way. We spend time collating mood boards of ideas and create colour stories to make sure there is something for everyone to find usable and also new and exciting at the same time.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Lots of places when you’re a designer, our eyes never stop seeing inspiration from lots of angles in the design studio and when we’re out and about. We also attend exhibitions, carry out comp shop trips and even keep a close eye on fashion. We’re lucky that we work in a big studio of designers so it’s great to bounce ideas off each other.

Which is your favourite ILIV contract fabric and why?

I love our upholstery product Saddle. It’s a beautiful distressed leather look vinyl which sits perfectly with many of our print collections.

Where do you see the next trend leading?

I still feel that organic imagery is still really important and does really well for our clients. I also think that small textures and geometric designs which can be used in multi directions will be key in teaming up with bolder designs or toned down with some nice textured plains to create a more subtle environment. Subtle animal prints will also feed through from fashion to hospitality but be done in a more commercial and delicate way.

Which colour is big in the contract industry at the minute?

We’ve been seeing lots of teals and oranges together especially in lush velvets on upholstery in hospitality. Tones of greens and blues are also very on trend, fresh, calming and gender neutral. It’s important that we have a good variety of commercial designs and colour tones for all types of commercial environments in the UK and overseas.

Which collection are you most proud of?


Our Fiorella print collection. We wanted to add another dimension to our prints by adding woven textures to the designs to create a more natural and organic feel and at the same time adding more value. I especially enjoyed doing the colour work for this collection.

Who is your favourite designer?

William Morris! I love his handcrafted approach to textiles and the beautiful layouts and flow of his designs. Morris & co. are still energetic and highly influential in the textile industry, I especially love the Pure North collection with the gorgeous muted palettes, mixing traditional imagery into the modern world.

What do you do day to day in your role?

We’re working on a lot of collections which are all at different stages, some ready to hand over to the rest of the team to work their magic and some which are still initial ideas ready to develop so it’s really nice that the work is always varied. I work on a mix of designing, assist in creating new product and colours and liaising with our suppliers and my fellow colleagues on a day to day basis. Our sales team also like to keep us busy with bespoke projects to work on.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Design and colour. I love seeing a collection coming together, I really enjoy the whole process from start to finish. We work closely with our marketing department to make sure the finished collections are photographed in an innovative and exciting way, it’s great when we see the shots come through and all the hard work has paid off.

Contact ILIV through BCFA Product Finder.

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About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
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