The MNY Spotlight

Meet Kelsey Brown and Erin Banta, Founders of Pepper Home

You started Pepper Home with a mission to offer custom home pieces that no one else will have, but everyone will love, at a price that is attainable for your customers. What inspired this mission?

We started Pepper over 5 years ago after becoming good friends while students at Columbia Business School. At the time, we were renting tiny apartments in the West Village and wanted to find easy/accessible ways to make them feel more like home! We were disappointed by our existing options so we set out to build a brand that would prioritize both great design and a seamless user experience. 

Erin wears the Eileen Midi Dress

What tips would you offer someone who is looking to elevate a room without doing any major construction, or shelving out a steep budget!

This is one of our favorite questions because we truly believe there are so many options when it comes to updating a space without going crazy on construction and budget. Wallpaper is one of our favorite ways to transform a room. We recently launched a solid grasscloth collection to complement our patterned wallpapers and we’ve been so inspired by the creative ways our customers are using these products in their homes. 

Kelsey wears the Soledad Gown

As the design expert, how do you incorporate multiple colors/ textures in a space to make it feel balanced, rather than busy?

When decorating with pattern and color, it's important to pay attention to scale and density. You can very rarely go wrong if you pair a more simplistic pattern with a busier one. For example, we love styling our Daphne and Penelope prints together because one serves as the show-stopper while the other adds a layer of dimension and balance. 

Scale is an equally important factor! A good rule of thumb when mixing patterns is to incorporate various scales. By doing this, it’s much easier to design a space that feels balanced and cohesive. Our customers love styling our best-selling Emma and Loomi prints together for that very reason! 

Which Mestiza prints from our Spring 2024 collection would you decorate different rooms in and why? 

We usually favor busier patterns or those with a smaller scale in a more contained space like a powder room or small bedroom — the Giardino Ivory Green or Pastel Midnight Garden would be perfect in those types of spaces.

Patterns with a bit more breathing room or a larger scale are perfect for spaces that are a bit larger. We’d love to see the Pink Wisteria in a dining room or nursery! As for your Botantical prints, we envision those in an office that is designed to have a more feminine aesthetic.

Let us in on your favorite design hack:

When it comes to decorating, it is so easy to overlook the impact that smaller pieces can have on a space. Instead of bringing in color and pattern via a bulky and expensive piece of furniture, focus on the soft goods like curtains and pillows! Beyond that, do not underestimate the power of trim! As you’d expect, many of our customers love bold patterns and colors. However, we have just as many who prefer to decorate in a more restrained way.  Adding a pop of color via trim on a curtain or pillow can really go a long way in transforming a room.

Some of our favorite Mestiza style icons such as Sarah Tucker and Megan Pinckney have adorned their homes in Pepper Home. What is your advice for communicating personal style not just through the clothes we choose to wear, but through our homes as well?

One of our brand mantras is “designed by us, styled by you.” We say that because it’s our goal to design a range of products that our customers can leverage to convey their own unique sense of style. Here at Pepper, we favor timelessness over trends—and we believe that the key to conveying personal style in a space is staying true to one’s tastes and steering clear of what’s popular in the moment.

What draws you to the Mestiza brand?

The vibrant colors and bold patterns, of course! Beyond that, we really appreciate that the Mestiza silhouettes are both timeless and flattering!

How does wearing your Mestiza piece make you feel?
Above all else, our Mestiza dresses make us feel elegant! As working moms of young children, it can be so hard to find time to pull together an outfit that makes you feel good. We love that these pieces can be dressed up or down and are unique enough to stand on their own without much styling! 

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