Getting to ‘Maud’ Designs

Dreamwallstyle first came across the talented ‘Maud Designs’ luxury handcrafted soft furnishings and accessories when we posted a blog last year about online design shop ‘From the Wilde’

Maud Designs - Image credit Courtesy of Anthony Hughes of Without Pattern

Maud Designs established in early 2011, and is fronted by Melissa Watts.    Melissa approached ‘Dreamwallstyle’ last summer for our professional advice on producing a wall tile, we recommended contacting our good friend Annabelle Filer of SCIN Gallery. Melissa was given the perfect opportunity to showcase her ‘Pixel Felt’ of the Iconic regal HM Queen on the launch night of the new relocated SCIN Gallery during last years London Design festival. 

Maud Designs

Dreamwallstyle recently had the chance to catch up with Melissa to find out what she has been up to in the design world of late, we also had a little fun with the questions from the Royal Navy, F1 racing drivers to red carpet film premiers!

Q1. Tell me an interesting fact about you? 

A1. ‘Interesting’ is all relative, it’s an individual thing. If you define ‘interesting’ as different then, when I was 18 I joined the Royal Navy, and in 1990 volunteered to go to sea. This was the first time women were allowed to serve onboard seagoing ships and we made history that year! I joined the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible and part of my job was defending the ship alongside in ports so using a 9mm pistol and sub machine gun were part of my daily routine. Slightly different to nowadays where my most dangerous weapon is a pair of scissors!

Maud Designs

 Q2. Do you have a claim to fame? 

A2. Sadly not! I suppose the nearest I get to ‘Claim to Fame’ is my partner. He’s an ex-F1 Grand Prix racing driver. Unashamedly, on occasion, I get to meet drivers past and present so the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Jackie Stewart and so on. He’s also involved with the new Ron Howard film based on Niki Lauda and James Hunt……I’m hoping for an invite to the premier a chance to walk the red carpet!!!

Maud Designs

Q3. What on a daily bases inspires you?

A3. Oh God, everything it seems…….when it comes to inspiration I’m not at all fussy! My creative brain in always working away, it can be quite exhausting especially when trying to get to sleep at night. The products I have made so far are a snippet of what’s in my head and notebooks. 

Maud Designs

Q4.Do you plan to further your ranges of soft furnishings? 

A4. Definitely, I love working with felt and I would also like to start exploring various other materials, traditional crafts and techniques and give them a modern twist/element. I have some ideas in mind and the ball is rolling so hopefully there may be a new collection soon.

Maud Design

Q5. You work with felt, is there a particular reason to this?

A5. 100% Wool Felt has so many great qualities. Apart from being a sustainable, renewable source, hypo-allergenic, dirt repelling, sound absorbing and so on, over a certain thickness it is quite sculptural and allows you to use it in a way most materials wouldn’t. It’s also very versatile, comes in various thicknesses to suit many different applications, some wonderful colours too. Its Multi-faceted.

Maud Designs

Q6. You recently made a Pixel felt tile of the Queen, have you thought of contacting Buckingham Palace about your masterpiece?

 A6. Ha ha, I must admit I did ‘think’ about it. In fact I received an email recently from the governments culture department suggesting I get in touch with Buckingham Palace and various other organisations to see whether the ‘pixel felt’ Queen may be used in any of the upcoming Diamond Jubilee or Olympic celebrations, so I still may do so.
Maud Designs

 Q7. How long did it take to make the Queen Pixel felt tile?

A7. She was created in approximately 400 hours, give or take a few. I think it was 3 months of solid hard work to finish in time for the opening of the newly relocated Scin Gallery. The Queen showcased the launch of ‘Pixel Felt’, the sewing and   manipulation of each of the 8100 pixels was a feat and a half. A true labour of love!!
Maud Designs

Q8. What is next for the Queen? 

A8. Well as mentioned earlier, at present I’m looking to see if she can be utilised somehow during the many celebrations this coming year. She’s a considerable size at 2.7m x 2.7m so needs a large space. In the meantime if someone was interested,  I would consider ‘letting her go to a good home’, but there’s also the possibility you may see her up again in the Scin Gallery later in the year.
Maud Designs

Q9 You recently exhibited at Interiors UK – on the designer block with SCIN. Did you find it useful to Maud designs? 

A9. Yes, it was great, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Being surrounded by, and meeting other designers and their work, inspiration was all around! Designers Block do a fantastic job of showcasing the latest innovations in textiles, furniture, lighting etc and it was nice to be part of it all within the design village. The fact that there was a bar had nothing to do with my enjoyment!!!
As I was exhibiting with the Scin Gallery, it was the acoustic wall coverings which were on display. They seemed to create a lot of interest and it was really nice to receive some wonderfully encouraging feedback. I managed to run out of business cards (big fail) so I think visitors seemed to appreciate what I had created.
Maud Designs Interiors UK

Q10. What are you most proud of with your designs?

A10. Essentially, I’m just proud to have been able to create my products. When I think of how I started and the stage I’ve got to in 12 months, I’m pretty happy. The Queen is obviously my most ambitious and biggest piece of work to date and I do get an extra frisson when people hear that I have no formal learning.

Maud Designs

Q11. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? 

 A11. I like this question as it allows me to dream even more than usual!! I’m continually evolving and the more I discover in design, the more aware I am of the many routes yet to explore. That said, to answer the question, a shared studio would be nice with a collaboration or two under my belt………….possibly be recognised as a successful designer/maker……………oh and having grown out of the habit of wiping textile glue on my clothes and ruining them!!!!!!!!!!!
Maud Designs

Dreamwallstyle would like to thank Melissa for taking the time to talk to us, its possibly been one of the most fun interviews on the blog to date! We wish Melissa all the success with her career and we promise to keep our readers updated on her exciting design journey.

To keep updated on Maud Designs:

Follow Maud Designs on Twitter –!/Mauddesigns 

Follow Maud Designs on Facebook


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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Mel says:

    Queen image courtesy of Anthony Hughes of Without Pattern!

    Best interview I’ve ever read!!!!

    1. DreamwallStyle says:

      A pleasure indeed and thank you for talking to us – yes picture credit indeed Anthony Hughes without Pattern – thank you for letting me use it Mel x

  2. Fab interview! Still loving the muliti coloured cushion and the perfectly on trend Tangerine Tango one! Anthony 🙂

    1. DreamwallStyle says:

      Thank you Anthony 😉

  3. Mel says:

    Hi Anthony, yes the Tangerine tango’ (with a spot of pink) cushion featured in this blog has gone to a good home!

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