Emma Gardner Drops by – emma at home Comes to MyHomeFaceLift!
Award-winning designer Emma Gardner never endures a dull moment. Chief designer and principal at Emma Gardner design and emma at home (both the solde vision of Emma Gardner), she has has been busy creating vibrant rugs for homes, interior designers and architects since 2002. After a successful career as an editor and illustrator, Emma Gardner refocused her formidable talents on creating original rugs, pillows and art that are available through showrooms in 21 North American markets – and now at www.MyHomefaceLift.com! Her designs have appeared in leading design and fashion magazines including Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Interior Design, Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home, Elle, Glamour, Dwell and Luxe Magazine.
I asked Emma if she would mind talking to ReDo-it Design’s readers about her inspiration, thoughts about color, design, and the meaning of life at large. I was anxious to get the skinny on her gorgeous designs and her inspiration, and as reflected in her colorful grapgic designs that seem to brim with enthusiasm, Emma was as much fun as her designs!
I thought I would share her creative thoughts with you:
K.L. Please share a bit about your inspiration – your color pallet and graphics are fearless and bigger than life! I can see you taking a strong impression from your time spent in Japan, but I would love to hear about your present creative center, closer to home.
E.G. You have to take inspiration wherever it comes. Even though I like certain styles very much, such as Japanese art and design, I have to be inspired in the present too. I recently saw the Picasso show at the de Young, which I loved and felt energized by. I get ideas from nature, colors I see, even from reading books. I like the way thoughts and ideas bubble up when you’re reading, almost alongside the activity of reading itself.
K.L. Would you talk a bit about the connection between fitness and design – your biography reads as though these are your life staples and may be the Ying and Yang of your creative center.
E.G. Less than fitness per se I think just having balance in my life in general is important. Exercise has been a part of my life since I was in grade school so it’s grounding and makes me feel good. In that respect it’s good for anything else that happens in my life, creative or otherwise.
K.L. Design enthusiasts may be more familiar with your designs in publications like Elle Décor, and House Beautiful. But your work has penetrated the healthcare field and is resident at the Mayo Clinic. Is the connection between aesthetics and an atmosphere of healing a natural transition of the growth of your label or a more personal connection?
E.G. Not so much a transition since I am happy to do any and all interesting projects that come along. Whenever I am commissioned to work, whatever it is, I try to bring all my focus and creativity to bear on that project. When I’m doing a made-to-order residential project I listen to the client’s wishes and try to imagine even better than they can sometimes articulate what would work best for them. When the healthcare fabric license came up, unfortunately my mother was dying, so it was sort of ironic timing. But in some ways it was actually therapeutic to be thinking of ways to make a sick person’s life even a little more pleasant – comforting to think of giving something back to health care professionals as well.
KL – I am sorry for your loss…
EG – Thank you..
KL – But I can see how that would be such a healthy way to work through the grief and loss.
E.G. – Yes, it seems like a strange way to cope, but the timeing really made it quite therapeutic.
KL. Not really…as an artist I can really relate to creating as a coping mechanism.
K.L. I am curious about your pallet. How much influence do your designs take from the color trends and predictions?
E.G. I don’t follow color trend reports. Frankly, about that I try to stay as ‘tuned out’ as possible. That way, I know I’m not bowing to trend. Once I’ve noticed a trend, even gotten wind of it coming down the road, I go in a different direction. I trust that I’ll pick things up in the ether so to speak, just living and being observant in the world and that that’s a better way to be true to my instincts.
K.L. Again, that’s not a revelation from looking at your work! It makes a very confident statement, both in terms of color and graphic imagery.
EM – Thank you!
KL. I talk allot about the trends on Re-Do it Design, but always with an emphasis on personalizing the trends. Adding and innovating creates a look you respond to and can feel some ownership of, by making it “you”.
KL – Your resume speaks to a life layered with achievement and involvement, both personally and professionally – the demands on your schedule must be equally complex. Do you have a daily routine that keeps you centered and open to inspiration, or is the creative process quite spontaneous for you?
EG – While inspiration often strikes at random and unexpected moments, it’s certainly possible to create an environment in which it’s more likely to happen than not. For me it’s easiest to be receptive to fresh ideas when I know that I’ll have time to meet my many daily responsibilities. I like to get up early to do creative work. I also sometimes work out very early in the morning, which lends an energetic start to the day and a better ability to let my mind wander later on knowing that at least that part of my routine is taken care of.
KL – But back to color for a moment, could you provide advice for people who are unsure how to embrace color and pattern simultaneously, that always work for you?
Color is something most people feel passionate about, whether they even know why or not. Having those preferences says a lot about how you like to feel in the world. For me the patterns and colors are inextricably linked and I usually think of them together.
What I always advise people, is to go with what they love. Whether you’re responding to color or pattern or both, if you choose things that make you feel good when you see them, you don’t have to worry too much about how it all fits together. If you surround yourself with things you like then your home will be a happy reflection of you.
I couldn’t have said it any better! Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by!
Of course – Thank you for having me!
emma at home Area Rugs:
emma at home Pillows & Throws:
emma at home Wall Art:
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- Color Trends Fall/Winter 2012 – Converge and Compliments vs. Algebra (redoitdesign.wordpress.com)
- Moroccan Summer Color – Light it Up! (redoitdesign.wordpress.com)
- 5 Ways to Make a Traditional Space Distinctive and Inviting (redoitdesign.wordpress.com)
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