The Deals and the Dish on Where You Need to Shop
Dec 27, 2013
10:17 AMWindow Shopping
Fabulous and Fun Home Accessories from a Madison Designer
Graphic-designer-turned-housewares-designer Heather Lins has owned her self-titled business since 2008. Her unconventional pieces are part hipster art project, part perfectly pretty Martha Stewart-esque accents. Lins’s pieces have even been featured in mags like Domino, Los Angeles Magazine, Country Living, GQ and (now defunct) Readymade and websites and blogs such as Apartment Therapy, Design*Sponge, Decor8, Cool Hunting and Dwell.
See her designs for yourself on heatherlinshome.com, where you can view her funky throw pillows with anatomical diagrams and letterpress coasters, placemats and napkins—all available for purchase. I asked her about where she gains her inspiration from to design her wildly creative items.
What is your design background?
I graduated from the UW-Madison with a degree in graphic design. Traditionally, graphic designers start their designs after a client expresses a need. I kept having ideas that no client was ever going to ask me to create (anatomy pillow, anyone?) so I started my own product line. Heather Lins Home blends many things I enjoy: graphic design, artisan methods like screen printing, quirky imagery (such as a science diagrams), typography, beautiful fabrics and paper.
What is special about Heather Lins Home items?
There are many gorgeous items on the market, but what I think sets my designs apart is that they spring from a conceptual framework. I use an eclectic mix of imagery: eye charts, typography and science diagrams. The ideas for my designs often come from the turn of a phrase. My line of stitch-it-yourself calendars uses imagery from the zodiac and cross stitch samplers. [When] I was casting about for imagery for a new zodiac-themed calendar when the phrase “stitch the stars” bubbled up. An embroidery kit was born. My sketchbooks are filled with thumbnail drawings, word lists and free writing.
And your items have an eco-friendly bent!
I started with a line of eco-friendly home textiles—namely, pillows and table linens. For example, I use organic hemp/cotton blend fabric and water-based screen printing for my Numbered Edition collection of table linens. For my Science Project collection of pillows, I use a faux suede made of recycled post-consumer and post-industrial plastic bottles. The paper I use for my stitch-it-yourself calendar kits has recycled post-consumer content and is made from sustainably harvested trees.
What’s next for Heather Lins Home?
I’d like to create more stationery items that blend embroidery and paper—like boxed notes and little notebooks. I’d also like to experiment more with craft kits. My dream is to work with a larger retailer such as West Elm to create a capsule collection of textiles, wall art—or even tabletop [items]. That’s a scale that’s difficult to achieve as a small business. Working with a larger business, I could possibly experiment with different categories, have access to different production techniques and work with nonprofits such as Aid to Artisans. I have more ideas than I can possibly create on my own!
Lins’s items are available on her website, heatherlinshome.com, and locally at Iconi (534 W. Washington Ave.).