“See the beauty in all things” might as well be Matt Summers’ mantra. Take one look at what’s available at Matt Summers Design, and you’ll see how the former graphic designer managed to make something as mundane as electrical symbols look stylish.
“I like the idea of taking something that most people wouldn’t consider beautiful and showing the whimsy in it,” he says.
In his online shop, there’s much to appreciate. Inspired by Midcentury Modern patterns, Summers sketched each design by hand before digitally rendering it onto his current suite of product offerings. The result is classic, yet on-trend, and at the very least, an interesting conversation starter for your next dinner party.
Cincinnati Refined recently chatted with the Anderson resident to learn more about his unusual source of inspiration, future product plans, and whether the nation’s current obsession with all things Midcentury Modern will ever wane.
Cincinnati Refined: Why electrical symbols?
Matt Summers: About seven or eight years ago, I'd seen it and thought, that's cool, so I jotted it down. I tend to jot down ideas on paper, and half the time they get lost and I remember maybe a third of them, if that, but this one stuck. So when I started Matt Summers Design, I thought, I'm going to just try some stuff and see what comes out. I spent a good four or five months experimenting with different patterns, symbols, and colors before honing down on the ones I thought were actually interesting enough to get produced. My hope is that once you realize what it is, you can appreciate the design on a different level.
CR: Why launch with pillows, pouches, and wallpaper?
MS: Pillows are great because you can change them quickly to add style real fast. Wallpaper is a chance to do something bold and a little daring. Plus, wallpaper is really surging in popularity. And the pouches are just fun.
CR: Any other products you have planned?
MS: I could see fashion later. I could see having people making furniture using my fabrics. I’m really just going wherever it goes, and if something doesn't pan out, that's okay. I'll find something else.
CR: You currently sell online. Any plans for a brick-and-mortar shop?
MS: We’re working on it. I want to go to smaller boutiques, like Mica or High Street. We are getting a list together of regional places that might be a fit in Indy, Louisville, Lexington, Columbus, and of course, here in Cincinnati.
CR: The Midcentury Modern aesthetic has been having a moment for a few years now. Like most trends, will it ever fade?
MS: I hope not! Most of the things that are popular -- the Eames products, Herman Miller, Knoll -- to me, they're so timeless in their design that I don't think they will ever go out of style. Will it still be as widespread? I don’t know. But I personally love it. I want to live somewhere where every day, I love my home. I don't care if other people like it. It's my house!
Suddenly feeling like your house needs a refresh? Browse the gallery above for some inspo, and check out Matt Summers Designs here.