December 17, 2012

deck the walls

I was fresh out of high school when I made my first trip San Francisco to broaden my horizons, visit my dear aunt and see a bit of the glorious West Coast. During a short whirlwind week there I was lucky enough to pay a visit to an old roommate of my aunt, artist Michael Duté. His apartment left a permanent impression in my mind all these years later. I remember it was a rental, in Hayes Valley I believe, with a sunny kitchen and secluded back yard garden. But the most memorable image is of the hand painted frescos he rendered on the walls of his beautiful home.

Recently I came upon the design duo, Minakani. I immediately became obsessed with their work and aesthetic. Besides bringing back fond memories of Duté's work, Minakani looked like something borrowed and cherished yet modern and new. I found myself overwhelmingly inspired. In their words, they "create patterns and motifs for fashion, lingerie, childwear and home furnishing. Keeping a fresh and unique approach to colour and graphics we produce strong and simple designs, with a candid, vintage quirky, optimistic and poetic feel."

Though I would love to, it is unlikely I will be painting scenery and graphics on my own humble rental anytime soon. In the meantime I will continue to swoon over and keep a watchful eye on this pair's wonderful and whimsical work. And also share some of it with you here...

Oh, and a little do-it-yourself Minakani inspiration by Meghan McEwan, the founder of the my new favorite design and travel site -- Designtripper.

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