Behind the scenes information, updates and general chat from Rachel at Holchester Designs.

Behind the Pattern - Woodland Brights Collection

For my first ‘Behind the Pattern’ I thought I’d give you the background to one of my most recent collections - Woodland Brights. There are some collections and motifs that take a lot of working up and tinkering with, and Woodland Brights was not one of those. To be honest from the first time I played with the motifs my mind was filled with ideas of different ways I could use them.

The Brief

The brief for this collection was set by a very demanding individual - my [then 11 month old] baby girl. Since moving into our new new-build home her room has been woefully ignored. In coming up with decorating plans for both my daughters’ rooms I was conscious that I didn’t want to go too overboard with a given theme or colour palette that they would out-grow in a year or two. She [who am I kidding, I] wanted vibrant colours but also a large enough mix that there were options for complementary pieces in the room which could be more easily changed up if I wanted too. I was also really aware that I didn’t want it to be too cutesy both as that isn’t necessarily my style and it might date/age the space to quickly.


Frog Sketch in progress ©HolchesterDesigns

Frog Sketch in progress ©HolchesterDesigns

The woodland isn’t a revolutionary theme for children’s room/nursery decor, but I wasn’t trying to break any mould and it’s popular for a good reason. I settled on woodland creatures as they’re fun to draw, there’s loads of choice, and their silhouettes are so easily recognisable, especially from an early age. I had started by drawing silhouettes of lots of different creatures, even a dinosaur, before noticing that actually woodland wildlife seemed an overarching theme. When drawing the motifs I hadn’t originally intended for them to stay as silhouettes of the animals, but the more I worked with them the more I liked the effect and I found adding more detail started turning them into characters which wasn’t what I was after with these designs.

Colour Palette

Working on the palette I started by picking a few colours that I’m naturally drawn to, like blues and corals, and then widened that to variations of them and other complimentary colours to create a more rounded wheel of options. Ultimately it’s feel is quite ‘primary-colours-with-a-twist’ but for the sort of room scheme it’s intended for I think it’s appropriate, and it keeps it broad enough for the longer term too. I’m also really pleased with how many pictures and pieces for the wall go so well with patterns in the collection, either ones we already own or ones I’ve bought especially.  And its the same for gifts we’ve received as well.  At some point, when it’s properly finished and presentable, I’ll try and do some sort of room reveal, especially as proper photographs of my patterns in situ would be so exciting!

The Collection

Woodland Brights Collection ©Holchester Designs

Woodland Brights Collection ©Holchester Designs

The collection has a mix of busy and random pattern styles, as well as more ordered ones. The range of motifs I produced meant that I’ve managed to achieve both and I don’t think there’s too much repetition so the busier ones are still a good journey for the eye.  Too many busy patterns would have meant the collection was overwhelming though so I tried hard to make sure there was a proper range.

I’ve imagined some of the busier ones as curtains, setting a tone for a room with a wide range of motifs and colours, which can then be complimented in soft furnishing with the simpler prints which overall give a variety to the room and keeping to a theme, but not slavishly.

And did they like it…….?

The first pattern from the Woodland Brights Collection ©Holchester Designs

The first pattern from the Woodland Brights Collection ©Holchester Designs

First responses from other key stakeholders, my 4 year old and my husband, have been positive and whilst my eldest would love it all to be pinks and purple, she has conceded that the other colours to make it pretty and happy, and to be honest she couldn’t have given me a better review!

Ultimately this is a very personal collection, and so how I view it is always going to be even more subjective than normal. But I’d also like to think that in considering things like other artworks from elsewhere and how she might grow with it, that it makes it equally accessible and appealing to others as well, whatever age!

You can see the full collection here in the Portfolio section of my website.

(And one day hopefully I’ll get pictures of it in my daughter’s room too, although don’t hold me to a timescale quite yet!).