Behind the Print: Claire Brennan

Meet Claire Brennan of Pretty Festive Design

With the release of our first two new PK Signature Prints of 2024, Bella’s Bows and Briarcliff Bows, we are thrilled to share a bit behind the scenes with the incredible artist who brought these prints to life: Claire Brennan of UK-based Pretty Festive Designs! Claire’s style is both effortless and charming, and she took great care in ensuring that every detail of these two new sister prints would be perfect in every way! It’s our pleasure to share a little more about Claire today! 

2024 has been dubbed The Year of the Bow (and not just by us)! Where did you draw inspiration for Bella's Bows and Briarcliff Bows from?

I’ve been a bow-lover for as long as I can remember, and have collected ribbons since I was a teenager, so I was absolutely delighted to be asked to create a bow print for Petite Keep! For this specific print, I wanted my bows to feel timeless and have a sense of freedom. I’m a great lover of victorian decorative design and I was also hugely inspired by the Coronation last year and especially Princess Catherine’s highly ornate outfit which featured several bows.

In the spirit of our #MadeForMemories motto, what type of keepsakes have you held onto and why?

I’ve kept a lot of my children’s “first” things, their tiny little first shoes, their first special snuggle toy. I also have a little collection of my favourite items of clothing and of course lots of photos!

At Petite Keep, we love sharing the Traditions that make life a little more special! What are a few traditions that you have with your family or friends, and what do they mean to you? 

Between my husband and three children, we have created a lot of family traditions over the years, and my kids look forward to us partaking in our traditions as much as they look forward to other things like presents! At Christmas, we like to paint or craft together - we’ve painted wooden nutcrackers and baubles, and got creative with clay, making little festive sculptures. We also go out into our garden on Christmas Eve night every year and ring jingle bells and sing carols.

And now for the fun part - our PK 20 Question Quickfire Challenge!

What was your first job?

I got a job delivering newspapers as soon as I was old enough.

What is something that recently moved you?

Last week I discovered my youngest son who is 8 in the dining room, setting a beautiful breakfast table for him and his older siblings to enjoy. it was just the sweetest kindest act, he was so proud of how nice he'd made it look!

After-hours drink of choice?

Chamomile tea or water.

What is one thing you still have from your childhood?

I still treasure my first set of watercolour paints, given to me by my Grandparents when I was around 10 or 11.

What does creativity mean to you?

It’s a life force. It’s everything. I think it’s so beautiful that everyone expresses their creativity in their own unique way. 

What is one goal you are determined to achieve?

I have a lifelong dream to play the flute and I really want to start to learn that this year.

It’s brunch! What's your order?

Oh gosh I’m writing this just before lunchtime, so right now I’ll take anything and everything! I love food and I am quite adventurous, but you can’t beat the classic brunch - eggs, avocado and lightly toasted fresh bread with lashings of butter and copious amounts of tea or coffee to go with it!

Favorite Holiday?

Christmas. Christmas Eve in particular. We have a lot of fun and laughter. We’re also huge fans of Halloween here too, any opportunity to dress up and eat sweets gets the thumbs up on our house!

Heels or flats?

I love wearing heels but also I live in the UK with the typical British weather and spend quite a lot of time in the countryside, so mostly it’s flats.

Home Decor style in 5 words or less?

Classic British countryside cosiness.

What's your guilty pleasure?

Sweet food and my sweet sweet car singing!

What music are you streaming right now?

I mostly listen to classical or background music when I’m working otherwise I get too distracted.

What's your favorite family tradition?

Definitely my favourite tradition is the day we get out all the Christmas ornaments and decorations. The kids do the tree (and however it turns out I let it be) and we do the house I love the transformation!

Dine in or out

Out! I love fine dining and if someone is going to cook for me, I won’t say no!

Something you want to pass down?

My daughter really loves my ribbon collection! Right after we got married (17 years ago), my husband and I purchased lots of special Christmas ornaments, intended even at the time to become heirlooms to be passed down. Our children delight in unwrapping them each year and hanging them on the tree and one day I’d like these ornaments to be hung on their own family trees.

DIY or Store Bought?

I love handmade and handcrafted things so whether it’s DIY or store bought, I really value the time, love and craft that goes into making something. 

Favorite gift you've received?

That’s a tough one. My husband is very good at gifting.

Current favorite Instagram follow?

I’m really enjoying home interiors accounts so here are a few faves: 

Thrills of the Hunt

Oak Home Interiors

Skye McAlpine Tavola

Sweet Shady Lane

How do you document the years? Pictures, journals, keepsakes?

I’m a very camera happy Mummy! Lots of photos and lots of keepsakes. When my husband and me did our big Californian drive tour, we jointly kept a travel journal and wrote daily about our adventures, it’s made for a very special keepsake for us.

What is your favorite 'homegrown' tradition (i.e. DIY, easy/quick)?

I like to elevate meals and snacks in simple ways where I can. Sprinkles maketh the meal!

Claire, thank you so much for chatting with us! xx

Shop our newest PK Signature Prints: Bella's Bows and Briarcliff Bows

Follow Claire on Instagram