Design By Nature

DESIGN BY NATURE: Creating Layered, Lived-in Spaces Inspired by the Natural World
Erica Tanov

Ten Speed Press • $35
Tastemaker Erica Tanov teaches us how to train our eye to the beauty all around us, and then bring the outdoors in – incorporating patterns and motifs from nature, as well as actual elements from the natural world into simple ideas for everyday decorating and design.


Photos by © 2018 Ngoc Minh Ngo from Design by Nature: Creating Layered, Lived-in Spaces Inspired by the Natural World by Erica Tanov, published by Ten Speed Press.


The subhead of Tanov’s book – “creating layered, lived-in spaces”– is clear once you touch the cover.

“I wanted a striking cover, to reflect what the reader will find inside,” says the designer. She chose fine-tooth linen with embossed gold-foil ferns (a motif in her textiles) to echo the richly layered rooms shown on the pages.

A passion for the outdoors began in Tanov’s California girlhood.

“It started with hikes my sister and I took with my dad. Walking on winding paths, surrounded by tall trees, felt magical,” she says. “And my love of lived-in grandeur, I’m sure, stemmed from the Bay Area’s relaxed nature.”

Far from facing culture shock at Parsons School of Design in New York, Tanov unearthed lovely things in unlikely places.

“It was culture heaven,” she notes. “It’s not difficult for me to find beauty. The smallest details – a twig or a sidewalk crack with a weed peeking out – fill me with joy.”

Tanov is known for her fashion label (Maggie Gyllenhaal has worn it) and the ericatanov.com shop carries everything from clothing to bedding and tabletop.

Photo by © 2018 Ngoc Minh Ngo from Design by Nature: Creating Layered, Lived-in Spaces Inspired by the Natural World by Erica Tanov, published by Ten Speed Press.


“Mixing textiles on a bed creates a more soulful room,” she says. For Tanov, nature is healing.

“We can learn so much from its intrinsic beauty, learning to let go and let things be. I’ve learned to appreciate every state of something, whether it’s new, like a bud about to bloom, or something worn and fading away, like a withering flower. Every phase is beautiful,” she notes.

“Growing plants or keeping cut flowers in a vase – simply that can bring so much life into a home,” Tanov adds.

Like what you see? Get it first with a subscription to ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine.

Facebook Comments
No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.