To conclude our love letter to linens, we thought it would be fun to chat with one of our favorite local #girlbosses, Kate Hougen of Mira Jean Designs. When Kate stopped by the LFID office last year we absolutely loved her vivacious personality and the fun, colorful textiles and wallpaper that she designs. We enjoyed her Pup Collection so much that we wallpapered our office bathroom in it! It seemed only natural to feature her in this series, so keep reading to find out more about Mira Jean Designs and Kate's linen love!
What made you decide to design textiles as opposed to all of the other directions you could have taken your art?
Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of designing textiles. When I was in elementary school, we lived overseas in Africa. I would walk through the markets in Bamako, Mali with my Mom, and was absolutely mesmerized by all the colors and textures in the fabrics. They were everywhere -- in women's fashion, table linens, and more. It was here that I first fell in love with colorful textiles.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere! You don't have to go far to be inspired. I draw inspiration from the ocean, travel, nature, the changing colors of the seasons, architecture in downtown DC, and everyday walks with my Bernese Mountain Dog, Piper, on the trail near my home in Arlington, Virginia. (Piper actually inspired the Pup collection! ). Children's artwork is another great source of inspiration. Kids tend to paint with bright, bold colors. I love thinking about how a child's illustration can be repeated on a yard of fabric or wallpaper roll.
Which of your textile designs is your favorite?
Oh, that is a tough one! But, I think it has to be my Tunisia Leaves design. It's such a versatile design and works well in a number of colorways. It started out in a Tunisian-inspired white and blue colorway. I have also custom colored it in Orange, Jade, Pink, Yellow and more. It's such a playful design - fresh, fun ... and perfect for coastal homes!
What is your favorite way to use linens to add personality to a space?
Drapery panels! I love how linen falls on a drapery rod. Linen pillows are also wonderful... so soft!
What recommendations do you have for people when selecting decorative linens for their homes?
1) Definitely keep in mind your climate. For example, if you live in a place with lots of humidity, be prepared for linen drapery panels to shrink or expand slightly, depending on the amount of moisture they may be exposed to. (For this reason and depending on the application, sometimes we recommend our linen and cotton blend ground).
2) If you're using linens for pillows, we recommend washing the linen first to accommodate any shrinkage before fabrication.
3) Celebrate linen's organic textures! Linen has a wonderful, light and organic quality to it. Its natural textures vary. It's a wonderful fabric for pillows, bed linens and window treatments -- and any place you're looking to add a luxurious, light layer of texture.
What is the one thing our readers should know about Mira Jean Designs?
Custom! All of our designs can be customized. We love working with clients and collaborating with interior designers to create beautiful, one of a kind spaces. If you see a design that you like, but wish it was in another colorway, we can do that! Customization is easy - all we need is a paint chip to match. We can also create entirely custom designs ... so if there's something in your home that you love, and wish you could turn it into wallpaper or fabric (for example, that child's artwork on the fridge?) ... we can! We love helping to create something truly special for client's homes.
Don't forget to follow us on Instagram @laurafoxinteriordesign!