March 28, 2014

Thank you Gracious Home for the great Post!

inside design: the colorful world of lulu dk

Lulu in her LA office with son Pier Giorgio
Lulu deKwiatkowski was born and raised a New York City girl. She split her childhood between Manhattan’s eccentric and pulsing streets and the sun-and-color-drenched beaches of the Hamptons and the Bahamas. It is these two very different aesthetics that she brings together in her eponymous LULU DK lines of bedding, fabric, paper goods, d├ęcor, and more – a brand that is ever-evolving, ever-growing, and never ceases to produce products that are as stunning as they are well crafted.
After graduating from Parsons School of Design, Lulu went to live in Paris, absorbing its culture, its style, and its undeniable je ne sais quoi for five years. It’s there that she began studying trompe l’oeil painting, and the acclaim her paintings later received from designers is what inspired her to build her own textile company. Today, LULU DK is a household name and one look at her designs – which run from bold and whimsical to subdued and sophisticated – and you’ll understand why.
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Lulu’s original artwork
Now living in LA in the ‘off-season’ with her husband Alfredo Gilardini, their twin boys, Francesco and Matteo (age 5), and Pier Giorgio (2 ½), we caught up with Lulu about her color philosophy, her bedding line with Matouk, and her recipe for perfect lighting (spoiler: it involves a disco ball!).

In fashion, designers talk about ‘their girl’ – the person they design for. Who is your girl (or guy!)? 
Babe Paley and my mother. I love the old school approach to style, color, and design. The worldly knowledge, effortless beauty, and fearless use of color combinations. It is a little Palm Beach (or Lyford Cay, where I grew up) meets India.
The iconic Babe Paley
Lulu 5030
Lulu’s LA home’s living room
Tell us a little about your personal approach to interior design in your home. 
I really like clean lines mixed with well-matched colors. I surprisingly love to use a solid base of white (white walls, couches) and then mix it with pops of color and detail. I also like to throw in a room that is all-out courageous, printed wallpaper mixed with printed everything else… a full creative release or “wow” in one room.
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Master bedroom in Lulu’s LA home
What is your philosophy about/approach to color? 
I love color. I love faded colors that look sun-bleached and I love white and cream. I love to mix them subtly. I don’t like the overuse of too many shocking colors. I am super particular about color. People know I like color, so I always get connected with bright electric orange with purple with this, that, and the other… it actually isn’t me. If you go too far or exaggerated with color, it can be very kitschy.
LULU DK Sailboat framed prints, Pink Love rug, and Paradiso Coral pillow
What colors are you crushing on right now? What colors are your go-to classics? 
I’m liking a certain shade of pink right now, green, and navy all mixed together. I always love pale blue (with a touch of green in it), ivory, and coral.
What inspired the design behind your fabulous bedding line for Matouk, and where do you find inspiration in general? 
I always find my inspiration in nature. If I am travelling, I just look around. Flora, fauna, and local colors all change wherever you go… I look everywhere. I remember one day I was walking in New York and I looked down at the cement sidewalk and there were damp bright yellow leaves all over against the grey ground. They looked beautiful mixed in with the dark black aged circular bubble gum stains. So when I say you can find inspiration anywhere, I mean anywhere.
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Lulu’s handmade color swatches
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Guest bedroom in Lulu’s LA home
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LULU DK Dreamers fabric upholstered on the wall
How do you transition your home into spring? 
Ha! I live in LA… it’s always spring!
What does Gracious Home mean to you? 
I can’t go to New York City without stopping into Gracious Home. It is a landmark! When I lived in New York, I bought everything there… I mean everything.
What are your entertaining essentials? 
Great napkins, a great tablecloth, music, candles, a fireplace, and a great bar!
What’s your recipe for perfect lighting?
Low lighting for day and night. For a party, I like candles and a disco ball! Ha!
Who would be your dream cocktail party guests – real or fictional, dead or alive? 
My parents and six siblings.
What’s next for you and your business? 
The sky is the limit!
One meal I could eat forever is: Caesar salad and fried calamari
If I could live in a movie set it would be: High Society with Grace Kelly
If I could live in another time period, it would be: The ’50s
This one investment piece can transform a room: A LULU DK original painting!
Three things every house needs to be a home are: Great bedding (sheets, blankets, pillows), a great kitchen, and strong shower pressure. And great energy!
My favorite patterns from my bedding collection are: My classic Tiger Lily, Poppy, and my new Hemingway.
Design trend I love: David Hicks-ian
My most prized possession is: My house in Southampton
My greatest accomplishment is: My children, my family, and my book LULU
My design icon is: Grace Kelly and Babe Paley
Grace Kelly High Society
Grace Kelly in High Society
Want a little LULU DK in your home? Shop her bedding line with Matouk on