By Dominique Koudsi.
Travel: Such a simple word conjures up so many amazing things in our minds. Sights unseen. Wanderlust. Freedom, expeditions, new tastes, new touches, new smells… It’s one of the greatest pleasures in life, and, to me, it’s one that’s also so good at reminding us of how to find joy in the little things. It’s the missed bus that turns into your chance to listen, dewey-eyed, to some dreamy street music for an extra half hour; it’s the newfound appreciation you find for your bed at home; it’s the insanely delicious spice with a name you can’t pronounce that you’re going to put on everything from here on out.
Which is why I’m not at all surprised that Aimee and Christiana, of Hygge & West, found such incredible inspiration for their latest collection from travels through Mexico. In collaboration with design studio Laundry, Aimee and Christiana bring the entire sentiment of travel and the beauty of Mexico home through this deliciously luxe collection of wallpaper. Think of a painted mural in a old hotel bar, fingers flying over vintage basket weaving, symmetrical tiles spanning across a church floor, wooden casita doors in Colonial Mexican homes, the symbolic power and freedom of birds. With this collection, you can feel like you’re taking a journey without ever leaving your home because you can literally surround yourself with all of these things—it is wallpaper, after all.
Of course, we wouldn’t even be talking about the collection if it weren’t high quality and well-made, in addition to being beautifully designed and absolutely inspired. Designed by Laundry in Portland and screen-printed in Chicago on extremely durable and fade resistant coated paper manufactured in the US, the collection is modern and luxe. It somehow feels hand painted. I like to think of this wallpaper as the ability to cover your walls in instant wanderlust. And what could be more pleasurable than that?
The whole idea behind Hygge & West (and even the idea of hygge itself) is based around the idea of living better, living more simply, and being appreciative of the little things. Where does something like wallpaper come into the picture? C & A: We discovered the word hygge around the time we were starting our business, and it resonated very deeply with both of us. We thought it fit our aesthetic in that adding unique and personality-filled wallpaper to your space can immediately make it more joyful. It also became a guiding principle for our designs. We feel that everything we produce should foster the notion of hygge and bring it to life within an interior.
Tell me more about your latest collection with Laundry. What inspired it? Why Laundry? C & A: Laundry is a design studio in Portland. We had coffee with the designers during their visit to San Francisco. When we mentioned wanting to do a Mexico-inspired collection, they expressed interest in collaborating with us. This was our first collaboration where we took the lead in providing the inspiration, so we have a very close connection to each of the patterns.
Where else do you look for inspiration when designing? C & A: We do find travel to be the greatest source of inspiration, not just because you’re constantly seeing new things, but also because your mind seems to be much more open to possibilities rather than when stuck in front of a computer. That said, we find a lot of inspiration looking at décor blogs and Pinterest. Inspiration is everywhere and often unexpected—design books and magazines, going to restaurants or friends’ houses, flower markets… Sometimes, we’ll see a dress or a painting and wonder, “How would that translate to wallpaper?” We try and stay really open-minded and keep an eye out for anything beautiful and interesting.
What five objects define you? C: Alice Eden bird necklace, RPC for H&W Pineapples wallpaper, Levi’s denim jacket, black elastic hair tie, Pillet sunset chair.
A: The watch my parents got me for college graduation (1997!) that I have worn almost every day since, J. Crew Pixie pants, a New Mexico key ring that my boys bought me (it has their pictures inside), my Vitamix blender, Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur perfume.