Next in our #tenwithtom series is Edward Bulmer - the pioneering paint maker. Edward Bulmer Paint create natural, expert colours that are made exclusively from ethical, raw materials and not only look amazing in your home, but don’t cost the earth.
Edward Bulmer is a leading interior designer and an architectural historian renowned for restoring heritage buildings. Edward brings this expert knowledge to conservation and his design flair to the creation of new spaces for modern living. A master of colour, Edward’s mission is to revive the world of natural colour and celebrate the vibrancy the world provides us.
TR: Tell us a little bit about your company…
EB: "Edward Bulmer are the UK’s only designer-led natural paint company. Our paints are designed, created and ‘homemade’ in-house. We launched our first natural colours over five years ago now, and we have subsequently grown to offer a total of 160 colours."
TR: What environment inspires you the most when creating new paints?
EB: "Paint has been used to decorate caves since we inhabited them centuries ago. It is this long tradition that inspires me and we still use the same essential pigments as many of our for-bearers did. Our Edward Bulmer Natural paint range uses just 12 natural earth and mineral pigments that have been used by artists for many decades."
TR: How is sustainability important to you and your business?
EB: "I don’t believe a business has the right to consider itself well run or beneficial to society if it is not sustainable. We declare and clearly label everything that goes into our paint and exactly where it comes from, ensuring each pot of natural paint is as sustainable as it can be. We believe transparency is key in any business setting."
TR: What eco-friendly processes do you have in place?
EB: "We use natural ingredients and gentle chemistry - we do not make paint like other leading brands by using acrylic resins and chemical additives. As well as our paints themselves being as eco-friendly as possible, our packaging is mainly compostable and we use renewable electricity in the factory and office to ensure further carbon-footprint saving."
TR: Do you find yourself following industry design trends or painting your own path?
EB: "Painting our own path - but how designers and homeowners use our paints is endlessly inspiring to us. This is why we post consistently on our Instagram account how our paints are used, not only to show others, but to inspire us to carry on creating."
TR: What is your favourite area in your home to paint?
EB: "We paint our kitchen regularly and because we built it with all painted or polished surfaces, this means that we can easily give it a fresh and interesting look whenever the mood strikes us. It's also a great space to try new colour combinations, our own home seems like a good place to test product duration and consistency."
TR: After a year of everyone spending so much time at home, what advice do you have to make it a more comforting environment?
EB: "Stop filling homes with chemicals. They impact the air quality of your home - even cleaning products. Natural materials frankly give you more harmonious and healthy interiors. Be kinder to your interior and the air within will look after you in return."
TR: Walk us through a typical working day…
EB: "My work tends to revolve around interior design and campaigning for natural paints. Our paint business is growing very fast now, and I have been remodelling redundant farm buildings to increase our storage and processing space.
At the same time, I am building a new design studio in our house which will be dressed in the style of the early 18th century. So, while I do a fair amount of time at my drawing board and my computer, I generally like to stand and be on my feet to work and have recently invested in a rise and fall mechanism to support an old mahogany table-top."
TR: Name three things you couldn’t do without in the workplace?
EB: "I would have to choose three groups of things, rather than three items! My watercolour box, brushes and pencils; my La Cie full of stored images and my assistants in all their forms (I can’t possibly pick just one favourite)!"