Q&A with Hannah Bowen, Brand Manager at Archive

Archive is a brand steeped in history, taking iconic designs from some of the finest print designers and giving them a new lease of life with reimagined colourways. We couldn’t wait to uncover more behind the brand and hear all about how it started. To tell us more, we caught up with Hannah Bowen, Brand Manager for Archive.



Part of the iconic Sanderson Design Group, how does Archive set itself apart from the rest of your brands?

Archive is the rebel in our Sanderson Design Group brands. We’ve delved deep into our rich archive to unleash 160 years of daring design and create an emporium of pattern and colour that transcends style and genre. Archive isn’t for the faint hearted or those who chase the latest trends; rather, it will charm design explorers, collectors and curators who are proud to champion British eccentricity and design.

Archive only launched in 2021 but features many recognisable designs, how did it come about?

The Sanderson Design Group archive has always been a treasure trove of wonderful designs, a quintessentially British collection of over 160 years’ worth of design history. You could find all sorts of gems in there, from heritage original Morris & Co. woodblocks to trail-blazing Sanderson prints from the wild abandon era of swags and tails. For as long as I can remember the archive was locked away, hidden behind lock and key.

The designs have been reimagined in vibrant new colourways to celebrate the clash between heritage and modern, designs that truly defy time.

Archive is a celebration of 160 years of design with its time-defying designs. Which is your favourite Archive design and why?

It's hard to choose just one! We have the iconic William Morris Golden Lily velvet fabric and matching wallpaper in a bold Serotonin Pink colourway. I love this one as it shouts flamboyance and freedom of expression, especially when the fabric and wallpaper are paired together – they have the ultimate rock and roll feel.

However, I can’t not mention Forbidden Fruit. It is probably one of our most daring designs from the collection. Our energetic reimagination of Pat Etheridge’s 1968 design celebrates the vision of her original botanic print. Once considered too flamboyant and risqué for the design world, her trademark bohemian energy lends itself brilliantly to a more liberal time. 

If you had to describe Archive in just 3 words, which words would you use

Rebellion, individuality, creativity.

Archive is all about embracing British Eccentricity, what does this mean and how would you describe Archive to someone new to the brand?

British Eccentricity is about owning our quirks and embracing the peculiar. For Archive we have pulled out prints such as dancing unicorns and naked lady designs and I love how the mad mix of prints comes together to create a wonderful story.

It’s all about embracing your unique sense of style and pushing boundaries, there should be no rules when it comes to interiors– now is the time to be free from the shackles of conformity and go your own way with prints that you love.

One of the best things about embracing eccentricity in your interiors is mixing and matching design styles, it doesn’t matter if you pair some antique candle holders with some 70’s pieces, it’s all about pulling homeware you love together in one space, collecting and concocting signature pieces to create a space to inspire.

Archive is based on the notion of being rebellious and creating maximalist schemes. What are your 3 top tips for being rebellious with interiors?

  1. We resolutely believe ‘expect the unexpected’ lies at the heart the Archive ethos. Embrace your own individual style. There’s no rulebook, and if you find one rip it up!
  2. Create something truly unique. We often spend our days scrolling through Instagram feeds and flicking through interior magazines for inspiration – but why should your home look like everybody else’s? Something as simple as a mix-and-match prints can give your space a certain edge, while helping to stamp your own distinctive sense of style on your home.
  3. Finally, be brave - with this look more is definitely more! Is there such a thing as too much pattern?

Hannah Bowen, Brand Manager at Archive / Daisy wallpaper / Fruit wallpaper / Strawberry Thief fabric / Daisy fabric

Does Archive only work for bold, rebellious, maximalist interiors or can the designs be used more subtly?

One of the best things about embracing a pattern clash in your interiors is that it’s all about design styles that mix and match. Your home is your space, and should be a representation of you and the feeling you want to create.

We always say the key is to choose one pattern as a main focus and then introduce other prints in smaller doses as if they are an accent. My top tip would be to keep in mind a consistent theme to the room. That may be a particular colour or a print that you want to be your hero – if you build a scheme around something you love you can’t go wrong.

If in doubt I would always suggest opting for a complimentary stripe to calm a scheme with a bonkers print, stripes are a great way to create the feeling of pattern but also bringing a scheme together with the use of block colour.

What’s next for Archive? Is there anything coming up that you are really excited about?

Our archive is briming with inspiration and we’ve barely scratched the surface. The designers are bubbling with ideas all the time and we can’t wait to show them off! We may have some new things launching towards the end of this year…Keep your eyes peeled!

Shop Archive fabric   |   Shop Archive wallpaper   |   Shop Archive bedding   |   Shop Archive ready made cushions 

Read next

Get the look: British Eccentricity


In focus: Morris & Co. - the William Morris legacy