Just before I started to decorate Olive’s new bedroom I had spent a week in Japan researching for a new collection during my time as a footwear designer at Red or Dead. I have never quite managed to be in Tokyo to experience the beginning of the cherry blossom season but it is way up there on my list of things to do. I recently read a fantastic book called Hokkaido Highway Blues that talks about just that. If you are like reading travel stories or have an interest in Japan I would recommend it. It really is a hillarious and illuminating account of a hitchhiker’s trip through Japan. As I unpacked bright pink lanterns and a vintage kimono for Olive I wanted her bedroom to be inspired by one of my favourite places. I began thinking about painting a cherry blossom tree on the wall above Olive’s bed. The next day I ran into my friend Susanna Burton who is a scenic painter and as much as I would have loved to have had a go at painting it myself Susanna was looking for a kids room to paint and I knew she would do a fantastic job. We talked about the idea, the colours, the mood, we looked through some reference books together and this is what Susanna came up with. It has been on the wall for 3 years and Olive and I never tire of looking at it. I didn’t want it to be too pink so asked Susanna to incorporate some really dark shades and some black outlines to give it some depth and some character. We added a huge oversized moon that has a dreamy pearlised finish to it. Towards the top of the wall the pink gets progressively darker and the colour runs into a black line that runs around the top of the wall.
Susanna’s mural features in the 2008/2009 issue of the beautiful French book MILK – Styles of inspiration for contemporary families as well as the May 2009 issue of Junior Magazine.