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Bourne Identity: A Designer’s Inspirations

Inside the talent of Agnes Bourne, ASID



It all started with a chicken coop. As a child growing up in Spokane, Washington, Agnes Bourne was tasked with caring for her family’s flock of chickens and building a safe, sturdy and easy-to-clean coop. “It was a very tedious job,” Bourne says of her first venture into crafting purposeful environments. “But it taught me how to invent spaces and find solutions to problems at a very, very young age.” Now, over five decades into her career as an interior, furniture and product designer, Bourne is renowned for creating efficient, mindful and eco-conscious designs. Here, she shares her current and classic inspirations. 

ARTISTS WHO INSPIRE:

"Theodore Waddell because he believes land determines our lives; Louise Nevelson, whose work motivated me to build furniture; Joseph Cornell for his Assemblage works; and Georgia O’Keeffe for her use of abstraction and bold color."

FAVORITE COLOR PALETTE:

"I love sienna, charcoal gray, steam and turquoise. The best color combinations have warm and cool tones plus a neutral and a little contrasting punch—a fancy dance around the color wheel."

INSTANT DESIGN UPDATE:

"I paint garages yellow because I think it’s good to come and go in a cheery atmosphere."

CURRENTLY READING:

"The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. I look at this book every morning for its daily readings that provide thoughtful reflections on being human."

OFF THE CUFF:

No home is complete without...  "a pet."

I can’t live without...  "art."

When I’m in search of inspiration, you can find me at... "a concert."

When I’m not working, I’m most likely...  "horseback riding or wishing I were."

 My favorite quote is...  '''Beauty is truth, truth beauty.' (John Keats)"

WHERE I SHOP:

"Room & Board. I appreciate the variety of products and materials beautifully manufactured in the U.S. Their Chilton Dining Table meets my criteria for green, one-of-a-kind, artisan-made design."

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