It's that time again! Wallpaper removal time. In a few weeks I will begin removing the wallpaper at the Lake Forest Showhouse where again I'll be displaying my talent in a short term exhibition-style venue. The house is a gorgeous mansion filled with papers of yesteryear; Once the site for a Showhouse in the 1990's, now a dated maze of patterns that are almost so vintage they're cool again. My space is a hallway. The maroon plaid walls are adorned with paper. I will likely be working with my favorite installer to remove the 26' of paper. But, here's a tip that I didn't know until I had the pleasure of removing my grandmother's wallpaper in her bedroom one summer for a little extra cash. A steamer can really speed up the process. Goodbye to that little claw thingy and the spray (and hours of your life trimmed off!) Here's some
Get your mind out of the gutter, Sarah Montgomery is here to talk about the union of two design styles in her most intimate space! Mixing styles, patterns and finishes is second nature to Sarah, as a textile designer for Eastern Accents. She is also a truly talented interior designer in her own right as well as the author of the blog Tuft and Tassel. "[Pattern mixing] it's what makes design interesting and you can see it in all of my work. When my boyfriend and I moved in together over a year ago I had the challenge of mixing his mid-century needs with my eclectic and vintage pieces. That's still the common theme throughout our home and we've slowly been adding pieces that we pick out together, but the bedroom still needs help." Inspired by Gaar Parchment, which hasn't gotten many installs or photoshoots since it's debut last year, Sarah has
Been thinking about getting wallpaper for your space but something’s holding you back? We’ve interviewed the experts to help us debunk these 5 Misconceptions About Wallpaper 1: Wallpaper Will Hurt My Resale Value. Wallpaper can help your home sell by making it feel fresh and trendy We asked Real Estate Agent Camille Canales of North Clybourn Group about whether wallpaper has negatively affected the resale value of homes she’s sold.
As important as the meaning behind our brand, our designs, and our philosophy is -- we want to take some time to tell you a little bit about our process! You’ve probably heard of screenprinting before. Images of massive amounts of colorful t-shirts made for a kid’s sports team, a concert, or a streetwear clothing brand come to mind. But the process of screenprinting is so much more than that! With a unique and long history, screenprinting is just one of many forms of printmaking that are fighting to remain relevant while machines continue to automate more and more aspects of our lives.
PACK YOUR BAGS! One of my main philosophies in life is to take a trip once a year to somewhere entirely new. With all my personal history, years of running a tourism business, and love for global textiles and cultures -- it is important to me to take some time once a year to check myself. To help myself see and understand the world beyond the constructs we live in. The past few years I’ve taken wonderful groups of creative women to Morocco, a place close to my heart and family. We’ve been to special cities like Marrakesh and Chefchaouen, seen ruins of ancient powerful civilizations, visited natural wonders, met local artisans, tasted delicious cuisine, and bought beautiful objects and mementos to remember our time there.
The team over at Relativity Textiles decided that as much as we preach about wallpaper, design, and travel — we haven’t really told you why we have the authority to talk about all this. This week we’ve decided to throw some real talk at you. Below our interview with Relativity Textiles founder Erin Minckley.
An enticing stop on the Morocco trip our founder Erin leads each year, Chefchaouen is a wonderful place for some much needed R&R In the northernmost tip of the Kingdom of Morocco is a dreamscape of a city called Chefchaouen. Located in the Rif mountains, Chefchaouen is a humbly sized city in comparison to other major tourist destinations like Marrakesh and Fes. With no airport of it’s own to get there you’ll have to travel by bus, taxi, or car through the picturesque countryside. Founded in 1471 as a Moorish fortress against Spain, Chefchaouen over the centuries became an amalgam of exiles and refugees. Particularly important is the history of the Jewish population that settled in Chefchaouen because they are attributed to being a major reason for the famous blue color of the city. The Jewish relationship to the color blue is nuanced and personal but the general idea is that blue symbolizes the divine
Here at Relativity we #bringtheworldhome and our adventurous eye this week has lead us deep into researching Mexico. Whether it's the incredible capital, Distrito Federal aka Mexico City D.F., or its elaborate and complex national history, or the masterful and ancient crafts that have become symbols of Mexican culture around the world -- we are absolutely swooning. But right now lets talk about four of the major Mexican textiles, each of which are known for their impeccable craftmanship, delicious patterns, and fascinating social implications. Rebozo A rebozo is a woven textile that functions somewhere between a shawl and a scarf. It takes the shape of a long rectangle, with complex knotted fringe work on the ends. Rebozos vary in their use and style -- some are used for work and labor and are woven out of durable materials that allow for heavy lifting, especially in the context of motherhood where the rebozo is used
M.C. Escher is one of the best known artist/mathematicians of all time. He is known for his intricate pencil drawings that evoke optical illusions of space. I was lucky enough to see many of his works in a retrospective exhibition some time in the 90's, though at the time I was bored to tears to have been brought to the show with my dad, the math teacher. Having had a father whose idea of a fun time was to create Tesselations and color them in actually has come in handy for me as a textile designer. Once I graduated from SAIC, I began teaching a course called Contemporary Textile Print Production in the Fibers Department at SAIC. One of the most basic and easy to learn techniques for making things repeat is to create tessellations, or "puzzle pieces" that repeat infinitely in all
The Permanence of Pattern Here's a question I've been asking myself since graduate school: How do I make a living doing something with my talent that asks the right questions, starts a dialogue, engages an audience and does something good? The short answer hit me while installing our Arabian Nights wallpaper at the Lake Forest Showhouse last summer. You may not have heard the entire story about the second collection, but each of the patterns is inspired by one of the countries on the No Travel Ban List that Donald Trump put into effect last year. The impetus for me designing wallpaper around political events was when last spring I was asked to design a space at the Lake Forest Showhouse. The pattern I created for the upstairs hallway and stair was Arabian Nights. "Arabian Nights," or One Thousand and One Nights, is one of the oldest stories in history and
Trent Call is a visual artist based in Salt Lake City, Utah who has been practicing many crafts for over 20 years. His mediums are not limited to oil painting, mural and graffiti art, comics and animations. Trent Call and I were a part of a very selective group of friends in high school. We were a small caste of non-Mormon kids in a sea of homogeneity. My sister and I both excelled at art and found our home in Pat Eddington’s art classroom. Trent, a junior when we were freshmen, was the shining star of our high school’s art program. He grew up in a stylish family; his parents were both furniture designers and their home was decorated with modern and simple furniture which defied the normal decor of the late 90’s in Salt Lake City. From the moment he left high school he has been on a pretty quick trajectory
Sneak a peek into our founder Erin’s Chicago Coach House You’ll find it’s full of a vintage mashup of textures, patterns, and globally sourced furniture and rugs. First impressions matter - Check out this subtle entryway! Disclaimer: We Hate Pink Constantly annoyed at the wet bandaid gender normative way that pink is thrown around, the femmes that make up Relativity are all in consensus -- pink is wack. But our Marrakesh colorway takes us somewhere new The clay coated paper with the subtle metallic mauve is a crowd pleaser, even for the discerning eye. Marrakesh is the new blush, with its earthier undertones this pink keeps us grounded thinking about the depth of our global inspiration. A welcoming entryway that shows off your personality to guests the moment they walk in your door. A Lasting Impact: Wallpaper your Entryway An entryway is the first impression
Savannah Jubic is a weaver and installation artist based in Chicago. After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Jubic is a creative programming assistant at Johalla Projects in Chicago and teaches weaving to the elderly. Jubic volunteers with a group called Committed Knitters teaching knitting and crochet at Cook County Jail on the weekends. Savannah and I were both in school at the same time, while I was recieving my Master's degree she was an undergraduate student. I knew her to be from the other tribe; that is, I was in the print tribe of the Fiber Department and she was a weaver. Both very different skill sets, students tend to move towards one camp rather than dive into both crafts. I knew she was a devoted artist because weaving takes so much patience and commitment and I would see
The New Blush--Some of you may know that the names of the colorways of the second collection mainly are drawn from cities in Morocco. As it is my second home, and exists on the bucket list of many people, Morocco serves as an endless inspiration stream for me. Colors especially stick out in my mind. Though none of these colors hit the Pantone Color of the Year chord, they're verging on trendy but in an accidental way. Take this warm clay color for example. It's not flesh or blush, it's not terracotta or paprika, but it's own unique hue that belongs only in this place. Marrakesh. It's always been the color of the year here. I first went to Morocco in 2002 and fell in love with this vibrant city. It's been a place of mystery and magic for me ever since. This bustling tourist hub has an interesting history
What makes a pattern iconic? What makes it timeless and have popularity which spans geographic locations around the world? Starting this week we begin a series about iconic patterns. We chose plaid as a timeless favorite to do a little under the surface research about. During a photo shoot in the master bath of one of our most beloved clients of 2017, our curiosity emerged about why plaid is so iconic. How has plaid been in vogue for over a hundred years? How does it stay relevant? Plaid is forever morphing through the decades, always reinventing itself in fashion and home decor, often looking back to bygone eras with bittersweet feelings. Burberry, the luxury fashion house based out of London, has perhaps the most iconic plaid there ever was. But how has it survived the forever shifting tastes of the seasons?
Jae Jarrell is a badass black woman artist and activist best known for her textile and fashion work from the 60s and 70s. She was a founding member of AFRICOBRA which stands for the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. She was a small business owner and started her own shop called “Jae of Hyde Park” where she sold her fashion designs. She is a perfect example of how to blend business, art, and activism. Jae was reinventing her work! In Urban Wall Suit, she was inspired by the walls in her Chicago community where people would tag questions and have conversations via graffiti. She decided to interpret that and see if she could create a similar vibe with her fabric. She describes it as “It was a voice of the community and a voice to the community.” The importance of people to Jae is
Custom Wallpaper Makes a Huge Impact all photos copyright Dustin Halleck This Chicago coach house rents for $300/night all summer on a timeshare website. It's owner, a globally inspired, former retail shop owner has transformed every room into a funky creation full of color and texture. Her fabric collection from all over the world was the inspiration for this custom wallpaper. We wanted to make a strong impact in a small space by using 5 different patterns, all in a blue colorway. We had to create repeating patterns for each of these steps, since the fabrics were just snippets of pattern, not print ready files. Once the images were set up for print, we used a type of vinyl for the application. Common uses for this material are prints that adhere to the sidewalk for advertising, or the floor of the bus or train. It's meant to walk on, and we wanted something
One of the countries affected by the recent No Travel Ban is Libya. Of the African countries, Libya is the fourth largest, laying along the Mediterranean Sea to the North, and neighboring with Egypt to the east. Most western people have never been to Libya or ever dreamed to, since the Middle East has been a relatively volatile place since 2011 when the Arab Spring caused every day people to rally against political regimes who were failing to rule their countries peacefully and democratically. Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya from 1973 until his demise in 2011, that we all watched in gruesome detail on television. As much as the unrest and upheaval we've witnessed in recent years may turn us off to Libya as a valuable cultural leader, we should not dismiss the value of its heritage as a place and it's people as contributors to a world full of beauty. The city
Karen Azarnia is a Chicago-based painter, curator and culture maker. She has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and ran the Riverside Art Center's Freeark Gallery for several years. Her accolades include being the recipient of the Illinois Individual Artist Grant and the CAAP Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs + IL Arts Council. She is in my mind a total badass, though her demeanor and poise is that of a truly graceful creature. Karen is a supporter of the arts in many ways and a champion for other female artists through her work as a curator, juror and educator. She is the mom of one majorly cute little boy and lives in a cute bungalow in Forest Park, IL. Karen and I were in a show together about 3 years ago called Graft, at Comfort Station in Logan Square. We had both recently had