Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling

Josephine Kimberling, Surface Designer

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Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling

There are times when inspiration comes softly, and there are instances when it hits with the vibrancy of a million colours. The latter is precisely the effect Josephine Kimberling‘s fabrics had on me. Known her for use of candy sweet colour palettes and cheerful patterns, Kimberling honed her trademark design elements starting off as a textile designer for young girl’s apparel at Nordstrom and then later, as a graphic designer for stationery and gift-wrapping at Hallmark. In 2008, she ventured out to form her own brand.

Josephine Kimberling currently lives in Seattle with her husband, but she grew up in California. Kimberling found a fascination with vintage shopping at a young age. Scouring for these gems fed her fascination for things colourful and eclectic and did little damage to her wallet, since the brightly hued beauties in vintage shops were irresistibly affordable. She attended the Art Institute of Seattle, where she graduated with a degree in Graphic Design & Illustration. Her work experiences in Nordstrom and Hallmark are a couple of her numerous achievements in her design career.

Kimberling’s inspirations derive from virtually anywhere, unspecific of the source’s candour or subtlety. Fashion designs, and pockets of creativity in the world at large have managed to trigger many ideas, but some have even emerged from her own interpretation of beauty. According to Kimberling, examples of these personal inspirations would be “a beautiful flower, sunset or frozen tree in nature, a genuine smile or heartfelt talk with a good friend”. The colourful prints and patterns can induce a smile or the warm, content feeling that manifests from the personal intimacy of appreciating the little things.

Textile Designs

Kimberling’s fabrics are a visual treat of colours and intricate patterns. Her two collections, “Hot Blossom” and “Glam Garden”, are an eclectic combination of bohemian and chic. What I enjoy about Kimberling’s designs is the uninhibited use of colour to make such a fun yet dignified pattern. The patterns and colours properly complement each other, and the general concept is not lost in translation. Designs as complete in itself as Kimberling’s collections hold enough presence to be used more than sparingly.

Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling

Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling

Hot Blossom

The “Hot Blossom” collection adhere to the concepts and colours detectable in nature. Yet it is further brightened with contrasting hot hues, such as firey pink, bright yellow, and cyan. These selections maintain the collection’s youthful concept, a feel akin to spring.

Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling

Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling

I find myself drawn to first photograph on the second row, featuring the brown and red number with the yellow belt. Not only does it feed my current fascination for the colour yellow as an accent colour, but the dress itself is so vibrant yet the dominating brown manage to keep the entire ensemble earthy and rooted to the colours of nature.

Glam Garden

“Glam Garden” is designed for Robert Kaufman Fabrics and is her most recent collection to date. Veering primarily to warm hues — almost candy-like — “Glam Garden” is an explosion of colour.

Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling

Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling Inspiration: Josephine Kimberling

Out of the two collections, “Glam Garden” is my favourite. I particularly enjoy the captures for this particular collection, because there is much focus on how the fabrics can be used for other uses than fashion, from surface designs on walls and plates to pillow covers. Not to mention, I also find the garden party product shoot to be well-executed, every element working and within context to that theme. Much kudos to photographer Natalie Grummer and whomever art directed the shoot.

Check Out Josephine Kimberling’s Designs!

Aside from fabrics, Josephine Kimberling also designs rubber stamps. Her official website is heavy with wonderful content, ranging from a portfolio of her fabric designs, to free downloads of original patterns and project ideas that could be made from her fabrics. Her weblog is a fun read, and gives a glimpse into Kimberling’s own design inspirations and creative process. Stumbling upon Kimberling’s online presences made me profoundly happy, and I will be keeping track of her work from here on out.

(All images are credited to Josephine Kimberling’s official website and Flickr photostream. Click on any image to go to its source.)


  1. Maria Celina

    @jannie: I also consider the top left sample in “Textile Designs” to by my favourite, Jannie. The idea of a babydoll dress is adorable, and I can also see it as potential for a maxidress.

    @Chris: At least I didn’t positively promote anything Twilight-related, right, Chris?

    @Keng: Keng, thank you for mentioning Amy Butler. I am vaguely familiar with the name, having seen several of her works on design blogs. I also agree that Josephine Kimberling’s website is amazing. I personally find she is succeeds in following through with her brand.

    @Sinta: I very much agree with you, Sinta. Kimberling’s fabrics succeed in the occasional instance where more is more. Had the colours stood alone as individual fabrics, it would be gaudy and not as thought-out.

  2. Sinta

    What gorgeous fabric :) I love how alone those colours would be too garish for me, but together in the print they look fantastic!

  3. Keng

    oh. my. goodness.
    looking at all that gorgeous fabric reminds me of when i was obsessed with buying stuff from etsy, particularly ones that used amy butler fabrics/prints. just like then, i wish i knew how to sew so i have reason to horde these beautiful things. ugh. (also, her site looks amazing, i love it)

  4. Kristine

    She’s got beautiful designs! They look so vibrant!

    I would definitely wear dresses with those patterns. They’d make great sundresses!

    I am going to look at her products and see what I can buy.

  5. jannie

    the patterns are colorful and gorgeous. i would love to wear a nice summer dress in one of these patterns. from the textile designs, my favorite is the top left one. this would look nice as a 60s inspired babydoll dress. :)

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