Casa Interview: Christiane Lemieux of DwellStudio (Part 1)

Christiane Lemieux is the founder and creative director of one of my all-time favorite textile companies, DwellStudio. Dwell Home Furnishings, her original company, was founded in 1999, and later joined by partner and vice president of sales Jennifer Chused and Joshua Young, who is president, CEO, and also Christiane's husband. The company is well-known for its vibrant, well designed textiles. Recently, DwellStudio partnered with Target to offer a less expensive line of textiles. Recently, Christiane took the time to answer some of my questions about her company, her new line for Target, and her inspirations.
To see my interview with Christiane, as well as to find out how you can ask Christiane your own question just read more.

CasaSugar What are your inspirations for your designs?

Christiane Lemieux I look for inspiration everywhere – buildings, billboards, store fronts and people on the street. Living is New York is inspiring because I am constantly bombarded with design, color and culture. This definitely translates into my designs. I am also a hunter – I love to comb flea markets, antique stores, and art galleries for inspiration. When you look to the past you can find really interesting color combinations.

CasaSugar How did you first get interested in designing bedding?
Christiane Lemieux I worked for a home furnishings company as a designer so I was looking at homes and how we live. Bedding and textiles are the blank canvases in a home. It’s on these surfaces that you can add color, pattern and texture. This really interests me because this is where you can add the drama in a home in a way that can be changed. It’s the fashion in a home.

CasaSugar Has becoming a mom influenced your designs?
Christiane Lemieux Absolutely! I know so much more about how kids interact with their environments and how they affect them. The décor of your child’s room has a huge impact. They are taking in this environment on a daily basis. I am so proud of our product because not only do I like the designs but the colors and icons have given me a jumping point for a daily dialog with my daughter (my son is only 5 months so our dialog is mostly laughing). She has learned all her colors and shapes and the animal icons in her room are the starting point for stories every day. I think the great thing about good design is that it changes the way we see things and this is especially true with children.

CasaSugar What’s it like working with your husband?
Christiane Lemieux Interesting, challenging, and rewarding in ways I would never have guessed. It is challenging because work gets mixed up in your personal life. As much as we try – it does come home with us. I also have more time with my husband than I would ever have bargained for so carving out some time for me is important. I think it’s interesting because it is stressful but I really respect my husband in new ways that I probably would not if I did not work with him. I know how competent, intelligent and hardworking he is. That makes me respect him beyond the traditional boundaries of a marriage because I experience it first hand. All in all I think it’s made our marriage better but I think the key with being in business with your spouse is that you have very different skill sets. I think it’s hard when both people are creative or both people want to run the finances. When you have your own space and a well defined role I think husband and wife teams can work very well together.

For the rest of the interview, tune in tomorrow! And if you have a question you need answered about textiles, bedding, or bedroom design, just leave a comment below. Five readers will have their questions answered by Christiane in the near future.

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