Designer Avril Loreti on her new patio accessories line with Canadian Tire

Avril Loreti loves colour. Her light-filled studio located on the second floor of her west-end Toronto home is bursting with colour and pattern. A cork-covered wall — her mood board — sits on one side of the room and is filled with inspiration: a rainbow of colourful illustrations and random words, photographs and pages torn from a sketchbook. “I’m really into dusty rose right now, a good dusty rose,” Loreti says, and she instinctively reaches forward for her watercolour paints. “I want to mix it for you right now.”Loreti is a Toronto-based artist and textile designer who is always dreaming up ideas for her colourful line of fabrics and accessories. Whether it’s a geometric patterned pillow or a citrusy coloured tea towel, Loreti is hands on with every aspect of her business and has just launched her first national product line with Canadian Tire for their Canvas patio collection.We caught up with the busy designer and mom to peek into her studio and creative process.Let’s talk about your background. What were you doing before you started your business?I’ve been artsy my whole life and always trying anything that was in the arts and creative. I went to University of Toronto and Sheridan College for a joint program in Art and Art History. At the time, I was really into photography too. I then worked at a photo gallery, at Visual Arts Ontario in an art admin job and then I did a couple of years at Caban, a modern lifestyle store. I worked on the visual team there and that definitely started helping me narrow in to the idea of making home decor items and the idea of beautiful things for your home. That was a game changer. I could imagine my art in someone’s home and the idea of everyday art was something that was inspiring to me. Article Continued BelowHow did you get started designing textiles?It totally started with Etsy. Because of Caban, I started seeing how you can come up with an idea and how could you put that idea on a product so that people could bring that into their home. In 2007, I kept hearing about Etsy and I set up a little site and got in contact with some consignment shops in the city and just started selling. People were responding quickly. You just launched a line of patio accessories with Canadian Tire. How did the collaboration come about? What was the inspiration for the collection?