With a name inspired by Shakesperian quotation, it’s no wonder that Mineheart designs are themselves poetic. Created by power couple Brendan Young and Vanessa Battaglia, Mineheart produce beautiful home ware that goes beyond function and brings an element of fantasy and quirk into the home.
Classical Baroque style with a modernist twist, Mineheart’s products are curious and engaging. You can’t just take one look – you have to explore every surface, pattern and colour – this is why we love them so much. From their bespoke wallpapers to technically challenging lighting and renaissance printed cow hides, Mineheart consistently bring a grand playfulness into all that they do. Creativity in the home is key.
1. In the same way Rockett St George Co-Founders Jane and Lucy want to provide a place for people to seek out unique home ware, we understand that your business grew from creating accessories that you both loved for your own home. Your designs are very personal in that respect. Have you got any of your designs at home that are too special to sell?
Funny enough we don’t have many of our “finished” products in our home, except for some wallpapers! We prefer living surrounded by prototypes (so that reminds us where we wanted to go with that specific object), or found old items that we find inspiring, and by design experiments that we didn’t quite manage to produce yet – so those last ones I suppose are too special to sell!
2. We imagine your own home looks amazing. How would you describe it to someone who hasn’t seen it before?
I am not sure I would say amazing, but certainly it is “different” and it feels cosy to us. Many friends have described as an eclectic and quirky space. It’s a 1970’s terrace house that looks very mundane from the outside.
Downstairs is a light open plan space that is the heart of the house. It is here where we prepare meals with friends, where also we talk about most of the projects and where also we play on the floor with our 2 year old son and dog! What we like most of this space is the contrast between the light walls and minimal white kitchen units with the dark, aged wooden floor and a really old carpenters work bench that is our kitchen Island, with an inset stainless sink and cooker set in to it. As you know we love the mix of new and old!
3. Mineheart started up in 2010 and have already greatly expanded and even branched out to collaborate with other designers, getting more and more adventurous as you go! What key advice can you give to emerging designers starting out on their own journey?
Just to follow their heart! if it is what they really love they should carry on, and carry on, and carry on and I am sure something nice will happen at some point. It is not the easiest route to earning a living but it can be fun and it is definitely a soulful journey.
4. Although you are still a relatively young company, what’s been the highlight so far?
Every year feels like a highlight and an achievement to be where we are. Last year one of the Highlights was the Espresso Library Cafe in Cambridge, we were asked to design the interior, and now it is lovely to go and have a coffee there and feel very at home!
5. Do you find it important to adhere to trends or do you try to avoid them?
We don’t follow trends and try to ignore them. We just try always to do what we like and what it feels right for us, sometimes it happens to be “on trend” and some times it’s not, but its not a conscious decision.
6. Though your designs are sophisticated and in some ways extravagant, there is undoubtedly a child-like playfulness involved in book covered walls and oil paintings splashed with neon paint. Where do you find most of your inspiration?
We find inspiration in everyday life, we don’t search for inspirations but we try to surround our life with interesting things, experiences and people. We just search for what we love.
7. Your designs all make for strong statement pieces. Can you give us three top tips on styling your bold and ornately patterned wallpapers – how should you do it?
– choose one key wall where you would like to apply the wallpaper
– paint all the other walls accordingly (dark if you want a dark mood and you have chosen a dark wallpaper or light if you prefer light tones and you have chosen a light wallpaper)
– choose a few simple accessories to go on the walls, maybe ceramics or metal with a bit of polished brass or gold touch and they will do the job!
8. If you could design a home (the whole thing!) for one person, who would it be?
I think it has to be our own house, I think we are the ideal customers for our self and gives us total freedom!
9. We are in love with your black and white feather pendant lights. What is your favourite Mineheart design and why?
The King Edison because I think is the most iconic of our products but I also always loved our first Persian Cowhide rug. I really like one of the new tufted rugs that will be out soon (Japanese Repose by Himitsuhana).
10. What big plans do you have for 2016?
We are experimenting with lots of new ideas and materials for lighting including using copper and concrete, we are also expanding our furniture range as well as working on some really exciting new collaborations. Along side that we are also launching the first Mineheart luxury apartment. So quite an exciting year ahead!
Finally, some quickfire questions…
I’m happiest when I’m: in New York (v) In nature (b)
My biggest guilty pleasure is: bread and cheese (v) cake and espresso (b)
My favourite magazine is: Kinfolk
If money was no object I would: have houses in different places in the world (V) save lives (b)
My best skill is: not sure (v) decisiveness (b)
My personal motto is: What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.(v) hack away the inessential (b)
My latest obsession: children’s books (v) climbing (b)
My favourite film is: into the wild (v) anything with a superhero (b)
My go to track: Erik Satie gymnopedie n1 (v) shuffle (one less decision!) (b)
Three things I can’t live without: Antoni (our son), lili (our dog), sunshine (v) fish, avocado, spinach (b)
Here are Brendan and Vanessa’s top RSG products…