I have a serious soft spot (see: envy) for couples that work together creatively. When I found out that Canadian brand Bookhou At Home was a husband-and-wife duo, it sealed the deal. John and Arounna’s hand-printed textiles are made one at a time in their Toronto studio, which happens to be built into the back of their brick and mortar store (another dream of mine). It seems there’s nothing they can’t do — their product range includes everything from wooden mobiles (the wooden creations are John’s handiwork) and textiles for the home and body to a calendar featuring pretty watercolor drawings by Arounna. Nature influences and connects every product, though, and I love the calming, natural look that results. If you’re in Toronto, be sure to check out their shop on Dundas Street. You can also find the entire collection in their online shop. I hope you’ll enjoy my chat with Arounna! — Stacy
My last name is Khounnoraj and my husband’s [last name] is Booth.
Of all the different patterns you work with, what’s your favorite?
The full interview continues after the jump . . .
I was born in Vientiane, Laos, but I’ve spent most of my life in Toronto, Canada.
What Toronto destinations would you recommend to someone who has never been?
I would have to say Kensington Market, which is adjacent to Chinatown, and great shopping along Queen Street West, which is not far from our shop.
The Amalfi Coast in Italy.
Do you collect anything?
I love to collect ceramics (both vintage and handmade). I have a real weakness for pottery.
If you could speak any language, what would it be?
My mom is fluent in French, and I’ve always been envious, so I would have to say French.
To spend a greater percentage of my time designing and making artwork, rather than the production process itself.
What’s your favorite book?
Louise Bourgeois’ The Fabric Works. I’ve been a longtime fan, and the book is a constant reminder to me that I should always nurture the creative fire inside.
I don’t cook, but when my mom is around, I always like her to cook lap gai, a Laos dish made of minced chicken infused with lots of intense aromas and eaten with sticky rice. To me, it’s comfort food.
What would you do if you weren’t doing this?
I think I would be a botanist; I’ve always been interested in plant imagery and plant processes, and it has always been a part of my work. When I travel, I love to visit local botanical gardens . . . they are full of inspiration.