For a family with a passion for making things, a Thirties townhouse with an Arts And Crafts vibe in the suburbs of Brighton is a fitting abode. It’s from here that Darrell and Julia Gibbs run their business Sukie, designing notebooks and journals, handkerchiefs and cushions, with playful prints and muted colours that hark back to a more simple bygone age. Stepping into their hall, you’re greeted by wood-panelled walls and wooden floors. It feels homely and intimate, especially when Satchel, the family’s elderly Birman cat brushes by. But the hall is spacious, too, easily fitting the double buggy belonging to twins Jacob and Oscar, three, and a cardboard postbox made by Kitty, six.
Darrell and Julia met while studying illustration at the University of Brighton some 19 years ago. They then moved to London where Julia worked as a buyer for Liberty while Darrell studied at the Royal College of Art. For his degree show, he created some sketchbooks fashioned by hand from old envelopes. Habitat placed an order for 12,000, which Darrell and Julia had made in India. “The traditional methods of making things in India really fitted with our design,” says Darrell. “We also got to use old Indian advertising fliers and posters, which was really cool.”