Rebecca Atwood, the designer behind the eponymous line of home goods, lives in a one-bedroom apartment with her husband, Steve, and their two cats. Her home’s color palette was inspired by the Cape Cod seaside, and her decorating approach is as serene as the patterns she’s become known for. Take a look around…
On stress-free decorating: I have a cousin who moved into her apartment and two weeks later, it looked like she’d been there for years! I’m the complete opposite. I spend so much of my time and creative energy on work that I’m really slow with my home. First we did the wallpaper… then everything else happened very gradually over the next year.
On a favorite color palette: When designing a home, it can be helpful to think about places that resonate with you. I grew up in a small coastal town in Cape Cod, where the off-season was very calm and muted. That’s my aesthetic foundation for color. While decorating our home, I kept thinking of the magic hour, when the setting sun glows pink over the ocean.
On giving new life to a family heirloom: The chaise lounge belonged to my great grandmother in the 1930s. It was originally covered in a floral fabric that was falling apart, so we had it reupholstered. One of my big recommendations for people looking to reupholster something is to bring home a swatch of fabric, to see how it looks in your space. Even if you have to print something out with a printer, it’s helpful to actually see it in your home.
On serious lounging: I think having a basket full of cozy blankets is an important part of any living room. I also like having a few bigger pillows, which are great for cuddling and can provide extra seating on the floor in a pinch. We’re big believers in deep sofas that you can fully lounge on; our sofa is practically a twin bed. We reupholstered the couch cushion seats, because we had worn through the fabric and getting two cushions made was less expensive than getting a whole new slipcover.
On a nighttime ritual: I work at my studio during the day, but when actually creating artwork, I find it more relaxing to be at home. I like to paint at night with a TV show in the background. I watch reruns of things I already know — so it’s almost like listening to music and doesn’t require too much attention. I recently went through all nine seasons of The Office.
On collections: I try to make the shelves the only areas where our knickknacks live, so our home doesn’t feel too cluttered. I collect ceramics from local designers or from our travels. Sample sales and studio sales are two of my favorite things about living in New York! You can meet the people who make the things and also score some deals. Workaday Handmade and MQuan Studio are favorites.
On decorating with patterns: If you’re scared of using patterns, start by using neutrals, or go for a pattern with a very small scale. When mixing patterns, you generally want to mix the scale of them — mixing large and small scale — so they don’t compete with one another. One easy trick is to mix different patterns within the same color palette. Also, stripes go with everything.
On keeping sketchbooks: Since starting my business, I’ve become an avid sketchbook keeper. I’ll work in about five or six different sketchbooks at once, because I don’t want to have to wait for the paint to dry. It’s kind of how other people keep journals — it’s my way of filtering through day-to-day events, memories, getting everything down on paper. When I start a new collection, I’ll pull out the sketchbooks and find things that feel fresh.
On being a creature of habit: I wake up around 6:30 every morning, and I always have the same thing for breakfast. I eat Ezekiel toast with peanut butter every day, as I have every day since I was 12. I even eat it on vacation! I like that it’s easy and I can take it with me — the portability is key. I’ve been trying to get into going to yoga in the mornings, but so far I’ve been once, so I guess it’s not a habit yet!
On go-to dinners: I grew up in a restaurant — my dad was the chef and my mom ran the front — so I’ve always been into cooking. We have this casual ‘cookbook’ that my sister put together, filled with favorite family recipes. I’ll often make my mom’s Swedish meatballs, which we serve with rice or potatoes; and my husband makes amazing pulled pork, Korean-style BBQ or burgers.
On the most important thing: I was really excited to launch a bedroom collection, because I love to sleep! I like to get into my pajamas as soon as I get home. My mom laughs at me — we’ll talk on FaceTime in the evening and she’s like, ‘You’re already in your pajamas!’ I also get in bed by 9:30 p.m. most nights. I think getting a good night’s sleep is underrated. I’m not saying it solves everything, but it makes everything else a little easier.
On cuddly companions: We have two cats. My husband is allergic to most cats, but it turns out this particular kind he’s not allergic to, so he was like, ‘Let’s get two!’ The other one, Cotton, wouldn’t come out for the photos, since he’s super scared of everything. But Chili is feistier and sleeps on the bed — right on my head — every night.
Thank you so much, Rebecca!
(Photos by Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo.)