birdhouse pattern design by Trois Miettes

Today’s post features surface design insights from an interview with Isabelle Kunz, perhaps better known as Trois Miettes. Her clean, upbeat work can be purchased on Spoonflower, Etsy and through her site, as well as at specialty shops in Zürich and Bienne, Switzerland. Her responses exceeded my hopes (I couldn’t resist linking you to every one of the designers and artists she mentions), and I’m pleased to share them with you.

Isabelle Kunz of Trois MiettesWho is Trois Miettes?
My name is Isabelle Kunz. I am 34 years old and live in Bern, Switzerland with my husband and two children. Trois Miettes is the design company I started about one year ago, when I decided to quit my day job in order have more time for my design work.

“Trois miettes” means “three crumbs” in French. I wanted the name to stand for the small and cute things in life.

How did you come to surface design?
Trois Miettes SwatchesI got my degree in architecture, but I have always had a love for pattern. As a pattern designer, I am self-taught. Surface design started as a hobby when I signed up to test Spoonflower’s Beta site. I started selling fabric and paper goods in a little boutique soon after.

What do you think are the most important things to remember in designing for surfaces?
I feel like a great pattern is more than just the repetition of an image. The patterns I admire the most tell a story or make you smile (like Julia Rothman’s patterns or Cate Anevski’s “Ghostly Paisley” on Spoonflower).

I also think that scale is very important. This is something I sometimes struggle with because it’s so easy “get lost” in a pattern when you are working on a computer.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
Getting my work out into the stores was scary and very exciting at the same time. And seeing a new pattern printed onto fabric is always an amazing moment.

What do you want to try next?
I am currently developing a line of home accessories featuring my patterns.

In addition to surface design, what other things do you do?
I spend time with my children and husband. I also love to hang out with friends, read, sew and go to flea markets.

Who are your inspirations?
In pattern design: Sanna Annukka, Orla Kiely, Lena Corwin, Lotta Jansdotter, Julia Rothman

Artists: Jen Corace, Camilla Engman, Audrey Kawasaki and many more. I just recently discovered Danna Ray’s work – it’s amazing!

I am also heavily inspired by nature, folk art, scandinavian and mid century modern design (and the blogosphere!).

Pattern by Trois Miettes

To learn more about Isabelle, visit her blog. To see some of her designs in action as lamps, pillows, upholstery and more, take a look at her flickr photosets.

If pattern and surface design are something you enjoy, I believe Trois Miettes will intrigue you, inspire you, and make you smile.

Trois Miettes Designs

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