We chat to Nicki Ellis, Love Milo founder and designer, about her career, why she loves it and what inspires her

Why did you choose this career?
I have a film and photography background but wanted to find ways of putting images into a more three-dimensional realm. I also wanted to focus on creating items that I’m passionate about instead of designing to suit the vision of other people.

Where did you study?
I studied at AFDA in Cape Town.

If you didn’t become a designer what would you be doing instead?
I would still be doing something relating to images, either photography or styling.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes from elements I find in nature. There are no straight lines in nature and I find even the imperfections inspiring.

What has been the highlight of your career?
Exhibiting our Love Milo products in Paris and New York have been the two biggest highlights for me.

Your decor style in three words
Contemporary, African, nature

Which do you prefer – Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, and why?
Definitely Instagram – I relate more to images than to text. You can follow me here.

Top tip for anyone wanting to be a designer?
Do your research and don’t waste money on things you don’t need yet.

Favourite item in your home right now?
A copper Moroccan lamp.

Your guilty pleasure?
Popping bubble wrap.

What current decor trend is your favourite?
I’m loving the combination of indigo and brass or copper.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a new range of picnic items for the summer.

What’s the best thing you ever bought?
A small, white, antique sidetable from a second-hand shop. It’s the perfect size and suits any visual environment. I wish I had more of them.

What’s your indispensable decor accessory?
Plants  and flowers.

What’s your dream project?
Anything with a limitless budget.