Devon landscapes are inspiration for artist’s new luxury wallpaper collection

PUBLISHED: 16:06 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:14 08 October 2020

Melanie Orzechowska at work on designs. Photo: Melanie Orzechowska

Melanie Orzechowska at work on designs. Photo: Melanie Orzechowska

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Ivy and Ethel designs are drawn up in Melanie Orzechowska’s Exeter print studio

Some of the Ivy & Ethel wallpaper designs inspired by the Devon landscape. Photo: Melanie OrzechowskaSome of the Ivy & Ethel wallpaper designs inspired by the Devon landscape. Photo: Melanie Orzechowska

Throughout her life, Melanie Orzechowska has always been creative, so it is no surprise she has launched her own arty business.

Originally from Yorkshire, Melanie set up her own wallpaper brand, Ivy and Ethel, after relocating to Devon for a design role in the ceramics industry.

With her eye for art, she collated a collection of prints, drawings and paintings over a couple of years in her under stairs cupboard; then she realised they would make some stunning wallpapers. Now she designs her own printed wallpapers, using her natural talent honed since childhood.

Exeter-based Melanie recalls: “I’ve always been very creative since childhood. I’d enter every art competition going, my drawings would take over the house and I’d be recognised for my talent throughout my education.

Some of the Ivy & Ethel wallpaper designs inspired by the Devon landscape. Photo: Melanie OrzechowskaSome of the Ivy & Ethel wallpaper designs inspired by the Devon landscape. Photo: Melanie Orzechowska

“Throughout my childhood we’d usually go for picnics after school and continue to spend the weekend exploring outside, at a National Trust property, the beach or countryside - I’d always take a bag with paper and coloured pencils with me. “My Dad would always say to me, “Have you got your colours?” We had annual holidays to Devon and Cornwall; many of these were holidays to Lynton and Lynmouth, with walks and swims at Watersmeet.”

Melanie, 31, says her signature style is the hand-drawn, painted or crafted look which she achieves at a print studio in Exeter.

READ MORE: A Devon landowner has turned his estate into a sculpture and wildlife haven

Some of the Ivy & Ethel wallpaper designs inspired by the Devon landscape. Photo: Melanie OrzechowskaSome of the Ivy & Ethel wallpaper designs inspired by the Devon landscape. Photo: Melanie Orzechowska

She says: “I really enjoy going on the prowl for new inspiration, especially on the surrounding moors and coastlines. I’ll capture what I’ve seen with photographs and then draw them at the kitchen table.”

Inspired by the beautiful Devon countryside and coastlines, Melanie trawls the county across Dartmoor, Dartmeet, Haytor Quarry, Houndtor, Wistman’s Wood, Lydford Gorge and Hunter’s Tor to name a few.

“Peaceful, unspoilt, wild, colour change with the weather and with the seasons - every visit is different and I really enjoy exploring these areas,” she enthuses.

Other favourite places include Bigbury-on-Sea, Burgh Island, Salcombe, Brixham to Berry Head, Blackpool Sands and Beesands to Start Point.

“The plants in Salcombe especially, it’s quite exotic really, the shapes and colours - [I’ve] no idea what most of them are; they’re just beautiful.

“The bright turquoise of the sea combined with the pine trees is a favourite of mine. I love coastal wild flowers on Burgh Island - I could sit there all day and sometimes I do! I enjoy kayaking around it to get views from all angles.”

Ivy & Ethel also offers a bespoke design service, giving clients the opportunity to explore their own ideas and creativity.

Melanie explains: “Inspiration may come from a scrap of old wallpaper or fabric, a photo, a child’s drawing - who knows!”

Discover more here about Melanie’s collection

Melanie’s five best places in Devon for creative inspiration

Haytor and Houndtor walks

Wistman’s Wood

Lydford Gorge

Burgh Island

Salcombe

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