Pattern Players: Designer Lynne Parker on How Geography Affects Design
One of the most fascinating things about pattern is how the same one can invoke such drastically diverse feelings in different people. What says 'youthful and exuberant' to one may say 'sleek and paired down' to another. To us, how someone uses pattern provides insight into who they are, where they are in life, and how they view the world. That's why it's a constant thrill to see how our customers use our wallpaper - just when we think we've seen it all, someone comes along and totally catches us off guard with some new and exciting way to use Hygge & West patterns.
To gain a little insight into the wildly creative mind of interior designer Lynne Parker, we asked her to select one H&W wallpaper and style it two different ways. The results blew us away (we expected nothing less from Lynne!) and are inspiring us to maybe do a little redecorating of our own.
Hygge & West: What wallpaper did you choose and what two styles did you create with it?
Lynne Parker: I chose Terrence Payne's Knots in Gray, which is whimsical yet clean in this charcoal on white paper. In 'Classic & Inspiring,' this clean and open palette invites a whimsical chance to bring in a little personality, while black Eames chairs keep the space timeless. Touches of gold finish it and a black vintage 1950s Italian Chandelier ensure that its approachable. Trina Turk pops of color in pillows bring in just the right pazazz! In 'Grounded & Flirty,' I used a clean palette with welcoming pops. This style is grounded in tradition but the wallpaper and touches of blush flirt and tease you to smile! A widely known symbol of hospitality welcoming you and your guests, the pineapple pillow is a sassy touch.
H&W: How do you think different geographies affect design, and specifically the use of pattern? What locations or cultures do pattern the best and why?
LP: I believe its not just physical location that affects design, but its also cultural influence combined with time that leaves indelible marks on pattern. Geography has a powerful voice as well in that it drives some practical aspects like physical make up or color of materials used with patterns. However, the place in time for a culture is powerful. Take for example, Dutch design. The Dutch are well-known explorers and travelers and their early designs were reflective of their well-traveled experiences. Delft Design is a direct reflection of the time they spent in the Far East. As time moved forward, the Dutch exposure to lands far and wide influenced the speed in which they evolved. That constant stimulation of new environments fostered a curious culture. That curiosity built the foundation for their unique and groundbreaking designs. This well-traveled culture also opened its mind to new ideals and this gave them the freedom to sometimes abandon what was expected of them.
Another example, take a culturally rich and traditional society like Morocco. Pattern is greatly influenced by history and locale. Staying true and consistent to its past and heritage, Moroccan design is quintessential to its rich, colorful, diverse past. Geometrical shapes, hand-crafted carvings, exotic and majestic architecture are powerful symbols of Moroccan pattern which is kept current and relevant by handing down through generations to maintain tradition.
I believe that literally every culture does pattern well - it just depends on where I want to use that pattern and for what client I have in mind.
H&W: Whats your personal approach to pattern in the spaces you design? Any dos, don'ts, tips, or tricks you can share?
LP: I keep large foundational pieces flowing from neutral solids but love to bring in pattern in smaller pieces like chairs, accessories, and of course wallpaper. I often tell clients with purchases that are longer living in nature like a sofa (which you might have in your collection for 15-20 years depending on the quality) to choose something at the highest price point you can afford and stick to neutrals (whites, creams, blues, grays, blacks, taupe, and tweed versions of those - sometimes a red/orange would work too) and then bring in the fun on other pieces especially if a client is just starting a new collection of furniture or is replacing a lot of pieces. This also applies to clients who are just furnishing their first or second place.
H&W: 'Hygge' is a Danish word that loosely translates to 'cozy'. How do you find or create a little hygge in your life, whether it's something physical, like a comfy nook at home, or a feeling, like being around good friends in a favorite restaurant?
LP: I love the word cozy and what it implies - warm, inviting, wanna stay a while - and that feeling translates most naturally with friends and loved ones but can be enhanced and accentuated by a space. I think that lighting plays a vital role in creating a cozy feeling. At night and during winter, lots of well-placed candles, lamps on dimmers to create a glow, comfy throws, and an inviting spirit can make people want to linger and enjoy each others company.
Classic & inspiring: 1. Chandelier | 2. Eames chair | 3. Trina Turk pillow | 4. Trina Turk pillow
Grounded & flirty: 1. Sconces | 2. Mirror | 3. Animal print pillow | 4. Pineapple pillow | 5. Chair
Photos courtesy of Lynne Parker Designs