EJS: Thank you for joining us today Paul (albeit virtually!), you have found such success with your love of wallpaper, what attracted you to the wall-covering industry to begin with?
Paul: Growing up, my family always had wallpaper somewhere in the house and I was always involved in the choosing of my bedroom decor from a very young age. While my parents would be pointing out simple pale blue stripes I would be looking at multicoloured aztec designs and I always had something to say when my parents were picking out colours for the lounge or the kitchen. Also, here in Northern Ireland, we had to back all of our books with wallpaper and of course, I always had to have the best wallpaper in the class!
EJS: I can imagine that you were never a wallflower!... Have you always worked within interiors?
Paul: Most of my working life since I left school has always been around wallpaper, colour and design. When I left school and went to art college, I always knew I wanted to do something that involved being creative. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go into architecture or graphic design but then I sort of fell into interiors and it went from there! I started working in a small interior design company and then after about 5 years I moved on to where I am now, Nobletts Belfast, which is one of the biggest independent wallpaper stockists in the UK. So my background is mostly wallpaper and I’m surrounded by it every day!
EJS: Do you have any tips for budding designers looking to get into the industry?
Paul: I think the first thing you have to do is start believing in yourself, if you have a passion for it and you’re enjoying it, to push that. There is so much out there, like online courses, there’s a world of design that you can explore without having to go and sit in a college. I would also say photograph everything you do, my camera roll is thousands of pictures!