Tidy typography, vintage maps, and retro wallpaper are just a few of the items inspiring artist Jasmine Redfern’s handmade lamps of Whimsy Home designs. In fact, everything she sells is crafted special by her and her husband in their quaint cottage studio in upstate New York.
Swapping their former city lives for a rural setting, they gather inspiration from unlikely and likely places such as the wild imagination of their 11-year-old son to themed work time including everything from ’1960′s French pop music’ to ‘wear-a-wig-while-you-work’ days. Regardless of where their latest creative bursts began, we want to know the step-by-steps on how these beautiful pieces came to be, and lucky for us, Jasmine invited us into her world to see!
What is it like working with your family?
It’s the best! My husband is an essential part of the business and it’s often just the two of us cranking out orders, so I’m lucky he is fun and funny. My son bursts into the studio after school and hangs out with us. He has lots of good business ideas lately. Maybe he’ll be tweeting for me soon. It’s great to be with them, but if I need to hunker down, my workshop is separate from the house so I can work without distraction.
How have your designs changed since you started your company in 1995?
My designs have evolved quite a bit over the years while maintaining some common threads: colorful, patterned, fun designs to live with. For years we were making lighting and accessories for children’s rooms, and though I still do that, I’ve recently gravitated toward more grown-up shapes and prints — and maps! Now, I’m focused on lighting for the home. In fact, our name has evolved, too, from Whimsy Designs to Whimsy Home, to represent our slight shift in style.
View Jasmine’s special guest pins on ModCloth’s Pinterest page to see what inspires her designs—while you’re there, don’t forget to follow our boards. A quick click on Jasmine’s behind-the-scenes photos above will take you to her Facebook page, and if you’re in need of a holiday gift for a friend who adores handmade goodies, check out these enticing items of illumination by clicking on her colorful lamps.
How does your environment influence your work?
It’s funny. When we lived and worked in NYC, I designed more vintage-country items — sweeter looks. And now, living in the country, I’m attracted to and design things a little more sleek and retro. I’m not sure if that’s just how my taste has evolved or if it’s an effect of liking contrasting styles. Since we moved here, I’ve found that I’m influenced by the birds. They’ve flown into my designs, and the fabrics I choose. We often joke about the Portlandia sketch: Put a bird on it! But, I’m okay with that!
What’s special about owning something handmade?
When you buy a handmade item, you’re getting something completely unique that was made with care and love. There’s a story behind it, you’re supporting an independent business, and that rewards creative thinking, entrepreneurship, and craftsmanship. A handmade item has soul and character built into it, and it shows! I treasure the things (my family) has that are made by artisans, and we’ll keep them for as long as possible. That “less disposable” way of decorating your life has a positive effect on the environment.
Besides being an independent designer yourself, how else do you support indie businesses and culture?
I seek out handmade and American-made. From chocolates, to hula hoops, to pottery, if I can, I go handmade. Besides the fact that I just plain enjoy what I find for its style or functionality, I know that I’m supporting other fellow humans, as well, and I think that’s what life is all about!