Craft the Rainbow: Brittany Watson Jepsen leads a colourful life

Some people tend toward an understated style, with a muted colour palette that favours earthy tones and a minimalist approach. While others, through their fashion and decorating choices, resemble a garden of springtime blooms — resplendent in vibrant hues and fun-filled colours that shout ‘happy!’. Craft the Rainbow is an Instagram-based project that welcomes those in the latter category. All about the brights, the woman behind the hashtag (#crafttherainbow) is long-time creative lady Brittany Watson Jepsen of popular blog The House that Lars Built. We asked Brittany some colourful questions, and here’s what she said:

Your #crafttherainbow project sprang off the back of your successful The House that Lars Built platform. Firstly, could you tell us a little about The House That Lars Built and where it all began?

The House That Lars Built started as a graduate school project for one of my interior design classes. I was designing a house for a fictitious family and decided to name the dad of the family, Lars. Lars is my dad in real life. Well, his real name is Bob, but growing up, his alias was Lars. So, In a wonderfully weird way, the blog was started after my own family! Only appropriate based on their crazy creativity that existed there growing up. After using it for academic purposes for a couple of years, I started to document my new life as a foreigner living abroad, where I couldn’t work legally for some time. Soon, my audience grew and I was contributing DIY projects to a number of websites.

A few years later, I realised I loved what I do and plunged into full-time blogger status. The House That Lars Built has since become a platform for creative living including colorful DIY projects, inspirational parties and home decor.

Your tagline is ‘an artful life’. What do you consider and ‘artful life’ to be?

An ‘artful’ life is a life full of creativity and intentional living. It’s adding meaning into the things around you by handcrafting them or being selective in what comes into your life. My ultimate goal is to have everything that I live with have meaning and beauty. I believe it improves life when you’re surrounded by beauty.

craft the rainbow - house that lars built

Have you always been a maker and crafter?

Yes! It was rather inevitable I’d be a maker and crafter based on the family I come from. My mother was always encouraging us to create in some form or another, whether it be music or art. However, I never thought that you could make a living from it so I didn’t focus on it during school. I was quite studious so I lost the bug in high school and college, though I knew in the back of my mind that there was the itch to create. Finally, after working in an art library, I realised that I needed to be the one making and not just studying the maker.

You’ve moved from California to Copenhagen and back to Utah. Where do you consider home to be? And what major differences have you discovered living in these culturally diverse places?

Yes! I’ve lived all over from the west coast to east coast (Washington, DC, and NYC) and to Copenhagen and now Utah. I think a part of me will always consider Southern California my identity, though I’m happy to have so many places inform my design and ideas. Living on the East Coast was such a game changer for me. I went to graduate school in Washington, DC, and did my internships in NYC. The friends I met there have continued to influence the jobs I get and the direction I take. Moving to Copenhagen right out of graduate school was tough, career wise, because they work so differently. They have a different idea of networking than Americans, so I didn’t know where to start.

I ended up identifying designers in magazines with whom I thought I had things in common and emailed them to meet up. Looking back, that was awfully nervy of me, but I was desperate for associations. I even found phone numbers of the editors-in-chief of magazines and asked them if they’d like to work with me. Ha! It didn’t really work, but again, I was desperate for connections and anxious to get busy. I found that the Danes, or Scandinavians in general, have a slightly slower pace of life. I was to constantly trying to meet tons of people and work round the clock, which I found out was a very American attitude. Having that exposure to the Danish way of living and attitude toward work, has shown me that work is a part of life, but shouldn’t take over your life. I think about that concept every single day.

Where did the idea for #crafttherainbow come from?

I wish I could say it was some well thought-out idea, but honestly, it happened in a quick instant. I created a photo on the spot and Instagrammed it. The hashtag name came naturally without much thought either! Ha! Maybe that means it was meant to be. I decided to start with a 30-day #crafttherainbow challenge where I would post one a day. People really responded and I invited them to post their own too.

craft the rainbow - house that lars built

What have the contributions been like, and how have people responded you your vibrantly rainbow Instagram account?

I’ve been floored at the response to the project. There are more than 28K submissions and they are not stopping! I started its own Instagram account @CraftTheRainbow and people have really identified with it. There’s something about organised colours that we are naturally attracted to. Some contributions have gone above and beyond what I put out there and have dedicated their whole accounts to creating rainbow pictures. It’s wild! It was probably just good timing, but once I released the project I started noticing everything become rainbows: commercial campaigns, fashion, home decor. It’s become so trendy!

Since you started #crafttherainbow, what’s changed for you?

People in my life have been spotting more rainbows for me! I often receive texts/emails/messages from people who have been noticing more rainbows in their life and that tickles my heart! I’ve always been a colourful dresser, perhaps I’ve started to tone it down more because I work with so much colour now. One big thing that has changed is that I’m now writing a book about the project! Stay tuned for a 2018 release!

Lastly, a tricky one, what is your favourite colour?

Ha! Tricky indeed! I’d have to say… all the colours! It’s hard for me to work with a limited colour palette. I find that I keep adding yet another colour into the mix, and then another one and then another so that by the end it’s essentially a rainbow. But if I had to choose, I’ve been drawn to yellow for some time and in the past few years a lovely blush pink. And the two together? Swoon! It’s all about melding color combinations for me.

What colour combinations do you swoon over? Tell us in the comments below…

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WRITTEN BY:
Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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Want to see more?

Follow Craft the Rainbow and The House that Lars Built on Instagram, and visit Brittany’s website for more creative inspiration.

Photos by

Brittany, and from her Craft the Rainbow Instagram account.