Electrolux Newsroom Asia Pacific

Julie Paterson and the Willow range – designs to breakthrough in Asia


The Willow range of fridges feature designs by Australian-based Julie Paterson, who combined her European heritage with Chinese cultural symbolism to create art in the kitchen.Designer Julie Paterson is the Australian-based founder of Cloth, a fabric company. Julie's designs draw heavily from nature, art from different cultures and depicting them at their most elemental.Julie's designs draw heavily from nature, art from different cultures and depicting them at their most elemental

Julie Paterson is a natural designer in every sense of the word. Whether she is based in Europe, Australia and now China, nature has always been the key inspiration for her designs.

Nature as her guiding force is apparent in her latest work for the new Electrolux Willow-design range of fridges.  Bringing an European influence to Chinese cultural symbols, the Willow range incorporates the classic, clean look of Scandinavian design using natural colour tones with a simple and subtle representation of the familiar willow bud that symbolises growth and hope.

Banksia  print set up

Looking For water wallpaper

Banksia print chair with Kangaroo paw background

Stoney wallpaper and stuffed olive chair.

The result is a fresh and timeless piece of art in your kitchen, with a soft, contemporary pattern of willow silhouettes on a sleek metallic finish.

Willow fridge

The multi-cultural design is a product of Julie’s own colourful and unique cultural experiences and influences.  Born in Somerset, England, in the 1960s, she knew early on that she would work in the art and design industry as that was where her passion to create art that is both affordable and practical could best manifest itself.

julie and friend

Today, that passion remains very much alive in the works that she’s involved in, along with the running of her fabric company, Cloth that manufactures textiles for the global market.

Pickupsticks set up

How did this collaboration come about with Electrolux?

Having grown up with the Electrolux brand in the UK, I’ve always been aware of the innovative and contemporary approach the company embraces.  When I was exhibiting at the Melbourne Designex trade fair a couple of years ago, I met the team from Electrolux and they really made an impression on me.  I thought that it would be a great experience to work with them if the opportunity arose and it did.  So I said, most definitely, yes.

What do you think is unique about the design of the Willow range of fridges?

The Chinese market is changing.  It’s getting younger, wealthier and looking out into the world and embracing it.  My design patterns for the fridges employ a restrained contemporary style with respect to Chinese sensibilities.  I think the combination of all these things along with the quality standards that Electrolux stands for makes these fridges truly unique.

What gives this range an edge over other appliances made for the same audiences?

I think we’ve managed to capture a sense of exploration within a changing market through working with composition and colour, leading the way to a new and edgy product offering that has broad appeal.
What inspired you to come up with these designs?

These designs were developed by combining and modifying a wide range of influences, such as thinking about familiar and everyday patterns, shapes and symbols the Chinese may be familiar with; along with the clean, simple and natural Scandinavian design style elements.
What are your thoughts on product design for the Asian market? Are they very different from designing for Western markets?

Yes, they’re quite different. I need to be mindful that Asians have different ways of thinking about symbols and motifs. Colours also have different meanings in the East than in the West so these influences need to be carefully considered before being applied.
Your work is described as strongly influenced by Scandinavian design. Is that an accurate description?

I think the similarities to Scandinavian design for me would be my approach to design and turning to nature for my inspiration.  Similarly, I appreciate contemporary Japanese design and indigenous Australian art.  I’m always looking at paring my ideas down to their most elemental and I focus on simple composition and restrained colour to convey my ideas.

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