When you first see the title of the website The House That Lars Built, you probably expect to see a Scandinavian man doing the posting. But the face of (and brains behind) The House That Lars Built is Brittany Jepsen, who started the blog as a grad school project and kept it going from there (you can check out the FAQs on the site to get the story behind the name Lars). A blogger, designer, and crafter, Brittany has been creating since she was a kid. Being big fans of Brittany’s style we recently reached out to pick her brain a bit about design and creativity.
You’ve lived a bunch of different places (Southern California, Washington D.C., NYC, Copenhagen, Utah), which do you think has had the biggest influence on your personal aesthetic?
I’ve always been drawn to a Scandinavian and French style ever since I was little. My uncle created the most beautiful French country furniture and when I was young, my mom had a shop selling his furniture along with gorgeous accessories. That aesthetic has stuck with me and I feel like it’s most “home” to me. My heart goes wild when I see it. Living in Europe was a wonderful way to live the style that I felt I best longed for.
Where has been your favorite place to live?
OOOO, I LOVED living in Washington, DC. Maybe because it was a great time of life. It was my mid-twenties and I was surrounded by really amazing people and friends. Even though it was a great time of my life, I don’t think it blinded the fact that DC is one of the most interesting and lovely places in the world. I went to graduate school there and my dear friend of mine, also a student, dreamt of living in Georgetown in a cute rowhouse. As luck would have it, we ended up living our dream in one of the cutest rowhouses in a prime location close to M Street, the main shopping street. Walking the streets of Georgetown to school past some of the most beautiful houses each with a bright colored doors during the loveliest of seasons (they have the best fall and spring!) is a romantic memory I will never forget. I think of it so fondly and dream of moving back.
What is your favorite type of project to take on?
I love the challenge of taking on something unfamiliar to me or seemingly unrelated. We work with a lot of companies as sponsors and I love the challenge of seeing how I can fit their aesthetic into our unique voice. It’s a creative challenge that I love to conquer!
What’s your favorite color palette?
Millennial pink has certainly held a firm grasp on our current aesthetic and I can’t deny loving it. It’s such a wonderful neutral and statement color all at the same time. That said, I love finding new palettes to work with. I like the challenge of taking a color I don’t love and seeing if I can successfully work it into something that works. For example, purple! I don’t love purple, but I’ve challenged myself to use it and I’ve loved seeing the combos we come up with like an orchid purple combined with neon yellow and tomato red. So cool!
Has having a child impacted your creativity at all?
Hmmm, good question. It’s only been two months, but I will say that the subjects that I’m addressing have shifted. I’ve focused more on baby things in general and that addresses issues of scale (those mini proportions!). Having a boy has challenged the color palettes I normally use. I swore I wouldn’t use “typical” boy colors, but I’ve loved exploring more of a blue palette and combining into a more primary scheme. His nursery has been a fun exercise in seeing how to soften the “traditional” boy room. I’ve filled it with a mural of citrus trees and birds and I think it would do well for both a boy and a girl.
Do you ever have trouble deciding how to channel your creative energy?
All the time. It’s especially troublesome now that my time has been severely limited due to having a newborn. Right now my creative energy is most present during my feedings with Baby because that’s the time I have to just sit and be with him. When I’m not with him, I’m just doing my best to get my work done. I’m still trying to figure out if when I’ll have a moment to create for myself. That may not come for awhile. In the meantime, my official job for work is creative director so I’m constantly using all my “spare” moments (the shower, feeding, driving) to address all the new projects we have going on in the studio.
What’s your favorite craft supply?
Any advice for aspiring designers?
Make a goal and work hard to achieve it. Along the way, be flexible to whatever opportunities may come to you. You may find that there’s something else waiting for you.
Thanks again Brittany, for taking the time to answer our questions! Make sure to check out The House That Lars Built for tons of beautiful craft ideas and step-by-step photos. You can keep up with her latest projects and inspiration on Instagram. You can also pick up Brittany’s latest book, Craft the Rainbow: 40 Colorful Paper Projects from The House That Lars Built on Amazon.