Light Up North

 North East Design Firm Creates World’s First Illuminated Wallpaper for London Design Show

Light Up North

Pioneering North East design firm, Light Up North has created the world’s first illuminated wallpaper as part of an exclusive presentation at prestigious London design show – 100% Design.

Emma Krause, Dave Freeney and Marty Collantine from Light Up North will be at the London Olympia from 19th – 22nd September as part of a small and select group of UK design firms tasked with displaying new innovations at the 100% Forward event at this year’s 100% Design.

The creative trio have joined forces with Tom Kennedy and Jamie Watkins from London-based design duo, Divine Savages to turn their unique wall coverings into a home light installation. Using the electroluminescent (EL) neon wire for which Light Up North is famous, the installation will put the technology to unique use by sewing lighting actually into the print of the wallpaper.

Light Up North was launched in 2017 to create bespoke decorative interior pieces and wall décor using neon wire from a specialist workshop in Saltburn. The firm was a recipient of a £10,000 Virgin StartUp loan in 2017, a low-cost, government backed business loan designed to help new enterprises get the capital they need to set up. TEDCO Business Support, the exclusive delivery partner for Virgin StartUp in the North East, have assisted Light Up North from the early days of the brand to help assist in the start-up process.

The Light Up North team create one-off pieces based on customer specifications as well as hand-crafted art and signs available via their online shop. Visitors to 100% Forward will be treated to an installation featuring their unique take on Divine Savages’ statement Nocturnal Faunacation wallpaper, a jungle inspired print as well as their latest Crane Fonda design featuring elegant crested cranes amongst lush palm trees.

Emma Krause, co-owner at Light Up North said: “Being invited to display our work at 100% Design is a huge honour for a small North East design firm like ourselves. We are very thankful to have been nominated to feature in this showcase by the always supportive Phillip Watts Design as an example of 10 businesses who represent the future of interior design in the UK.

“Light Up North is a business built on real passion and creativity. We are consistently inspired by our customers to deliver new and unique creations which seem to strike a chord with the growing number of individuals interested in owning unique pieces for their home. Our collaboration with Divine Savages is yet another reminder that the North East design industry is very deserving of a national platform to showcase the ideas and creativity absolutely thriving in our region.”

The collaboration will be part of this year’s 100% Forward – a platform to showcase emerging design talent curated by Barbara Chandler, design editor of Homes & Property at the London Evening Standard. 100% Forward will be the lead feature at this year’s 100% Design, welcoming visitors to the event with a space that’s guaranteed to inform, intrigue, inspire and impress.

Emma Krause continues: “Our pieces are made with EL neon wire and are unique in that we can create a mix of signs or shapes to suit almost any part of the home. Our signs can be in the shape of inspirational quotes, popular sayings or music lyrics and are set against coloured backgrounds or prints. We’ve created pieces using vintage patterns and prints or even pop art style pieces with famous singers and actors. EL neon wire can be used like embroidery, making it the perfect material for creating bespoke, one of a kind pieces.”

Light Up North have worked with TEDCO Business Support since the early days of the businesses launch with a view to receiving help and guidance into the everyday workings of launching an enterprise. TEDCO Business Advisor Mark Johnston has supported Emma throughout her business journey, providing one-to-one advice on everything from financial forecasting to investment readiness.

Emma comments: “Mark has been such a positive and constant force for me and the business. When you’re a creative person, it can be difficult to get a handle on the business management side of running an enterprise and Mark has been there at every step supporting me on all sort from administration to financial planning. It has always allowed me to concentrate more heavily on creating our pieces and working to build awareness of our brand amongst customers. I really couldn’t thank Mark, TEDCO and Virgin StartUp enough!”

Light Up North will be exhibiting at 100% Design at London Olympia for four days and the collaboration, along with the range of interiors pieces produced by Light Up North are available to view online at

Mark Johnston, TEDCO Business Advisor comments: “Light Up North is a business with a unique and creative vision for its business. The business has strong appeal by fusing together clever, eye-catching design with the wishes of the Instagram generation looking for perfect pieces to bring their interior spaces to life. The team already have a loyal following of customers engaged with their brand and keen to own one-off decorative pieces that aren’t readily available elsewhere. Emma has been a pleasure to work with and I wish her and the team at Light Up North the best of luck at 100% Design.”

For more information on TEDCO Business Support, please visit