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Our Favorite #PetsInUnison

We love when our customers share how they style our products in their homes, especially when there’s a cute pet to go along with it. That’s why we felt it made sense to add our own unique hashtag for the occasion #PetsInUnison. In this post we’ll highlight some of our favorite furry friends living with Unison.

Thanks to all our great customers + their pets! Keep the posts comin’!

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This pup blends right in to our classic Stitch Black + White Bedding. photo @samteich

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This cutie is all snuggled up in Grid Black Bedding, and couldn’t be more comfy! photo @taylorntobin

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This fluffy guy is Kevin, owned by one of favorite artists + Unison collaborators, Stephen Eichhorn. It’s fitting that he’s laying on Stephen’s design, our Orchid Blue Duvet. Check out more of Stephen’s designs here. photo @stepheneichhorn

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Last but certainly not least, is the beloved Jazz owned by former Unison Production Assistant Kim Morski. Jazz is fun-loving + a fan of all things Unison! Jazz is looking especially great next to the Shapes Royal Tote. photo @kimmorski

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7 Overnight Guest Essentials with Cedar & Rush Blog

It’s summertime! Bring on all the vacays and visits to friends + family. Does your guest room need a little sprucing up? It’s amazing how adding little touches can turn your space into mini oasis.

We partnered with blogger Nicole Regan of Cedar & Rush on her recent post, 7 Overnight Guest EssentialsIt’s full of great tips and tricks to turn your guest room into a luxury hotel experience.

Read on below to see all the Unison products she used to transform her space:

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Swedish Dream Sea Salt Hand Creme, $13.50 + Swedish Dream Sea Aster Soap, $7.50

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Tosca White Basket, $50

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Schale Glass Cases, $18-$22

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Milano Gray Bath Towels, $6-$38 + Nido Natural Basket, $110

Thanks Nicole! Look for more great things at Cedar & Rush and read her full post here.

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Summer Pie with Rustic Tart

We’ve been big fans of Rustic Tart‘s amazing desserts for quite some time now, and when the chance to work with owner Stephanie Lock on a beautiful blueberry tart for summer, we jumped at the chance. Read along to learn more about Rustic Tart’s signature Ready-To-Roll Dough + how easy it is to make your own Blueberry Tart, perfect for all those summer parties.

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Just a handful of top-quality ingredients make up Rustic Tart’s Ready-to-Roll Dough, with European-style butter (never shortening) taking center stage. Owner Stephanie Lock puts not only her masterful skill, but also her Midwestern sense into the handcrafted disks, making great pies happen. (Shop Falcon Plates + Eve Chrome Flatware)

BLUEBERRY TART RECIPE:

Rustic Blueberry Tart

Here’s Rustic Tart’s favorite blueberry tart recipe developed just for your Ready-to-Roll™ dough. 

Happy rolling—Stephanie 

DOUGH:

1 package Rustic Tart Ready-to-Roll™dough, thawed overnight in refrigerator 

For finishing dough (optional):

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon coarse sugar (such as turbinado sugar)

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FILLING:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel (or more to taste, up to two teaspoons)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

5 cups fresh blueberries (or 5 cups frozen, unsweetened blueberries)

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

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  1. Prepare crust following thawing and rolling instructions (steps 1 through 5) on Ready-to-Roll™dough package. (Shop the Baker’s Stripe Apron)

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2. Combine sugar with grated lemon peel in a small bowl; rub together with fingertips to release the lemon oil. Add flour, cinnamon and salt to sugar mixture and combine.  (Shop the Falcon Prep Set)

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3.Gently toss blueberries with lemon juice in a large bowl; add sugar mixture and combine. 

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4. Assemble and bake following steps 6 through 8 on Ready-to-Roll™dough package. In step 6, dot filling with butter pieces before folding dough over the filling. 

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Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Thanks for the recipe Stephanie! Check out more recipes + get your own Ready-To-Roll Dough here.

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Summer Alfresco Entertaining

The summer season has officially started here in Chicago, and the urge to spend every moment outside is hard to resist. We love the idea of bringing the same modern simplicity in your home and taking it outside, whether it’s a picnic in the park or throwing your own backyard summer soirée.

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We’ve put together some great pieces for the occasion that are not only stylish, but super durable too. Even better, we’ve partnered with our favorite neighborhood distillery, Rhine Hall to serve up a great cocktail with all the best flavors of summer including mango, orange + lime. Read on to see our product picks + the full cocktail recipe.

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Bistro Ivory 5 Pc Placesetting, $70 + Cubic Placemats, $7

Inspired by the clean-smart style of classic Parisian bistros, this French designed set is sharp, strong, and crisply modern. In warm ivory, it’s an inviting and versatile addition to your outdoor tablescape. Add the Cubic Placemats for a geometric accent that looks great and because it’s made of Textaline, it’s easy to clean and stands up to the elements with ease.

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Gallery White Large Tray, $30.99 + Gallery White Small Tray, $15.99

With high walls to prevent spills and integrated handles that are sleek and easy to hold, this glossy tray is ready for entertaining prime time. With a modular design and notched bottom edge, this tray easily stacks without sliding. And its generous size allows smaller Gallery Trays to nest inside. So when you mix and match the perfect collection to fit your serving needs, you’ll know they’ll all play together nicely.

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Opal Stemless Acrylic Wine Glass, $7.99 + Cabana Coasters Set of 4, $16.50

Crafted of Tritan, the Opal Stemeless Wine Glasses are virtually impossible to shatter, making them the perfect addition to any backyard-beverage scene. Although, once you’ve enjoyed your first sip from this elegantly shaped and weighted “glass,” you’re sure to find yourself reaching for it everyday, in any season. Cheers!

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Now after all that work putting together your summer party plans, you deserve a drink! Mix up some summer refreshment with Rhine Hall’s “Drama in the Bahamas” cocktail, and you’re sure to be the talk of the party.

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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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Pizza On The Grill With Last Ingredient Blog

We’ve got another great recipe from Paige Adams at Last Ingredient Blog and this one is perfect for summer, pizza on the grill! Here’s Paige with recipes for the pizza crust, yummy pesto + topping ideas:

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Pizza is on regular rotation at my house, and it’s not because of my three-year-old. I’m the one who would be happy devouring a slice at every meal. Sheet pans, baking stones—you name it, I’ve made a pizza on it. The closest I’ve gotten to restaurant-worthy pizza is by putting the dough straight on the grates and grilling it. Thanks to the high heat of the grill, you get the kind of chewy crust with slightly charred edges you thought only was possible in a wood fired oven.

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The process is very simple. You roll out the dough, grill it for a few minutes on each side and take it off the grates to assemble the toppings. You then return the pizza to the grill to quickly melt the cheese. My preference is to go light on cheese rather than cover up that perfect crust. I focus on sauces like tomato and pesto along with flavorful toppings that don’t require much, if any, prep before they are added to the pizza.

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I like to make my dough and sauces from scratch, but store-bought, readymade ingredients will work, too. The olive bar at the grocery is the best spot for toppings. I stock up on roasted tomatoes, artichokes, peppers and of course, olives in all varieties and colors—just make sure they’re pitted. Charcuterie and delicate greens like arugula are also fair game, but they should be added after the pizza has finished grilling.

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(Shop Falcon Enamelware + Grid Small Rectangle Tray)

These are a few of my favorite combinations:

  • Pesto + roasted tomatoes + shredded Italian cheese blend
  • Tomato sauce + pesto + roasted tomatoes + olives + artichokes + shredded mozzarella
  • Tomato sauce + peaches + arugula + prosciutto + fresh mozzarella

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(Shop Galvin Black Flatware + Cast Tumblers + Cabana Black Tumblers)

Grilled Pizza

Makes 1-12-inch pizza
(You also can roll it out in individual smaller pizzas.)

2/3 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon olive oil plus more for bowl
1 cup bread flour plus more for work surface
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar and olive oil. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, whole-wheat flour and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Once a shaggy dough has formed, turn it out on a floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.* Place it in an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until it has doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

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Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on high heat. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough. (Shop Falcon Prep Set + Stoneware Containers)

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Place the dough directly on the grates and grill for 2-3 minutes with the lid closed until it has grill marks and has puffed up. Turn the crust over and grill for an additional 2-3 minutes.

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Take the pizza off the grill and add your desired sauce and toppings. Return the pizza to the grill for a minute or so to melt the cheese.

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(Shop Oak Paddle Board)

*Note: The dough can be kneaded in a stand mixer fitted with the dough attachment or using a food processor.

Homemade Pesto
Makes about a half cup

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup walnuts plus more for garnish
1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated, plus more for garnish
1 generous handful basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

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Pulse the garlic cloves in the bowl of a food processor until they are minced. Add the walnuts, Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Puree the mixture and while the motor is running, drizzle the olive oil through the feeder tube until the pesto is fully combined.

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Thanks Paige! Find more recipes at Last Ingredient Blog

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How It’s Made: Palm Wallpaper

Here at Unison we really value working with small, local manufacturers to produce our goods when possible. For our recent Palm Wallpaper collection we worked with Artisan Handprints, a Chicago-based wallpaper production company that’s been around for over 40 years.

We talked with Murray Plotkin, President + CEO of Artisan Handprints to learn more about his company and all things wallpaper. Read on to learn more + watch our behind the scenes video.

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Tell us a bit about your company history; how was it founded and who runs it today?

The company was started by my father, Nathan in 1974 here in Chicago. My father and grandfather had previously run a paint and wallpaper store on Lawrence Avenue and he started Artisan by purchasing screen printing presses that were being liquidated from another printing facility in 1972.

Artisan today is still a small operation, with myself  and three professional screen printers at the helm. Our wallpaper is printed using an offset process, meaning that the screen doesn’t actually touch the paper, allowing for better detail and results in an overall cleaner look.

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While machines are used for the printing process, each layer of color is registered by hand by each screen printer. So, the quality comes from the machine printing, but each printer is responsible for controlling the machine.

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What’s your average volume per day?

Well it really depends on the number of colors for each design and the number of rolls of paper we’re printing.  I can remember a time back in the day when I was under a strict deadline, in a 10 hour day I had printed a combined number of 1,000 colors.

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What’s been your experience working with Unison?

It’s been a phenomenal experience, everyone at Unison is very focused with a good color sense which is very important…it’s been a pleasure. At the core of our mission at Artisan is to make sure what the designer wants is expressed in the product, and it’s been great working with designers that are so focused and creative.

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What makes your product superior to other wallpapers out there?

We’ve developed a manufacturing operation that’s really optimal and we’re uniquely positioned to be able to work with smaller companies and young emerging designers. We offer a handmade product, that’s hand inspected and with pre-trimmed edges that ultimately makes it more user-friendly for the consumer.

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It’s great to see a re-emergence of these small companies interested in creating really exciting designs and I’m glad to be able to cater to an emerging wallpaper design market.

Check out the full behind the scenes video:

Here’s the finished product! Our Palm Wallpaper Collection is available in three color ways + shop our full wallpaper selection made by Artisan Handprints.

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Special thanks to Artisan Handprints for the beautiful product, and Potluck Creative for the great photos + video.

 

 

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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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Mother’s Day Table Style

Mother’s Day is around the corner and we worked stylist Janelle Gonyea to style a modern brunch perfect for Mom. Read along to learn about Janelle’s style choices + watch her how-to video on creating your own mini flower corsages. Here’s Janelle:

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Mother’s Day is a good time to have fun and be playful with color. I tend toward classic colors layered with accents of jewel tones in pinks, violets, and berry tones. My own mom loves purple, so maybe that’s why! If we’re lucky, our moms have been a staple in our lives, and this is the time to show them our appreciation. What better way to do that than to host a celebratory brunch?

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The Grid Black Tablecloth is the perfect base for any table. It provides a neutral, yet bold, backdrop while allowing the tableware to really stand out. The Eve Brushed Gold Flatware layers in some luxury, while the Heller Fuchsia Mugs give a shot of color to tie the table together. The Omaggio Vases were a great pairing with this linen, because they have a variety of sizes to play with. 

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With any brunch, I like to keep things easy to access for the guests. I created a light side table complete with Stelton Gold + Chrome Carafes of coffee both caffeinated and decaf, a the Oak Paddle Board with a cheese spread, and chilled champagne in the Black Ceramic Champagne Cooler. To continue the look throughout the space, I added the Brushed Black Vase of purple blooms to complement the main dining table.

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(Virtu Cheese Knife Set, Kronos Champagne Glasses + Grid Rectangle Tray)

For the florals, I wanted the color to really stand out and accent the mugs, so I stuck with that same vibrant pink. Anytime I’m using a limited palette with florals, I try to use texture to add interest and differentiate the blooms. I topped off the place settings with a petite pin corsage for guests of honor, because who doesn’t like wearing inspired blooms?

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(Heller White Dinnerware, Grid Black Napkins + Cork Black Placemat)

To create a pin corsage of your own:

Choosing blooms is the best part of creating a petite wearable bouquet. Florals are in wild abundance in May, and any local flower shop should have a wide selection. You can focus on florals with full blossoms, go with all greenery, or some combination of the two. For these Mother’s Day corsages I chose dark plum scabiosa, checkered fritillaria, and pink heather boronia to complement the table setting.

1. To create these sweet little bundles, you’ll need floral clippers, your bloom choices, and ribbon or twine of your choosing.

2. Gather together the blooms you would like to use.

3. Clip the stems of each of the blooms to about 6″ while you piece them together.

4. Nestle the blooms together, starting with the largest bloom and moving outward to the greenery. 

5. Once you have an arrangement you are happy with, tie the blooms together with your twine or ribbon.

6. Clip the stems to a half inch to an inch of the tie.

7. Pin to your lapel or garnish your place setting and enjoy!