Patterned Behavior

Painter, textile designer and bold color promoter Lulu deKwiatkowski takes feel-good looks beyond fabric.

Lulu deKwiatkowski at home in the Hollywood Hills

Among designers, Lulu DK is a much-worshipped creator of one-of-a-kind textiles. Drew Barrymore, Steven Spielberg, Sara Jessica Parker and Diane von Furstenberg are all proud owners of deKwiatkowski’s exubertant take on brightly colored, cheerfully patterned fabrics. And now, the mother of three is expanding that vision beyond her bolts of nature-inspired designs to introduce new collections of tablewear, bedding and limited-edition paintings. Best of all, an about-to-launch online shop means Lulu DK isn’t just a trade secret anymore.

Why the passion for so much color and bold pattern? As a child, I grew up in the Bahamas and the Hamptons, so there was always lots of bright color and pattern. And my mother was a strong lover of colors. We grew up in homes with bright colors and pattern. Those things have stuck in my mind, and I’m trying to reproduce some of that because those are the happiest memories in my life.

People say your textiles make rooms instantly happy. Why is that? I like things that are humorous or whimsical. I’m not a fan of dark and broody art for the sake of shocking people. That does not interest me. For me I like to stay in the positive as much as I possibly can.

And now it’s not just fabrics. I have done a line of bedding with Matouk, carpets for Elson & Co, but I’m still really focused on constantly creating new textile collections. Our next is all about Egpyt; less color, more textural with lots of gold, silver woven through and a white-on-white look to it. And all of those collections will still be available at Donghia.

A lot of designers know your work and almost obsessively use your fabrics in projects. But Lulu DK is still not quite a household name... This spring I am launching my very own online shop on my website where I will sell lots of items—pillows, poufs, bags—made out of my fabrics. I will also carry a lot of my own framed paintings, along with lots of things that I collect, like antiques, Suzannis, that kind of thing. So now it’s not just a to-the-trade thing. And best of all, part of the proceeds of items sold on the site will go to the 10x10 organization.

Which is...? It’s an organization and documentary that is coming out in March, and is all about educating girls from impoverished countries. The movie focuses on 10 girls from 10 countries. I work with Roxsana, a girl from India who wants to be a painter. In her struggles, she has a fantasy world. My paintings attempt to illustrate that world. Most importantly, this movie will really raise awareness about the importance of educating girls all over the world.