Behind The Design Mind: Jeff AndrewsAuthor:Abigail Stone
Interior designer Jeff Andrews turned to his long-time obsession with ceramics to fuel the inspiration for “Reglazed,” his second wallpaper collection with Astek. We sat down with him to learn more about how he translates the characteristics of one medium into another.
California Home + Design: Can you pinpoint when your obsession with ceramics began and what turned it into a full blown love?
Jeff Andrews: In junior high I took a ceramics class as an elective. While I wasn’t the best at actually throwing pottery, I loved working with the different glazes and textures. Having experienced the creative process gave me a much greater appreciation for the medium. Many years and many purchases later, I began to see how pattern can be derived from the etching, glazing and carving found in ceramics.
CHD: Can you share with us a little bit about the process?
JA: Astek asked me to collaborate on a collection with them. It was my first foray into product design. First, I had to think about what point of view I wanted to put out into the design world – what could I contribute that would be broadly appealing yet distinctly my own? So I looked around my own home, and, as you know, there’s plenty of pottery. I thought – keep it personal. The first collection was based on some of my favorite pieces I had collected over the years. Each pattern in both collections has a starting point, which is then expanded and developed to create a pattern that has an interesting and dramatic repeat. Astek was completely on board with the direction from the start, and their team worked closely with me to develop what has been a successful first collection.
CHD: Whereas the last collection almost felt monochrome, this collection has more daring patterns and more saturated colors. What prompted you to go bolder?
JA: The first collection features tones, colors, and finishes that were representative of the design work that I was doing at the time. It’s only natural as a creative to evolve and grow. In between collections for Astek, I designed furniture, rugs and more, so I was more at home with the process overall and ready to dig deeper and go bolder. The new collection is indeed bolder, in pattern, scale and colors, and that it representative of what I’m loving now. Color has always been a tricky thing for me, but I’m embracing it more and more as every designer should.
CHD: I’d love to hear about some of your favorite ceramicists.
JA: My teenage ceramics experience gave me a deep appreciation craftsmanship. A few of my favorites working today are Adam Silverman, Heather Levine, and Stan Bitters. But I’ve always loved anonymous studio pottery that other people made in their own ceramics classes. No two pieces can ever be exactly the same, which is very appealing as a designer. It’s a great way to ensure that a room has something touched by hand and truly unique.
CHD: Texture seems to be a big part of your products. Can you share how you use texture in your interior design work?
JA: It’s all about texture! Texture is tactile, yes, but it’s also visual, and it gives a room dimension. Mixing metals, wood finishes, fabrics, and shapes are the backbone of my design aesthetic. All good design is created in “The Mix.”
CHD: Wallpaper is one of those things that can really make a room pop yet, at the same time, it can be scary. It’s such a statement! Where does wallpaper fit into your design process?
JA: Anyone who has ever had to remove wallpaper is rightly scared of it. Design is about finding someone you trust and taking the leap together. The powder room has always been the safest spot for clients to take the wallpaper plunge, but if you’re going to take a risk, make it worthwhile. I love to wallpaper a ceiling for truly unexpected drama. If you’re going to do wallpaper, you have to go for it. I would only rarely do just one wall. You have to envelop the room with pattern for the big payoff, and an accent wall sometimes just looks like you ran out of money.
Thank you, Jeff! See the entire Re-Glazed collection from Astek by clicking here.
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