Inverness interior design studio Lucy Wagtail and Hebridean designer Erica Morrison join forces for new range

Interior designer Erica Morrison (left) teams up with Lucy Wagtail’s Irene Massey to create a new line of upholstery fabrics.

Restrictions over the past two years have led more and more traders to turn to the internet to continue trading while their stores have been closed.

However, Inverness interior design store Lucy Wagtail has made the trip in the opposite direction.

After eight years of successful e-commerce, company founder Irene Massey has opened her first physical store on Canal Road in Muirtown, Inverness, showcasing her collection of bespoke lampshades, soft furnishings and interior decoration items.

Lucy Wagtail specializes in designing bespoke lampshades.
Lucy Wagtail specializes in designing bespoke lampshades.

Irene. who previously worked in the hospitality industry and later as a paralegal at a local law firm, took the plunge and turned a hobby into a job in 2014.

“It started as a side business in the evenings, teaching crafts,” she explained.

“My mum was very craft oriented and taught her four daughters so it’s always something that interests me.”

Over the past two years, the company has grown by 40%, with customers all over the world.

“We thought it was the right opportunity to open a boutique,” ​​added Irene.

Inside Lucy Wagtail's Muirtown store.
Inside Lucy Wagtail’s Muirtown store.

As well as providing retail space, the Muirtown unit also provides Lucy Wagtail – named for Irene’s cocker spaniel – a larger workshop to allow Irene and her colleague Ashleigh Gibson to meet growing demand for its products, and in particular its made-to-order products. lampshade.

These can be up to a meter in diameter and made from a variety of materials including Harris Tweed, Isle of Skye Tweed, wools, cottons and silks.

Irene explained that the move to LED bulbs, which give off less heat than older conventional bulbs, offers greater flexibility in the choice of coatings.

“Now is a great time to rediscover cardboard and paper lampshades instead of less eco-friendly options,” added Irene.

“It doesn’t make a big difference to the lampshade – but it does make a difference to the planet.”

Durability is another big driver for the company, so its lampshade bases are made by fellow Highland craftsman, Jim Pennie of Cromarty Woodturning, from sustainable wood rather than more harmful plastic. ‘environment.

“We also encourage recovery and reuse to keep things from ending up in landfills,” added Irene.

“We can salvage most lampshades.”

Local interior design firm Lucy Wagtail is teaming up with designer Erica Morrison to create a new line of upholstery fabrics.
Local interior design firm Lucy Wagtail is teaming up with designer Erica Morrison to create a new line of upholstery fabrics.

Lucy Wagtail is also working with Glasgow craft distiller Courageous Spirits to convert her bottles of gin and other drinks into decorative lamps.

Other local collaborators include Inverness art producer Port in My Storm, but one of the most exciting teams is with fellow city-based designer Erica Morrison of Interior35.

Erica, who is from Skye and whose work is to be featured in a six-part BBC series Alba due to screen this summer, has designed an exclusive range of upholstery fabrics for Lucy Wagtail.

Erica believes the joint venture comes at an exciting time for the interior design industry.

“Interior design has really taken off, in part because of the pandemic,” Erica said.

“There is a real demand. People don’t go on vacation the same way, so they spend money on their homes.

The new range will be available in Lucy Wagtail’s store and in line.

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Betty K. Park