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Dorm Essentials: Bedding + Bath

We’re back with more dorm essentials to get your space geared up and ready for the upcoming semester! This time, we’ve got our picks for Bed + Bath Essentials. Read on to see our faves and outfit your space in style!

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Stitch Black + White Towels, $6-$38

We’ve turned one of customer favorites, Stitch into towels! They’re thick, plush and super luxurious, yet adapt well to any design scheme. Black on one side and white on the other, they’ll infuse your space with a modern look. Get the complete look with our Stitch Black + White Bedding + Stitch Shower Curtain.

 

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Grid Black Bedding, $32-$160.

Bring a little order to dreamland and keep your bedroom in line with a look that brings clean-chic style to any sleeping space. Another customer favorite + Unison classic, this large-scale, monochromatic grid pattern makes for a look that’s hip and bold for any and every bedroom.

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Stitch Black + White Bedding, $32-$148

What’s black, white and dashed all over? Our modern bedding, which elevates a classic contrast to a new level of comfort. The cotton duvet cover is reversible, so you can flip from white to black and back again.

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Linen Bedding, $48-$220

Add some luxe and lightness to your space with our Line Colorblock Bedding. One side of the duvet has bands of powder blue, navy, and indigo with a flip side of flat navy. Crafted from fine Portugal cotton with button closures, it’s also the definition of comfort.

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Milano Gray Towels, $6-$38 + Sailor Pewter Shower Curtain, $58

Get a so fresh + so clean look with Milano + Sailor bath essentials. Nautical goes neutral. Plush cotton striped towels add dimension to your bath. The Milano towels are reversible and asymmetrical with a hanging loop.

Shop more bedding + bath.

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Back To School Office + Storage Ideas

As summer starts to come to a close, it’s time to shift focus towards the upcoming school year. How do you make your space stand out in the sea of dorm accessories? It’s all about clean lines, simplicity and great functionality–especially when space is limited. We especially love a good stackable basket!

We’ve put together a selection of our favorite storage solutions and office accessories to outfit your dorm or apartment + start the year off right. Read on to see our faves, and stay tuned for our next post, Dorm Essentials: Bed + Bath.

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Tower Black Storage Bins, $35 + Milano Gray Bath Towels, $38

Modern metal storage bins by Yamazaki will make you forget wooden crates ever existed. Yep, this is organization for the modern age, with points for durability and style.

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Moller White Letter Tray, $40

Straight-and-clean powder coated metal curves into open corners for a fresh, edgy desktop look. In bright white, it’s simple style delivered.

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Poppin White Desk Accessories, $6-$14

Poppin’s motto is “work happy” and how can you not with these super modern desk accessories?! Available in white, black + graphite you might just want to stay and work at your desk a little longer.

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Black Band Waste Basket, $30

This gorgeous handmade wastebasket is made in Mexico from braided palm leaves. A beautiful neutral to go with any setting, any time. Plus, it can double as a planter to add some green to your space!

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Tower Black Laundry Hamper, $60

Nothing says un-stylish like a messy pile of dirty laundry. This clean, simple tower basket is a workhorse hamper that absorbs messes – and looks good doing it. Fresh and clean. This hamper folds flat for easy storage, and the handles can be used to carry your load easily to the nearby laundromat.

Get more storage solutions here.

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We’re Lovin’ Linen

What’s lightweight, luxurious, cool + casual all at once? You guessed it, one of our new favorite fabrics, linen! Linen is an all natural material, made through an extensive manufacturing process using the fibers of the flax plant.

We’ve expanded our linen collection to include throw pillows, bedding and most recently lovely table linens. What do we love about linen? Made in Portugal, our high quality linen is not only super durable, but gets softer with every wash.

It’s a super versatile fabric that you can dress up or down, whether you’re setting the table for a no fuss dinner al fresco, or styling a dramatic master bedroom. We especially love styling linen with metallic and more hard edged accessories to get a great pairing of organic + geometric elements.

Read on to see our favorite linen picks!

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Sashi Geo Indigo Throw Pillow, $70

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Linen Colorblock Duvet Cover, $190-$220 + Brushed Black Vase, $50 + Tri Black Side Table, $70

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Linen Powder Blue Shams, $48-$52 + Linen Navy Shams, $48-$52

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Linen Graphite Tablecloth, $112 + Grace Dinnerware, $36 + Galvin Copper Serve Set, $150

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Linen Aqua Napkins, $8

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Brand Spotlight: Sika Design

Another brand we’re so pleased to welcome into our collection this season is Scandinavia’s oldest producer of wicker + rattan furniture, Sika Design. Sika Møbler (meaning furniture in Danish) was founded by Ankjær Andreasen in 1942, and is now run by the family’s third generation, Louise Andreasen today.

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Sika furniture is still handcrafted with the same tradition of quality and comfort as when it began 70 years ago.

We love the versatility of Sika’s designs not only for their modern + timeless aesthetic, but for the quality and durability of their materials that make their products virtually maintenance free. Since the beginning, the Far East has been essential to the production of Sika furniture, and today the company manufactures their products in their own Indonesian factory.

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Rattan is the primary material used in their designs and is natural as well as sustainable. The exterior weave of their rattan is made of dyed and hardwearing polythylene, make it able to withstand demanding weather conditions.

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Woven on top of aluminum, the structure of fibers provides great comfort and flexibility, and another bonus feature is most of their seating is stackable too making it easy to store. (Shop the Havana Sofa + Outdoor Pillows)

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Rattan exists naturally in the rainforests of Indonesia, and has been known to grow up to 100 meters long. It grows without disturbing the existing balance and structure of the rainforest and is strong, lightweight and very durable. (above: Portrait of one of Sika’s early designers, Franco Albini).

 

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Designed in 1951, the  Franco Albini Rattan Ottoman is named after its creator, an Italian neo-rationalist architect + designer, who was renowned for merging wooden minimalistic furniture design with more traditional Italian craftsmanship. (Shop the Franco Albini Rattan Ottoman)

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Teak wood is another key material that Sika incorporates into their designs. Sika uses reclaimed Teak, salvaged from old houses, fishermen’s boats or railroad supports. After a few weeks of outdoor use, the teak will develop of silvery grey patina. (Shop the Trestle Table)

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With a profile reminiscent of 1930s Parisian café culture, these handcrafted and stackable chairs are as comfortable as they are strong in style and construction. When woven, this material provides flexible comfort and strong structure, along with temperature and UV resistance that renders the chairs ideal for outdoor use in many climates. (Shop The Boulevard Collection)

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One part standout style, one part cuddle-up cozy, the Canopy Rattan Hanging Chair brings a wonderful, 50-year-old design back into production. As if the inviting profile weren’t reason enough to bring this piece home, consider the incredible benefits of the material: rattan is sustainable, lightweight, durable, suitable for outdoor use, and relatively flexible, making it the perfect choice for a chair that can hang out anywhere. (Shop the Canopy Rattan Hanging Chair)

Check out more furniture from Sika here.

 

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How It’s Made: Hedge House Furniture

We recently caught up with brother and sister duo Phil and Katlyn Mast, owners of Hedge House Furniture, and makers of our new bed frames to talk about their process, midwestern craftsmanship + how they make it all work.

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You both started in different industries — Phil in TV and you, Katlyn in Health. Why make the leap to sustainable furniture?

Phil: I’ve always had an interest in anything design related. I went to school for graphic design. In 2009 I moved from Austin, TX to Goshen, IN and realized the potential for a furniture business. This area is known for RV manufacturing but it’s also somewhat surprisingly recognized as a hub for high end furniture manufacturing.

Katlyn: After I graduated from college, furniture sales were beginning to pick up for Phil. It was just reaching the point where he needed help managing production and logistics. It was really exciting seeing what he had started begin to grow, and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.

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What is it about Midwest craftsmanship that you admire?

Phil: People tend to associate the Midwest with hard work, and a culture that produces high quality goods. We’ve found that to be the case. We’re lucky to work with such skilled craftsmen who are passionate about what they do. This area naturally lends itself to manufacturing – from having more affordable spaces, to craftsmen experienced in the context of an industrial environment. This has allowed supporting fields like woodworking, welding, and upholstery to thrive.

It took several years, but we were eventually able to find a few woodworking shops that were small enough to take on custom designs, and big enough to handle volume if needed.

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You use traditional materials to make designs that are very modern — what does “modern” design mean to you and what do you consider the tenants of good modern design to be?

Phil: I lean toward minimalism, but also design pieces to fit a variety of styles. Modern design is a large umbrella. I’m drawn toward proportions and shapes that are straight forward, clean, as well as dramatic, sculptural lines that make a statement. When working on a new piece, there are several design evolutions. To fit our aesthetic, I start with an idea and subtract everything that isn’t necessary.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Phil: I start my day by referencing a list that’s compiled from previous days and the night before. Being a small business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. I’m either in the studio at a desk, or in the wood shop with builders reviewing orders and prototyping new designs.

Katlyn: I head to our studio downtown Goshen. Mornings start with emails and reviewing what’s happening throughout the day. I make sure everyone on our team has what they need before digging into my list. Phil and I both cover a wide range of responsibilities so the day never feels long. I might be meeting with our next door neighbor about website revisions, working with our project manager, or talking to photographers and home interior companies that we’re partnering with.

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How involved are you in the production process?

Phil: It depends on the project. Production for existing designs is streamlined and I’ll pop in only to see what’s happening and look at the furniture being made. When we’re customizing designs or designing new, I start with drawings, and then work on components of the piece with the builder and see it throughout the construction process.

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Katlyn: We work with such a large number of shops that specialize in different areas. We have woodworkers and metal shops as far out as Chicago. Depending on the piece, there can be up to five or six shops building components for one piece of furniture.

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You have returned from Chicago to the area where you were brought up. What spurred the move, and what do you love about your Indiana lifestyle?

Phil: There’s definitely a different pace to living here. It’s an influencing factor in our business that we both appreciate and struggle with. I love Chicago and the inspiration I get from the of the city. Since moving to Goshen, I’ve found that it’s easier for me to make connections that further the business and work with experts who we can collaborate with.

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Katlyn: In Goshen, there’s more freedom and space to focus on what’s important for Hedge House. It’s easier for us to work and not feel pulled in other directions, but traveling frequently is a must! We both need variety and new places to be motivated and inspired.

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What is your picture of the ideal modern bedroom — Hedge House bed frame, of course. But what are the objects, colors, vibe that surrounds it?

Phil: I love seeing spaces where modern furniture blends in with older buildings. Whether it’s a Victorian house, or a converted industrial space with exposed brick and tall windows. Anything with high ceilings, wide trim, tons of character, and a lived in aesthetic.

Thanks Phil + Katlyn! Check out our full selection of Hedge House Bed Frames here.

 

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Celebrating Earth Day With Prophet Gypsy Robot

In honor of  Earth Day, we recently collaborated with Jamie Tubbs, founder of Chicago-based Prophet Gypsy Robot known for her love of repurposing + reusing materials, to create some limited edition Unison x PGR Woven Wall Hangings using our scrap fabric. We caught up with Jamie and asked her about background, process + what’s next for PGR.  Proceeds from sales will benefit Chicago Artists Coalition, check our her wall hangings here.

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1. What’s your background with textiles and how did you begin Prophet Gypsy Robot?

My mom was a seamstress when I was little and we always had tons of fabric and scraps around. She never bought something she could make, and she rarely couldn’t make something. But the cost of clothing production dropped so much and apparel got so much cheaper to buy than make. She switched careers but never stopped teaching us to make things. Homemade household goods have stayed more comparable to store prices, and when I got my first apartment I got into making things like pillow covers and curtains. 

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2. Where does the name Prophet Gypsy Robot come from?

It’s about my design aesthetic. The Gypsy part refers to color, texture, pattern, maximalism, baubles, beads, fluff and all the things. The Robot part refers to restrained color palettes, clean lines, minimalism, simplicity, deconstructed weaving like the technique “weft over” which shows up a lot in my work and I just learned is an actual legitimate thing weavers do.

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These two aesthetics are always competing for first place in my heart and they seem directly opposed. So my work explores trying to visually communicate both of those at once. The Gypsy and Robot overlap most naturally when it comes to the shared value of repurposing.  

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The Prophet part incorporates another huge part of who I am, someone who likes to declare good things through a megaphone about people and where we are all going together. So, PGR is this little robot like Wall-E who goes around with a flower crown, saving and reusing all the things, preaching a message about how valuable and capable and seen you are, and that when we do our best together we bring life from death. 

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3. What made you start working with repurposed materials specifically?

Reflex. I’ve been thinking about how lower economic classes have an incredible skill for reuse and repurposing that we can leverage and create new streams of income and value that the future needs from us. Something that is just natural to anyone who grew up with less resources will be an important skill going forward because we need to find creative ways to use our resources in a more sustainable way again.

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For the past little bit of history, wealth has meant being able to just throw stuff away and not think about it. The rich of the future will be people who find great value in using our resources in the most sustainable ways possible. That will be a huge part of what makes something beautiful and valuable. Hopefully that happens before we have no choice, which is why I want to show that we can elevate stuff that’s been thrown aside to something that people find truly valuable. 

4. How did you choose the particular Unison scrap fabrics for each weaving? Did the prints determine your weaving patterns?

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When I was looking through all the Unison remnants I was like, “I can’t believe this is my life right now”. That’s my version of living the dream- alone with piles and piles of scrap fabrics ready to be turned into something! I had about 10 directions I wanted to go but the color pallet I stuck with was for the season and what I’m into right now- oranges and pinks and tone-on-tone and florals. I wanted the weaving pattern to be really simple and for the pieces to be about showcasing the colors of the fabrics, so I did one clean, angled line. They look awesome hanging together with all those simple clean angles. 

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5. What other upcoming projects are you working on?

Too many, which is awesome! I’ve got the One of a Kind Show at the end of this month and after that I’m working with friend and fellow maker Joslyn Villalpando ( of J.Villa Workshops) on a project at her school about repurposing (so excited to make stuff with kids!). I’m going to be offering workshops on the West Side at a store called Creativita once I work out all the details.

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I’m most excited about starting on a series I have in my head using all sorts of working class uniforms, and incorporating techniques from the global working class like boro stitching. “Boro” means “tattered rags” and the technique was created by wives of fishermen who mended their work clothes in such a beautiful way that now it’s a world wide fashion element. 

Thanks Jamie! Shop the Unison x PGR Woven Wall Hangings here.

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Easter Table Styling With Janelle Gonyea

Easter is just around the corner and we asked stylist + designer, Janelle Gonyea to give us her take on spring table styling in all things Unison + her favorite florals. Here’s Janelle:

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For spring tables, I like to keep things light and unfussy. We had a chance to do elaborate and celebratory formal tables in the late fall and winter. Spring feels more like a light-hearted, cozy gathering with great style but minimal extravagance. (Shop Eve Chrome Flatware + Corelle Dinnerware)

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I tend to keep the place settings light, with clear glassware for a cool beverage like juice, mimosas, or spritzers. I lean toward pastel color palettes, or something clean and bright like whites, yellows, and greens. 

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Spring is one of my favorite seasons for flowers. Everything is coming to life, the palettes are in full splendor, and the scents are intoxicating. This is when we see delicate blossoms like muscari and hellebore, bright playful flowers like daffodils and tulips, and pretty beauties with lovely scents like lilacs and hyacinth.

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I think Spring has the widest range of interesting flowers to choose from. While I love to go to my local florists and encourage them to work their magic, there is also something nice about picking up a few small bunches of sweet flowers and having some fun yourself. (Shop Gather Vases)

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For this table, I used a mix of lush blossoms and accompanying texture, to help pull the whole table palette together. I chose flowers to complement the table linen, using pale pinks and grey, with a splash of red. (Shop Brass Finish Bowl)

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I wanted the texture to mimic the speckling of the linen, so I leaned toward fillers with small, delicate pieces, and allowed the bright red ranunculus and pink hyacinth to stand out focused in the middle of the table. (Shop Squiggles Tablecloth + Napkins + Fino Tumblers)

Watch Janelle’s table come to life in this handy GIF:

Thanks for all tips + tricks Janelle, we can’t wait to style our own Easter tables!

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Brand Spotlight: Toyo Sasaki Glassware

Here at Unison we truly value the brands we work with and strive to showcase products that combine equal parts expert design + function. Today we’re spotlighting Japan-based Toyo Sasaki Glassware, a brand we’ve had a lasting relationship with and whose products continue to be a customer favorite.

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The Toyo Tumber Collection is available in 3 sizes with a matching pitcher, and is incredibly versatile. Serve anything from wine to cocktails or refreshing juices in these customer favorites.

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The Toyo Tumblers pair great with the Cubes Drink Rocks from Areaware, cooling down your cocktail without diluting your expertly mixed concoction.

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The Fino Tumblers have a simple-meets-exciting silhouette and are made using a patented glass-strengthening technique called Hard Strong®. This technique is synonymous with safety + durability, making this delicately designed glassware shatterproof and perfect for the dishwasher.

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The Rout Etch Collection fuses a clean-lined modern look with a fluid texture at the base and is available in a double old-fashioned, high ball and ice bucket. It’s a great addition to your home bar cart.

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Cheers to one of our favorite brands! Shop our full line of glassware from Toyo Sasaki here.

 

 

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#ALittleFuller: Alex Fuller’s New Addition

We recently caught up with Chicago Designer + Unison Collaborator Alex Fuller to talk about his new baby boy Owen, becoming a parent and his upcoming design projects.

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It’s been a real joy to see you now as an adoring father. Tell us how life is going now with a tiny version of yourselves in your lives? 

Life is much fuller! See what I did there?! Sharing our world with Owen and teaching him about all the things we love and cherish is my favorite part of being a parent. Honestly, it’s every emotion all at the same time and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, maybe with 1 more hour of sleep a night.

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Owen is probably soaking up all the good art and design in your home. Are there places in Chicago you like to bring him to for more inspiration?

I love bringing him to the Smart Museum on the University of Chicago campus. It’s a perfectly curated collection of art that spans the big movements with nice little rotating exhibits. And it’s tiny and free! (Shop ABC print here)

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Now that you have a little one in your home, has that made you look at your space differently and how you use it? 

We have always been very aware of creating a livable space. We love the reductive nature of modernism but it must feel warm and inviting. And yes, child-proofing is also a real concern now.

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Looks like you probably love to share music with Owen. What does he like best? Are you surprised? 

We play so much different music all the time so it’s hard to tell. When Jessa was pregnant it was a lot of old reggae tunes. I think that chilled them both out. This week it’s Yo Yo Ma, Dirty Projectors and Chance the Rapper. I hope he develops a love for all music! (Shop Shapes Gray Baby Bedding here)

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You use your last name (Fuller) a lot in your Instagram hashtags – in fact your handle is fullfullerfullest. We love #alittlefuller to describe the ones with Owen. As he grows, do you expect to come up with more of them?

I’m sure! It’s too easy! We also love messing with his name. We like to say, “HellOwen, where ya gOwen?!

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Anything new on the horizon with your own work?

I’m actually working on my first font called, Fuller (of course). I’m also focusing more on my art book publishing project, 5 x 7 — 5x7books.com. We are participating in the Toronto Art Book Fair in June and launching a pop-up shop this Fall in Chicago. On top of that, i’m always exploring furniture and product ideas!

Thanks Alex + Jessa! Check out the full line of Alex Fuller’s products for Unison here.

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Unison In Process: Inside The Humboldt Collection

Historic Inspiration for a Reimagined Bedding Collection

On the near-west side of Chicago lies a community that represents the very fabric of America—interwoven cultures marked by dynamic social change and overlapping styles, all evolving and thriving amidst a backdrop that’s notable as much for its historic landmarks as its decidedly urban charm.

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Centered around a sprawling, 207-acre park, the Humboldt Park neighborhood is one part fast-paced cultural hub, one part serene oasis in the midst of the modern bustle. It’s simultaneously classic and modern, diverse and determined, everlasting and yet always somehow new.

What could be better inspiration than that?

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Named for this historic community in our own beloved hometown, our Humboldt bedding collection is designed to reflect the area’s longevity and beautiful wear.

Inspired by the hand-woven look, unique texture, and 2-sided pattern of classic madras plaids, this bedding is as casually chic as a fresh-air picnic. Unison co-founder Robert Segal parlayed this inspiration into his original drawing for the pattern, and production designer Erica Lubetsky then translated that drawing into an engineered plaid.

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The result was a simpler, sleeker pattern—more modern in tone. Then, we scaled it up for a strong, graphic punch and got ready to convert the carefully considered design into a textile.

First, material: we selected yarn-dyed cotton in an oxford weave, to showcase the delicate blending of colors.

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The linens have a basket weave construction, which creates a checkerboard effect with white, producing a softer tone that is perfectly suited to a mellow-cool bedroom. To get the contrast just where we wanted it, we selected darker, more saturated yarns that would blend into the perfect finished hue.

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As a final detail, we engineered each side of the duvet with a lighter blue, asymmetrical stripe on one side, so that when the bed is made with covers turned back, a stripe appears on each end.

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Looks like you might actually start to enjoy making your bed in the morning.

Shop Humboldt Bedding 20% Off now thru 02/26, shop the White Sale here.