WHY be beige when you can live your life in colour, is the philosophy of O’Connor-based homeware designer and artist Anna Chandler.
Chandler, who studied design at Curtin University, has been designing homewares for about 35 years and is inspired by her exotic travels to places such as Portugal and Spain.
She will take her latest collection to Melbourne’s Christmas fair later this year before jetting off for more inspiration.
“My husband (Michael McElhinney) and I love to walk long distances and we’ve done the caminos several times; it’s where I get a lot of my inspiration from,” she said.
“We did the Portuguese camino from Porto through northern Portugual into Spain and it was amazing to see the tile work in Portugal.
“It was a huge influence on me and I came home with hundreds of images and that was the starting point of design.”
“Whenever I come back, I come back with ideas based on the culture I’ve immersed myself in.”
Chandler, whose products include doormats, mugs, plates, trays, placemats, coasters, tea towels, tea cosies and cushions, has also created lightweight shopping bags ahead of the plastic bag ban.
“We are really into ethical and environmental products and ahead of the plastic ban bag we are doing super lightweight little shopping bags that fold into nothing and they’ve been selling well,” she said.
“We are all about colour and some people are scared of colour, so they stick to their safe beige and grey.
“But we like to stand out and colour does make people happy, so the bags we make not only have a purpose but are beautiful as well.”
Preparing for the Christmas fair in August, Chandler said her next collection would be inspired by Sardinia or Cuba.
“I’m attracted to Sardinia at the moment and Cuba is calling me too,” she said.