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Angela Adams Still Doodling

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, October 10, 2005

Portland, Maine — From her childhood doodling to her present home furnishings designs, Angela Adams' design philosophy was to create a design language that was simple and easy to understand.

“I grew up doodling, and my parents were great with it. They even let me paint on the walls,” Adams remembered.

“Now my doodles are a bit more organized. But all along, I didn't do designs that were difficult for people to understand,” explained the designer who is making a major entry, into the mainstream home textiles world with a bed and bath collection at Homestead.

Today, she related, “My design approach is layered. We design a lot for deadlines, but I give myself 'assignments' to do things differently as well. I don't want to be predictable.”

Her lighthearted, doodling design technique is translated, depending on the product, “into which sense does this design activate — sound, feel, etc. That's the reason we have appealed to kids as well as modern collectors.”

In the professional design world for eight years, Adams has created a custom rug collection under the Angela Adams Collection banner “that is aspirational,” and a collection of tiles for Ann Sachs. More recent is a collection of custom furniture designed in collaboration with her husband, Sherwood Hamill. The Collection line is targeted primarily to interior designers.

For mid-market consumers, there is a line of handbags and totes, again reflecting her fresh approach to design. Multi-channel retailer Design Within Reach, as well as some 400 other retailers, market the mid-market collection of India-made rug designs created and produced under the Angela Adams label. The Homestead program is an expansion of the mid-market brand, she said.

The non-residential market also will see Angela Adams' designs via a contract signed to Architex for fabrics and a separate floor coverings program.

With all the different elements now emerging in her design world, Adams is “looking to layer new dialects onto today's vibes. People are unsettled. Comfort is the biggest motivator — things in nature, natural beauty. Nobody knows what's going to happen.”

As for color directions, Adams maintains, “There are a lot of different things influencing color; there are no specific trends.”

For Adams and her design studio, nature is a key element in design and color. “We work in a natural palette. We have four seasons up here, and we work with each season — its mood and colors.”

And creating the collection of bed and bath for Homestead, “It's our dream collection — it's all about comfort. The biggest challenge was editing.”

As to how the beds developed, Adams said, “We've never done bedding before. Homestead gave us the basic criteria; then we designed the beds, and they set the pricing.”

There are “neutral dreamy beds with a foggy color palette; a classic watercolors palette and some more colorful looks but still soothing.”

Looking ahead, Adams plans to open a New York showroom in the first quarter of next year to showcase Collection and for market week. New product goals include furniture “which I'm really excited about, since it is so important a part of our design work.”

Added Kerry Glasser, president of New York-based Concept Marketing Group, which represents Adams, “Everything Angela designs is rich in pattern and color, both of which will be prominent in Homestead's collection as well as in our other target categories — furniture, dinnerware, decorative fabrics and kitchen textiles.”

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