Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Anki Spets

One of the best feelings in the world is crawling into bed and enjoying the comfort and quality of your sheets. For Anki Spets, founder of AREA Home, she aims for her customers to experience this through every piece of bedding she designs. She uses the best materials such as 100% organic cotton, long-lasting linen, and incredibly soft alpaca. On top of all the fine materials, she always manages to incorporate Swedish design, which she describes as “being very practically oriented, and useful, not frivolous.” Introducing this week’s Maker Monday, Anki Spets.

Pictured is the Vienna Throw blanket. It takes inspiration from the early 20th century Wiener Werkstätte movement which focused primarily on good design for your day to day. It has a mixture of linen and cotton fibers, which makes it breathable and comfortable.

Andrew Joseph: Describe your design style as if you were explaining it to someone who cannot see.
Anki Spets: Lend me your hand and you will feel the difference. It is all about the touch. For color choices, the sum of the combination should be relaxing, not energetic. It should be like an afternoon light – the colors are a bit of mute/restraint so that it makes anyone want to lie down.

Andrew: What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Anki: I was on the cover of, and also a (fake) editor of a pony magazine as a young teenager. I spent a good deal of time as a kid in the stable and on horseback, which my mother said saved me from all the teenage horrors that could have gotten me in trouble. In the magazine, I was a fictional instructor for a riding school and also wrote an editor’s letter.

This bed is wrapped up in a throw from the Theo Collection. It is made from 100% cotton and has an intricate, three-color weave combining two different shades of gray.

Andrew: What are three things you can’t live without?
Anki: Tea, Chocolate and nice sheets! Duh. My favorites are the percales as they are cool and crisp against the skin. The ultimate favorite is a mix of materials so it would be something in linen and something in wool for texture and color. And there has to be an opening to get feet out.

Andrew: What might the design world look like in 10 years?
Anki: Right now we are going through something we never anticipated, and this will change the design world a lot. It could just be a major downturn in the economy, but it feels more like a war that when we come out of this we will have to start over with many things. I read an article that said that quality will be more meaningful for the consumer, and I like to interpret this to some things that lack value, integrity, and yes quality might self-censure and disappear. I think it’s a positive if we hesitate before buying more stuff. And that we develop a better sense about who we are as consumers and not just buy new for the sake of new.

This pillow is from the collection called, PLAY. It has been screen printed on a 100% linen euro square pillow case.

Andrew: If you had one more hour in the day what would you do with it?
Anki: Draw or play tennis. There is nothing better than to lose yourself in an activity, something that requires all your attention and you forgot everything else. When you come out of it, you feel new even for a short time. Drawing and tennis both give me that — though a good drawing session is preferred since in tennis you need a partner.

Andrew: A book that everyone should read?
Anki: How to make your own trousers by Anki Spets. Yes, I wrote a book, printed in 1988. I was a menswear designer and also worked extra as a teacher in the design school I had attended. Thus, I was asked to write a book about how to make your own trousers. How-to books were big then. The book was based on 5 different patterns and then you learn how to make variables from those. It came with the patterns and the cover had a naked butt on it, with the idea to dress it.

About The Maker | Born in a small Swedish fishing village, Anki Spets completed her design education in Stockholm, where she first developed her passion for textiles and embarked on a successful fashion-design career. Over time, however, she grew tired of the fashion industry’s emphasis on trend and novelty for novelty’s sake. She aspired to create products with a longer life span and broader use.

In the late 1980s, Spets moved to New York City, where she began working as a textile surface designer. She was quick to discern a difference between American and Swedish “style” for sleep. She saw a void of relaxed, sophisticated modern style in the American home industry, which was then very limited – dominated by traditional florals, plaids, and frills. She was eager to bring her fresh, Scandinavian design perspective to the marketplace, and started Area in 1990.

With her extensive experience in design and production, Anki has developed many original products for Area, from bedding and table linens to glassware and rugs. Her creations epitomize the Swedish knack for beauty, simplicity, and practicality. Her innate ability to combine refined subtlety with a human touch makes Anki’s designs remarkable.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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