The North London home of textile designer and online store owner Lulu Watts is brimming with bold colour and playful pattern. By fusing a mix of contemporary style with kaleidoscopic, Indian finds, she has created a modern family home that’s as effortlessly chic as it is warm and welcoming. Click here to read the Guardian Weekend article in full.
Shortly before becoming a mum to daughter Eva (2), Lulu moved to India with her husband Nathan, which is where her company Lulu & Nat was born. Inspired by vintage Indian textiles, her fun and vibrant designs centre on bedding and sleepwear that appeal to both adult and child. Despite the dizzying pace of owning a growing business, Lulu embraces her role as a working mum with positivity and lots of energy. ‘I'm lucky that my business is part inspired by my experience in motherhood and family life’, says Lulu. Her philosophy is simple: ‘Make sure you are genuinely motivated and energized by whatever you do. There’s something to fill every gap in the day so it helps if you enjoy it.’
‘It never dawned on me that I would be setting up a business in India’, explains Lulu. ‘I moved there following my husband who was setting up a design agency in Mumbai and we lived there for three years. As a childrenswear designer used to working at The Little White Company, it was a such an amazing opportunity to be surrounded by inspiring craftspeople and colour. I realised there was a gap for simple bold designs that had an Anglo-Indian vibe and weren’t too kiddy. Finding old antique prints in the market as a starting point, I set about developing the collection, which features fun, modern patterns with an Indian edge.'
'A lot of our stuff was bought in India, especially from Jaipur. We would drive around for hours hunting down objects and meeting the makers. They are an incredible inspiration for me. Our apartment in Mumbai was three times the size of our flat in London so we had a large, empty space to fill and our collection of Indian furniture and textiles started here.
'There wasn’t a quiet moment in Mumbai. Life was incredible, hectic, vibrant and noisy but I knew I wanted to raise a family in England as there were certain times of the year you couldn’t go outside. I set up my business to run within the European market and figured that I could do it from London just as well as Mumbai. My workshop remains in India and Eva had her first sourcing trip when she was six months old.'
'I work from home, which perhaps explains how Lulu & Nat has spread all over the house. We store the product here, so new deliveries are always flowing through. We bought our Arts and Crafts Edwardian house as a work-in-progress and have slowly created the neutral backdrop, which has become a test-bed for all of our products. My daughter is chief tester of our pyjamas. I would sum up my style as eclectic and a fun. For me, a home should be a light and airy open-plan space so that the family can be together – including a space where you can get away from each other, too. I also like the happiness that colour brings. A lot of home decoration doesn’t make the most of colour and everything’s tucked neatly behind cupboard doors. My space is more about having beautiful colours and objects on full show.'
'Raising my daughter constantly inspires new ideas for products that you just wouldn't dream up before having your own child. You can’t help but be inspired by the stage of life that you’re at. Becoming a mother has obviously brought even more love into our home but it has helped me to understand and focus my designs to be relevant for modern family life.
'I really appreciate the flexibility of working from home that allows me to spend time with my daughter. Obviously I enjoy being here for Eva but I get a great deal of satisfaction from having my own time to achieve business goals too.’
For more information of Lulu’s work and shop, visit luluandnat.com