Style Counsel

Make Yourself at Home

A conversation with Sheila Mulvihill, cofounder of Plover Organic.

By Laura Cassidy December 20, 2008 Published in the September 2008 issue of Seattle Met

You’re studying apparel design, but a year ago you and your sister-in-law Marisa Kula-Mercer launched an earth-friendly line of home textiles. Why? As consumers and moms, Marisa and I were unable to find bedding that was organically produced with an Old World, classic feel and a hip twist. We were also looking for bedding that could be used in a number of ways like favorite wardrobe pieces, so with Plover Organic we knew, for example, that quilts for a media room had to be able to move effortlessly into the bedroom. 

It’s like the all-purpose dress that goes from the office to the cocktail party. Do you dress your beds in the same way you dress yourself? I do tend to mix and match, and that’s how we design as well. We have classic patterns, and then to update the colors on your bed, you can add pillow shams in accent colors. 

What kinds of trends translate from the runway to the linen closet? Color trends are always mirrored in home design. Right now our brown leaf pattern is a print I love. It’s simple with just one shade of brown, then I mix in our blue waves, yellow and blue roses, and the yellow carnation print. I’m also loving soft grays with brighter greens and blues.

You’re wearing that soft gray today—made even softer and more liquid with the contrast of white denim. My friend Kirsten Marchioli made this top for her line Rarebits, and the jeans are from H & M. Kirsten’s pieces are classic enough that with a switch of accessories, you can achieve a different look. Plover, with our spectrum of colors meant to be played and experimented with, is like that as well, and I guess my sense of style has that same timelessness.

As a mom, a student, a designer, and a business owner, how do you manage to stay open to inspiration? I find inspiration in things as small as a piece of sea glass my daughter found on the beach or the rocks and leaves my son collects. Recently I was looking for the right turquoise for the holidays, and a shade caught my eye in a painting I saw in New York—ultimately, the artist shared it with Plover. 

Can you share a stylish home tip, maybe a way to accessorize a neglected corner? In our living room we had a little corner that needed something; it was a great little nook with lots of light, so I decided to make it a reading area for the kids. I have stack of vintage children’s books and a great ’50s chair with a furry white rug. It’s now the favorite spot for hanging out!

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