This week we sit down for a chat with Karrie Kaneda, owner and designer of Happy Habitat: a line of eco-friendly throw blankets. We absolutely adore her work, both as an environmentalist and a fellow Midwest designer (Karrie is a local Kansas Citian!).
We hope you enjoy our conversation as much as we have.
Karrie, tell us a little about you and the work you do at Happy Habitat:
“I design throws made from recycled cotton, inspired from ancient patterns found around the world. I don’t really like to put words to my style; partly because I don’t know if I have a style! And also because I’m all over the place! So I’ll throw a bunch of thoughts that totally don’t go together (classic, bohemian, artful, eclectic, modern, minimal. I pick stuff I like, regardless of category. I am constantly contradicting myself) hopefully it balances itself out somehow!”
We would love to see examples of that inspiration! Let’s see some rooms that fuel your passion:
Now the big one: What are you Currently Coveting?
Kasbah trellis tile
: Fireclay Tile, this should come as no surprise! Moroccan patterns have always been a big inspiration for me. The cool thing about these is that they are made from recycled materials. I so admire businesses that take the extra effort to do something right (read about that here
.) Planning to use these as a backsplash in my kitchen.
Runner from amadi carpets
: Oh, the pattern! I met the ahmadi brothers when I exhibited at ICFF in new york last year, the love that is put into these rugs is simply beyond. I like to support kind, good people that i know personally whenever i can and their story of coming to the US as refugees from Afghanistan is remarkable and even more so is what they do to give back to their homeland. Not only do they only employ women as their weavers in their workshop, but part of their employment includes education (a rarity in Afghanistan). besides the high quality materials and the thoughtful ethics that are put into the business, the ahmadi brothers are some the most fun, interesting (not to mention hilarious) guys i’ve had the pleasure to meet and know.
EVERYTHING from convivial production:
Simple geometric designs in white goes anywhere. I personally have over 20 pieces! When you hold a piece, you can feel that it was handmade, with tiny imperfections — not mass produced. I visit Chentell regularly at her studio down the street from me and love that she’s always covered in white dust— she runs a successful, ethical business but still gets her hands dirty. I try to buy things that feel good in your hands — products should speak to you, they should have soul. Many of my convivial production pieces hold fruit or candy. Would love to have a whole set of dishes!
Wood cutting board:
Gotta have wood; it’s like having something black, or a plant in a room. The room simply isn’t grounded without it. Wood provides a natural element. Warmth. I’m even thinking about changing my kitchen countertops to butcher block wood—lettingthem get all dented and worn in, but until then a good cutting board will do!
I guess after looking at the things i picked, you could say that what i covet really aren’t things, but more people and ideas behind the “things.”
We’d love to hear your thoughts on Karrie’s picks. Be sure to check out Happy Habitat
And do tell — what are you currently coveting?
As always, let us help you design your life.