Vanessa Battaglia and Brendan Young are the founders of this multidisciplinary design studio in Cambridge. Passionate supporters of British craft, the duo tell playful stories through their designs
The name Mineheart is inspired by the Shakespearian quote ‘Mine eye and heart...’ symbolising studio founders Battaglia and Young’s love for the traditional and eye for the contemporary. After launching in 2011 from a garage in Young’s mother’s back garden (they have since moved to a larger space near Cambridge), the duo began by creating lighting and furniture designs, only branching into designing wallpaper and rugs when they bought their first house.
‘ We couldn’t find a wallpaper that we liked enough, so we took a photo of all our old books and stuck that to the wall,’ says Battaglia. ‘I sent a photograph of the result to ELLE Decoration and they featured it. People started trying to order it, but it didn’t even exist yet.’ As more and more people ordered the paper, the couple decided to add more designs. ‘Some are pictures from our travels. In Bruges, we photographed panelling, bookshelves and wrought iron – they are still our bestsellers.’ The majority of the brand’s designs are toned down to soft monochrome. ‘ We are quite minimal, but not actually Minimalist,’ says Brendan.
‘After we design a pattern, we try it out in a virtual room. We question if someone could use it in a living space, or if we ourselves would use it in our own house,’ says Vanessa. Brendan adds: ‘ You have to ignore whether something is commercial or not and just go with your gut reaction.’ mineheart.com