Ellen Van Dusen’s entry into design was nothing short of unconventional. “Because I’m totally self-taught, I feel like I have sort of a rebellious approach to the design world,” she tells Domino deputy editor Julie Vadnal in the fourth episode of Design Time: The Rebellious Ones (out now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts). “No one has told me how to do any of this. I just forged my own path.”

Dusen Dusen, the bright and bold clothing line she launched in 2010, has grown into a full empire; today it includes Dusen Dusen Home, which features products ranging from Insta-famous striped bathrobes and towels to squiggly candles and swirl-patterned dog beds. Her work is instantly identifiable and completely unique—an approach she explains can’t be replicated, because the only formula she follows is the one she has created herself.

During the conversation, Van Dusen shares her secret to selecting surprising color pairings that actually work, her go-to way to recharge, and the collaboration she’s currently manifesting. Plus she answers a few rapid-fire Never Have I Ever questions. Here’s a sneak peek. 


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Never have I ever…cried while putting together IKEA furniture.

Definitely. Yes, I have.

Never have I ever…looked up a friend’s home price on Zillow.

I have not done that, but now that you’ve planted the seed, maybe I will.


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Never have I ever…hung my own wallpaper.

I actually have done that, and it was really hard. Absolutely would not do it again. I got the adhesive kind and wallpapered a room for an event, so it was only up for a week, thank God.

Never have I ever…bought a neon bar sign.

Luckily, I have not.


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Never have I ever…decorated a room “for the ’gram.”

I haven’t decorated a room in my house for Instagram, but I certainly have for my job. I’m always rearranging stuff to get the perfect photo.