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Pattern Players: Kate Arends of Wit & Delight

Posted on February 15, 2018 by Melissa Andersen

Wit & Delight has been a Hygge & West team favorite for quite some time; from her clean and crave-worth aesthetic to her keen eye for design, founder Kate Arends offers her fans and followers an endless stream of inspiration. So when it came time to develop our very first bedding collection (patterns also available as wallpaper), we knew Kate would be the perfect partner.

Arabesque in Navy is pairs beautifully with Margot in White

Wading into the uncharted (for us) territory of bedding required an extremely close collaboration, and it was important to find someone with whom we could easily work in person. Kate, a fellow Twin Cities native with an impressive graphic design background and extensive experience in both product and surface design, checked every box and then some. From our first contact, Kate brought a contagious enthusiasm and eagerness that never waned throughout the (very long) duration of this project (so long, in fact, that Kate had two babies in the time it took to develop this collection!). Whether it's partnering on an ambitious new project, inspiring the creative community through Wit & Delight, or being a bad-ass mom, Kate brings the same energy and enviable creativity to everything she touches.

Hydrangea (Cobalt) in Kate's Minneapolis studio

Hygge & West: In addition to running your business, Wit & Delight, you've also worked with some really incredible companies, helping to bring their brands to life. What are the common threads that tie all good design together - whether it's for a small business or an international brand?

Kate Arends: Thinking about small pieces as a part of a larger whole. Often times, it's the seemingly small choices or decisions that are the most impactful, from color choices to larger strategy initiatives.

Topiary in Garnet

H&W: The H&W team has many close ties to Minnesota, where you and so many other design talents are based. What is it about the Midwest that breeds and fosters such creative minds?

KA: Personally, I think it's due to the fact that we are trapped inside for the majority of the winter; we have nothing but time to create. But in all seriousness, I think it has something to do with the Midwest sensibility of sustainability and independence. We are a "flyover" state, so we miss the onset of larger trends hitting either coast. Based on this, we've had to create our own culture and sense of place. 

Margot (Navy)

Arabesque (Ochre)

H&W: We're so thrilled to be launching your collection of bedding this month! Tell us a little bit about what inspired each pattern and colorway. 

KA: Me too! This project began before I had either of my two children. My passion lies in home decor, so I was thrilled to work with Hygge & West on developing the line. Overall, the line was inspired by traditional wallpaper motifs, florals, and ornate line work, and how to make it feel more modern and less precious. I approached it really thinking about scale and pattern and color choices. I wanted patterns that would be modern and graphic, but still approachable.

Hydrangea (Mint)

Topiary (White)

H&W: What was the creative process like in bringing your ideas for this collection to life? Was this your first time creating textiles and, if so, how was it different from other types of products you designed?

KA: This was my first time designing textiles, so I was incredibly thankful to have Hygge & West as a partner for this project. One of my weaknesses is overworking, and I came to the table with literally a dozen concepts and five colorways for each pattern. Hygge & West was instrumental in helping me edit and refine ideas based on textile printing capabilities and limitations. It was fun to stretch design muscles I hadn't used in awhile. 

Margot (Copper)

Topiary (Emerald)

H&W: What role does pattern play in your world, whether it's your work, your home decor, your wardrobe, or elsewhere?

KA: Patterns are huge in my world. Even though if you were to look at my wardrobe and home decor (for the most part) you wouldn't see many patterns represented. I'm a very visual person, and appreciate the design sensibilities for pattern; the repetition, scale, color, contrast, all of the fundamentals of design are represented in a good pattern. 

Winnie keeping warm by the fire

H&W: Hygge means comfort, coziness, and finding pleasure in life's simple moments - and if there was ever a time and place for hygge, it's definitely winter in the Midwest. What are your favorite ways to find or create extra hygge in your home during the colder months?

KA: I've got a new baby and an 18-month old, so all we do these days is cuddle and sit by the fireplace. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

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