One of our favorite things about what we do is seeing our patterns out in the wild. Every customer and every designer puts their own unique twist on our papers, fabrics, and other products, and each one helps us see our patterns through new eyes and from a whole different perspective. So when we saw the bold and pattern-forward way that interior designer Ashley Winn of Route used Peonies Mint, we knew we had to learn more about her cool-girl style.
What we quickly discovered is that not only does Ashley have a keen eye for space, texture, and pattern, but she also designs from a place of healing, intentionality, and spirituality. Spaces that are not only good looking, but also good for the soul? That's a side of hygge we can totally get behind.
Hygge & West: Your interior designs are about more than aesthetics. According to your website, you create "intentional and healing spaces... highly influenced by the holistic belief that the mind, body and spirit are all interconnected." Can you tell us about the connection between home and mind/body/spirit?
Ashley Winn: Mind, body, and spirit means our state of wellbeing as humans comes from not just our physical health, but from our mental health and spiritual health as well. They are all interconnected and each part is affected by the other. Thus when it comes to healing, we address the whole system, instead of each part separately.
Our environment can affect our emotional state, which then can affect our physical and mental state. When designing a home for a client, especially with the intention of healing, it's important for me to understand what feelings and emotions encourage a healthy mental and spiritual state. Then I look at designing the house as a whole system, how each room relates to the other, and ask what can I physically place in my client's home (through color, pattern, furniture, etc.) that will create those feelings that encourage their healthy wellbeing.
H&W: What are some ways that people can create thoughtful, intuitive spaces without a complete renovation?
AW: The first step to creating a thoughtful and intuitive space is so easy and will cost you nothing: set your intentions! Get out a piece of paper and pen and spend time writing down what you want to for each room. How do you want this space to feel? How do you want to exist in the space? What parts of your essence do you want to connect to in this space? What healing can be created here? By setting your intentions, you are creating an energy and vibration that will align with the purpose and meaning of that space. It's about getting people to think about the things that really matter, expanding their awareness and how they are connected to their environment.
The next step would be evaluating what you already have and asking yourself if the item is aligned with the intentions you set. Does this give me joy? Does this sofa serve a purpose? How does this vase make me feel? If our goal is to create a space that is thoughtful, then we are taking the time to ask, "Is this really serving me in my home?" and "Is this really reflecting who I am?" This is a cleansing process, so that which does not serve your higher good can be repurposed or donated. I would like to add here, in my personal design process, smudge your home for a full reset. :)
The following steps in creating a thoughtful space would be remembering that things matter; they represent what we have seen, who we have loved, and what we hope to do next. They hold memories and energy. Stop and take a moment before you require, before you buy, to remember your intentions for that space. Make conscious, authentic decisions for what you allow into your home.
H&W: You were born and raised in Utah and now live in San Francisco. How do these two places approach design differently? Are there any similarities?
AW: The approach to design in these cities, in my experience, is highly influenced by the culture. San Francisco's culture is more diverse and international than Utah, thus I have a more diverse clientele with various desires and needs when designing a home.
The culture and clientele that I experienced in Utah share similar desires. There are a lot of clients that are more focused on wanting family-friendly homes.
H&W: What role does pattern play in your designs? How can pattern affect a home's energy and create a thoughtful, healing space?
AW: When I speak about a home's energy, I am referring to the emotional state of the home. The emotional state or "feeling" is created by the people and the things inside of the space. Pattern and color can influence certain emotions in people when they interact with them. In order to create a thoughtful healing space, it's important for me to understand how color and pattern affect my client's emotional state on an individual level, then design a space accordingly.
H&W: You used our Peonies in Mint in a project of yours. Can you tell us a bit about this space and why this pattern and colorway felt right for it? How did this wallpaper affect the energy of the space?
AW: For this specific project, I was creating a home office for my client who wanted to feel productive and feminine in a fun space. She also happened to love the color green. Because I understood that she loved the color green and it made her happy, choosing Peonies in Mint was an easy decision. By using my client's favorite color, I am already evoking the high vibration feeling of happiness. To tap into her feminine nature, we chose a print that has a feminine association - flowers! Lastly, I used the wallpaper on all four walls in a small space to create a bold, fun statement. The energy created in the space is one that encouraged emotions of happiness and fun in my client in order to help her be productive and get things done.
H&W: Your work tends to gravitate towards earthy neutrals with lots of texture and intentional pops of pattern. What are your tips for using pattern in a neutral space?
AW: For a space with a neutral color palette, I like to use pattern to create depth and interest. My tip is mixing patterns with various textures and finishes in the same color way. The pattern creates dimension and individuality, but the same colorway creates unity.
H&W: Hygge is all about finding joy in life's simplest pleasures. How do you find hygge in your life, and how does this concept tie into a more spiritual way of living?
AW: Simple pleasures that bring me joy are a good cup of coffee, sleeping in, and puppies. Finding joy in life is living in a more spiritual way, especially if someone is appreciating life's simplest pleasures.