In the New Year, we planned to start featuring some of our favorite creatives and how they use our products in their home - but we just couldn't wait. So we're kicking off our series a few weeks early with photographer and stylist April Valencia who shot our woven pillow and throw in her Boniva, NY home. We sat down with April and chatted a little bit about her home, her career and how she likes to use pattern.
Rebecca Atwood Designs: Tell us about yourself!
April Valencia: I’m from the desert and a habitual hobbyist.
RAD: What does 'home' mean to you?
AV: Comfort and familiar. When I think of home I’m forever taken back to the southwest: it’s mountain ranges, massive sky, and my childhood ranch. Nowadays, I move around often. I haven’t lived in one spot for more than a few months in years. Home to me, is a place with a good bed, my fabrics, and my little bag of random collections (small objects from travels, pieces of random paper and cut outs I stuff in my pockets and purse for later.) My favorite piece right now is an old brass cross with such a beautiful patina that I found in Croatia. I often leave objects behind as gifts for my host. I’ve been so lucky to have a solid community of friends, artist, and mentors all over the world, who have taken me in into their homes.
RAD: What motivates you?
AV: A good flow. Feeling in tune with myself, my art and my surroundings.
RAD: What is your favorite thing about pattern?
AV: Personal connection and inconsistencies. memories of my grandmother sewing quilts.
RAD: How do you tell your story with your decor?
AV: Nostalgia plays a huge part and my childhood spent in Arizona and Mexico. I’m drawn to muted earthy tones, raw textures, clay, stucco, soft lines and strong features .. the feeling of bare but plentiful.
RAD: Does your home change with the seasons?
AV: I’ve never really thought about this! I guess it’s more the case of me changing my location with the seasons. I love a big palm branch in my house whether it’s fresh from the flower market or with some age on it - dried plants and rocks are always laying on my bedroom floors, or tiny flower buds floating in bowls of water in the kitchen. My space reflects my mood and my environment, which change with the seasons.
RAD: What is your favorite thing about your home?
AV: The simplicity and the energy- minimalism. Large plants and plastered walls.
RAD: What little changes do you think make the biggest difference at home?
AV: Decluttering and smells. I burn a lot of incense and candles. My mom always had a hot pot of water on the stove, loaded with pine - I loved that smell.
RAD: What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
AV: Most recent best advice: “is the juice worth the squeeze?”
RAD: What's the hardest thing you've had to go through in your career?
AV: Learning to find my own rhythm. It’s so easy to do something because everyone else is doing it or because you were taught to do something a certain way. I got so caught up in a spin of doing what others taught was best for me. Even if advice seems good and well-intentioned, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the RIGHT path for you. What works for one person doesn’t work everyone. I experienced a couple of hard knocks, which I’m thankful for because they helped me realize this: Personal truth and intuition are everything! Listen to and trust your gut!