Hygge (hoo-ga) is Danish for cozy

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Pattern Players: Paul Lowe (a.k.a. Sweet Paul)

May 26, 2017

Every once in a while, in this world of perfectly staged everything plastered all over social media, we need a reminder that it's ok not to be perfect. And Paul Lowe, also known as Sweet Paul, is the reminder we so sorely needed. Sweet Paul is a crafter, baker, chef, ceramicist, and maker, as well as the man behind his eponymous magazine for all things handmade, Sweet Paul

In both his magazine and in his everyday life, this Norway native believes that "perfection is boring" and that people should embrace - or rather, celebrate - imperfection. From food to crafts to interiors, Paul finds beauty in "chasing the sweet things in life" and in looking past the facade to see how people really live, eat, and make. We caught up with Sweet Paul to get a taste of his Scandinavian sensibility in action, chat pattern, and squeal over his adorable pups.

Hygge & West: What paper and colorway did you choose and why? Who is the person (or people) you imagine residing in each of the spaces you've created?

Sweet Paul: I chose Otomi in Navy. It's maybe an unexpected choice for me, but it so reminds me of my grandmother. I feel this wallpaper can work with so many different styles and, as they say in fashion, you can dress it up or down.

The first space is called "I'm so modern." It's a couple in their early 40s, living in a big city, making a good living, and they love quality. I call the second space" Crazy Mama." This is a single mother of four kids. She's fun, crafty, not uptight, and loves vintage and charm.

Paul's French Bulldogs, Hugo and Lestat

H&W: What role does pattern play in your professional and personal life? How do you use it in your home and what do you think it adds to your space?

SP: I'm so on and off when it comes to patterns. Sometimes I love it, and other times I just want to live in a white box. I would use this wallpaper on maybe one wall, as a statement. It would be great with a big couch and large artwork.

Paul with his husband-to-be, James

H&W: Hailing from Norway, you have firsthand knowledge of the Scandinavian aesthetic we all love. What does Scandinavian design mean to you? How does pattern fit in?

SP: It means simple, easy, tradition, and a love of materials. We used only what we had: wood, stone, wool. Everything is functional and there is no extra decor added. I grew up with it, so for me it's just a way of living.

H&W: Your magazine, Sweet Paul, is all about capturing the sweet moments in life through crafting, cooking, and baking. Tell us why creating by hand - whether it's food or an object - is so important to you, and how your 'perfectly imperfect' mentality plays a role.

SP: I feel everyone needs to be creative in their lives. Even if it's just making dinner or making a card, doing something every day helps stress, etc. It's also a great thing to get your mind going and just zone out. Perfection is never anything I strive for - it's simply boring.

H&W: You also just started your own line of handmade ceramics. What is it about that tactile art that attracted you?

SP: For me, it's important to always learn new things. Ceramics was just a thing I wanted to try out, and I'm obsessed now. It's so good for me - I need to be patient, it takes time, and I just love to be able to create something made out of clay.

H&W: You were born with the concept of hygge that has only recently taken the U.S. by storm. How do you find or create hygge in your life?

SP: I'm so over the whole hygge thing. It's honestly nothing you can learn; it's something us Scandinavians have inside. It comes from our long dark winters. Hygge is something to make those days lighter and easier. You can't teach it!

 

RESOURCES:

I'm So Modern: 1. Bookends | 2. Pillow | 3. Lamp | 4. Rug | 5. Side table | 6. Sofa | 7. Artwork

Crazy Mama: 1. Round rack | 2. Lantern | 3. Clothes rack | 4. Plant pots | 5. Chair | 6. Pitcher | 7. Rug

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Schoolhouse Rocks!

May 24, 2017

We had so much fun chatting with Schoolhouse Electric over on their blog today!

We're huge fans of what they make and do, and we're so happy be able to work with them and support each other's businesses! Read more here.

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Sonoma Field Trip

May 23, 2017

Approximately half of team PJ (including our furriest members), headed up to Sonoma last weekend to check out our Queen Anne wallpaper which was installed in this most beautiful bedroom in the Sunset Magazine Celebration weekend show house.

It was love at first sight.

And second sight.

On the way out of town, we dropped off the bath tub we used to photograph our shower curtains at our new storage unit (aka "prop closet") and it struck me that perhaps we don't always run the absolute most professional of operations.

After the Sunset event, we got a local tip that Larson Family Winery was extra dog friendly, so we headed there...

And I couldn't help but become a wine club member. Oh yes, we will be back!

And then we took the long way home and caught a sunset of our own. Wallpaper. What a great excuse for a road trip!

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Pedicure Dreams

May 11, 2017

We're all about the Mylkbar's Nana (Pink) decor!

And matching earrings by Lina Rosa Jewelry. Need.

Looking for an excuse to travel to Charleston, anyone?

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Minty Mudroom

May 08, 2017

We're head over heels for this minty mudroom designed by Bria Hammel Interiors!

Such a playful, welcoming vibe. One day, I will have a home with a mudroom and it will hopefully feel just as happy as this! Read more here.

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Wallpaper Two Ways: Jaime Derringer

April 27, 2017

For interiors lovers like us, we often think of home textiles first when we think of pattern. But as Jaime Derringer knows, pattern goes well beyond the confines of home. Jaime is the Founder and Executive Editor of Design Milk, as well as its offshoots Dog Milk and Adorn Milk. She's also an acclaimed artist whose work is collected by celebrities and has appeared in blogs, magazines, TV shows, films, and galleries across the country.

We asked Jaime, designer and art-maker extraordinaire, to talk to us a little bit about how pattern touches and influences her multifaceted world. And lucky for us, she was also kind enough to join in on a some Wallpaper Two Ways fun. Keep scrolling to see which Hygge & West wallpaper Jaime picked and the two drastically different (but both seriously drool-worthy) ways she styled it, plus her pattern-filled interview below.

Hygge & West: What paper/colorway did you choose and why?

Jaime Derringer: I chose Diamonds in Pine because I liked the geometric look of it, but appreciated that there were no harsh lines. The softness of the edges of the design make it very versatile. Also, I’ve been pretty obsessed with green this past year. It would have been too predictable for me to choose black!

H&W: As the founder of Design Milk (design for home), Dog Milk (for pets), and Adorn Milk (for fashion), you encounter pattern regularly. What do you think pattern brings to each of these niches?

JD: Pattern surrounds us, even in nature. For the home, I encounter pattern in fabric and wallpaper and tile and even in materials. Over on Dog Milk, we’re always seeing pattern on fabrics used for collars, leashes, and dog beds. And on Adorn Milk, pattern plays a big role in metalwork. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see pattern online in some form or another.

H&W: What inspires you in your art? In designing your home? What role does pattern play in both?

JD: My art is inspired primarily by nature—by what I see in the world that exists, but what I think might exist elsewhere, whether it be on another planet or deep under the sea. I’m inspired by patterns that emerge in nature, organic geometry, and color gradients. Black and white stripes are the most prevalent pattern that emerges in my work.

Image via Design Milk

As for my home, pattern is often seen in accessories and artwork, but I also feel like my vibe has always had a pattern… mostly black and white, but lately I’ve started incorporating more color—pops of intense color like my pink couch!

H&W: You work and live at the intersection of design and dogs. What advice do you have for creating a dog-friendly home that's still stylish?

JD: Dogs make messes, and if you can’t accept that, then don’t get a dog. My number one tip for dog owners is to create an environment for everyone to enjoy, not just adults. It’s not worth it if you’re always stressed out or worried about things getting messy or dirty, so surround yourself with cleanable fabrics, pet-friendly textiles and furniture.

Image via Design Milk

H&W: Hygge is the Danish concept of physical and spiritual coziness. How do you find or create hygge in your everyday life?

JD: My whole life is a quest for hygge! I am always trying to find comfort, but I think it’s important that you don’t get too comfortable that you can’t adapt or change. Comfort can sometimes work against you, so you have to be aware. 

RESOURCES:

Lush & Luxe Bedroom: 1. Headboard | 2. Sconce | 3. Nightstand | 4. Dresser | 5. Pillow

Modern Scandi Dining Room: 1. Chandelier | 2. Tray | 3. Table | 4. Rug | 5. Chair | 6. Servers

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Succulent Daydream

April 27, 2017

Succulent Daydream Love this accent wall from Irene Kim Coppedge! It's always the highlight of our day to see how customers and designers use our wallpaper!

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