Living with Pattern Homes: Kiki Dennis

Posted by: Nellie Laskow

This series features the people who opened their homes to us for Rebecca's new book, Living with Pattern. All of the homes in the book belong to creatives or were designed by interior designers who know how to create a space that is truly personal to the people who live there. Their generosity and unique personal style allowed Living with Pattern to be as beautiful and special as it is.

Our 'Living with Pattern Homes' series this week features the interior design work of Kiki Dennis.  Rebecca met Kiki through a mutual friend, designer Shanan Campanaro of Eskayel.


Rebecca Atwood Designs: What are your top three tips for using pattern in the home?
Kiki Dennis: Seems obvious, but start with a pattern you really love - it will have staying power. When mixing patterns try to vary the scale of the prints. Support artisans and smaller designers whenever you can. Knowing the history behind your patterned elements makes them even more special.

RAD: When it comes to pattern where do you save and where do you splurge
Pattern is usually the splurge in my schemes. I always fall in love with something very special and design around that. Depending on where inspiration strikes the pattern could land on any one of the following areas: a gorgeous patterned rug, wallpaper, tile, pillows or drapes.  Typically, I look for other ways to save so I can indulge in the special patterned element.  

RAD: Do you have a favorite pattern technique, style, or period?
So hard to choose! Traditional techniques like hand block printing, and Shibori are definitely favorites. I also am very drawn to hand wovens and embroidery.

RAD: What are your favorite shops/pattern sources?
KD: Spartan in Austin, TX; Erica Tanov, Berkeley, CA; Gary Graham, NYC. Eskayel, Porter Teleo, Kerry Joyce Textiles, Marthe Armitage wallpapers - sold thru Hamilton and Weston. Also, art books and pattern design books are a huge inspiration for color scheme ideas.

RAD: How do you like to decorate? How do you work with clients on this process
KD: In working with clients, I like to ask them to pull images of spaces and patterns they respond too. Based on our conversations and what they show me, I can usually see the undercurrents of what they are drawn to. Certain colors, types of patterns, etc. I then develop schemes that are drawn from these key elements. That way I know the scheme will really be a related to my clients underlying tastes and preferences. My own personal style is very defined, but it is fun for me to play outside that as well. Discovering new sources and constantly exploring in new directions is one of the biggest thrills of being a designer. 

RAD: What inspired your pattern choices in your home or this project/room?
KD: For this project we were very inspired by the river views for the pattern choices. We were looking for patterns that evoked the surface of the water with colors that related to the sky and water views. 

RAD: What do you love about using pattern? How does it shape how you use the space?
KD: What I love about using pattern is the amazing variety of options. It is such an evocative, transformative element.


Here's where to find Kiki:

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