November 13, 2018
This wallpaper has been discontinued, but we love how it makes this cozy corner feel even more special.
Creating a book requires putting in a lot of hard work, but it also requires taking a lot out, too. In publishing, as in decorating a home, editing is the name of the game, and sometimes that means making some tough decisions—particularly when it comes to choosing photography.
The selection process for Hygge & West Home: Design for a Cozy Life book imagery was a tough, albeit fun one, and as much as we wish could have seen every single photograph appear in print, we knew we would have to leave some behind. But luckily, these gorgeous photos will still get their time to shine, as we've rounded up a few of our favorite images of entire rooms or spaces that didn't make the cut here in this post. Keep scrolling for H&W Home interior eye candy and to read an interview with Christiana and Aimee about the ins and outs of the book process and what they've learned along the way.
Whether it's on the walls or the floors, we love a good statement pattern.
Hygge & West: How did you select final images for the book? Did you ever disagree—either with each other, Chronicle, or the interview subject—and if so, how did you resolve it?
Christiana Coop: During our first few shoots, we took way too many images, so it was more challenging to narrow down. But we quickly realized about 8-10 was our limit, so we usually only ended up having to cut a couple per chapter. I can’t think of an instance where Aimee and I disagreed strongly about a particular image. We did have a few instances with Chronicle where they thought certain images told the story better and we preferred others. If we felt very strongly, we’d vocalize our opinion and explain our reasoning. I can only think of a couple images that we were really bummed didn’t make it, but ultimately we were really happy with how each chapter turned out.
Aimee Lagos: Completely agree—it was really a collaboration during the shoot between us, James (our photographer), and the homeowners. We feel like we landed in a place that made everyone happy and told the story of each home in a compelling way.
H&W: Of the many images that didn't make the book, why do you love these spaces photos in particular?
CC: I think they were beautifully photographed and furthered each homeowner’s overall story. But there just wasn’t room for them all—so sad!
A collection of dishware this good was hard to pass up!
AL: Because we spent time in the homes, we heard all the stories behind why the homeowners loved certain spaces, or what went into the design of the room. So, given their backstories, it was hard not to get attached to all of the images.
H&W: What about them stood out to you among the rest?
CC: We pretty much loved all the photos that were finalized in the hopes of being included.
AL: A lot of them are exteriors. As this was our first book, we didn’t really think about interiors versus exteriors, but Chronicle had the feedback that interior shots were better—people can recreate things they see from interiors in their own space, whereas exteriors are a bit more limiting. We definitely had not considered that!
H&W: Which of these images was the most painful for you to cut? What do you love most about it?
CC: I thought it was sad to cut Julie Backer’s other daughter’s room (above). I really loved the symmetry of the two rooms taken at the same corner angle, with so much pretty pattern and colors, but both feeling completely unique. Losing that one hurt a bit.
AL: Probably Glenn Lawson’s outdoor shower. His entire backyard was perfection, and that shower with the amazing foliage around it was really something.
Sometimes the homeowner's preferences affect the decision to include or cut an image, as was the case with this stunning dressing room in Slice (Gray).
H&W: After being on set for so many home photo shoots, what do you think makes a great room photo?
CC: I think there has to be something unique and eye-catching. If that element were to be wallpaper, we wouldn’t be mad :)
AL: It’s interesting that sometimes what makes a great photo isn’t what makes a great room—sometimes things have to be moved a bit, the right angle has to be found. Great photos strike a balance between being photo styled, yet still authentic. And good natural light, of course!
This unique entry was especially painful to leave behind.
H&W: Did you learn any tips or tricks for composing a great room photo that translates to creating a beautiful space in real life?
CC: Less is more. The eye needs spaces to rest in. I am seriously going to try so hard to apply this principle to the interior design of my next place.
AL: I’d say having a point of view that carries through the space. I was chuckling over Christiana’s response, but it’s a great example of my tip—she may have a lot of things (albeit beautiful ones) in her space, but they all feel intentional and blend into something greater than the sum of it’s parts.
filed under: Our Book: H&W Home
November 07, 2018
Have I mentioned I'm moving to a farmhouse? Oh I have, that's right, because it's pretty much all I talk about :) One of the things I'm most excited about is this kitchen nook and how pretty it's going to be wallpapered in Florebela (Navy)!
I put together a little round-up of some other ingredients I'm considering adding to this country kitchen nook mix as well: 1. blue glass lighting | 2. John Derian plate collection | 3. classic table = you'll find me sitting here all day, everyday.
filed under: Wallpaper +3
November 07, 2018
We officially launched Hygge & West on November 24, 2008 which means we're turning the BIG ONE OH! We're going to be celebrating all month long with lots of cake, champagne, and yes, giveaways!
The first one is happening now. Head to our Instagram to tag a friend and be one of 3 lucky winners to receive 3 rolls of wallpaper!
filed under: H&W Updates
November 05, 2018
This Halloween may have had its share of tricks, but October was full of treats for team H&W! Last month we had two exciting launches, starting with our brand new collab with the ladies of Helmsie, which resulted in one of our newest patterns, Piedmont (shown here in Pine), available in four colorways. Welcome to the team, @helmsiebaby!
We also launched a collection with Allira Tee, including our first ever mural, Bengal Sunrise, which can be turned into a repeating pattern to fit any wall. We can't wait to see how our creative customers use it!
In other news, we were delighted to see our Palma (Deep Green) pop up on @schoolhouse's feed! From the green and white color palette, to the exposed copper piping, to that vintage trough sink, this gorgeous bathroom had us crushing hard.
Last month, Pombal (Emerald/Sky) had our Instagram tribe feeling the Sunday blues—Hygge & West style. We've so loved seeing how our customers have used our Tilton Fenwick collection in their beautiful homes, so keep 'em coming!
We always delight in seeing H&W used in kids' spaces, and this charming nursery from @deluxedesignstudio is no exception. With its calming color palette and Foret (Gold) half wall, this room belongs to one lucky little babe.
Of course, it wouldn't be our monthly Best of Instagram Roundup without at least one appearance from Daydream. This month's delightful dose comes from @khurliman1 who is giving us a major black, white, and brass moment with Daydream (Black).
For Mikko, H&W's resident feline and mostly-benevolent overlord of the Lagos household, October's National Cat Day, in which he sat in a cozy basket and got told repeatedly how oh-so-very handsome he is, was really no different than any other day. Only this time, he graciously allowed Snow (Gold) and a few other H&W faves to share the spotlight (but only long enough for @aimee_hyggeandwest to snap this pic).
filed under: Wallpaper & Inspiration
November 02, 2018
Fantastical foxes, mischievous monkeys, and flying fish—illustrator and graphic designer Allira Tee's work has it all. Based on the other side of the world in Melbourne, Australia, Allira's fanciful take on the animal kingdom, as well as everyday objects, evokes a childlike nostalgia that tugs on the heartstrings of both kids and adults alike. So when H&W decided to launch a new whimsical collection—including our first ever mural—we knew our final destination would be the land down under.
From her stunning color palettes and quirky subject matter, to her keen eye for pattern and composition, we knew from the moment we saw Allira's work that it was just destined for some lucky walls. We're absolutely delighted with how Allira translated her unique, spirited style into a collection that is just as at home in a cheerful child's room as it is in a sophisticated adult's space, and we can't wait to see how our creative customers use it in their own homes! Below, we caught up with Allira about the process behind the collection, what is was like working on the mural (and first for all of us!), and her no-fail recipes for hygge-ing up her world.
Hygge & West: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into illustration and graphic design.
Allira Tee: I’ve always loved art and knew that I wanted to pursue a creative career. After completing high school, I studied Graphic Design at University. However, after a few years working professionally, I found it wasn’t fulfilling. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do at this point, so I kept working in graphic design.
I never thought a career change would lead me to illustration! It was a process that took several years and much trial and error. I travelled a lot and gained so much inspiration from living in London; I sat at my desk in London and just started drawing! Not long after this, I realised how much I loved it. It has only been in the last few of years that I’ve been doing illustration seriously, building my portfolio and working with clients. I continue to do graphic design work alongside my illustration and I find they complement each other nicely.
H&W: Much of your work is themed around nature and wildlife. What is it about those motifs that inspire you?
AT: I love people watching and am very interested in animals also. There are uncanny similarities between the two. Animals are so weird, funny, and strange, and take on a human dimension in my work.
A lot of my art is focused on animals as the primary subject because they are just so caring, loyal, and relatable. Animals and nature are consistently inspiring to me; I feel like I learn a lot from both and that’s probably what draws me to create work focused on these areas.
H&W: What does pattern mean to you? How is working with patterns different than creating a single scene, for example?
AT: Pattern to me means creating a strong story from a limited amount of motifs. I feel the stories that can be told through patterns are almost endless and I want my individual motifs to have enough character that they can tell stories on their own.
I love patterns because they can be applied to many things; a pattern could look great on wallpaper, textiles, and stationery, and it’s amazing to see the patterns in all these different formats.
I find single scenes are much more labour intensive than patterns, but I love the challenge. For individual illustrations, I become completely absorbed in the drawing from start to finish. With patterns though, I can come back to a motif later. One single element within a scene can throw the whole illustration off kilter. The difference between pattern and scenes is that you can’t just get away with using a single element. The whole image has to work in unity.
As I work by hand—only using the computer to add colour at the end—I have to constantly be attentive and avoid making too many mistakes, as they will show up in the finished work. My aim is to have the final product look as close as possible to the original drawing, so I put a lot of work into getting the scene right the first time.
H&W: You tend to gravitate towards a softer color palette. What draws you to these colors and why do you think they work so well with your patterns?
AT: There is innocence in the characters of my illustrations and the softer colour palettes reflect and enhance this feeling. I hope my work conjures up feelings of nostalgia in people and colour definitely plays a role in doing this. My love of children’s illustration has also influenced my colour choices.
H&W: We're so excited to launch our latest collection with you! Tell us a bit about what inspired each pattern and colorway.
AT: I’m excited about the collection for Hygge & West too, they have been a dream to collaborate with!
Most of my work starts with one drawing and if I think the concept is strong and I can expand on it, I will run with it. The Mighty pattern started out with the drawing of the meerkat scratching the lion's back. I found this relationship quite comical, so I started thinking of other scenarios for these characters; the meerkats being the lion’s minions, plaiting the lion’s mane, combing the mane, and so on! With the various motifs created, the pattern just came together.
For the most part, my work consists of animals doing strange and funny things that would usually be associated with human behaviors. From the beginning, I have envisaged the wallpaper designs in baby and children’s rooms and bathrooms. So the softer colourways were chosen to reflect this vision. I hope the designs will spark imagination and happiness in both children and adults!
H&W: What was the design process for your collection? How is the process for creating wallpaper different from or similar to creating your past works?
AT: Aimee and Christiana have a wealth of knowledge and provided amazing direction for the wallpaper designs. They have a very clear vision of how they want the end product to look and although I am located in Australia—the opposite side of the world to Hygge & West—we communicated regularly, so it was not really any different to working with a local client!
Once I had created the patterns, we reorganized the elements to work for this new format. My patterns in their original state were quite dense, as they are primarily used for stationary or fabric and this doesn’t always work with wallpaper. The Mighty and Ahoy! illustrations were moved around and reduced in size to create more negative space in the design. Then, once the layout was finalized, we began collaborating on colors, which I love; color brings the patterns to life and is what gives the work an individual personality!
We followed the same fluid process for the mural, beginning with initial sketches and feedback regarding scale. Once the concept was complete, I created the final illustration and colour was digitally added at the end. The mural was a huge file, I wasn’t sure if my computer would cope, but thankfully it did! Yay!
H&W: Your collection also includes our first ever mural, which we're thrilled about! What inspired this design, and how does designing a large mural compare to designing a repeating pattern or a smaller-scale artwork?
Allira's sketches for our first ever mural
AT: I was pretty chuffed when Hygge & West asked me to design their first ever mural. It is my biggest-sized work to date, so it was scary at first, but a lot of fun!
The design of the Bengal Sunrise Mural was inspired by some previous jungle-themed illustrations I had created with L’Affiche Moderne. It is quite different designing a large mural as the original drawing needed to be drawn small enough to work on but big enough to be increased in scale to the final size! Also using graphite for an illustration of this size was a challenge—it is not very forgiving to erase. Suffice to say, I was thrilled when I got it right the first time (phew!). The other tricky part of creating the mural was making it work as a repeat. I had to constantly make sure the elements were able to overlap and repeat on a scale that wasn’t jarring or obvious to the viewer.
H&W: 'Hygge' is a Danish concept that celebrates small joys and simple pleasures. What brings hygge to your life?
AT: Nothing can beat changing into my comfy home pants at the end of the working day! On the weekends, walks along the coast are great and if it’s cold, the fireplace is always a nice place to cosy up to as well!
filed under: Pattern Players
October 29, 2018
Gemma van der Swaagh's guest bedroom from H&W Home, stunningly recreated down to the tiniest detail by Jackie Anderson of Sawdust Angel. Can 👏 you 👏 even?! 👏 A moment of silence, please, for the adorable overload we all must be experiencing right now.
Now that we've regained composure, a bit about this fun and exciting project: We've so loved following Jackie's work on Instagram, as she shares her unique and creative process for building one-of-a-kind dollhouses for family, friends, and clients. But these are not your grandmother's dollhouses, full of stuffy frills and out-of-date design. Jackie's miniature homes are part of a growing trend of haute dollhouses that are modern, on-trend, and almost entirely bespoke. Some of Jackie's most impressive works are her recreations of actual homes; her attention to detail, talented hand, and ingenuity in figuring out how to build custom pieces that exactly match her clients' spaces borders on surreal—and we knew we just had to experience it for ourselves.
We partnered with Jackie to help us promote our book, Hygge & West Home: Design for a Cozy Life, and the result was this stunning—and incredibly accurate—miniature of Gemma van der Swaagh's guest bedroom, as featured in our book. We love how it turned out, and we know you will too. Keep reading for more of this tiny space and to learn about how Jackie works her mini magic.
Hygge & West: How did you get started in miniatures and what do you love most about creating tiny homes?
Jackie Anderson: I have always been fascinated with miniatures. Even as a small child, one of my favorite movies was “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” and I had a collection of miniature tea sets. I had several dollhouses, none of which were anything like what I create today, but I loved the idea of a tiny world.
This past Christmas, I wanted to create something special for daughter, Lucy. I saw a picture of a dollhouse on Pinterest that someone had upgraded, and I thought it would be the perfect project for a woodworker like me. I bought a pink and purple Melissa & Doug dollhouse and came up with a plan to renovate the house into a modern farmhouse style. I repainted the outside, added popsicle stick shutters, and mini window boxes for tiny flowers. I spent countless hours laying popsicle stick hardwood floors for the interior and made most of the furniture for the house, including a house bed that was a copy of Lucy’s actual bed. The second I started working on that project, I knew it wasn’t the last dollhouse I would work on. I was hooked and couldn’t wait to do more. One day, I hope to build and furnish an entire dollhouse from scratch.
My favorite part about creating tiny homes is that I have the opportunity to try lots of different styles. I have a terrible habit of constantly changing the decor in my real home because I like so many different looks. As you can imagine, that gets pricey quickly. With dollhouses, I can try a modern style, which is so different from my own personal decor style, but I have so much fun trying something new, and it gives me inspiration for how to incorporate some of those elements into my real home.
H&W: What are some of the unique challenges, as well as opportunities, that working in miniature presents? How does working with pattern factor in?
JA: The challenge of creating a miniature space is one of the things I love most. I have always been a nerd who loves problem solving and seeing how things work together, so I love the challenge of figuring out how to recreate something in miniature form. I struggle the most with areas in which I have the least amount of experience in the “big” world. I’ve been woodworking for a few years, so I usually find it pretty easy to create a mini table because I use the same woodworking concepts, whether the piece is big or small. On the other hand, I have absolutely no experience sewing, so I tend to struggle with the textiles of a dollhouse. I see this as an opportunity to learn something new. When working on miniature spaces, it’s like you have to be an expert (or at least somewhat knowledgeable) about all areas of interior design.
A photo of the real room, via @gemmavanderswaagh
Pattern is such a fun way to bring texture and dimension to a miniature space. Wallpaper is one of the very first things I choose when working on a new space, and the pattern I choose often determines the decor for the rest of the house. “Wallpaper” in a dollhouse is usually just scrapbook paper, which sometimes limits your options. I think it would be so much fun to design a line of miniature wallpaper. When working on an entire dollhouse, it can be tricky to choose multiple wallpapers because you have to remember that you can see the entire house all at once. In a real house, you still want everything to coordinate throughout the home, but there can be more disparity since you can’t see the whole house at once. In a dollhouse, you have to constantly be mindful of the fact that you can see every room simultaneously.
Gemma's guest bedroom as it appears in Hygge & West Home: Design for a Cozy Life
H&W: How did you select the room you recreated from Hygge & West Home? What about this particular space were you most excited to recreate in miniature?
JA: Since I knew I would be documenting the whole project on my Instagram stories, I thought it would be fun to include my followers in the process. After reading the whole book, I narrowed it down to four rooms that included Hygge & West wallpaper. I chose four rooms that would be manageable but still challenging. I let my followers vote on Instagram, which is what led us to Gemma van der Swaagh’s guest bedroom. Her whole home is gorgeous and was one of my favorites in the book. I love the unexpected color and whimsy of the Pineapple Blue wallpaper.
There was so much about the room I was excited to create because I knew I would be going outside of my comfort zone. As soon as the votes were in, I immediately started strategizing about how to make the pieces. Before working on a space, I spend hours mentally visualizing what I will do so I can problem solve as much as possible before actually beginning. I was most excited about recreating the benches at the end of the bed because I knew I would have to learn how to weave, a skill with which I had no experience. I did a ton of research and watched videos of how to weave a “big” chair. At some point, you have to stop planning and just go for it. It was so easy once I got going, just time consuming, which is true of creating anything in miniature form.
An actual photograph of Gemma's guest bedroom via @gemmavanderswaagh
H&W: What was the biggest challenge in recreating this space? What creative solutions did you come up with that you're most proud of/excited about?
JA: My biggest challenge is always time. From start to finish, including research and finding sources for everything, this room box took about 20 hours to complete. That was just for one room! I have a two year old and four year old, so I’m always short on time and work like a madwoman during nap time. As I mentioned before, learning to weave was one of my challenges. Finding appropriate materials to recreate this room proved to be a challenge.
I had no idea how I was going to make the tribal throw pillow on the bed. It had fur and a unique pattern that I wasn’t going to be able to find on a fabric. Instead, I made a basic pillow out of an undershirt, covered the ends with faux fur that I use to make mini rugs and throws, and then cropped an image of the patterned part of the pillow to print on velvet paper.
I was out shopping one day when I came across a gray dish towel that I knew would be make the perfect fabric for the bedspread. I’m constantly looking for mini inspiration and ways I can repurpose big items to work for miniature spaces. Recently, I was at The Container Store and came across these acrylic risers to use for organizing, and I bought one to use as a modern coffee table. When my kids outgrow any of their clothes, I often keep them so I can reuse the fabric in a dollhouse.
H&W: What has been your favorite miniature home to work on to date?
JA: My favorite dollhouse I’ve done is The Finley Dollhouse, a gift for the daughter of a close friend who loves modern design and lots of greenery. Her daughter, on the other hand, is super girly, and just loves pink. In that house, I mixed modern design with sweet pink touches, and in the end, the dollhouse reflected both of their styles perfectly. The dollhouse has always felt the coziest to me because it embodies the simple joys of the owners.
H&W: Hygge is a Danish concept that's all about finding coziness in small joys and simple pleasures. As the queen of small joys, how do you create hygge in your dollhouses?
JA: In spaces big or small, my favorites are always those that are beautiful, functional, cozy, and inviting. That’s a tall order, but the concept of hygge embodies those concepts. I would never want someone to walk into my home and feel like they couldn't sit down because they might ruin the fabric. On the flip side, I also want people to know the design was thoughtful and not just thrown together.
I strive for that balance between beauty and function in my miniature spaces as well. I love to rearrange furniture until the room feels right. Adding personal touches and details to a dollhouse is what makes it stand out from store-bought dollhouses. For example, I always include a child’s favorite books on the nightstand or coffee table. The bathroom always has a vial of real bath salts, and the artwork is designed to be personal. I always include lots of greenery in a dollhouse because that makes any space look cozier.
filed under: Our Book: H&W Home
October 26, 2018
We were so excited to launch this gorgeous pattern, Piedmont, designed by the lovely ladies at Helmsie!
This inspiration? In the Southeast, as the mountains slope down to the piedmont, you'll find red foxes, rabbits, and quail running in the forests. They are hiding behind the thistles, snacking on the peaches and blackberries. Piedmont, named for the region Karla and Sarah of Helmsie call home, is available in four beautiful colorways sure to complement any decor scheme.
In mildly related news, I'm moving from San Francisco to the country about an hour north and this wallpaper is absolutely going in the new place!
I put together a mood board for the overall look I'm going for which is something along the lines of "Modern Rustic French Country Farmhouse" :) Some items I have my eye on that work with with Piedmont (Indigo) wallpaper include 1) blue velvet chair; 2) farmhouse table; 3) caned chairs; 4) wool blanket; 5) ferm living throw pillow; 6) Arabesque bedding; and 7) vintage marble work table. Will keep you posted, of course!
filed under: Feeling Like...