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October 24, 2022
Interior Design may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word vegan. Admittedly, my mind wanders to delicious pressed juices and macro bowls that taste more scrumptious than cookies (and yet somehow I always manage to forget that when faced with those devilish cookies).
Risha Walden, a premiere vegan interior designer, is turning the heat up on the vegan conversation and shining light on how interior design plays a part. She shows us that vegan design doesn’t have to mean limitations. Rather, what kind of expansiveness can open to us when we explore cruelty-free and eco-friendly options? We’re so glad to feature her today and invite you to explore the world of Walden Interiors.
Tell us more about you and your firm.
I am Risha Walden, the Principal Creative and Owner of Walden Interiors and the leading expert in vegan interior design. Educated at the New York School of Interior Design, for the past 12 years I have helped affluent homeowners create a beautiful home that reflects their personality and lifestyle. I have designed primary residences and vacation homes in Vancouver, Palm Springs, New York City and New Jersey. As a vegan my passion is to create beauty without cruelty by finding luxury alternatives for animal products that are used prolifically in luxury interior design. I am bringing the vegan conversation off the plate and into homes.
What importance do textiles play in your designs?
Textiles are so important to the design. They add color, texture, interest and dimension. With so many opportunities in a space to apply the textiles, there is the ability to mix patterns and colors without over designing. Textiles can be applied to the walls, furniture, floor, windows and ceilings.
Where do you take risks in your work?
I like to take risks with color. I am always pushing my clients to step outside their box and give themself the opportunity to experience something beyond their usual preference. I believe this adds longevity to their design and gives the client a chance to grow.
When should a home-design enthusiast enlist the help of a design pro?
It is never too early to get a design professional on your project. The sooner the better. Every decision made can limit the choices of the next decision. Having a design professional see your project from the beginning, offers a broader view that can introduce ideas a homeowner is often not aware of.
Why make custom goods instead of purchasing "off-the-rack" from retailers?
Custom goods are one of the ways that a design can be personal and unique. There are so many options for furniture and products, a typical furniture showroom cannot possibly present them all. Design professionals have the expertise and knowledge of the vast selection available as well, they are on top of new product introductions and innovations. Sticking to off-the-rack or showroom floor choices, can limit the direction of your design plan.
How much of being a great designer is innate and how much is learned?
A great designer has something that cannot be taught. One has to be open to new ideas and have a solid understanding of the basic design principles. A great designer knows how the principles or rules can be broken without compromising the integrity of the design; this then offers a new perspective without trying to be tricky or smart.
To learn more please visit: https://walden-interiors.com
Photos courtesy of Walden Interiors
We’re wild for texture right now, how about you? Maybe it’s the dream of finally breaking out of these insane heat waves (it’s 90 degrees as I write this … and it’s October) or maybe it’s a primal desire to return to tactility in an age of tech. Whatever the impetus, we just can’t get enough of fuzzy, furry, felted, feel-good fabrics. There is something so decadent about richly textured fabrics. We’ll be looking to add a few of these dandies to our ready-to-ship collection in time for the holidays.
I will always maintain that there is no substitute for the human eye when it comes to color selection, matching, and palette creation. Talented designers are more adept at catching the nuances, light reflectance, and the overall energy of color in the real world better than any machine ever could. However, with gazillions of colors available to us, there are some tech tools that prove very handy in at least kicking off the whole question of color. I dabble with a few while creating content for a new blog about how to create color palettes from our fabrics.
Like a lot of designers, I feel very comfortable with Benjamin Moore paints; the quality, color selection and availability is great. They do have a color matching app that you can use by taking a photo in app or uploading a photo.
I like the simplicity of the app and having all their paint info at my fingertips. One thing to note though if you are using an uploaded photo is that it’s capturing colors from the entire photo, including the background, not just the subject matter that you want it to focus on. Because of this, I didn’t feel it was super effective at pulling colors out of these pillow covers I photographed.
Another app I really enjoyed playing with is the Swatches app. It can be a little finicky catching exactly the color you want, but it’s pretty user friendly. Here’s how it works:
Hover over what you want to capture. Here I used a swatch of fabric that in retrospect was challenging because it has little color threads. Fabrics with larger swaths of color are easier. I think you may be able to upload a photo as well.
When you find a color you like, tap to add it to the bottom of your screen
Continue this until you’ve captured all the colors you like
When you tap on the colors it will pull up all kinds of helpful information including the closest Benjamin Moore paint color - love if for this feature alone!
You can use the little four square icon at the bottom to create a palette and save your colors there.
I believe there are a variety of ways to export the palette via text or email.
I hope you’ll give this a try and if you need some IRL inspiration, grab some fabric samples and see how this works for yourself. It’s a really fun way to find paint colors and palette combinations!
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