Behind the Scenes at Paper House: Creating the Autumn Collection

Tara Sturm has been a designer at Paper House for five years. An avid artist, Tara often brings inspiration from other projects into her designs. Introduced last year, the Autumn Woods Collection was one of Tara’s first projects, and includes Autumn Air, Pumpkin Spice, Autumn Woods, and the Woodland Friends scrapbook paper, and Autumn Woods Cardstock Sticker. Tara talks about what it means to take a project from start to completion, and how exciting it is to see it come to life.  


Fall in New York’s Hudson Valley

Where did you get the inspiration for this product?

I’ve always loved the fall. In Upstate New York [where Paper House is located and where Tara is from] it’s one of the most beautiful seasons. I really love the colors. I wanted to make sure that this beauty was reflected in some of the products that we offer.


Tara is an artist as well as a designer, and drew much of her inspiration from her love for watercolors.

What were some of the influencing factors?

We had a couple papers that really needed a refresh. This was my first collection, so it was also my foot in the door. I was asked what I’d like to do and I chose autumn. As an artist and a painter, watercolor was a big component of the collection that I wanted to make sure was included in the collection.

Tell us about the design process.

To get started, I put up images onto an image board to help refine what we’re looking for. As we moved forward, our team has a few benchmarkers during which everyone will give a critique. Since it was my first time, we went through a few edits. I wanted to add an unexpected color pallet, so I added teal and dark purple to the typical orange and greens. I’m really happy with how it turned out.


Most new products at Paper House start with a mood board.

What’s it like to see your product in the real world?

When we got the samples back from the printer, it was amazing to see something go from a design on the computer to something you can hold in your hands. I got some really feedback from a lot of the shows we went to, just for being different. The teal isn’t something you might expect from an autumn-themed collection, and the contrast really helps the colors pop.


Adding teal really helped the traditional fall colors to come alive.

What’s next for this product?

Coming up this summer we’ve got a new Autumn Woods planner collection, including stickers, clips, and washi tape! Stay tuned….

You can shop the Autumn Collection here! And make sure to stay tuned to the Paper House blog to read more “Behind the Scenes” features.

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