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Honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

At Boll & Branch, doing better has always been our mission. We are committed to creating a more inclusive Trade Collective program that celebrates underrepresented interior designers and their work. 

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we’ve partnered with three interior designers in the AAPI community—Mimi Gee, Claire Zee and Kishani Perera—to spotlight their talent and share their expert advice on how to style your bed for warmer weather. You’ll also get to know each designer, their unique aesthetics and personal approaches to design. 

Story - Mmi Gee

Meet Mimi Gee 

Founder of Oh So Chic Interiors based in the DC Metro area. In her own words, Mimi became an interior designer “because I felt an interior space can deeply impact one’s life. I believed a properly decorated and well-thought-out space could make someone feel calm, romantic or exhilarated.” 

Mimi describes her design aesthetic as “refined elegance. Because I have such an appreciation for all design styles, I don’t like to limit myself to just one. What I seek in each individual project will always be warmth and balance.” 

When styling beds for warmer weather, she suggests following three simple steps: “The first tip is to switch out your duvet insert or comforter to a lighter, more breathable one. Then, if your comforter is still too warm for you, I’d consider layering your top sheet with a quilt instead. The last step is to replace your winter sheets with Percale sheets, which are crisp but cooler to the touch.”

Mimi styled our most-coveted Waffle Bed Blanket with her light, airy bedding: “I’ve draped it across the White Signature Hemmed Duvet, and I love the relaxed and cozy look it creates.”

Story - Claire Zee

Meet Claire Zee

Founder of Claire Zee Interiors based in Jersey City, NJ. As a designer, Claire believes that “successful interior design should not only be beautiful and functional, but also a reflection of those who inhabit the space.” She loves getting to know her clients on a more personal level, and being able to understand their loves, cultures and stories.

This approach to design has influenced Claire’s aesthetic, which she describes as a mix of modern and traditional elements. “I love the juxtaposition of new and vintage pieces. Creating a space that is both unique and rich in character is really important to me, so I really try to hone in on the details by incorporating pieces with ‘a story to tell’. For me, this usually means a ton of antique shopping.” 

When styling beds for warmer weather, the first thing she changes is her bedding. “I swap our duvet insert for a lighter one. Similarly to how I dress as the seasons change, I incorporate a few light layers through textured throws and fresh linens.” Claire also loves to freshen up a bedroom’s overall style for the warmer season with new design elements. “I love to incorporate dry florals and light linens. I will usually lighten up the color palette as a whole and bring in crisp whites and lighter warm tones like creams, sands and beiges for a monochromatic and airy-yet-layered feel. I’m also a huge fan of incorporating natural textures like stone, wood, dry florals and cozy linens, with more palatial finishes like brass and velvets.”

Claire styled our bestselling Waffle Bed Blanket with layers of welcoming neutral hues: “Since I am still in the process of transitioning from winter to spring, I layered the Waffle Bed Blanket at the end of our bed to add a light layer and touch of warmth, while simultaneously breaking up the white bedding.” 

Story - Perera

Meet Kishani Perera 

Founder of Kishani Perera based in Los Angeles, CA. Kishani takes a holistic approach to her design projects, carefully cultivating each home with consideration and respect for both the environment and her clients “through curated, non-toxic materials and elements implemented during the construction process, and thoughtful furnishings and finish choices which encourage health, rather than hinder it. We all deserve Healthy Homes™ [“luxury homes custom-designed for our clients’ individual aesthetics, lifestyles and health”] which, of course, also happen to be beautiful!”

Kishani describes her design aesthetic as “eclectic, warm, inviting and easy,” and has found an enjoyment in engaging in a design dialogue with her clients to help them discover their own style. “Through that process, clients—if they don’t already have a sense of what they like—start to become aware of their likes, dislikes and how they like to live. Often, they’ve never really had to think about their style in such an in-depth way, but when the conversations begin, their clarity develops!” 

When styling beds for warmer weather, Kishani emphasizes that “the materials really are the key.” She gravitates toward lightweight layers, like cotton quilts and linen blankets, that feel breathable and light. She also uses color to bring the warmer seasons to life. “I like to create lively, bright environments for the summer months. My association with warmer weather is vacation, beaches and relaxation, so I like the bedroom to reflect this vibe!” 

Kishani styled our most-coveted Waffle Bed Blanket in her guest bedroom as an added welcoming touch: “I incorporated it into the existing layers to add more depth and interest.” 

Make sure you follow Mimi (@ohsochicinteriors), Claire (@clairezeeinteriors) and Kishani (@kishaniperera) for design inspiration all year long, and also visit our Black History Month blog post for exclusive style tips from more of our talented design partners.