The Art of Garnet Hill Design:
It’s A Shore Thing


We’re thrilled that our tidal pool of cool Mini-Print Bedding is getting such a warm reception. Here’s a glimpse into our design process with Mary Steenburgh, artist, creator, and lead designer of our home collection.

Turtles, Whales, Sand Dollars, and Stars…

For warmer weather, we didn’t want patterns that were too intricate and complicated. We imagined something bright, clean, and exuberant — something that you could have a fun decorating moment with, and instantly add a pop of color to the bed and room. This is how we came up with our playful mini prints. We’re known for imaginative original designs and bold, graphic prints — these prints take the trends to high tide, taking a nice detour from geometric patterns, yet still showcasing a bright pop of color against brilliant ground of white.

The Art of Hand-Painted Details

Though our motifs are often simple, a lot of thought and research goes into each one. We pull together images to make sure the artwork is accurate in form and detail. Then we hand-draw each motif to create tiny portraits. Creating these tiny portraits allows us to work out the angle and shape of each motif, getting it just right. At this stage, we hand-paint each motif, while keeping the look simple and true to the original form. We love the quirkiness of hand-rendered lines and color; they add to the joyfulness of each print.

We are one of the few companies that continue to use this hands-on approach – it’s one of the many reasons our designs are so special. We do utilize the great design software available today to scan our hand-painted designs and make final adjustments and preparations. At the end of the process our designs retain the integrity of the original art, and come to life on our bedding and home decor.

A Whale of a Colorful Tale

When we created the turtle motif, we instantly knew it had to be green. The stars were customer favorites from a past collection; we just re-colored them to a coral shade for their back-to-the-beach debut. The blue whales were originally gray, but we changed the color to suit the color story of the collection. We used a re-colored version of the turtles for our Printed Storage as well. It’s so fun to mix things up!

A Sand Dollar for Your Thoughts…

As for selecting the theme, sea life has always been popular. The sand dollars pattern has been a popular pick. People like the easy, coastal vibe and it gives a little nod to nostalgia. It conjures memories of vacationing on the shore and beachcombing with family and friends. As art imitates life, you just never know what you might find in the next collection of these beach-chic prints.

Warmer weather and trips to the beach are right around the corner—really, they are! How are you planning to answer the call of the sea in your spring and summer décor? For the next wave of inspiration, take a dip in our latest collection.

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