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Decorative artist Sarah from DeVeley Atelier gives us some insight to her creative background including what inspires her beautifully detailed designs and why Jubilee Natal Rose and Transvaal Grey are some of her favourite Guild Lane colours.

Can you give us some insight to your background? How did you start/get into your craft?

Art has always been my number one passion, something that has always been with me in some form or another. I feel my love of colour was encouraged by my childhood in South Africa, and my love of colour and pattern has a direct influence from both the Zulu and Ndebele tribes. My current style evolved over time, using colour and shapes to bring life to interiors. My passion for vintage furniture seemed like a logical way to express my art. I try always to follow William Morris' words "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be beautiful or believe to be useful," and this guides my decisions on pieces and style.

What kind of pieces do you typically work on and why?

I work on a variety of different pieces. My choice of what to paint will be based on the feel of the piece, how it’s made, its age, and most importantly if it could be enhanced with pattern and colour. I only paint items that I consider special in some way.

Frames with detail on tablecloth

Can you talk about your creative processes and give us some insight to your particular design style?

My process varies from piece to piece. Some need a lot more preparation than others. This could be sanding, chipping, cleaning, etc. I then move on to colour choice and design. I take time to really look at the piece and decide where pattern or colour would enhance and where it wouldn’t. For example, if the natural wood is beautiful, I often do light painting directly onto the wood. Once the piece is complete and completely dry, I choose a sealer (wax or varnish) to protect the piece.

Detailed frame on tablecloth

Can you tell us more about this pieces being featured - and a bit about the colour(s) you’ve used here and why?

The pieces here are a real celebration of the paint colours. Each one using a variety that complements each other. I particularly enjoy using the Natal Rose, a creamy pink that for me has a sense of age, and Transvaal Grey, an earthy neutral. These two colours have particular significance for me being a South African.

Main Frame image and mirror detailed in Natal Rose
Detailed framed mirror on dresser

Why do you like working with Guild Lane products?

Honestly, Guild Lane is one of the best paint brands I have used. The consistency of paint (how it flows, pigmentation, etc.) is SO important to me. Guild Lane’s coverage, pigmentation, and finish are truly wonderful.

What do you love most about running your business?

Being able to create on a daily basis for wonderful people is the best feeling and the whole reason I do this!

Why do you think people invest in upcycled and repurposed goods?

I honestly believe that people are beginning to understand the problems that excessive consumerism creates. While buying new certainly has its merits - for certain items, repurposed pieces can often do the same job or better. I think people understand the value of old-fashioned workmanship and recognise a time when things were made with care and attention in these pieces.

Close Up photo of edge of detailed mirror

Where can people find your creations? Do you just work on commission or sell online, or in shops, etc?

You can find me exclusively on Instagram @develeyatelier. I am always on messenger to answer questions on completed pieces and take commissions.

Do you have any tips for budding makers?

Carry on going! As obvious as this sounds, your passion for what you do is your strongest asset. Don’t be afraid to express yourself and your style - this is what makes you unique, and people will love that.

Do you have any exciting plans for the future for your business?

I am so, so pleased with where I am in my creative process and will continue to let my instincts drive my future creative journey.

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