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About Monica

Monica Monaghan-Milstein sitting on counter

About Monica

Monica is a visual artist, designer & color specialist whose work reflects her rich artistic, visual and aesthetic foundation. Her decision to pursue & practice multi-disciplinary applied arts & design is her lifelong, deeply informed response and homage to her creative lineage & roots.

Assisting clients in achieving their project design goals, while building confidence in the decision-making processes necessary to attain their vision, is a unique and gratifying aspect of Monica’s approach. She doesn’t impose a preconceived concept on a project, but instead interprets her client’s vision into personalized, enduring design solutions. Monica enjoys guiding and facilitating client projects – including buffering the otherwise time-sensitive, often stressful experience of remodeling or changing an environment, so it becomes a more rewarding and expansive experience for clients.

Monica believes in, and practices, a ‘compositional’ and holistic approach to design – which includes the measured and informed use of color, the emphasis on visual interest created by relationships of materials, and the livability suitable to client needs and lifestyle. Not strongly driven by trends or imitation, but by timeless visual principles of proportion, pattern or textural interest, color volumes and overall harmony, Monica’s approach has garnered significant and lasting results, which are reflected and expressed as an original signature in each client’s project.

Euphorbia extraordinaire
Custom counter transition detail
Monica Monaghan-Milstein w/Hilda Morris' Ring of Time
Alice Walker

“Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.”

Dieter Rams

“It is important for people to start learning that good design doesn’t just happen. That it’s rather an outgrowth of our education.”

Georgia O’Keefe

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”

Dieter Rams

“Good design is long-lasting. In contrast to fashionable design, it lasts many years even in our throwaway society.”

Alice Walker

“Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.”

Dieter Rams

“It is important for people to start learning that good design doesn’t just happen. That it’s rather an outgrowth of our education.”

Georgia O’Keefe

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”

Dieter Rams

“Good design is long-lasting. In contrast to fashionable design, it lasts many years even in our throwaway society.”

Georgia O’Keefe

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”

Dieter Rams

“It is important for people to start learning that good design doesn’t just happen. That it’s rather an outgrowth of our education.”

Alice Walker

“Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.”

Dieter Rams

“Good design is long-lasting. In contrast to fashionable design, it lasts many years even in our throwaway society.”

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Monica grew up in Pullman, a university town in southeastern Washington, in a mid-century home designed and built by her father, with interiors designed and executed by her mother. Her gifted parents were born in the San Francisco Bay Area, and moved north before Monica arrived. Her mother was an accomplished display designer in SF, and an exceptional gourmet cook. Her father was a prolific artist, painter, and dedicated art educator – both parents were lifelong advocates for the Arts. Monica’s own aesthetic, artistic ability, visual sensitivity, and artistic awareness were encouraged and cultivated in this creatively rich environment. Her parents said “she was drawing as soon as she could hold a pencil…”

Monica received an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from WSU, in Pullman, WA, followed by advanced studies in Fine Arts at the renowned Art Students League of New York, and a degree in Textile Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Monica continued to live and work in New York for several years, designing textiles for several companies, including Orinoka Mills, before being invited to return to the West Coast, accepting a position with Pendleton Woolen Mills in Portland, OR, where she devoted a decade to advancing visibility of their brand through the innovative use of color and new textile designs for the Women’s Apparel Division. Her extensive travels to Europe during that period influenced her innovations in fabrics.

Monica gained recognition for design innovation in exhibition arenas, including the International Marimekko Design Award for an original Batik design panel, and the Arrango Surface Design Exhibition for an original screen printed, 12 foot textile canvas panel, which was also featured on the exhibition catalogue cover. Monica enjoyed teaching Textile Design for Industry at the former Oregon School of Art & Craft in Portland, Oregon.

For over 30 years, Portland, Oregon has been home base to Monica’s design businesses, the longest lived being her original design studio, MonicaArts Design LLC, which still flourishes today.

  • Custom Designed Textiles for Interiors — Contract or Licensing available
  • Commissioned Custom Designed Textiles for Interiors
  • Textile Design consultation for Manufacturers, Architects & Designers
  • Custom Designed Textiles for Lifestyle Products & Accessories

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