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The Nook: Inside the Scandi-Inspired Bedroom of Illustrator Madeline Kate Martinez

Welcome to The Nook, our weekly series chronicling the dreamy bedrooms of our favourite people on Instagram. For this instalment, we take you inside the Portland home of illustrator Madeline Kate Martinez.

Based in Portland, Oregon, visual artist Madeline Kate Martinez creates illustrations inspired by lifestyle, travel, fashion, and—our favourite—the "feeling of home". You might recognise her dreamy, pastel-hued work from a collaboration we did with the artist some months ago, which is featured on our Instagram highlights and across our Journal

It's obvious from looking at Madeline's artwork that she's a daydreamer – and it's something she admits herself. "As a kid I loved to escape to imagined worlds inside my head, and I carried that with me into adulthood and my profession," she tells us.

"I love to illustrate because it allows me a sort of 'getaway', and I can disappear into the drawing for a while," Madeline says. "I just have the need to create in my blood, and putting my thoughts down on paper through drawing and painting is sort of ritualistic and therapeutic for me."

When it comes to her bedroom, Madeline likes to style it with a balance of Scandi-minimalism and vintage eclecticism. The result is earthy and warm-toned, full of treasured ceramics, blonde wood furniture and framed pieces of art scattered about. There's also plenty of house plants: "They make the space feel lush and alive," says Madeline. "They love all the window light, and each one brings its own personality to the space."

The bedroom is Madeline's favourite space at home because of its calming energy, courtesy of pared back décor. Big windows allow light to flood in, creating a warm and cosy atmosphere that is perfectly complemented by our Rust and Oatmeal sheets.

Get to know Madeline and see more of her peaceful bedroom below.

Shop Madeline's look with the Bed Threads Build-Your-Own Bundle in Rust and Oatmeal.

Hi Madeline! Your bedroom looks so calming. What does your bedroom mean to you?

It's such a place of rest and retreat. We've kept it quite simple for this reason—we can shut our eyes and ears from the bustle of the city and just relax. It's a room reserved for sleep and quiet. It's also where our pup, Cooper, likes to come snuggle, which is an added bonus!  

Shop Madeline's look with the Bed Threads Build-Your-Own Bundle in Rust and Oatmeal.

How does it reflect your personality?

I think really knowing yourself is the first step to styling your home. It's crucial to be able to look  inward and discover what you truly love, what makes you happy, and what you need to feel at home. If you have a clear sense of that, it's much easier to curate and edit the pieces that fill your space. For me, knowing that I need a lot of light and natural elements to feel relaxed gives me a cornerstone to design my space around. Everything else can fall into place after that.

Shop Madeline's look with the Bed Threads Build-Your-Own Bundle in Rust and Oatmeal.

What was the thought process behind the way you've styled your space?

Styling a very small space when both partners have strong opinions on decor is definitely an exercise in compromise. Our space has become a symbol of our shared life, which I think is really beautiful—the personality of our interior is kind of a visual representation of our marriage. I skew towards a more minimal, Scandinavian style, while my husband enjoys a colourful, funk-bohemian look. We've met in the middle with lots of neutral woods and selective pops of bright colour.

We make a point to display the items that mean the most to us or that shape our lives, like music, books, and art pieces we've collected or created ourselves. Because it's so small, it's also deeply personal, and I feel very at-home here.

Shop Madeline's look with the Bed Threads Build-Your-Own Bundle in Rust and Oatmeal. 

Did you always want to pursue a career as an illustrator?

When I was young, I always dreamed of drawing as my job, but I didn't think it was really an option —"illustrator" isn't one of the careers they tell you about in kindergarten. I cycled through various career interests as I got older, and nothing quite stuck, but the one thing that never changed was drawing. I was always drawing everywhere I went. After moving to Portland I started pursuing illustration more seriously, and it started to morph into a career as I went. I'm still tiptoeing into this profession, but illustration really is my deepest passion and I'm so excited to see where my career goes from here.

Shop Madeline's look with the Bed Threads Build-Your-Own Bundle in Rust and Oatmeal.

What are some of the factors that have helped you find career success as an illustrator?

I can't thank my iPad and Instagram enough for the growth of my illustration career. Before I invested in an iPad, I was struggling with space for my tablet setup in our tiny Portland apartment. It was cumbersome and time consuming to set it all up every time I wanted to draw.

Now I'm able to draw wherever—my couch, my bed, on a plane, or anywhere the inspiration strikes. It's also very intuitive, which helped me speed up my process. Now I can share work more regularly on Instagram, which is where most of my traffic and projects come from. As far as social media goes, consistency has been my most powerful tool—because I draw what I genuinely love, my work stays fairly consistent, and sharing regularly on Instagram helped me gain an audience that really kick-started my career.

Shop Madeline's look with the Bed Threads Build-Your-Own Bundle in Rust and Oatmeal.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don't stop pushing yourself and going after your dream, but be flexible! It's okay for your dream to change and for your goals to change with it. Don't sweat it if you feel like your focus is shifting—embrace it and make it your own.

Shop Madeline's look with the Bed Threads Build-Your-Own Bundle in Rust and Oatmeal.

For more from Madeline, follow her at @madelinekate_illustrates or visit her website.

Loved this bedroom? Discover more inspiring sanctuaries in our weekly series, The Nook.

Inspired by this bedroom tour? Here is how to style your own 100% French Flax Linen sheets.

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