Jamie Watkins and Tom Kennedy, aka Divine Savages
Divine Savages was founded in South East London in 2016 by husbands Jamie Watkins and Tom Kennedy. Through a shared passion for quirky interiors and styling they set out to do interiors their way and put their experience in fashion and design to create a new brand for the artistic shopper; a brand that mixes influences from classic prints, bold fashion and iconic modern design yet always with their signature Divine Savages twist.
Divine Mission: to inject a splash of wonder into your home with collections that reflect our passion for daring design and patterns with a flourish of both the divine and the savage.
When Divine Savages wanted patterned carpet on their floors they turned to Alternative Flooring. Where else can you find carpet in the softest marble and floral meadows in wool? It is time for a behind-the-scenes house tour and a chat with Jamie and Tom for some insider inspiration.
Here’s our Q&A…
DID YOU MEET IN THE INTERIOR WORLD?
Nope! We met many years ago in 2006 out on the town in London, and what started with a drink in a bar led to marriage – almost 5 years now.
We’ve always had a shared love of interiors, but it wasn’t really until we managed to buy this place that we were able to finally put our own stamp on a home. Our passion for interiors steadily grew over the years and almost two years ago we created and launched Divine Savages – with Tom’s background in fashion and branding, and mine in marketing and strategy it’s a good partnership.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Working together is really fun and seeing Divine Savages grow, and building the brand together is so rewarding.
We both have our clear strengths so it works really well – we don’t interfere with each other and can just get on with what we do best.
Jamie focus’ on the business side of things – marketing, promotions, connecting with designers and stylists, and also manages all of the Instagram.
Tom’s in charge of the creative side – design, branding and our collections.
WHERE DOES YOUR DESIGN INSPIRATION FOR COLLECTIONS COME FROM?
We find inspiration in many different places. Living in London is great – such a vibrant city with so much going on, museums, events, exhibitions – so we try and soak up as much as we can.
The natural world is also a huge source of inspiration for our designs – we’ve been lucky enough to visit some amazing places and landscapes over the years.
We’re massive vintage fans – so you’ll often find us wandering around junk shops, antiques fairs and markets finding new treasures that inspire us.
DESCRIBE THE STYLE IN YOUR OWN HOME AND HOW YOU PUT SCHEMES TOGETHER?
Definitely Maximalist– we don’t shy away from bold pattern and print. We really live our brand!
In our recent bedroom makeover, we wanted to create a boutique hotel vibe – a place we can relax in and a space where it felt a little extravagant, something special.
Sumptuous and luxurious– we made a conscious decision to get rid of the TV in the bedroom, a space we can unwind in after a hard day’s work.
We knew we wanted to use our new wallpaper – we’d just created Nocturnal Fauncation with teals and emerald greens so that set the colour schemes.
We usually find that our décor projects start with one ‘hero’ piece or item and it grows from there.
We like to mix eclectic vintage and contemporary pieces in our home.
And artwork is important to us – it’s actually getting a little out of control as we have so many frames and pictures now but we enjoy switching things out and bringing old prints back out from storage to freshen things up.
A view of Divine Savage’s bedroom with Alternative Flooring’s Zoffany Boutique Serpentine Malachite
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT ALTERNATIVE FLOORING?
Divine Savages is all about the bold use of colourand pattern. Creating a rich, luxurious and inviting interior.
When we were sourcing carpet for our bedroom and hallway renovation, we really struggled to find unique, bold, colourful carpets – until we found Alternative! We’re really loving how you’re pushing this in carpets and rugs!
Detail of Alternative Flooring’s Zoffany Boutique Serpentine Malachitein of Divine Savage’s bedroom
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ALTERNATIVE’S BOUTIQUE SERPENTINE MALACHITE FOR YOUR BEDROOM?
The colours! We instantly fell in love. It reminds us of the iridescent colours of petrol, or the beautiful natural pattern of marble. The carpet was spot on for our vision of creating a luxurious, boutique vibe and it definitely addsa sense of drama to the space which we love.
WHAT IS IT LIKE WALKING ON FLOWERS OF THORPE IN YOUR HALLWAY AND STAIRS?
The deep pile is a dream to walk on – there’s nothing like that feeling of bare feet on carpet.
We’re huge fans of Liberty prints, so this design instantly spoke to us – plus the pink accents were perfect for our colour scheme.
The bold flowers remind us of 1970s florals – a touch of chintz that we love in our home!
In the hallway and stairs, we used a delicate pink on the walls. This subtle colour allowed us to be bold on the floor instead of the walls, which was really fun!
DO YOU THINK WE ARE BECOMING BRAVER WITH PATTERN?
Definitely! You only have to scroll through Instagram and peruse the latest interiors magazines to see spaces filled with a riot of pattern and print.
People are embracing bolder coloursand pattern and we couldn’t be happier. When we launched Divine Savages, our mission was to inject a splash of wonder and to turn every room into a living masterpiece, so seeing more people adopt this mantra makes us smile.
I think it also has a lot to do with the current times we live in – it’s a bit doom and gloom out there so we’re nesting more and creating comfortable, vibrant spaces that we love to come home to. The joy of staying in is real!
BIGGEST HOME EXTRAVAGANCE?
We do love collecting different artwork– we have an original portrait from our very talented friend Hester Finch which we love, we’ve also got a pair of Obey prints which were one of the first pieces we bought together.
We also have a taxidermy peacock which we call Brenda – she’s glorious and really adds a sense of wonder to our living room.
Our next project is a garden studio this summer which will be a big job. We’re not looking forward to the mess, but it is another space to decorate which we’re very excited about!
NEXT BIG INTERIOR TREND?
Greens will continue to impress and velvet isn’t going away anytime soon.
There’s a move towards more natural and organic materials – think stone, marble, and rattan as well as the continued plants obsession – just wish we could keep ours alive!
Florals are still going strong and of course a continued love for Maximalism.
We’re also seeing a move away from rigid lines and a shift towards more curves– especially in furniture and sofas. Gorgeous!
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MOMENT?
We are busy working on our Natural History Museum collaboration, which is really exciting. For our next collection we’ll be creating 5 new designs across wallpapers, fabrics and cushions taking inspiration from the museum’s archives. We can’t wait to launch this!
We’re also going to be adding more limited edition prints to our line up with our signature Divine Savages twist.
Silk scarves are also coming soon. With Tom’s background in fashion it made sense for us to add this line to our range, and the prints are looking gorgeouswe must say!
Inspired? Do you dare to be Alternative with Divine Savages in your own home?
We are offering one lucky winner the chance to win an Alternative Flooring Flowers of Thorpe bespoke runner (1m wide and up to 4m long) and two beautiful luxe cushions Nocturnal Faunacation and Divine Plumage by Divine Savages to bring some bold and beautiful pattern into your own home. PRIZE VALUE WORTH OVER £950!
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Divine Savages has luxury wallpapers, home accessories, fabulous gifts and fabrics and limited-edition art prints. See their collection online and follow them on Instagram
And you can get lots more flooring and interior design inspiration on our Alternative blog