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July 07, 2010

Designer Interview: The Hable Sisters

Hable Sisters

Hable Construction Products

It's always exciting to meet people who are passionate about color so it was good to get the opportunity to meet the two sisters behind the striking and nature-inspired work of Hable Construction.  Susan Hable Smith (left) and Katharine Hable Sweeney (right), grew up in Texas and now operate their home textile business in New York, making fabric, pillows, totes, and accessories.  Katherine, who previously worked in marketing and sales at Polo Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade, is the business side of the team, creating a model that allows them to be their own bosses.  Susan, the creative director, studied fine art, finding inspiration along the way in her travels to Italy, Asia, and South America, as well as a 6-year stint in design in San Francisco.  She is also a color forecaster, so it was inspiring to hear what she does and where she gets her inspiration.

Garlic and Roses

"I know it sounds kind of 'typical', but I really always look to natural elements for my inspiration.  I divide my time between New York and Athens, Georgia, where I have a garden where I can grow things that I can look to for color inspiration--so it's not just Google-ing plants for colors!"  As an artist, Susan says there no time where her process turns off, and every moment is an opportunity.  At times it's more global, like seeing things when she travels, and at others, something right under her nose, like what someone's wearing walking down the street.  "My environment always informs me."

Hable Construction fabrics

In her color presentations, Susan uses everything from photographs by Rinne Allen (a Hable photographer and collaborator), food images, and even a few tattoos.

Hable posters first run 03/2010

The team has recently introduced a new medium to the mix--limited edition prints.  The first to quickly sell out were the metallics, which didn't surprise her.  "In your home, it's like glitter.  Metallics can make you feel kind of festive, and make you feel upbeat.  It's amazing what a little thing like that can do."  Her own go-to color?  Pink.  (Benjamin Moore Paisley Pink 1261, to be exact!)  "Pink is a color that makes me feel good.  Paisley Pink is my foolproof color.  My art looks great hanging on it.  It makes me happy.  Its like the glow of candlelight, but all the time."

Paisley Pink 1261 

Lucy in field

In the end, says Susan, it's all about making yourself feel good.  "Our colors are uplifting and happy--people need those simple pleasures in the home.  It's kind of like nail polish or lipstick, that quick fix, that Prozac for the spirit."

What's your go-to color that always makes you feel great?

Hable Construction


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I love their designs . They are all lovely combination of colors! Great talents!

i followed hable's advice and went to see my mam over the weekend...she has a beautiful garden with lots and lots of flowers....and though i'm not a lucky owner of iphone, just a standard nokia, i had so much fun taking picture of incredible tropical flowers my mam grows,,,,and i finally found the right color of fuscia for my bathroom!!!

i totally need those pillows!!! all of them...i'm a pillow hoarder....my bed is half bed half pillows. my friends joke that i'm on a quest for finding a perfect pillow for my neck, but the truth is that i just like lots of soft pillows with bold colors, stripes, prints etc....

hable pillows win my heart over, too bad they don't sell them over here...and though yes the price is oooh like the previous poster says, it's worth it...it's like buying expensive shoes, it costs more than target flats, but with proper wear & care they will serve for years

my go to color may be a bit boring but manequine cream by BM. I love that anything I pull up to it can be beautiful. I am also loving Stonington Gray, although I don't have it in my home, I use it with my clients often.

@Margaretta, I think there must have been an error b/c no other comments came in from you as far as I've seen. But, I definitely welcome your feedback! Feel free to share your thoughts & I'm glad you love the colors and their talents!

@Tara, Hable's optimistic take is exactly that- "fresh"! Which bag design do you have?

funny how my comment was deleted...why? because i said i loved the colors & everything, but i didn't really like the sky-rocketting price for what's in the end is just a cotton bag?

I love the Hable designs! My sister gave me a bag of theirs. Really fresh colors... so inspiring to see their work. thanks

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