Meet The Designer... Melanie Porter

9/21/2015 06:00:00 am HELEN STILES 0 Comments

Good morning, I don't know about you, but my Monday seems to have come round very quickly indeed. Perhaps that's because this week is a big one - the website is going live, ahhhh! Whilst I carry on tweaking and fussing I thought I'd share one of the things I’m loving most about running my own business - getting to work with amazing designers. I’ve recently collaborated with the lovely Melanie Porter on an exclusive range of gorgeous, merino wool knitted throws and cushions, inspired by Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs. I love a Beni Ourain rug in pretty much any setting, but there isn’t always the space/budget/time to source a vintage original. So I worked with Melanie to create the softest, chunkiest throws embracing the tones and simple graphic patterns of these classic rugs.  Melanie has been a pleasure to work with and I hope you’ll agree the throws and cushions she has produced are pretty amazing (and guaranteed to spruce up any chair, sofa or bed in the most stylish way possible)! See the picture above for a sneak peek of the new range.
Melanie’s style is quite unique, and when I stumbled across her I knew her ability to take traditional crafts and materials to make beautiful, contemporary items was perfect for the Hide & Seek store. She hand makes everything from 100% merino wool - individually felting and knitting for each project (very labour intensive, but very beautiful.) So I asked her a few questions and thought I’d share her answers with you.

Tell us a little bit about what you do and your process.
I make bespoke interior products using traditional techniques in unusual context or scale. Using felted handknits I restore and recover vintage furniture with chunky textures and patterns and I also hand spin 'fat wool' for knitting in giant needles for throws and cushions. 

How did you get into it? 
I studied at Central St Martin’s College in London, then spent 10 years working in the fashion industry as a knitwear designer.  As my knitting became more 'extreme' I found that interiors products were more suitable for my interests.

What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career?
That working for myself would allow greater creativity as you are willing to take more risks.

What do you most love/hate about your job?
I love working with a client on knit structures and patterns.  I love that they often have different ideas to me and that challenges me to produce something new.  I hate when I have to spend too many days out of my studio.  I get itchy fingers and am desperate to get back to work.

What makes a great interior? 
Textures.  Either single colour or lots of colours.  I love when glass sits next to brickwork, woven textures next to wood and knits with leather.
What could you not live without? 
Making something everyday. I feel huge satisfaction from cooking, sewing and knitting.

How do you juggle work and family?
Poorly!! - I think every mother who works feels guilty about spending time away from their children.
Thanks Melanie. So, if you want to check out Melanie’s products at the Hide & Seek online store, we’re launching this week!! Sign up now at to be the first to know when Melanie’s ‘Beni’ throws are available to buy!