‘Success is rarely easily won’ — designer Daniel Heath

For those of us who can barely assemble a piece of flat-pack furniture, it seems some people have all the handy abilities. One of these handy types, who’s comfortable with a hammer in hand, is Daniel Heath. A man with an eye for fine design, a passion for sustainability and a soft spot for making his mother proud, Daniel is a multi-skilled, award-winning wallpaper, surface and textile designer. We talked to him about life as a maker, and here’s what he had to say:

Was becoming a designer-maker always the plan? Where did your interest in this area begin?

I was doing my first degree at Loughborough and I found that I really enjoyed printing and working out how to make things. When I was a kid, I rode bikes, fished them out of skips and did them up. I was always taking stuff apart and putting them back together. Although it was never really a plan, I knew that I wanted to carry on being hands-on with making.

Tell us a little about your approach to work; how do you incorporate salvaged materials into what you do?

Salvaged materials are interesting to use, because they are variable and they have an inherent provenance that add something to the outcome. I use salvaged slate to engrave into and I use salvaged Iroko lab tables to create my table tops.

Daniel Heath

You design and create wallpapers, textiles and surfaces; which do love working on most?

At the moment, the surfaces are used on some of the most involved and complicated projects, which are both challenging and rewarding. Often our surfaces are huges-scale, non-repeating artworks that span across a wall and often the design will need to work around, or include, consideration for fixtures and existing fittings. The surfaces are also starting to include more base materials and processes and we are beginning to produce some fantastic bespoke pieces.

Your work has brought in a long list of awards; could you name an achievement you’re most proud of to date?

I think my proudest moment would be handing my mum the book I wrote a section in. I was invited to write an introduction to the interior textiles section in Dominic Bradbury’s book Mid-Century Modern Complete. I have long held an interest in design from that era, and having the opportunity to write about it in the book was a real honour. It also made my mum immensely proud.

Any tips for someone who’d like to pursue a creative career path like yours?

Work hard. Success is rarely easily won in this industry.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell myself to travel more, worry less.

DIY Week - Daniel Heath 3

What’s coming up next for Daniel Heath?

We are preparing to exhibit at Decorex this September, so we are compiling examples of some of our new surfaces that we have used on a range of bespoke projects this year. We are doing a couple of photoshoots in the next month that will aim to capture some of the high-end interiors we have designed and installed in London. I’m looking forward to sharing these projects.


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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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Daniel Heath

Want to see more?

Check out Daniel’s website to see his work, and follow him on Instagram to get a glimpse at his processes.