7 Questions for Kendall Wilkinson on Her Collection for Fabricut
Kendall Wilkinson’s interior-design legacy is intertwined with the Bay Area. It began with her mother, the highly regarded San Francisco decorator Alice Wiley, and continued with the founding of her own lauded firm and Sacramento Street showroom. Now, Wilkinson is building on that heritage with the launch of her first fabric collection—an indoor/outdoor line with Fabricut that draws inspiration from the Bay Area landscape. Here, she shares the backstory of this sophisticated mix of neutrals, colors and patterns.
How did the natural landscape emerge as inspiration? Nature is so much a part of our lives in San Francisco. While we’re in an urban setting, the natural environment is always present, whether it’s the bay, the hills or the indigenous plants. I love to go for walks with my boys and our dog, and am constantly inspired by what I see in my environment. Also, given that San Francisco is a physically small city, it’s easy to leave and be in pristine natural settings in a short period of time.
Is there a pattern inspired by a specific city locale? Broadway Chenille was inspired by the “Gold Coast,” the stretch of grand homes along Broadway. I’ve done a lot of work with a number of clients there and wanted to bring that aesthetic, and the feel of luxurious fabrics, to a wider market. We worked with Fabricut to create a soft and decadent chenille that has all the durability and stain-resistant qualities of the rest of the line. It comes in a number of gorgeous colorways.
Why did you decide to work with Fabricut? I had heard from numerous designers that Fabricut was an incredible partner, and that was definitely the case. I insisted on having durability plus a luxe hand, and they really innovated to make that happen.
Have you used the fabrics in a project yet? We used many of the bright tones recently in a Napa Valley project around the pool and outdoor dining areas. And I am in the process of installing the fabrics in my own home in San Francisco in a mix of blues and grays. They work so well for indoor and outdoor, which is so important given my two tween boys and our dog, Biscuit.
Do you have a favorite? It’s hard to say, I really do love all of them. But the one that keeps coming to mind is Woodlands. It was inspired by a walk in the woods and observing mushrooms growing on fallen logs. I love how it turned out. It’s a bold design so must be used strategically, but it is dynamic and beautiful.
Which is the most personal design? Skipping Stones: It was inspired by my annual trip to a family home in Michigan. My boys were skipping stones on the water while I sat on the shore watching them, arranging stones in various patterns. I took photos of some of the patterns, and it manifested in this design. Every time I see this fabric, it reminds me of joyful times with my family.
Which do you think will be most popular? Other than the solids, I think Bengal Tiger is a great update on a classic and can act as a sophisticated neutral in some of the colorways. Some of the other bold patterns such as Color Wash and Woodlands are big attention-getters.
A version of this article appeared in the June/July 2016 issue of SFC&G (San Francisco Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: A Radiant Debut.