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10 Design (& Life) Lessons Pattern Players Taught Us

Posted on July 07, 2017 by Melissa Andersen

From practical design tips to aspirational advice and hard-won words of wisdom, here are 10 of our favorite things that we’ve learned from the inspiring artists, designers, and tastemakers we’ve interviewed for our ongoing Pattern Players series:

1. Design for how you actually live.

“You need to consider how you are going to use the space, and you need to do it honestly. You might think you want to throw a lot of parties or cook big dinners, but will you actually do that? You want to design your home for a great everyday experience, which may be very different from how you would see if for a party. You can always rearrange things so they work for an event, but you want to design for life.” - Anthony Carrino

2. Use pattern to add warmth.

“Neutral patterns are a way to infuse personality without marrying a bold color. My style errs on the side of minimalism, which naturally has the tendency to feel cold. Pattern has the power to diffuse the austere with cozy warmth." - Melissa Coleman

3. Design for experiences.

“My designer approach has always been focused on the user experience, design, and emotional connections. As a designer, presentation is everything. Personally, I’ve always tried to show respect and care to the person I’m offering good food, wine, or a gift to by presenting it well. The ‘moment of reveal’ then becomes a memorable one - an experience that inspires more moments of togetherness.” - Shujan Bertrand

4. Surround yourself with love - and campfires.

“I think it’s so important to surround yourself with people who believe in you, challenge you to be better, and inspire you. These people and the experiences we share together make me cozy. And campfires. Love me a good campfire. The smell alone sends me into a tailspin of happiness.” - Erin Miller Williams

5. Rules are meant for breaking.

“One rule that we always have to remind ourselves is that there is always an exception to the rule, to push the envelope and try new things. You never know, it could be the next coolest thing. We always try to push the boundaries just a little.” - J & J Design Group

6. Don't follow trends - start them.

“Stay ahead of the game. When you are chasing what everyone wants you are keeping with the trend, right? Well... not me. I chase the unwanted, the passed over. I go to the estate sales on the last day, when it's bottom barrel cheap and it's what everyone passed over. Because I want to be ahead of the trend, start something new, keep the ball rolling and the minds wondering, ‘Why in the heck did she buy that?’” - Jennifer Harrison

7. Turn constraint into creativity.

“There's an old adage that creativity is born out of constraint, and I think our Northern culture is a great example of that. There's something about living in a place that presents you with challenges that brings out the best in people, which in Minnesota manifests itself as creative thinking, work ethic, and a sense of camaraderie. I can't imagine living anywhere else.” - Eric Dayton

8. Appreciate small moments.

“I think it's important to appreciate small moments. We live in a tough world with a lot of sludge to sift through and I find strength in taking time to indulge in ordinary tasks and find significance in the mundane.” - Emily Isabella

9. Surround yourself with plant life.

“I find everything about the plant world inspiring. I love to touch plants, to smell them, to keep them in my home as (low-maintenance) pets, to admire them like sculptures, and I even love to eat them! Plants are so diverse, so alive and endlessly captivating. Also, keeping plants in the home has been proven (by folks like NASA!) to increase the quality of life, help with air quality, and caring for them is therapeutic. What’s not to love?” - Justina Blakeney

10. Let comfort reign supreme.

“We never shy away from color and pattern and always ensure comfort is the number one priority. Nobody wants to live in a museum.” - Tilton Fenwick

Read more great Pattern Players interviews here.

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