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For interior designer Nadia Watts, creativity is a family affair. The great-great-granddaughter of Louis Comfort Tiffany—who began working with glass in 1880 and is the artist behind the iconic Tiffany stained-glass company—Watts has been practicing interior design for more than 15 years. From her namesake Denver-based studio, Watts works across typology, from residential projects to historic renovations, offices, and designs for spaces that showcase art and furniture. Now, she has brought her imaginative eye to a recently debuted line of fabrics with Kravet called the Nadia Watts Gem Collection, inspired by the vibrant colored glass of her family heritage.
5280 Home: How did the idea for this new collection come about?
Nadia Watts: Five years ago, I was in New York and visited the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, which includes an extraordinary collection of Tiffany lamps, stained glass windows, and archival Tiffany glass. The archive includes sheets of rippled and folded glass, as well as individual glass jewels. It was an incredible experience to see the unique shapes and colors of the glass, and I thought, this needs to be on fabric. I wondered, how could we translate the iridescent qualities of glass onto fabrics?
Tell us about the process of translating the qualities of glass into fabric designs.
I did all of the initial drawings and concepts by hand. As an interior designer, I know that when you’re selecting fabrics for a room, you need different scales and textures: patterns and solids, small patterns and large. I wanted to approach the designs from the standpoint of how the fabrics would actually be used. I started by doing pencil drawings of pattern repeats, and then I used watercolor and markers to introduce color. From there, I drew colored repeats of the patterns and scanned them into the computer. I worked closely with Kravet to develop the final textures, colors, and embellishments on the fabrics.
What were your overarching goals for the collection?
I wanted the individual fabrics to be unique and able to stand alone, and for all the fabrics to work well together. Flexibility and fluidity were important amongst the different fabrics. Ultimately, I wanted people to feel about the fabrics as I did about the Tiffany glass: inspired, interested, and [having] the desire to reach out and touch them.
Louis Comfort Tiffany is your great-great-grandfather. What was it like to work on a collection inspired by his artistry?
Working on this collection gave me the opportunity to tap into a deep, innate creativity through exploring color, shape, and texture. The collection fulfilled a creative piece of me, and to have that be a part of our family history felt very natural and authentic. While looking at the Tiffany glass and jewels, I felt an immediate connection, thinking about how Louis had worked with that glass. In fact, he would actually reinterpret elements of his work across mediums. To me, the beauty in the glass is timeless and transcends media.
The Gem Collection is available in Kravet showrooms. For more information, visit kravet.com