Dallas textile and wallpaper designer Meredith Conly of The Whimsey Chronicles brings bright and bold patterns into the lives of people willing to embrace her fresh sense of style. Her patterns are whimsical and fun for the kid at heart, and are designed with a passion for expressing bold creativity in the home.
I caught up with Meredith to ask her about starting her own company, what inspires her, and to get a glimpse of the driving forces behind her pattern-making.
How did you start designing wallpaper and textiles?
MC: I've always been fascinated with textiles in how they are made and how they can be used. I've sought to be a part of that process ever since I graduated with a degree in Interior Design. I use Autocad to sketch out my designs and I look for color and image inspiration everywhere: in architecture, signage, fashion, vintage illustrations, to name a few. Every collection begins as a story in my head, with characters and actions, so that I simply feel like I am bringing those things to life as I meticulously place them in a pattern.
What was your biggest challenge?
MC: Creating three dimensional patterns on fabric. Finding partners for printing and information on pricing as a small start-up.
What are some non-traditional items in the home that can be wallpapered?
MC: I address that question often in my blog posts. Recently, I featured a simple DIY fabric-covered bar/console on my website. Other unexpected spots for wallpaper? Applied to the panels of an interior door, as details on a piece of furniture, or look up…paper your ceiling!
And the fabric?
MC: The fabrics can be used for just about any upholstery project: window coverings, pillows, and are available in two different weights — cotton and linen. Some projects can take as little as one yard of fabric to create a dramatic change.
What is your favorite color, and what does that color mean to you?
MC: I love all tones of green — we are all naturally in sync with that color family since it is so prevalent in nature. I try to incorporate a green colorway into every pattern I design. My collections clearly show that all jewel tones resonate with me…my fabrics aren't for the faint of heart!
What are you inspired by?
MC: Fashion is my primary influence. Just look at the ruffles and a wink at a large cuff bracelet, all can be seen throughout the "Jewel of the Nile" collection.
What is your favorite pattern?
MC: Foxtrot. You can read the short stories that bring each pattern to life on my website. I strive to deliver images that allow you to see something new each time that you look at them.
What is your home design philosophy?
MC: 1) Embracing the fact that my house is always a work in progress. It's a creativity addiction and I'm always pushing for something more unique, more surprising, more re-purposed — and always for a bargain! Right now I'm hunting for a chandelier I can refurbish. 2) Purge: I don't mean this in a traditional, minimalistic way. I have no problem buying things for the house I'll live in "one" day…if it's an amazing item. That's why you have a garage, right? Storage! I strongly believe in getting rid of items that are dated and have become extremely passe. Remember: just because it came from someone in your family does NOT mean you need to keep it.
Any advice for people looking to hire an interior designer?
MC: Gather images of things you like before you meet. Be decisive and opinionated (unless you are willing to relinquish complete control to the designer). Give the designer room to do their job; the less control you insist on having, the more efficient the designer can be with your money and your time. A designer can provide a variety of services based on your budget — even minimal assistance such as recommending pieces to be reupholstered, rearranging items throughout your house, accessorizing bookshelves or arranging art can breath life into your space. The fun part of design is incorporating items you already own with items you find and really cherish. Before you know it, you will create your own story to be seen through out your home.
Images: The Whimsey Chronicles