Playing with Pattern: Up Close & Personal with Schuyler Samperton

Schuyler Samperton has been creating effortlessly chic spaces for years, blending a West coast bohemian sensibility with an unerring eye for elegant and timeless pieces. The Los Angeles-based designer, who began her career with a four-year stint working under Michael S. Smith, has a deep appreciation for color and pattern, and her work tends to consist of an intriguing mix of layers, texture, and exotic prints.

Perhaps inevitably, Samperton’s affinity for textiles coupled with her design background led her to create her own fabric collection, which launches today at Hollywood at Home and will soon be expanding to showrooms across the country. “I wanted to flex my creative muscles and try something different. I’ve always been fascinated by textiles and have collected them since I was young—I’ve got quite a stash of antique fragments from English chintz to vintage kimonos to Native American chief’s blankets and beyond,” Samperton says.

To design the line, Samperton found inspiration in her mother’s Indian scarves. A constant presence on the Washington, D.C. best dressed lists, Samperton’s mother was known for her sense of style, and the colors and patterns of her collection were her daughter’s jumping off point. Samperton also looked at old documents and reinterpreted her favorite motifs—in some cases, changing the scale and recoloring the elements to make them more current and fresh. “My favorite part of the process was experimenting with color combinations,” says Samperton, who says her preferred palette is a combination of claret, peacock blue, and black.

In addition to her mother, who Samperton says was a very talented interior decorator in addition to being known for her fashion sense (though she never pursued it professionally), Samperton’s award-winning architect father’s influence is apparent in her work, and growing up in an artistic family clearly had a profound impact. “Every day included some sort of lesson about the use of color, scale, proportions, and the importance of pushing the envelope,” she says. “My parents taught me how to see and create beauty and I’m so grateful for that.”

Working for Smith for several years was an education as well. “His impeccable eye had a great influence on me, and I just loved watching his process,” Samperton says. When asked about the best piece of advice she’s ever received, Samperton answered, “Michael Smith taught me not to fret if something breaks or gets a stain on it—everything can usually be fixed.”

As for her own design tips and tricks? Samperton says essential to every living room are tons of books and comfy seating, and her go-to fix for a common design obstacle is to use paint or wallpaper to liven a space. “A drab transitional space like a hallway or laundry room can easily be transformed into something magical with a little color or pattern,” she says. Those in need of inspiration can find plenty in her portfolio.

Samperton’s personal style is a reflection of her passion for vintage pieces and love of layering. “Unexpected combinations of materials are interesting to me, and I’ve always been attracted to a bohemian feel,” she says. “I’m drawn to color, layers, and a certain sense of age and patina. I adore Indian jewelry, huge rings, and loads of pattern.”

Her environment plays a major role in her designs, too. Living in L.A., she says, imbues a sense of relaxation in her designs, and injects an element of ease and comfort even her more formal projects. “Of course, color plays a giant role as well,” she adds. “Cheerful hues and patterns are always at home here.”

So now that her fabric collection has launched, what’s next for the dynamic designer? Her own line of wallpaper, which Samperton admits to being obsessed with, may not be far behind. A restaurant and hotel is also on the wish-list. “[My boyfriend] Marc and I have a place in Florida, and my dream is to do a hotel using my fabrics in some tropical paradise!”

Schuyler Samperton’s fabric is available at Hollywood at Home and through Samperton’s office.