Outside the Box: designer Tom Watt and Valeria Armeni on creating bespoke stationery for our moving-in box
Our moving-in box is a selection of bespoke objects overseen by designer Faye Toogood that we give to our design-conscious buyers when they buy a home through our agency.
Our series ‘Outside the Box’ takes us to the studios of the makers who contributed to the box. Here, we visit designer Tom Watt in north London and speak to Amaretti Design owner Valeria Armeni about collaborating on bespoke stationery for our moving-in box.
Tom Watt: “I was invited to collaborate with Valeria to create a design for The Correspondence Cards. Through my company Field Projects Studio, I’ve worked with The Modern House for several years now, creating and developing their brand identity, so it was a natural fit.
“The hand-drawn lines on the cards are part of a wider exploration of lines and textures that we have been working on for the brand.
“It’s a progression of the identity we created in 2014, using asymmetrical images of architectural textures to create a sort of organised imperfection.
“We have been exploring cross-hatching as a way of developing textures, using lines to create the illusion of shade, tone and texture. The hand-drawn quality of the design reflects the personal nature and intended use of the cards.
“The things we fill our homes with are incredibly personal and I hope these cards will come to represent a positive experience of moving for people who buy a place through The Modern House.
“In my home, I have a mix of objects that I would put into the categories of ‘pre-kids’ and ‘post-kids’. I have some meaningful, core objects that I’ve collected over the years, such as an early Chantal Joffe painting and an evolving collection of Winchcombe Pottery.
“Even though most of what I gather today is more practical – made for life with two small, unapologetically messy children that are growing fast – I think having children has definitely made the house into a home.
“There’s more noise, and friends and family drop by, which brings life to the house.”
Valeria Armeni: “After moving to London in 2007, I worked as a freelance illustrator and designer for a few years. In 2013 I founded the stationery brand Amaretti Design, which has combined my love for material, colour and design, and allowed me to draw from my background in Fine Arts.
“The idea behind Amaretti Design is to create functional and unique paper goods that can add a new value to the art of correspondence.
“From notebooks and diaries to cards and papers, each product is designed and manufactured with great attention to detail and places an emphasis on simplicity, quality and tactility, using traditional printing processes or handmade techniques.
“Working on special projects and designing bespoke collections have also become a very important part of my work, as this has offered me the opportunity to collaborate with other brands and designers over the years.
“I was thrilled when I was asked to work on the moving-in box. Moving into a new home is an important time in one’s life, so I loved the idea of collaborating with Tom to create a set of cards that would be part of a collection of fundamental objects for someone’s new home.
“Choosing the right materials was the most important part of my contribution to The Correspondence Cards. I wanted to find a paper with a distinctive texture yet neutral tone that could enrich Tom’s beautiful and minimalist graphics. At the same time, I wanted the material to feel coherent with the rest of the objects created by the other makers.
“For me, objects are essential to make a house a home. They meet our needs, bring comfort and let us enjoy the simplest gestures of everyday life.
“A home should be a reflection of yourself, what you love and need, a space where each object has a meaning and special value. I like to think of it as a never-ending yet very rewarding process.”