When I got wind that Rebecca Atwood was coming out with her first book I’ll admit I was giddy. I am a such a huge fan of Rebecca Atwood’s textile work that being able to finally have a book filled with tips on living with pattern, styling inspiration and DIY projects was pretty much a dream. I am thrilled that Rebecca Atwood agreed to be featured for the October edition of my spotlight series. She answered all things from how she got started, what inspires her and of course her new book, Living With Pattern. without further ado I welcome you to sit back and become inspired by all things Rebecca Atwood Designs.
PS: Shop Living With Pattern here
1. Can you tell me a bit about your background?
I’ve always loved to use my hands and make things. From an early age I had a paintbrush in my hand, and when it came time to consider colleges attending art school was a natural choice. I studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design and became interested in textiles towards the end of my time there. I began my career at Anthropologie. That was my training ground and I designed everything from measuring cups, dishtowels, and table linens to bedding, candle packaging, and rugs. I learned so much about designing product and briefing it to be produced by a factory. After that I moved to New York, and primarily worked for a small UK based consultancy company where I created private label programs for all levels of the market and advised on trends.
2. How did you start your own line?
I started my line because I was ready for a change. I wanted to develop product I was really passionate about—product that wasn’t focused on hitting a certain “customer bucket” for a retailer, following trends, or recreating a best seller. I wanted to make product that was more personal, focused on the creative process, and was designed for how we live. I also wanted to own the production choices and feel good about how and where it was being made. To get my line off the ground I hand painted, printed, and dyed 60 pillows and had them sewn in the garment district. They sold out in about 2 months and I knew I needed to get production up and running. From there I looked for the right partners- and began with screen printers in Rhode Island. It was about a year before that product hit the market and from there we’ve grown naturally. I’m always excited about exploring new processes, techniques, and product categories.
3. How do you like to decorate?
I like to decorate over time and spend time finding pieces I really love—that I can’t stop thinking about. I also think about my home as a place to experiment and try out ideas. It’s a more forgiving way to approach decorating than trying to achieve some perfect space.
4. What do you love about using pattern?
I love that pattern can make a space personal in a way that color alone can’t. You can get so specific. Mixing pattern can help you tell your story.
5. What advice would you give to someone who doesn’t know where to even begin when decorating their home?
That is a totally understandable feeling. The first thing to remember though is that you can always change it and your home will always evolve with time. The first step is having a true understanding of what you really love! Star by gathering colors, materials, patterns, and ideas before purchasing. You could do this in a notebook, on Pinterest, or create a physical mood board. Spend time getting to know your specific tastes as that’s what will make your home special. Think about the mood you're trying to create, and what scale, colors, and types of patterns, objects, etc. may best suit the space. Find one piece you really love and build off of that. This first item should be something that has personality to it, versus say a plain sofa, as it’s going to be easier for you to build a story. It could be a painting, a patterned pillow, a small vase, a rug, or even the cover of a book!
6. What is your most favorite item in your home?
That’s a tough one! I’m really lucky to have many pieces with meaning in my home. A few things that come to mind are my coffee table my grandfather built out of an old wine holder, a beautiful large mirror made by a local Brooklyn designer my husband gave me for my birthday, my sterling silverware that belonged to my great-uncle and was a wedding present from my parents, and so many more small things around my home!
7. Do you ever decorate your apartment and then hate it later and rearrange the whole thing?
Yes! Experimenting is all part of the fun. We recently moved this very heavy marble desk from one end of the room to the other, which I instantly regretted. Figuring out the layout can be a bit like a puzzle. I also love that when you’ve lived in a space for a long time you can make it feel fresh again just by rearranging what you already own—I learned that from my Mom.
8. What’s your style in three words:
Relaxed, Patterned, Luxurious
9. Why did you decide to write a book?
I decided to write a book after a publisher had approached me about writing a different kind of book. It sparked conversations, and I realized that I had something of value to share. Pattern can often seem overwhelming, or we have preconceived ideas about what a patterned space would look like. I wanted to break down that barrier. Pattern can be minimal or maximal—and it can be just as distinctive as your story. It’s an amazing tool for personalizing your home and I wanted to share that knowledge and inspiration.