Project Wales ~ Daffodil Inspiration

People tell me that Wales doesn’t have a design identity beyond blankets. Slightly contentious, but in some respects this is true which is why I have started #ProjectWales, to investigate and understand our design identity. Maybe to kick start one and to create a chain reaction within the design world that sees Wales with a bigger and better design profile.

If we look at our early history we have Celtic knot work like those in the Book of Kells. Celtic pattern was to us as tartan was to Scotland. Ireland also uses this pattern well, as did the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

However, I believe we can create a brand new identity for ourselves using what we currently have.

These Project Wales blog posts are about building up a reference library on how to understand our identity in design, through what we currently class as familiar imagery. This week I look at the Daffodil.

We look at the Daffodil and we see its trumpet-like form, its joyous colour, its 6-pointed petals and its strong architecture. These interesting characteristics are a great source of inspiration for luxury design, interiors, fashion and product.

Different Yellows

Yellow is the kind of colour that has to be used correctly. Harsh and crisp yellows, like a Daffodil bud, look better in geometic and formal shapes. While softer, warmer yellows suit looser forms or softer surfaces.

Yellow is like the sun. It is warm and happy, bright and cheerful. It is rarely used in interior design or architecture, but I believe Wales can take it as its own and run with it.

Citron, Yellow Ground and Babouche by Farrow & Ball sit within the Daffodil palette.


Welsh furniture designer, Bethan Gray uses the perfect Daffodil yellow in her coffee table, which looks correct in leather with steel studs. The warmth of the leather works well with this type of Welsh yellow.

Using velvets, knits, wovens and silks with waxy, tapestry yellows, like the husk of a Daffodil, looks rich and sophisticated oozing warmth and depth. A single velvet  yellow armchair, takes on a life of its own, like a single flower in the border, inviting you in.

Fashion tailoring with round edges seems perfectly correct in the earthier yellow palette like beeswax and ochre.


Sharper yellows seek more cerebral and minimal settings. Ceramic tiles, but with a new layout like those below, mirror the Daffodil morphology.  There is something intense about using yellow like this, almost scientific. Sometimes making the product become more important or vital some how.

Using crisp yellow for ceilings and walls feels like a bright Spring day, giving the impression of being outside. It is a really imaginative and memorable use of yellow and looks amazing in public spaces.

I found an image of a building with protruding, yellow, box balconies at quirky angles, like trumpets seeking the sun. Yellow entrances to buildings look welcoming and positive.
In my blog about Dragon red I realized that painting a staircase in red is a simple way to bring the dragon inside. A Daffodil yellow door is this week’s tip.


Wales’ Victorian heritage is full of flowers, especially Castell Coch and Cardiff Castle in South Wales. Both buildings are brimming with floral interiors and ornament. It seems only right to look at flowers and how to use them when investigating Welsh identity.

The flowers in the afore mentioned buildings are busy and bountiful. They climb walls and grow around pillars. So why not use the Daffodil motif in this way. Let it grow out of control, be maximalist, be brave, make a statement.

With this in mind, I am thrilled to announce the first product designed as a direct response to the Project Wales movement.

‘Welsh Daffodils’ designed by myself, Michael Angove, is an interior design product, exclusively available with Surface View.

This design, manufactured in the UK, is a panoramic explosion of electric yellow Daffodils and pale Narcissi set against Leek green or Anthracite black. It fizzes with bees, birds and butterflies. Between the jungle green stems and leaves, are earth and coal gravels as well as fine dustings of flower pollen.

The movement in these box balconies reminds me of trumpets searching for the Sun.
Ørestad Plejecenter by JJW Arckitekter

A bright yellow box window, just like a Daffodil trumpet. Derwood Homes.

Yellow entrances are warm and welcoming, especially for social housing.
Granollers Town Hall, Spain.

Using harder yellow like a sun in the sky. Construction Union.

Thousands of tiny little Daffodils make for an amazing rug by Paola Lenti.