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Home Decor: An Interview with the Designer

  • Accessories
  • Home decor
  • interview
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Ed Hawes
jasmine negroni home decor collection

Hello, Home Decor. Crafted by designer Jasmine Negroni in her London studio, each piece is made to order and unique. Our latest Home Decor collection features everything you need to style your space - whether that means sprucing up a shelf or giving your coffee table a makeover. We caught up with Jasmine to find out more about her work, and our interior designer Kelly for her best styling tips.  

Hi, Jasmine. We’d love to get to know more about you, and how you started. 

“Over the years I’ve dabbled in all sorts of creative pursuits - everything from lino printing, to candle making, and even glass cutting. I’ve always been keen on crafting things by hand - it’s the reason I’m a baker by profession. A lot of my inspiration comes from the cakes and pastries I make, actually. I’m definitely inspired by my cakes shapes, colours and finishes. 

I started working with jesmonite (the material this collection is made from) in my spare time, mostly gifting to friends and family. Soon, they became really popular, so I decided to dedicate myself to an exclusive collection.” 

jesmonite vases

Why have you decided to work with Swyft to create their first Home Decor collection? 

“Swyft have been busy over the past few months launching all sorts of home accessories - from rugs to framed prints and more. As an independent creator I saw this as a great opportunity for my work, and I’m excited we’re collaborating on this project. The three base colours I’ve used in this collection work well with Swyft’s range of fabric colours. They’re versatile, and all about contemporary living, which is right up Swyft’s street.” 

The collection is made from jesmonite - what is it and why do you choose to work with this particular material?

jesmonite trays

“If you haven’t heard of it before, jesmonite is a natural material made from gypsum, a sedimentary rock. Home decor has to look great, but it’s also important that it’s durable and sustainable. There’s a bit of a fast-fashion thing going on at the moment with home decor, which isn’t very sustainable. I choose to work with jesmonite for two reasons. One, it gives my pieces a natural-like stone texture which doesn’t chip or break. Two, it takes a lot less energy to produce than other materials. The mixture is set and dried at room temperature so there are no big kilns or ovens needed. To create the gypsum mixture itself involves surface mining, crushing, separating and drying, which is much more of a manual process than a mechanical one.” 

Can you walk us through the creative process from concept to finished product? 

jesmonite decorative objects

“When I started creating home decor, I wanted to design pieces that would elevate different areas of the home. I’m inspired a lot by my day job as a baker, but also by my travels and nature. 

Firstly, I pick out my moulds. I tend to go for more minimalist shapes, some of which I know will be popular with everyone and then I add more unique pieces. When I was creating this collection for Swyft, it was all about balancing my personal aesthetic with designs I knew would be popular with their customers. For this collection, I focused on creating a good mix of functional pieces like soap dishes as well as purely decorative pieces like figures.

Once I’ve figured out the pigments and the right ratios of everything, the pieces are poured into their moulds. After they come out they’re hand-sanded, and then I get to work on sealing them to make them as durable as possible. Most of my pieces are sealed using a natural orange-scented beeswax that acts as a natural stain-proofing material. Any bathroom-specific pieces are sealed using acrylic, so they’re waterproof enough for daily use.”  

What’s your favourite piece in this Home Decor collection with Swyft?

sunrise coasters

“At the moment it’s got to be the Sunrise Coasters. I used these a lot over the holidays for hosting, on my coffee table and dining table. Everyone I had over was asking where they were from and complimenting me on them. The design is inspired by the sun, hence the name and I think they’re ideal for brightening up any space.” 

Thanks, Jasmine.

We asked Kelly, Swyft’s head of creative and interior design expert her thoughts on styling your space using Jasmine’s Home Decor collection

“The best thing about this collection is its versatility. I love all of the colours Jasmine’s chosen - they’re really fitting for the trend we’re seeing towards lots of warm neutrals and subtle colour pops. If you’re wanting to style your space with these pieces, try my three fail-safe tips.”

  1. “Layering: try out a vase or two on top of a tray on your coffee table, or arrange one on top of a coffee table book.” 
  2. “Height: if you’re styling a shelf, consider pieces that are different heights to create a more cohesive look. If everything’s a similar height and a bit too matching, it can make your space look flat.” 
  3. “Texture: I love jesmonite for its stone-like finish. Combine it with decor in other natural materials in the rest of your room like wood, jute, cotton or linen. A good mix of textures is much more interesting to look at.”
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