Known truth: Pillows are best when they pop. Unexpected colors or patterns make for an interesting home and conversation starter. And Lea and Mike Pino of The Casa Pino make unique pillows that you will be talking about. Made in the US and part of the Brit + Co Shop, The Casa Pino donates 10% of their proceeds to children in need. What’s not to love about that? Read on to find out Lea’s advice to other makers, interior design tips and more.

First things first, tell us a little bit about yourselves.

We are Mike and Lea Pino, artists/designers who met in NYC and now live and create in Washington, DC. The Casa Pino is a collaboration between my husband and me, using Mike’s art background and my design aesthetic. We design bold graphic prints that are influenced by our city life and travels.

Why did you decide to start The Casa Pino?

I had been working as an interior designer for a number of years, and textiles were always my favorite part of the whole process, but after a while, it seemed like I was just seeing lots of the same designs over and over. Then, I would get home and see all of the cool patterns Mike was designing for his projection art, and I thought, “We need to make our own textiles.” So we started working on putting our two talents together.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere! We’re definitely inspired by our travels, urban landscapes and our family ranch in rural New Mexico.

What does the making process look like for you?

Mike creates patterns all the time for his video art, so I’ll go through and select my favorites, then we decide the colors and combinations together.

What’s an interior design tip for styling a living room?

Original art makes a space personal and unique. Buy what you love, and if you can’t afford an original, purchase a print, or start collecting vintage or antique paintings. Also, no more TINY throw pillows! They should be 20 inches or larger!

Tell us about the charities Casa Pino works with.

Love is a big deal. It changes lives, and we feel called to help spread love to children around the world. We donate to a number of children’s charities. We want kids to know that they are loved and that they matter.

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?

Be open to advice, but always remember who you are and what makes you (and what you make) different.

What other creative hobbies do you have?

I love entertaining. I’m a Southern girl at heart, and I really enjoy having friends and family over for good food and fun cocktails. I’ve also just started my first garden, and I’m loving watching my little plants grow.

Tell us how technology has changed and supported what you do.

We wouldn’t be doing what we are doing without it! Mike uses a number of different programs to develop all of our designs. I’m more involved in the handmade aspects of the design process, but our work is really a synthesis of high- and low-tech methods.

Ready for some Casa Pino pillows of your own? Head over to the Brit + Co Shop!