Textile designer has always been crazy about vivid colors. When she was a young girl, her mother decorated her bedroom in pink-and-green plaid. "I would have loved giraffes and elephants on my wall, so I could make up stories about them," she says. "A child's room should have an atmosphere that is magical."
DeKwiatkowski is known for the stylized florals and geometrics that embellish her assorted Lulu DK lines of fabric, wallpaper, and china, among others. She now hopes to entice the sandbox set with her new collection of children's fabrics, Lulu DK Child for Schumacher, which features eight printed and seven embroidered cottons in a multitude of luscious hues and coordinating patterns. The Los Angeles–based designer infuses her whimsical creations with a rich, sophisticated color palette, conjuring a fanciful world of watermelon-pink elephants, teal-and-green strings of beads, coral fireworks, and tangerine butterflies. "Lulu's collection has a more modern aesthetic than the toiles and novelty prints you usually see for a child's room," says Susan North, Schumacher's creative director.
DeKwiatkowski, who attended New York's Parsons School for Design and studied trompe l'oeil painting in Paris, produces her preliminary designs on canvas drop cloths. She uses a more delicate hand with her children's motifs than with the bold, dense patterns in her eponymous line, making them child friendly but not childish. "There isn't one print I wouldn't use in my office or living room," says the mother of three boys. She also leaves a higher proportion of the background white, giving the patterns a fresh, airy look.
Nature is her main source of inspiration, but even Skittles and striped Lacoste polo shirts have sparked her creative circuits. "I like looking at things that make me happy," she says. "So doing a children's line is perfect for me."