Design Experts

Inside design: Rebecca Atwood

Inside design: Rebecca Atwood

Learn more about this rising design star and where she finds her inspiration.

Author: Sara Cation; Photography by Emily Johnston

Design Experts

Inside design: Rebecca Atwood

Check out our interview with the ever-talented textile designer Rebecca Atwood.

She’s a rising design star, her products are something to covet, she just released the bible on pattern play – and here, she takes the time to chat with us about everything else she has in the works.

 

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Well, she’s more of a prints princess, but her patterns are certainly charming. Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., designer Rebecca Atwood is a budding It girl of the decor world, known for her eponymous home textiles line (featuring toss cushions, table linens, wallpapers, fabrics and more). She just released her first book, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for the chance to learn the secrets to her signature style: livable patterns and relaxed luxury. In Living With Pattern, Rebecca proves that layering prints on prints on prints can indeed impart peace and, when employed thoughtfully, truly empower a home. 

 

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What do Charleston, S.C., and Zihuatanejo, Mexico, have in common? They’ve both influenced Rebecca’s work. Living in a big city, she’s inspired on a daily basis – but even more so when she travels. “When you’re out of your element, you’re able to see things more clearly,” she explains. The soft colours of Rebecca’s Spring 2016 collection (shown above) capture the lush tones she fell for when visiting Charleston, while Spring 2017 is set to feature elements that caught Rebecca’s eye when she was recently in Zihuatanejo for a family member’s wedding. “I saw this colourful, stylized sun-moon objet on my hotel door,” she says, “and started to paint my own concept of the sun-moon combo. It’ll be featured in some of the fabrics I have coming out next year.”

 

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Follow Rebecca on Instagram (@rebecca_atwood) and guess which of the everyday patterns she captures will appear in an upcoming collection. It's easy to see how these snaps from Charleston, S.C., influenced the prints in her Spring 2016 Gardner Collection.

 

 

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“My mom saved everything – vintage lace, dresses from the ’20s,” says Rebecca, who appreciates the importance of surrounding herself with items of personal significance. “It’s about making a piece of your family’s history a part of how you live now,” she says, referencing an heirloom quilt in one of the homes featured in her book. 

 

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Whether Rebecca is sketching or painting – she travels with the supplies to do both – her top tools of the trade are her hands. “I typically can’t come up with ideas just sitting at a computer,” she says. “I have to start with a hands-on process where I allow myself to be creative and experiment, letting things flow naturally. It’s just about getting started and putting marks on paper or fabric. Then things come to life.” Beyond those basic tools, Rebecca likes working with India ink as well as gouache paints (“They’re like watercolours but are more opaque and have a matte finish,” says the artist). She also loves Muji sketchbooks – unless she’s working directly on fabric, and if so, she favours natural materials. 

 

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In Living With Pattern, Rebecca turns her favourite interiors into lessons about using pattern that you can easily adapt to your home. Her advice for making the living room your own? “Use a large neutral rug as your base and define the seating area by layering a smaller rug on top,” she writes. She also says to play with texture and include woven textiles as well as wood and stone. “Remember that linear elements, such as the legs of a plant stand, can become pattern, too,” she adds. “And keep fabric patterns simple and graphic to maintain the focus on the foundation.” 

 

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Inside design: Rebecca Atwood