Leeds designer Laura Wellington on her home, Duke Studios, Sheaf Street and people power posters

Laura Wellington co-founder of Duke Studios and Sheaf Street answers our At Home with Q&A

Laura Wellington with one of the Posters for the People

Laura Wellington is a product and interior designer based in Leeds. She is also co-founder of Wunderkind Group and is responsible for Duke Studios, Sheaf St and In Good Company. She established In Good Company, a Leeds-based street art project, to bring more large-scale art, fun and colour to the city and it was responsible for the gigantic, multi-coloured Posters for the People, which were pasted on billboards around the city during lockdown. The aim was to spread positivity and support NHS staff and key workers. www.laurawellington.co.uk; Instagram @laurawelli

Q: How would you describe your home? Our home is very colourful, individual and purposeful. We are two years into a renovation process and have catalogued it on @theartofhaus on Instagram. We have transformed the property from a shell to what is now a completely unique home.

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Every part has been designed and built by us on the very smallest of budgets. Utilising my product design and my commercial interior design background, I have been able to combine surfaces and finishes that wouldn’t normally be seen in a residential setting. For instance, in the kitchen we have a bright yellow floor, the type of which is commonly used in hospitals or public transport.

Laura designed these best-selling Totem lights and is also a gifted interior designer

This flooring is very cheap but it has a huge impact and looks high end. We also have built a lot of what is in the house utilising offcut materials from my projects – so it really is quite literally unique. We have taken time to make things that are “of us” to make it very personal.

In the kitchen, the central island has a drawer that slides out and has a full professional DJ kit built in. We refer to this as the party island. Music plays such a huge part of our life thanks to our venue, Sheaf St in Leeds, and we wanted to make sure that was reflected in our home too.

Q: What is on your interiors wish list ? I would absolutely love to have a full set of Flos Arrangement lights. I love their simplicity and technology, which is incredible. The idea of being able to switch up the arrangements is so amazing. However, they are very big and very expensive so, for now, they are on the “one day” list.

Q: Which household items could you not live without? That has to be my art collection. It has been an ongoing part of my life for the last 10 years and I now have over 150 pieces of art. I can say that each and every one of those pieces has a story and, best of all, every day they make me smile.

Laura's love of colour shows in her sitting room

Q: Which designers do you most admire and why? My admiration list is big but I think if I was to choose just one it would be Jaime Hayon. That’s because his work spans from simplicity and perfection to bold and absolutely bonkers. I am constantly inspired by everything that Jaime Hayon does and his work spans from ceramics to full scale

architectural set ups. He has fun and he isn’t afraid to step out of the norm.

Q: Is there anything exciting you at the moment in terms of design? I am really excited by the future of design, the utilisation of rapid prototyping, the possibilities for future sustainable materials and the scope for design using download.

Q: What and where is your ideal home? I would love to build an Eames house in the woods, next to a beach and with land. That would then enable me to be able to create a wonderful, design-led stay experience.

The kitchen island with built in record deck is known as "the party island"

Q: What are you most proud of? I am most proud of the civic work that I have done over the last eight years. The most recent of which is my In Good Company project. The #Postersforthepeople we produced and posted around Leeds were a big and colourful “Thank You” to our frontline workers and we had eight incredible artists taking part in creating them. It has ended up becoming a #Peoplepowered national campaign and it has been the most incredible achievement.

Not only in how big it has become in terms of all the different formats but in my joy at helping to put more colour in the streets of Leeds. It has also spread and not just in the UK but across the world too.

Contact: Laura is a product and interior designer, www.laurawellington.co.uk and on Instagram @laurawelli

Photos by Angus McDonald; JMA Photography and Beautiful Homes in the North.

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