Hey Richard, thanks for giving us a behind the scenes look into the world of Love Island (literally). We’re so excited to be part of your vision and these gorgeous sets.
For our readers who may not be familiar with your line of work, can you give us a quick intro to your role and how the cast will be interacting with the amazing spaces your team has created?
I am the production designer on the Love Island series. This involves creating the overall look of the entire show from the main villa, to their master interview sets as well as all of the dates our islanders go on. The biggest part of my job is obviously designing the villa that all of our islanders live and play in every day. The villa has to serve as a comfortable home to live in but also needs to service all the technical requirements of the show. I try to create a variety of spaces where the islanders can chill out in larger groups and chat but then also more private areas where they feel like they can get away from the group and have more intimate conversations. We are also very lucky this year to have amazing ocean views and our very own private waterfall so I have tried to design the space to take advantage of these amazing natural features wherever I can.
From confessionals, to dressing rooms, to chill zones, we couldn’t help but admire all of the fun neon you have in the house. Tell us a bit about your choice to use our LED neon signs and how they relate to the vibe of the show.
Love Island is all about summer fun and romance but also about neon! It’s very much a signature look of our show that we have lots of neon both in the architecture and with cheeky neon signs. I think the neons give our show a very distinct look that separates us from a lot of other dating shows on TV. Neons give off an instant fun party vibe and are able to create a great mood in the villa. Every night feels like a party once you turn on the neons.
Do you find different subject matter or colors evoke different moods? How do those translate in their respective rooms?
Absolutely, and we play with color alot in the villa. In the mens dressing room we have lots of blue and yellow neons signs and furniture, it gives a very calm energy to their space. Their dressing rooms is set up like a super chilled barber shop and only has natural light coming from the stairwell so the neons really help set the mood and stop it feeling too dark and moody. This includes the awesome “Light it up” neon sign from your core collection, I pplaed this on a raised blue disk back lit with neon to really make it stand out.
The women’s dressing room on the other hand has incredible ocean views and also looks out across the entire villa, so we really turned the fun up in here with hot pink neons and some really fun signs like the Jonathan Adler “Golden Eye” and “Madame” neons. These combined with classic signs like “Hello Gorgeous” make for a really fun and positive space.
What’s been the reaction of the cast and crew to the neon signs? Are there any clear faves?
Everybody is in love with them and wants to know if they can take them home, I have to keep telling them to head to the yellow pop website and get their hands off my villa! There are a few faves emerging already, the islanders are loving the “All eyes on me” neon that greets them in the hallway to the bedroom. The “Unlimited heart” that is at the front door of the property is also very on brand for us and looks incredible, and probably the other fave is the “Lips” neon that we have done as a grouping of three in the girls dressing room, its so sexy and fun and looks incredible in their room.
We also spied a few pieces from our hot off the press collaboration with Jonathan Adler. What inspired you to include those? Do they serve a different purpose than the cheeky quotes and phrases?
I was so excited to hear that yellow pop were doing a collaboration with Jonathan Adler just in time for us to use on the show. We actually collaborated with the Jonathan Adler team to design our Hideaway in season 1, so it really was like bringing the gang back together. His design style is so in line with the look of our show, it's fun and flirty, bright and bubbly but still design savvy. Honestly the perfect fit. When you first enter the foyer of the house you are greeted by the incredible “Atlas Round” neon which I am absolutely in love with and it sets the tone for the entire room, I also managed to sneak in a few JA furniture and object pieces in here, so it feels right at home. I am really loving being able to include more art neon pieces this year, having the neons be able to play in a different format than just the signs brings another whole layer of interest and depth to the villa. Also allows us to more subtly hint at the use of the space rather than having to literally spell it out. Having the combination of the two styles of neons has really elevated the look of the show this year.
As a fellow creative, you’ve probably taken time to revisit and remix favorite themes (as Adler has done here). How would you say your art direction has evolved (or stayed the same) through the years?
My design style is constantly changing and evolving. Every show that I work on has a different aesthetic and my job is to refine that and bring it out so that the people in the show can shine within their environment. I feel like Love Island has done exactly this and every season we find a new way to highlight the DNA of the show. Season 1 we had a much more muted color palette with bright pops of color and pattern splashed throughout, last year we experimented more with cleaner and bolder colors and I feel like this year we have really hit our stride and found a great balance of fun summer colors but still keeping some beautiful textures and patterns to soften and enhance the look and finding ways to revisit old friends like Jonathan Adler and make them work even better in this new look of the show.
Do you have any trends you’re keeping an eye on as we emerge from our proverbial pandemic cocoons? We know a lot of our customers are ready to play and their purchases reflect that energy.
Everyone has been so stuck in their homes for the last year which has made people realise how important design is in their everyday living space, but I also think everyone is now keen to bring color, light and fun into their spaces to help lift their moods. We all used to go out when we wanted to meet up with friends and hang out in cool spaces, but now I think people want to create those cool spaces in their own homes so they can feel like they are having a fun night out in their own living room with friends, and having a great neon in your space instantly elevates the mood and turns your space into something special and fun.
If you could give our readers some advice on creating their own neon lit, Love Island inspired spaces, what would it be?
I think you should choose something that speaks to you, whether that be a phrase that makes you smile or inspires you, or a fab art piece that speaks to the rest of the design in your home. A trick that I used this year in some of my interior spaces was to mount the neons onto a raised shape. I used lots of circles and ovals, having the neon mounted onto this shape and raised just off the wall really helps make the neon feel like a more integrated design element to your living space, and allows you to play with a pop of paint color as well.
Now that the new season of Love Island has set sail, what’s next for you? Do you have any projects in the works that you’d like to share?
I’m looking forward to a holiday! Creating a summer of fun for all the islanders is exhausting! Then hopefully a couple of exciting projects later on in the year that will keep be busy and inspired.