A Painterly Approach
Richard Smith spent a career designing for some of the world’s best-known fabric and wallpaper studios before setting up his own brand, Madeaux, in 2011. His work is recognisable for its painterly aesthetic – many designs start off as watercolours on his sketchpad – and its rich seam of inspiration, from art and craft to travel and nature.
Madeaux’s latest Samarkand collection, available at Tissus d’Hélène, is typically vibrant and eclectic, with some striking colour combinations. ‘Lucia’ (above left) based on 17th-century crewelwork embroidery, comes in a version with a deep olive-green ground, while ‘Spring Garden’ (above centre), a design that started life as a bouquet gathered in Smith’s East Sussex garden, features abundant florals that stand out against either an inky black or bright turquoise background. ‘Tabriz’ (above right) is more muted but equally intricate, and is based on a classic Persian rug, with delicate vertical bands of pattern on a grasscloth-effect base to add a textural element.