August 21, 2018
Heather Fox was made for TV. With her bubbly personality, bold designs, and successful Minnesota-based business she runs with husband, Brad, we were delighted—though not at all surprised!—to learn that HGTV wanted to shoot a pilot with her. And when we found out that a couple of our wallpapers would also be sharing the small screen with Heather, we were over the moon!
Heather's company, Fox Homes, offers homebuyers the whole package—real estate, design, and construction all in one place. Along with Brad, Heather helps clients discover, purchase, and renovate their very own fixer uppers so each and every person she works with has the opportunity to create and live in the home of their dreams. From organic modern to clean and comfy, and everything in between, Heather's work is design-forward yet approachable, and always feels like home. We caught up with Heather about her show, Stay or Sell?, what it's like working with her husband, and all things pattern and hygge.
Hygge & West: Tell us a little bit about your design and real estate company, Fox Homes, and how it came to be. What tips and advice do you have for working with your spouse and marrying two different points of view and aesthetics?
Heather Fox: My husband, Brad, and I started in real estate 14 years ago and had a hard time finding a company that matched our creativity. Truthfully, real estate can be the opposite of creative—contract writing, negotiation, etc., so very early on we decided we needed to start our own company in order to foster that creativity. We now do "normal" real estate, helping our buyers and sellers, but even in those somewhat standard situations, we can help our clients see the best potential in each home. Our main focus these last few years is helping people find their own fixer upper in order to create spaces they love with our help and guidance—sometimes that's a small project and sometimes it's a full rebuild. We coordinate everything—finding the home, gathering all bids, financing, plans, design selections, and the actual construction/renovation.
It's been constant evolution—from Fox Realty to our Fox Design to now working on our own construction company, which will complete the trio. That's business, I think—the only constant is change!
People often ask us what it's like working with your spouse. We're lucky that we work really well together, but it hasn't been without its growing pains. First step was determining what our strengths are. I lead with my heart and Brad leads with a spreadsheet. It's a good combo and we balance each other out. Of course we disagree from time to time, but overall we trust each other and there is a give and take. Luckily, even with those spreadsheets, Brad is a big risk-taker like me, so we say yes to what sounds good and figure it out (even when people think we're crazy). I feel like that's the biggest secret of all business owners—we all seem to be figuring it out as we go!
H&W: Hygge & West has deep ties to Minneapolis and its creative community. What is it like working in the Twin Cities, and what makes this area so unique?
HF: The Twin Cities are AMAZING! We couldn't love living here more. It's full of creative people and also people who love taking care of each other. I think we truly have a "community over competition" vibe here. I also find the Minneapolis creative community to be super connected and so happy to share their wisdom—we are constantly overwhelmed with them helping us and lifting us up. It fills my heart with happiness!!
H&W: We loved the HGTV pilot of your new show, Stay or Sell? How fun! How did that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity come about?
HF: Thank you! We actually watched it for the first time with the rest of the world and were happy with how it all came together. There were parts we were sad were edited out, but overall, we loved watching the four-month process happen in 42 minutes. We were able to feature nine local creative companies and individuals, which felt so rewarding!
It happened due to a lot of luck to be honest! The powers at HGTV had put out a call for "talent" in the Midwest and a production company reached out after finding us online to see if we were interested. We thought they were kidding at first, but it didn't take long for us to say yes.
We were lucky to partner with the best production company and doors just kept opening... from a Skype call to a sizzle reel to a full pilot episode. The door is still open for a full series, but we know nothing yet. We're just having fun with it while it's here and no matter what happens, we feel so lucky to have had this opportunity. We were naive about how much work it would be and how much competition there is in the TV industry, but I feel like that helped us just be ourselves and not take any of it too seriously.
H&W: How is designing a home for TV different than the real-life design process? Any tips you learned while filming that translate to off-screen design?
HF: Honestly, overall the design was quite similar to what we would do in a normal project of ours. We love big and bold designs. We've used just about every color for cabinetry in different homes, so using green like in the pilot wasn't a stretch for us. I think you should be inspired by your home everyday!
My biggest takeaway from seeing this home translate to the small screen is what a huge difference art makes! Local art and thrifted accessories tell a different story than anything big box and usually keep you on budget. If you're local to Minneapolis, head to First Thursday at the Northrop King or the MCAD Art Sale to find a unique piece of art whatever your budget is. Like wallpaper, art can completely transform a space!
H&W: You used our Cities Toile in Ebony in an office space you created for a home in your pilot and Daydream in Blush for a nursery. What did those patterns bring to those particular spaces, and how do you work with pattern in general?
HF: I think one of the biggest comments we get about the show is the wallpaper in the office—Cities Toile. It completely changed that room! It's bold without being too much. The thin gold pattern throughout and the detailed city drawings are so stunning. It was a no-brainer paired with the Danish credenza from Golden Age Design. The green plants were the perfect pop. I want to use that wallpaper everywhere!
I've been dreaming of using Daydream for years! The blush colorway was the perfect option for baby girl's nursery. I knew the homeowners wanted something soft and peaceful and I feel like it was the perfect option. It also will grow with her for years to come. I also love the florals from Rifle Paper Co., but couldn't get past those dreamy birds!
I think wallpaper is the best way to make a huge impact without making a huge change! One wall can make you feel like you have a whole new space. And no doubt everyone will comment and notice. I have Pineapple in Ebony in my foyer and every single person who walks in my home comments and smiles... and usually snaps a photo too. I LOVE that!
H&W: You also used the nursery in a gender reveal for the couple on your show—what was it like to use design and pattern to create such a special moment for that couple?
HF: It still makes me smile when I think of it. I can't believe they let me know the gender of their baby and design the entire nursery without any input. I knew they were having a girl for a full six weeks before they did! I also knew how much it would mean to Liza to have a second daughter since she's so close to her twin sister. It was such a sweet moment and I'm overjoyed for them! It was a blast to design—total simplicity with fun pops and the Daydream wallpaper making the real statement. I color-matched the other walls with the blush to make it feel extra custom.
H&W: Hygge is a Danish concept the celebrates simple joys and small pleasures. What brings hygge to your world?
HF: Good design, color, art, sunshine, a walk around the lake, but most of all my two boys, Graham and Wesley... especially when they hold hands.
filed under: Pattern Players
August 15, 2018
Designing your home doesn't have to be intimidating, but we get that it totally can be. With the sheer volume of choices available today, for everything from hardware to furniture to paint colors, it's no wonder why so many of us feel paralyzed when making decor decisions. That's where Shila Griffith of SG23 Design comes in.
Shila's entire ethos is that design decisions should inspire, not intimidate, and she offers her services to walk interior design clients through the myriad choices out there. A bold self-starter with a keen design eye, Shila works with and empowers homeowners to uncover their personal styles and seamlessly translate them into beautiful, clean interiors that reflect their unique sensibilities. We caught up with Shila about her work and career, her approach to interior design, and of course, all things pattern.
Hygge & West: Tell us a little bit about your background and how SG23 Design came to be.
Shila Griffith: I knew I wanted to be an interior designer since I was 13. I studied interior design during undergrad and sustainable design for my graduate degree—both at Philadelphia University (now Jefferson). From there, I worked at a Pennsylvania architecture firm on extremely high-end, award-winning projects. My training there was incredible since I was only one of two designers with an interior design background. I was surrounded by talented architects and learned a lot more about structure, construction, custom cabinetry, and millwork, which kicked up my drawing skills a couple notches and also gave me a more holistic understanding of buildings. However, I missed interior design and the firm didn't offer those services. I worked on these projects up to a point, but I wanted to go further, and also select furniture, accent lighting, and interior materials and finishes.
H&W: How would you describe your aesthetic when designing interiors? What inspires you in your work?
SG: This is an interesting question—I try not to let my personal aesthetic influence what is ultimately best suited for my clients, because they are the ones that need to live with the design. That being said, I get most excited about projects that thrive on a juxtaposition of modern versus vintage or antique. My favorite spaces tend to be those that have classic, beautifully detailed bones with modern furniture, lighting, materials, and finishes. It's also a bonus when clients aren't afraid of color!
I'm most inspired by traveling abroad. Both of my parents are immigrants so I started traveling abroad when I was quite young. When I have clients that also love traveling, I make it a priority to find ways to convey this in the space so that it tells more of a story.
H&W: On your website you talk about believing that "the opportunities of design should inspire homeowners, not overwhelm them." Why do you think designing a home overwhelms many people, and what are your tips for approaching the process as one full of opportunities rather than obstacles?
SG: I think that between seeing design online and on television, there are so many design ideas out there that homeowners don't know how to pin down what speaks most to them. Homeowners feel so stuck, they often postpone the project, do what's most trendy at that time to just get the project done, or step away from the project completely. None of these choices are really ideal since it doesn't allow homeowners to enjoy the full potential of the space.
Designing a home from a logistical standpoint can be quite stressful as well. I love working with contractors and craftspeople, but part of the reason is because I'm accustomed to it, and know what to expect. I often know what specifics these professionals will need before they even ask for it and if an issue comes up on site, I have no problem collaborating to troubleshoot. It also helps that I tend to have backup plans for my backup plans.
A homeowner that's never been through a renovation or construction process can easily feel overwhelmed because there are a lot of factors that they often aren't aware of until they are in the middle of the project. On top of that, when unexpected things come up during construction it's often translated into chaos and dollar signs for the homeowner, which doesn't always need to be the case.
H&W: You also do web design and branding. Are there any commonalities between web design/branding and interior design? What tidbits have you taken from the graphic design world and applied in interiors?
SG: Oh yes! All types of design have specific elements in common, such as scale, proportion, and color. When it comes to designing marketing collateral for clients as part of their brand identity package, I especially gravitate towards laying out booklets. It's a lot like space planning, except I'm placing words and images instead of interior walls, built-ins, and furniture.
Most don't realize it, but websites are a lot like construction or renovations as well. For a new website, you need to build a structure that is functional, user-friendly, and intuitive, then you intentionally work in aesthetics so the entire project is cohesive. With a website update it's a lot like a renovation—you identify what currently doesn't work and develop design solutions. You also need to evaluate what you are working with as far as structure and make adjustments as needed—if you remove a significant part of the structure your entire website can collapse, which is similar to a structural wall in a building.
H&W: What role does pattern play in your work, both in interiors and graphic design? What are some of your favorite ways to use pattern in a home?
SG: When there's a pattern in a space or in print there's more of a narrative. If you have a navy blue wall, that tells a bit of a story, but if you have a wall with navy blue anchors, that can tell you so much more. You might assume that the homeowner likes the water, they might have a boat, perhaps they spent a lot of time at the beach as a child, they may have been in the navy at some point....
I like to use patterns to break up the monotony a bit. When everything in a space is solid it can feel visually heavy. I tend to use patterns as a backdrop or as a pleasant element of surprise in spaces or areas that aren't always open or readily visible.
SG: Queen Anne in the townhouse is a subtle reference to my clients history of living in the UK for several years! It's interesting to maintain a design concept in spaces without being too literal or theatrical.
My client for the nursery had seen a blog post from over a year ago that was accompanied by a photo of Moons (Gray) as part of a flat lay. She feel in love with that wallpaper! So we actually designed the room around that wallpaper, which worked out perfectly. There are moons and stars throughout the room, which is so charming!
H&W: Hygge is a Danish concept of coziness that celebrates life's small joys and simplest pleasures. What brings you hygge in your life?
SG: Walks with my dog, naps while it's raining outside, listening to jazz, long talks with old friends, and baked macaroni and cheese.
filed under: Pattern Players
July 23, 2018
Photo by Jen Morley
There's just something about a home bursting with color, pattern, and personality that gets us going. While we love a classic neutral interior, we just can't tear our eyes away from the homes that give us everything and then some, and the designers who aren't afraid to totally go there. One such designer is Fort Worth, Texas, designer Shauna Glenn of Shauna Glenn Design.
A writer-turned-interior-designer, Shauna came to the home industry because of her incredible passion for interiors. She doesn't know the rules, and so she doesn't have to follow them—and her work is a joyful reflection of that fearless confidence to go big, bold, and brave. With her self-described "contemporary meets your grandma's attic" aesthetic, Shauna isn't afraid to mix patterns and styles to create spaces that are wholly one-of-a-kind. Keep scrolling to learn more about Shauna's design approach, see the many ways she's used H&W patterns, and discover her secret to being the most hygge hostess around.
Hygge & West: Tell us a little bit about your background and how it led you to become an interior designer.
Shauna Glenn: I'm a writer by trade, but have always been interested in interior design, styling, and entertaining. When I started my first website in 2007, I used it as a platform to share essays, tablescapes, entertaining ideas, and room design. After I felt like I'd written about everything I knew (ha!), I started doing room styling and went to work for an interior designer. I learned so much over those three years, but wanted to get into renovations and new construction. It's grown into a full-time career, and we just hired our fourth employee. We're already growing out of our studio space!
H&W: We love that you're a total rule-breaker when it comes to design—your style is as bold and fun as it is unpredictable. Tell us a little more about your design philosophy and aesthetic, as well as your favorite "rule" to break.
SG: A positive to not studying interior design in a traditional school setting is that it gives me the opportunity to break the rules—mostly because I don't know the rules. To me, your home should reflect your life, your family, your personality, and your history. That's why I encourage people to shop their homes and to use treasures you find on vacation. You'd be surprised what we find in people's cabinets.
H&W: What role does pattern play in your work? What are your tips and tricks for mixing multiple patterns in a single space?
SG: I am not afraid to mix patterns. Sometimes my philosophy is even "the more patterns the better," but not everyone can handle that, so I pare it down or edit based on my clients' needs and personalities. When mixing patterns, I'll choose a big pattern and then pepper in some smaller patterns, or vice versa.
H&W: You've used many H&W patterns in your work, including a Tassels (Gold) bedroom, an Otomi (Turquoise) bathroom, an Andanza (Silver) living room, a Daydream (Blush) bedroom, a Petal Pusher (Dove) bathroom, a Slice (Blue) powder bath, and a Tassels (Marine) powder bath. What drew you to these patterns and what do you think they brought to the spaces in which you used them?
SG: I have used so many H&W patterns in my designs because they always seem to be just what the spaces needed. It's awesome to work with a company who has everything I need!
H&W: Wallpaper isn't just for walls! What's your favorite unexpected place or way to use wallpaper?
SG: I love using wallpaper on ceilings and on three-drawer chests. It's an unexpected feast for the eyes.
H&W: Hygge is a Danish concept that celebrates the coziness and comfort in life's smallest joys and simplest pleasures. How do you create hygge in your world?
SG: The way I create hygge in my world is by preparing charcuterie boards for guests. You would be surprised what a tray with cheese, fruit, olives, and crackers does for people. They're like, "Oh my god, this is the best thing ever!" It's simple, yet people freak. I create some really beautiful cheese boards with things I have in my fridge and pantry. I recommend everyone trying it one night. You'll feel very fancy.
filed under: Pattern Players
June 07, 2018
From the moment we first set foot in Lawson-Fenning?s unforgettable retail space, we?ve been total fangirls of their shop and aesthetic. Everything Lawson-Fenning offers ? from their eponymous line of handmade furniture, lighting, and wall decor, to their carefully curated collection of vintage-modern home goods ? is well considered, unique, and of only the highest quality. And with a constantly rotating inventory, no two Lawson-Fenning shopping experiences are ever alike (but they're always magical).
The best part about Lawson-Fenning, however, is the designing duo behind it - Glenn Lawson and Grant Fenning. We had the distinct pleasure of spending time with Glenn when we shot his beautiful home to be featured in our new print book, and he simply couldn?t be a nicer, more genuine person. And from our brief meetings with Grant and listening to him speak at a trade show, we?re quite sure the same holds true for him. We caught up with the pair to talk about our new Lawson-Fenning x Hygge & West collab, the trick behind combining old and new, and, of course, all things pattern and hygge.
Hygge & West: You call Lawson-Fenning "a true California brand." Tell us what you mean by that.
Lawson-Fenning: California has a such a great history of art and design. The geography and light are huge inspirations for us. We see ourselves fitting into a SoCal vernacular that informs our materials, details, and overall vibe.
H&W: How does your background in furniture design influence your work at Lawson-Fenning today?
LF: We are really good with proportion, scale, and fit. Knowing how to build furniture has been immensely helpful in being able to design it.
H&W: Your store seamlessly mixes both new and vintage items to create a layered and welcoming aesthetic. What are your tips for combining old and new at home?
Glenn Lawson: The best interiors to us are comfortable. Don?t be afraid to mix styles, as long as the color palette makes sense. I?m a fan of neutral interiors with pops of color in the art and accessories. If you are layering vintage and new in the same palette it will usually look good together.
H&W: What do you look for when shopping for vintage items? Are there any items that are great bets at fleas and antique stores? Conversely, are there any items you always recommend buying new?
LF: Our advice is to buy upholstered pieces new (beds, sofas, lounge chairs). Then you can use vintage pieces as accents, cabinets, tables, etc. When buying vintage, we?re big fans of living with what you love. If it?s meaningful or attracts you then it will work.
H&W: We're so excited to launch our new wallpaper collection with you! Can you tell us a little bit about the design process and what inspired each pattern?
LF: We were looking at California landscapes and native plants. We ended up loving the patterns/textures of the trees that people associate with SoCal ? palms, eucalyptus, live oak. By abstracting the bark and growth patterns of the trees we were able to come up with some compelling arrangements.
H&W: How do you envision each of these patterns being used? What's your favorite way to use wallpaper and pattern at home?
GL: I like using it in small spaces to create a total environment ? small bathrooms, dens, small bedrooms? wherever you can totally immerse yourself in the color and pattern.
H&W: Hygge is all about finding comfort in joy in life's small moments and simple pleasures. How do you create hygge in your world, especially in the warmer months?
GL: We are all about comfort; I think it?s the thing above all else that people identify with in our interiors. We love layering textiles. I have cotton throws for summer and wool throws for winter. I also like to switch out my rugs ? I have a flat weave for summer and a vintage fluffy Moroccan for winter. Just switching up a few key textiles goes a long way.
filed under: Pattern Players
April 16, 2018
Erin François of the uber popular blog François et Moi is one of our favorite sources for interiors inspiration. From photos of her gorgeous home and her sweet family to her always stylish and refreshingly approachable DIYs, Erin's blog and Instagram feed provide endless eye candy that never fails to make us stop in our scroll.
What we love most about Erin's style is how effortless it feels - and after the dull grayness of winter, this spring we're craving the light and airy - but always pattern-filled! - interiors of Erin's 1930s Tudor. We caught up with Erin about how she uses pattern in neutral spaces, modernizing an older home without losing its charm, and, of course, how she hygges.
Hygge & West: You describe your style as "handmade modern." Can you tell us a little bit about that? What do the imperfections of handmade bring to a modern aesthetic?
Erin François: "Handmade Modern" is how I describe my style as a home DIY-er: clean and modern balanced with handmade, perfectly imperfect elements. I find these imperfections bring an approachability to the modern aesthetic and are an integral part of creating a meaningful, individualized home.
H&W: François et Moi offers approachable, stylish DIYs that inspire people to create the beautiful homes they desire with their own two hands. Why do you think it's so empowering to make something yourself rather than buy it?
EF: I originally started making things because either I couldn?t afford to buy them, or what I was searching for wasn?t available in stores. By making things myself, I could navigate around obstacles of cost and availability and be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor at the end. Empowering is the perfect way to describe it!
H&W: You're currently renovating your home, a 1930s pre-war Tudor duplex. What are your tips or advice for making an older home feel modern without losing its character and charm? What role, if any, does pattern play in that process?
EF: A bright, neutral color palette works wonders in adding modern appeal, while still respecting the home?s original charm.
Pattern is another great way to bridge old and new. I like incorporating traditional patterns that have been reimagined in a new way. Like H&W?s Hydrangea bedding or these DIY paisley stamped pillows I made for our living room.
H&W: You have our new Hydrangea (Mint) bedding in your bedroom. Why did you select this particular pattern and colorway, and how have you styled it to make it your own?
EF: On a whim last fall, I painted our bedroom a deep, teal green (Behr, Brooklyn) without any sort of grand plan in mind for the room. Let?s just say, making bold design choices without a plan isn?t exactly something I?d recommend because I spent the next 3 months trying to pull the rest of the room together around the wall color.
When I saw Hygge & West?s Hydrangea Mint bedding, the room kind of clicked into place. The deep teal in the bedding is a near exact match to the wall color, and the lighter tones layer beautifully. I also love how the feminine hydrangea pattern softens and lightens the room, especially for spring and summer!
H&W: You used our Nethercote (Blue) paper in your new daughter's super cute nursery. What about that pattern and colorway spoke to you and what do you feel it brings to this space?
EF: I wanted a Nordic storybook feel in her nursery, a place for imaginations to run wild. Nethercote?s pattern, though inspired by the English countryside, also feels a bit Scandinavian too, and the delicate woodland design balances playful and feminine in such a charming way. It?s truly the star of the room!
We went back and forth between the gray and blue colorways, but in the end went with blue. It?s both my husband, Ken, and my favorite color and is a bit unexpected.
H&W: You've managed to create a home that is cozy, welcoming, and neutral without sacrificing visual interest. What are your tips for using pattern in a neutral setting?
EF: I like to start with a showstopper piece with an engaging pattern, like a killer rug or wallpaper, as these are great room-starters. Then I?ll bring in smaller supporting patterns and textures (mainly through textiles) that draw out varying values and tints to round out the look.
Beyond pattern and texture, unexpected or quirky pairings can also help a space feel approachable and welcoming, even endearing, without needing a lot of color. In particular, thrifted pieces are often great for their eccentric and nostalgic quality.
H&W: Hygge is all about finding comfort and joy in life's small moments and simple pleasures. How do you find or create the hygge in your world?
?EF: Keeping the clutter to a minimum and having fresh flowers around the house are two hygge practices that come to mind right away. In summer months, propping open the windows for fresh breezes and cooking with food grown in the backyard are a few other favorites as well.
filed under: Pattern Players
March 01, 2018
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.
filed under: Pattern Players
December 20, 2017
Who could resist a trip to NYC during the holiday season - especially when Jersey City, Manhattan's neighbor just across the Hudson River, has some pattern playing fun to serve as the cherry on top of this quintessential Christmas sundae? This December, Christiana packed her bags and headed east to check out Mathews Food and Drink, a unique eatery in Downtown Jersey City that brings a unique, thoroughly modern take on Southern-style comfort food to this trendy Northeast neighborhood.
From the stunning digs (walls of windows meet cozy modern meets lots of pattern) to the mouthwatering menu (which has something for everyone, from your vegan best friend to your meat-loving man), Mathews is exactly the kind of local bar and restaurant that makes this city so special. Christiana stopped by for great eats, hygge cocktails, some snaps of our H&W patterns on the job, and a chat with Mat himself to talk food, holidays, and more.
Chef Mike and a perfectly crispy-yet-moist fried chicken sandwich
Hygge & West: Your website says that your food is inspired by "the unique spirit and dining culture of the South." Can you describe that spirit and culture and how it influenced your restaurant and the cuisine and cocktails you serve?
Bloody Mary and deviled eggs
Matuesz Kopec: We were influenced by the warmth of the people, their southern hospitality, the freshness in ingredients (produce, meats, fish), unique spirts, and the use of color palettes on the buildings during our trip to Charleston. We then tried to replicate these into everything we do at Mathews. We sourced great local purveyors - Pat la Frieda for our meat, Balthazar for our bread, Anson Mills for our grains, and local farms for our produce. We tried to hire people who were genuinely warm, experienced, and committed to hospitality as a career. Within the cocktail program, we contracted Cody Goldstein from Muddling Memories to create a fun, fresh, and unique cocktail program.
H&W: Jersey City is a relative newcomer to the national foodie scene - what has it been like being a part of that? What drew you to this city, and Downtown in particular? What does this city offer that other places can't?
MK: We have been in Jersey City since 2005, and its been a great ride. The scene down here had only a few restaurants, but we knew it was going to grow with its proximity to New York City. The original draw to downtown was its proximity to New York City. This city offers a great talent pool, transportation, and access to great purveyors.
Pineapple (Ebony) in the gorgeous bathroom at Mathews
H&W: There's an intimate connection between food and the location in which people enjoy it. What was your goal with the design of your space and how did you achieve it?
MK: Our goal with the space was to create a bright airy and homey feel like how the people of Charleston welcome you to their city. While in Charleston, we noticed beadboard ceilings on the porches, wallpapers in the restaurants, and bright white colors. This translated into the our selections of wallpaper and the use of blues and whites. Also, Charleston has a pineapple fountain which represents hospitality. We used this symbol on the backs of our menus and in the bathroom wallpaper selection.
H&W: You've used our Peonies paper in Pale Blue in the restaurant. What do you think this pattern brings to the space? How does it complement your menu?
Christiana getting the perfect shot
MK: The peonies pattern delivers the feeling of home, warmth, and coziness, but yet feels graceful and refined. We translated this into our menu by delivering fine dining in a simple, approachable menu served in a casual dining room. The peonies complement our dinnerware, our plates, and our flowers on the table. They really do make you feel like you're at home. They're easy on the eyes, and let you know it's time to relax.
H&W: The holidays are all about tradition. Do you have any special holiday traditions either at the restaurant or in your personal life?
MK: Being born in Poland, we have one special holiday tradition at home called sharing of oplatek (pronounced opwatek). Sharing of the oplatek is the most ancient and beloved of all Polish Christmas traditions. Oplatek is a thin wafer made of flour and water, similar in taste to the hosts that are used for communion during Mass. The Christmas wafer is shared before Wigilia, the Christmas Eve supper.
H&W: How is Mathews celebrating the holidays this year? Do you have any special plans, recipes, or events in the works?
MK: We typically close after lunch on Christmas Eve and close Christmas Day to let our staff spend time with their family. Family is important to us, both inside the restaurant and out. But during this time of year, we try to incorporate comfort dishes into our menus, like braised short ribs, duck, matzoh ball soup, and lamb.
H&W: Our favorite part of the holidays is the food. Do you have a favorite dish you prepare every year for the holidays, in the restaurant or at home?
MK: At home, my mother makes pierogies. It’s our family recipe passed down from grandma in Poland. We make sauerkraut and mushroom and farmers cheese and potato versions. However, my favorite is the sauerkraut and mushroom sautéed with butter and onions served with sour cream. Yummy!
H&W: No holiday season would be complete without a good cocktail. What's your favorite cocktail to enjoy during the holiday season?
MK: Our favorite cocktail during the holiday season is the signature Mat-hattan made with rye whiskey, our house blend vermouth, walnut liqueur, and bitters. It definitely warms up the body after number two.
The TLC (Tequila Loves Chocolate) is hot chocolate, tequila, and ancho chile liqueur topped with toasted marshmallows
H&W: Hygge loosely translates to "cozy" in Danish. What are your must-haves for a little extra hygge during the colder months and especially around the holidays?
MK: For a little extra cozy during the colder months, hot toddies, hot cocoa, chicken soup, meatloaf, and pasta.
filed under: Pattern Players