Pattern Players: Three Years Later With Emily Isabella
When we were still in the early planning phase of our Spring/Summer '19 collection, we knew we wanted to include a familiar face along with all that pattern newness—and who better to be that familiar face than H&W veteran and one of our customer favorites, Emily Isabella. Emily's style is unmistakable: full of life, whimsy, and imagination. We love the joy and playfulness her patterns bring; whether as wallpaper, bedding, or shower curtains, an Emily Isabella original design is hard to miss and impossible to forget.
We did our first interview with Emily three years ago and decided that the launch our of SS19 collection would be the perfect time to check back in with her to see what she's been up to (hint: creating beautiful art, as always!).
Hygge & West: What were the inspirations behind the newest patterns in your H&W collection?
Emily Isabella: I came across a pattern designed by William Morris where he mixed geometric shapes with foliage and I found it interesting that a design created 100 years ago could feel so timeless just because of the nature of the motifs. I created Bloom as an ode to these classics, the floral and the polka dot.
Storyline was based off the structure of an Otomi pattern, but created with only linework, which gives it a softer appeal. Similar to Bloom, I was interested in combining classics, but with Storyline I was mixing and matching structure and technique, rather than motifs.
H&W: How do you envision these patterns might be styled in a home?
EI: I love the idea of mixing translucent textures like this side table and raw wood with Storyline. It has a softness that would pair well with quieter company. I can imagine lounging on a sofa, pouring coffee from here while I craft my story from the drawings on the wall.
For Bloom, I like the idea of playing off its geometric feel. Maybe pair it with this triangle lamp from Hay, on top of a CB2 Hex Side Table, while we sit on this round chair from B&B Italia to complete all the shapes. Maybe we could give it a modern day 70s feel with a bright shaggy wool area rug.
H&W: What is your process like when coming up with new patterns? Do you design with a specific person, space, or use in mind?
EI: I design in both ways. Inspiration pops by at unexpected times and when this happens, I typically design what is in my head, without thinking of a specific market or end use. For client work, I like to know exactly who will be using the pattern and for what purpose. This will inform how I design the print.
H&W: How is creating a pattern different than the creation process of, say, a single work of art? Are there any similarities?
EI: When I create patterns I'm thinking more about the flow and movement rather than a specific composition. Both processes are rooted in color, negative/positive space, and, of course, drawing.
H&W: What are your tips and tricks for mixing patterns, whether it's in a home or in your wardrobe?
EI: Scale, spacing, texture, and color are all important to consider when you're mixing patterns. I think it's nice to keep colors in the same family but the other three elements can vary.
H&W: What do you think pattern brings to a space that other design elements can't?
EI: Having pattern in a space helps to give an immediate allover feel. There is no such thing as too much or too little pattern; it will just elicit a different mood.
H&W: Hygge is all about coziness and comfort in small joys. How does pattern contribute to creating a sense of hygge?
EI: Pattern creates a visual texture that brings interest and warmth to a space, and we gravitate to it in a subconscious way. Patterns are found everywhere in nature so when we have them in the home, it gives us a sense of peace and security, similar to the feeling of walking in nature.