The Decorating Diva’s Inspired by Textile Artist Deborah Main

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2016 is off to a wild and exciting start! As many of you know, I went to the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market (where we have now TWO showrooms, Doris Sanders, Ltd. and Pennisula Home Collection) and, for the very first time, the Las Vegas Market, in a tour sponsored by the market and lead by the multi-talented Jackie Von Tobel of Soft Design Lab. Well, it was exciting beyond words!! I will be writing about the fabulous interior designers I met and wonderful 2016 design products and textiles I discovered too.  So if you haven’t signed up for our blog yet (or our upcoming Spring newsletter), click right HERE and that way you’ll keep up with all that’s happening in the Deborah Main studio, including our brand new Essentials Pillow Collection.

But for today, I want to share some inspiration with you.  Carmen Natschke, the savvy writer behind the popular trendsetting design portal The Decorating Diva, interviewed me to learn more about my inspiration. Carmen’s work inspires me too, as she features fashion, architecture, art, design, and so much on her blog HERE. I greatly admire the breadth of her design aesthetic and writing. So without further ado, many thanks to Carmen who wrote this fun interview of me below. Hope you enjoy it too. Have a great Valentines weekend! XOPG

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“The Creative Cafe today, the splendidly talented textile artist Deborah Main of Deborah Main Designs. Deborah shares her inspiration, passion for designing with vintage fabrics and jewelry and her sage advice to creatives.

Creative Cafe // Textile Artist Deborah Main
By Carmen Natschke 

In the Creative Cafe today, the splendidly talented textile artist Deborah Main of Deborah Main Designs. Deborah shares her inspiration, passion for designing with vintage fabrics and jewelry and her sage advice to creatives.

I am inspired by the things I see around me. This could be nature, everyday objects, a painting, an architectural design, the latest fashion, or on the hunt for fabric. The creative inspiration starts when I discover striking materials and design, like a 1950s’ cocktail dress, a spool of colorful ribbon, or a unique textured fabric. I found one incredible 1960s’ gown its colorful wool and metallic fibers were absolutely irresistible! I then begin to imagine how these “found” objects can be fashioned into a fresh, dynamic way and I envision them as artistic pillows. Part of my inspiration also stems from being aware of my surroundings and open to seeing things in unusual ways. The world is full of layers upon layers of texture and color. A simple walk in the park might produce inspiration; I don’t look for it, it finds me!

Textile art and design attracts me because it is endlessly fascinating. To me, textiles, fiber and design present opportunities to explore color, texture, shape and form, all the things that make our world special and different. The materials exemplify a historical tradition of fine craftsmanship and artistry that I greatly value. I strive to rework what I see into a contemporary design that’s fresh and new, but can also be shared with generations to come. These textiles and designs not only speak to the moment, but carry forward a sense of timeless history and meaningful stories. And because of this, I relish in finding the unique in the ordinary. That’s what truly attracts me and gives me the opportunity to explore and create my textile art.

Deborah's use of vintage fabric and a vintage brooch create a beautiful bespoke decorative pillow.

If not creating textile artI would still pursue something related to the arts for sure – perhaps as a painter or photographer. But there is something about making use of these extraordinary materials and bringing a new and different perspective to them that really excites me. I can’t imagine not being involved with textiles, because I love the richness of color, the visual interest of texture, and the stories behind each piece I create.

Being an artist is woven into every aspect of my life, from collecting textiles to envisioning new designs. During the past 10 years, I’ve created a massive collection of unique materials from vintage apparel and jewelry to rare French trim and new silk brocades. When I manipulate the textiles, looking at them from a different viewpoint, I see endless design possibilities. Like an artist, my materials are my paints, and the pillow my canvas.

Cover of "Once Upon A Pillow" by Rebecca Vizard.

The most recent textile art-related book I’ve read and would recommend is “Once Upon A Pillow” by Rebecca Vizard, another artist who works with antique rare textiles and trim. She shares her personal story and how her work with textiles evolved over time. I’m inspired and fascinated by other artists and designers’ stories of how they got started in the business. And the textiles themselves have stories as well. I have one basket of gorgeous French metallic trim that I collected yard by yard over several years and Rebecca has two shelves of about 20 baskets of all the different shades of golden trim. After reading her book, I feel I’ve only skimmed the surface! Rebecca’s story and designs greatly motivate me to collect more of these rare materials.

I would definitely recommend this book because it ties in the history of Rebecca’s life with the history of the textiles and how it is all interconnected. I relate to Rebecca’s experience on a personal level as my business is based on the history of my Main family heritage, and the heirloom-quality textiles and jewelry that were passed down to me. So it’s very important for me to read books that share artists’ life stories, their love of textiles, and the designs they create. Books like these inspire me to work harder and continue to follow my passion to make beautiful pillows.

Luxury designer pillow designed and created by Deborah.

The most challenging artistic project I’ve undertaken was my very first custom order in 2004 using antique beaded shelf-liners and most recently a Pillow Art Challenge for BD West Design Fair. They both involved working with new and different materials and problem solving. I had never worked with antique textiles before and the client asked me to transform two gorgeous Victorian hand-beaded shelf-liners into pillows. To overcome this challenge, I had to learn more about antique textiles to figure out a way to protect the Victorian beading, how to sew and ruche a fragile Victorian velvet cape, and hand stitch the beading without damaging it. Basically, to solve this design problem, I created a box pillow with a high trim so that the beading would be inset and more protected.

For the Pillow Art Challenge, there were few guidelines on size or materials. I used unique items from a vintage black leather belt with wooden beads, and vintage chinchilla fur to antique French trim. The challenge was creating a design that incorporated these beautiful, yet very different, textured materials with varying thickness, into something modern. I played around with the supplies I selected, creating layers upon layers, trying lace and other textiles as the backdrop to the vintage belt. Then I was faced with how to sew on the belt. I took it to a shoe repair shop and asked them to cut the belt in a way that preserved an edge to work with. Thankfully, it worked!

Both were very challenging projects requiring me to be creative, do research, think outside of the box, and problem solve. It was scary and exhilarating at the same time, because I never know how the final product will look until it is completed.

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My creative endeavors have from the very beginning forced me to step outside my comfort zone because I never considered myself an artist or designer. I had to learn how to sew, understand textiles, and market myself and my product. Basically, I was thrust into becoming an entrepreneur, running every single aspect of a small business. Little did I know that my creative endeavor would put me there and open up the exciting worlds of fashion, vintage, textiles, art, interior design, tradeshows, blogging, and more.

In my first year, I stepped into the world of vintage with a local shop owner and collector that very quickly became my mentor and taught me everything I know about vintage textiles and jewelry. And to my good fortune, she loved my designs so much, she gave me access to her private collection of textiles.

My creative vision gave me a hunger to learn all I could about new and vintage textiles and trim, and the cultures where some of my materials came from. For example, I traveled back to China, where we adopted our daughter, and met small shopkeepers and learned how to select beautiful silk brocades. I was also fortunate enough to travel to Suzhou along the historic Silk Road and see for myself the silk worms and old wooden looms that weave these gorgeous textiles.

Most recently, this past summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Italy which was incredibly inspiring. A dear milliner friend who studied textile restoration and taught me about working with antique textiles, reminded me about Fortuny being on Giudecca island near Venice. Luckily our hotel was right across the island! So a very special part of that trip was scheduling a private tour at the Fortuny factory and showroom. That visit to Fortuny turned out to not just be a step away from the usual tourist destinations, but a huge inspiration that opened up a whole new world for me revolving around the history and traditions in textile making.

I have found that when we’re thrust forward into other worlds, there are such enriching cultural experiences and relationships awaiting us. I met so many incredible people along the way, heard fascinating stories, learned more than I ever new possible, was fortunate to have mentors, and created lifelong friendships all over the world. These cultural experiences have helped me see the world in a whole different inspiring light.

Black and white striped pillow splendidly embellished and finished with a lovely cameo brooch.

The project I dream about creating somedaywith no limits or boundaries on time or money? I’d hop on a plane tomorrow to Paris and shop at all the flea markets collecting vintage French Passementerie. Actually, I’d fly all over the world on the hunt for textiles and trim. I love meeting the shopkeepers and learning everything I can about textiles. Also, I guess you could say the biggest project I truly dream of creating is building my design empire with my 20 year old daughter and exploring the world with her. We have big plans together and bigger dreams. We even have a name for the company, but I’m not revealing anything quite yet.

My advice to those who feel the call to pursue their creative dreams is to just do it! Don’t wait for enough money, enough time or anything. When the creative spark comes, run with it as fast as you can. I had an artistic epiphany in a textile store and knew immediately that something special happened and I was going to become an artist. People follow their dreams in many different ways. Some have a business plan and financial backing. Others, like me, just let it evolve and reveal itself over time. It helped tremendously that my husband had a full time job which gave me the opportunity to explore the textile and design business before I jumped in with both feet. There is no wrong or right way to pursue your creativity. You’ve got to take risks. If you’re lucky enough to discover it, then own it, explore it, and watch it take you to worlds you never dreamed of. Your creativity is a beautiful thing and will set you free in so many ways!

NOTE: This interview above was reprinted from The Decorating Diva by Carmen Natschke.

Add A Little Zip to Your New Year & Help Texas Tornado Relief!

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Hard to believe 2015 is almost over and in just 3 days we will ring in the new year. I’m not sure I’m quite ready, but as always, we must be.  My new word (according to Facebook) for the new year is CHANGE!!  And that is something we all must embrace on a daily basis and I’m excited for the year ahead.

But sadly, this is not the kind of change below that we wish for anyone in the new year. Here at Deborah Main Designs, our hearts go out to all those affected by the deadly storms all over the country, but specifically in Texas during the Christmas weekend. Hard to comprehend the devastation. Please donate if you can, as I know so many families need your help.

My family has already donated, but we at Deborah Main Designs will donate the entire proceeds, $495.00, from the sale of this pair of UnZipped pillows above.

An aerial image taken Sunday, December 27, 2015 shows the path of a tornado tornado through Garland, Texas. Violent storms ripped through the North Texas area late Saturday, spawning tornados that killed 11 people. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)

An aerial image taken Sunday, December 27, 2015 shows the path of a tornado tornado through Garland, Texas. Violent storms ripped through the North Texas area late Saturday, spawning tornados that killed 11 people. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)

So please consider putting a little zip into your new year AND doing a great thing for those in need, by purchasing the above pair of UnZipped pillows before midnight on December 31, 2015. You can purchase them right HERE. The proceeds from this sale will go directly to the Garland, Texas Tornado Relief fund. (Note: you can still purchase this pair of pillows after 12.31.15 at full price $895/pair).

Now before the year ends, I would like to take a moment to recognize the WINNER of our #ColorYourHolidays Instagram Contest, Linda Holt of Linda Holt Interiors.  I am thrilled for Linda, as she is a fabulous interior designer who loves color! CONGRATULATIONS LINDA!!!

Linda Liked, Tweeted, Tagged, and Shared the most during our December contest and we’d like to thank her and the 100+ people who participated.  I know Linda and all of you love color just as much as Amy and I do!  The contest was sponsored by Color Expert, Amy Wax, who created the ingenious and popular award-winning color App, Color911 and myself, Deborah Main of luxury pillow design studio, Deborah Main Designs.

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As the winner of our fun and successful #ColorYourHolidays contest, Linda has some choices to make. Here’s what Linda wins, total value $450.00:

  • 10 Color911 Apps to gift to family and friends
  • 1 Les Petits Bijoux holiday ornament,
  • 2 luxury pillows by Deborah Main

Below are just 3 examples from up to 15-20 one-of-a-kind and Limited Edition holiday ornaments from which Linda can choose.  Note how Amy’s Color911 App will help Linda determine which color ornament will look best in her home with her decor.

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Here’s 3 of up to 20 luxury Deborah Main pillows Linda also has to choose from. Oh boy, is that color tool Color911 App going to come in handy as Linda makes her selections.

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Now I know the new year is not quite here yet, but when it arrives, we will all be making plans, setting goals, looking forward to summer vacations, and possibly remodeling and redecorating our homes for the spring.

So before I forget, I want you to know that ALL of Deborah Main luxury pillows are at a “Special Holiday Pricing” through December 31, 2015.

Come January 1, 2016, they will go back to their original price, so please shop now right HERE to catch this special sale that has never before been done on our website in 11 years of business.  And watch for exciting new designs in 2016!

Till then, here’s a few of the sale pillows below.  I wish each and every one of you an AMAZING 2016!! Thank you for reading my blog, participating in Amy’s and my #ColorYourHolidays contest (wasn’t that fun! Watch for more coming up in the new year!), and your continued support of our luxury pillow design studio in Austin, Texas, where all our pillows are proudly handcrafted in the USA!! (And please think about that donation above, as you can purchase those pillows right HERE).

Also, please see the announcement below of a wonderful Austin store that now carries the Deborah Main Designs’ luxury pillow line. It’s been 4 years since any Austin store has carried our line, but now that Austin has almost 2 million residents, we look forward to adding more local retailers for you in 2016. Happy New Year my friends! XO PG

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Purchase this vintage Paris souvenir scarf pillow right HERE.

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Purchase this pair of fabulous over-sized pillows, perfect for a king-size bed in your master suite, right HERE.

These 3 spectacular Les Bijoux de Luxe pillows below are no longer available on our website, but do not fear, as I am thrilled to announce they are NOW AVAILABLE IN AUSTIN exclusively at The Great Curtain Company, so be sure to stop by and shop for not only exquisite custom curtains, but Deborah Main pillows too!

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A Touch of Red & Green is All-time Favorite to Color Your Holidays!

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I don’t know about you, but I love red!  As I’ve been working on this blog post listening to classical music, surrounded by the glow of candles and the lights on our tree, I realize how much I love to decorate with traditional red and green for the holidays.  And after shopping for gifts all day, I’m so looking forward to relaxing with the family around our Christmas tree, playing games, and maybe even making some holiday cookies.

The simplest way I decorate for the holiday season is with a few red poinsettias strategically placed around my home. I like one on our piano in our entry way and some in our dining room near the tree.

But a few colorful Deborah Main accent pillows can also easily brighten up a room for the holiday season!

If you’ve been following color consultant Amy Wax’s and Deborah Main Designs’ #ColorYourHolidays contest on Instagram, you know we’ve been talking about color – from teal and blues, to creams and Italy inspired golden sunsets, we’ve been talking about giving the “gift of color” all month long. So if you haven’t done it yet, now is the time!

As you can see from this vintage designer scarf pillow above, the handy color tool, Color 911 App, created by color expert Amy Wax, helps you decorate with many other colors that complement red and green.  Our family/dining room walls are a rich caramel color and I was finally able to sneak in my one red wall.  So, as you can see below, (photographed on our couch near our tree for this blog post), this fabulous vintage Vera Neumann scarf pillow would complement my home decor perfectly, and maybe yours too.

Our studio,  Deborah Main Designs, is offering (for the very time on our website) “Special Holiday Pricing” through December 31st.  Please feel free to shop for the above pillow for your home decor right HERE, and we’ll be happy to ship it out to you pronto.  They make perfect housewarming gifts as well!

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With the award-winning color app, Color 911, you’d be amazed at how often you would use this tool while shopping for home decor.  Just today, I managed to pop into a fabric shop to start looking for some cut velvet for my mother’s chair we’re planning to reupholster, and if my phone hadn’t died, the Color911 App would have helped me tremendously.  As you can see below, it is THE creative tool that homeowners and designers, artists, and really anyone that loves and works with color, can make use of in a variety of ways.

The Color 911 App has really made me look at color in a whole new light, which I’m super excited about.  Because it not only has helped me decorate my home for the holidays, but has also helped me decide on some colors in my pillow designs for sure!

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Like this green paisley silk brocade pillow and all the many fabulous shades of green throughout the design gives you so many options to decorate with. I love the chartreuse green against the olive green. It just opens up a whole new world to decorating with color!

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And look what the Color 911 App does with one of our Les Petits Bijoux collectible holiday ornaments.  This ornament below is handcrafted in our Austin, Texas studio of vintage French Damask and trimmed with vintage country red and green plaid trim from Paris (which I love, because we have it in several colorways in our private vintage French trim collection) and crowned with a sparkly vintage clear rhinestone button.

Very classic ornament color scheme and design. One that makes a perfect gift to the hostess at you next holiday party.

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Here it is on our tree below, where I photographed many of our custom holiday ornaments for you to see how they look on a Christmas tree. But they’re also perfect little gems to add red and green holiday decor to your office cubicle or on your bedroom mirror.

And trust me, you do not have to save these ornaments just for the holidays as we handcraft them in any color combination you would like for all special occasions.

If I were getting married again, I think they’d make perfect bridesmaid gifts….but I’ve been married 31 years to a fabulous husband, so I’ll have to pass on that idea. But you don’t!  So please keep our collectible ornaments in mind for your next occasion. You can shop for them on this fabulous new luxury home decor & gift online boutique, La Bella Fiona.

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Now last but not least, I would be remiss if I did not inform you that you have ONLY 2 days left to enter Amy’s and my #Color Your Holidays contest!  So hurry now and hop on over to our Instagram accounts and follow the instructions.

For starters, you need to follow us both on Instagram: @amywax and @DeborahMainDesigns and start using the heck out of that hashtag #ColorYourHolidays.  

I mean look at the fabulous PRIZE the winner receives!!  Now think of 9 of your friends and family that would enjoy receiving the Color 911 App (and some Deborah Main luxury pillows too!) and get to work on that list because Wed, the 23rd at 5 p.m. EST, the contest ends and we select only ONE lucky winner who has used the hashtag #ColorYourHolidays most AND followed the rest of our instructions (see complete rules on our Instagram links above).

I’d love to see some of your holiday decorating pics, so please share them and watch for the winner Wed, the 23rd.  Till next time, I wish you and your family a magical holiday. Merry Christmas!  XOPG

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Inspired by Travel – Give the Gift of Color this Holiday!

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From the rooftops, sunsets, and textiles of Venice to crystal chandeliers and fashion in Milan, my family trip to Northern Italy this summer was full of color inspiration. Traveling has a way of doing that for me, and I’m sure you too. It gives us a chance to see our world from a different perspective, to experience different cultures and to explore the food, people, art, fashion, and design that inspires us.

We all need color in our lives. I believe color is integral to happiness in our lives.  And we are surrounded by it everywhere.

Whether its to stimulate our senses with bursts of sienna, orange, tomato red, gold and rust, or provide calm and peace with Pantone’s new colors of the year: Rose Quartz & Serenity. Below are the new Pantone colors seen here in the incredibly inspiring Armani Exhibition we went to in Milan.

So please join Deborah Main Designs and Amy Wax (developer of the award-winning Color911 App) this holiday season and #ColorYourHoliday with the “Gift of Color”. Follow our blogs and start using the hashtag above because we’re going to announce our contest very soon and we think you’ll like the winning gift!

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I don’t know about you, but if you’re like me when you travel, you want to bring back meaningful gifts for friends and family and find a way to capture those colorful memories.

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This Deborah Main Designs’ holiday ornament above from our Les Petits Bijoux Collection does just that. It was inspired by the rich amber and golden sunset on the Grand Canal in Venice and the golds and creams in this 1960’s gown (below). I love how Amy’s Color911 App pulls out all the colors so one can easily find a gift to complement your holiday tree or home decor.

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When I learned that the Fortuny showroom and factory was on Giudecca island right near our hotel….well I planned ahead and scheduled THE most amazing private tour. Here is a gorgeous gold, pinkish rose Fortuny textile that also inspired me for this holiday ornament.  See all of their textiles here.

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I even get inspiration from the food I eat, like this delicious plate of Gnocchi and the richly painted buildings.

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I made this holiday ornament as a special gift for the owner of La Bella Fiona, a new luxury online store that features our collectible Les Petits Bijoux holiday ornaments. (Note: when wholesalers and the Trade buy a dozen, we make a complementary 13th one especially for them. We also do custom orders for all of our clients). Be sure to spend some time looking around this fabulous new online site, as it sells many other gorgeous items to give as gifts this holiday season. And watch for more Deborah Main one-of-a-kind luxury pillows on  La Bella Fiona, like this classic gold silk brocade (available any minute now!) that will look lovely in the same room as the ornament.

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Now onto the meaning of Christmas and this holiday season we are so blessed with, giving the “Gift of Color”.

One of the reason’s my passion is handcrafting luxury pillows, is because I love to create beautiful, meaningful gifts for you and your home.

Historically in the 1940’s and 50’s, travelers brought back souvenir handkerchiefs and scarves to remind them of their holiday vacation. In the US it was state hankies to remember their road trip along Route 66, but in international cities, like Rome or Paris, it was large, satin or silk scarves like this Parisian beauty below.

We here at Deborah Main Designs collect “original” vintage souvenir scarves and hankies and love to transform them into collectible art, beautiful pillow keepsakes.  You can decorate your home with them or give them as house-warming gifts.

You also can keep a souvenir pillow out year round, or just for the holidays or summer, like many of us often bring out a special set of dishes or china during the holidays, or change up our decor seasonally.

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I particularly love the fall colors in this Paris souvenir scarf pillow, (which happens to have “special holiday pricing” in our online shop) because, like the City of Lights, it reminds me of colors in nature you might see on a stroll along The River Seine, maybe even at sunset – from a buttery yellow and leafy green to a tomato red and bronze rust. There’s a little bit of everyhing…and let’s not forget the landmarks we love so much, like the Arc de Triomphe, Musee d’Orsay, and the “piece de resistance”, the Eiffel Tower.

So when you’re thinking about gift-giving this holiday season, I’d like you to think about one main thing: 

What is a unique, meaningful gift you can give someone you care about, and how can you give the “Gift of Color” to make that someone special happy and joyful this holiday season.

When shopping for holiday gifts, or decor, you can never go wrong with selecting a pillow of the state, or country, your friend is from, or where you and your hubs spent your honeymoon. And you can never go wrong with a golden one-of-a-kind ornament for someone’s tree.

Sure, we all decorate our homes in a variety of colors from teal and aqua, like we showed you in last week’s post, to traditional reds and greens you’ll see on the blog next week. But I personally don’t think you can ever go wrong giving a meaningful “Gift of Color”. (And don’t forget, you can even gift the Color911 App right HERE).

Because color and travel evoke fond memories for many of us. And a unique and special heirloom-quality gift, like Deborah Main Designs’ one-of-a-kind and limited edition pillows, (with “special holiday pricing through December) will always be valued. And who knows, maybe even passed down to the next generation of travelers and gift-givers.

Give the gift of love and #ColorYourHolidays with Deborah Main Designs, La Bella Fiona, and Color 911. And color expert, Amy Wax, gives you some fabulous decorating tips right HERE. Till next week, when it’s onto more traditional holiday decor, hope you’re staying safe and close to family and friends throughout the holidays, and maybe even taking a special holiday vacation too! XO PG

Texture Tuesday – The Beauty of French Passementerie

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In the face of the shocking tragedy in Paris, I, like many, are grieving for not only Paris, but the world, because it affects us all.  My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one or been traumatized by these horrific events. I frankly can’t even comprehend the horror. So, as much as part of me is utterly sad and feels hopeless….part of me also feels like I have to keep moving and carry on with life, or I’ll get even sadder. I really haven’t turned on the news anymore, but have been quietly thinking of all Parisians struggling with such profound loss and grieving for their loved ones.

With this world crisis at hand, it’s not going to get any easier, but we must all be united, not live in fear, and keep moving forward in our daily lives with love.

So, I thought to be most respectful of the situation, while at the same time bring some normalcy back to my life, I would dedicate this week’s #TextureTuesday to Paris.  I’d like to share with you some of my favorite pieces of vintage French Passementerie.

Here at Deborah Main Designs studio, I’ve been collecting vintage French trim since the beginning, in 2004. In fact, it’s one of the important materials that helped lay the foundation for my very first pillows, our Rococo Ribbon Collection. I don’t currently make this style of pillow anymore (but have something exciting on the horizon using my vintage French trim collection!) so I wanted to reflect back a little on the first 10 years of our business where I made many a pillow incorporating vintage French trim and new ribbon. (Please note, that some of these were my very first designs, and I have learned much since then).

There was a little antique shop near some warehouses in The Courtyard in Austin, and I purchased these incredible pieces of Parisian handiwork. I was told by the owner that young Parisian women would make these 10-inch samples to showcase their incredible beading and embroidery work. They would then take the Passementerie samples to the factories to seek work.

This sample below of antique French Passementerie is at least 75 years old and I treasure it! I only have a couple left, and I love the intricate beading and the story behind it.

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Below is one of the very first pillows I made with one of these antique Parisian beading samples.  Now that I’ve learned more about French Passimenterie, I would make this pillow completely different using much more vintage French trim versus new ribbon.

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I then discovered a warehouse full of French antiques in the same complex and lo and behold, the owner Janet Wiebe, of Janet Wiebe Antiques, also collected vintage French trim in her travels.

Janet told me countless stories of the trim being from old European factories and I was captivated by the rich texture, color and history of the Passementerie, because most of the factories have now closed.

It was like being in a candy store and I could not get enough of it! It was so expensive that I first could only afford a yard or two.

This vintage French trim was one of the founding materials of Deborah Main Designs that set me on a course to have a burst of creativity and make 50+ decorative pillows interweaving this French trim and new ribbon into our signature collection, The Rococo Ribbon Collection.  I loved it – creating these pillows soon became my artistic expression. Each pillow came with a handwritten scroll that included all the details about every vintage French trim.

I so enjoyed that earlier time and grew to love vintage French Passementerie. Please enjoy some of my very first collectible designs. Most have sold and gone on to customers to become family heirlooms to pass onto their children and grandchildren, but I’ve kept a few favorites in our permanent collection for future generations to enjoy.

That is my small connection to Paris and one I treasure!  With loving thoughts for all of Paris, till next time, hug your loved ones and please stay safe. XO PG

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This detail above is one of my very first pillows and favorites because of the rich jet black and red orange vintage French trim, vintage platinum French lace and an incredibly gorgeous Victorian Bakelite cameo that I discovered at Amelia’s Retro-Vogue & Relics.  Jane Clarke, the owner of Amelia’s (one of Austin’s BEST vintage stores!) was the first small business owner to see my prototypes and explain to me what kind of art I had created. Jane was so struck by my designs that she taught me everything I know about vintage brooches and materials, allowing me access to her private collection of lace and other vintage goodies. And we became fast friends! This pillow reminds me of those wonderful first few years in her shop where I would go for inspiration.

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This green, gold and black pillow above is a great example of interweaving the vintage French trim and new ribbon, like that fun polka dot one front and center.  What’s remarkable about this pillow (that was donated to the Junior League Of Austin’s Christmas Affair years ago) is that much of the vintage gold metallic trim, particularly in the center has 14-K gold metallic thread.  This was also THE very first pillow I created with a vintage brooch from Amelia’s Retro-Vogue & Relics….which soon turned into what we call now our Les Bijoux Collection. All of the examples below incorporate vintage textiles and vintage French Passementerie.

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Above and below is my first pillow (now in our permanent collection) made with the intricate silk braiding of vintage French Passementerie.  (Also below are a few examples of pieces that I’ve collected and have in stock, with some beading as well).

This classic black & white luxury decorative pillow was a process of self-discovery.  I had 4 corner pieces, all jet black silk Passementerie, from a Victorian dress, and a dear friend, Laura Del Villaggio of Milli Starr, suggested I manipulate them into a heart.  And since no black and white fabric was to be found in Austin at the time, I made my own from faux suede and vintage French black velvet ribbon.

This Rococo Ribbon design I am particularly proud of, as it incorporates all I love about the art of making luxury decorative pillows – the exciting adventure of the creative process.

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Passementerie (/pæsˈmɛntri/, French pronunciation: ​[pɑsmɑ̃tri]) or passementarie is the art of making elaborate trimmings or edgings (in French, passements) of applied braid, gold or silver cord, embroidery, colored silk, or beads for clothing or furnishings. (from Wikipedia).

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Below is the final pillow.  You can shop for pillows similar to this design in Haddonfield, New Jersey at one of our stores, The Pearl Clutch. If you’re in that area, please be sure to stop by.

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Above are some vintage French cut velvet table runners we also made into pillows along with our vintage French Passementerie.

Below are four examples of many types of vintage French trim (aka Passementerie) that we carry in our studio. Many think of Passementerie as more intricate and generally involving braiding or beading, but to me, all the vintage French trim I’ve collected is a form of Passementerie. All four are full of texture with metallic thread running through the design and incorporating embroidery, weaving, and tapestry.  Did I mention that we loved Janet Wiebe’s vintage French trim so much that we bought her entire collection? We have an entire 10 x 10 storage unit overflowing with it! Be sure to check out all our luxury pillow collections on our website and stay tuned for a unique spin on some of Deborah Main Designs’ vintage French Passementerie in 2016!

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Note: This is not a sponsored post. All views are my own. All images are either mine or by award-winning photographer Gregg Cestaro.

 

Texture Tuesday – Global Inpiration at High Point & Our Studio

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You don’t have to look far to find interesting handwoven texture from around the globe. Global influence is still on-trend, spotted by Style Spotters at fall 2015 High Point Market, but in my mind, it kind of never really left.  I mean if you really think about it, we are continually experiencing global influences in our daily lives year round. Whether it’s from our own travels to far destinations like India, Guatemala, Peru, or to our local vintage shop, the “global-tribal-bohemian” look can be collected, shopped for, and found in many interiors. This week’s #TextureTuesday is all about that look!

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From “Bohemian” pops of color on lush Suzani throws (above) spotted by Canadian interior designer & High Point Style Spotter, Jonathan Legate, at Cozy Nomad Designs.  To intricate “Tribal” neutrals (below) in a necklace woven with New Guinea shell and feathers (from Asian Loft) spotted by interior designer & High Point Style Spotter, Beth Dotolo, of Pulp Design Studios.

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An “On-trend Global Classic” is this amazing rug (below), also spotted by Beth Dotolo at High Point.  It is hand knitted by a Zambia tribe from bamboo silk and wool, and can also add instant global touches to your home, either from your own jet-set travels around the world, or from home accessory companies like a leader in the home industry, Surya, who is highly regarded for their Surya Social program.

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Which makes me remember how Deborah Main Designs studio jumped on board this global look with the “Tribal Chic” pillow (below) we created in spring of 2015 for the “Pillow Art Challenge Benefiting Invincible Me” with BD West Design Fair. What a fun challenge that was and really introduced me to the whole global look.

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A pillow like this one we handcrafted in our studio for the contest, was inspired by many different materials coming together.

The Global look, to me, is almost a potpourri and tends to have several key ingredients, that when combined create a very distinctive look – Color + Texture + Beading + Weaving + Fur/Feathers + Pattern + New + Vintage = Global/Tribal Chic

Our “Tribal Chic” pillow came together from:

  • vintage leather belt with wooden beads,
  • rare vintage French Art Deco metallic trim,
  • copper ribbon from Hancock Fabrics,
  • re-purposed designer animal-textured textile,
  • vintage Chinchilla fur piece, and
  • new, contemporary, diamond-pattern silk brocade.

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I love how the vintage Chinchilla made a perfect bed for the vintage beaded belt. And we took all these materials and created layer upon layer to capture the look we were after. It was almost like putting pieces of a puzzle together.

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And for your home, this look tribal look can go modern –

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Traditional  –

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Or classically elegant –

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Here’s the back of the pillow with a very contemporary diamond silk brocade:

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All of this brings to mind, that many of my clients have recently been embracing this trend and have been requesting fabric from vintage rugs and blankets in my collection to be made into pillows.

In Austin, you don’t have to look far to find the Bohemian style, as it comes naturally, especially in South Austin, so don’t be surprised when you visit if you see it run throughout our entire city – from tiny vintage bungalows to mansions on Mount Bonnell.

Here are a few vintage pieces below that my clients have recently considered:

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Vintage Mexican blanket.

20151014_205808Antique animal print lap blanket.

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Vintage Peruvian rugs

My friend Roi James, an incredibly talented Austin artist (who has a show coming up this weekend, so check back here on Thursday for details!), whom I’ve known for years and have collected his remarkable oil paintings, asked me recently If I could make pillows from these antique rugs he collected on his travels to Peru.  He has a modern black leather sofa (which you’ll see when I finish the pillows :-) ) which he wanted to add color to with throw pillows.  His interior living room is very eclectic with a mix of modern, vintage, and tribal rugs and pillows, so it seemed like a perfect match.

Here’s a few pics of the rugs he’s had (below), not knowing exactly what to do with them…so pillows came to mind.

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I can’t wait to get started on Roi’s pillows!  Be sure to check out our blog on Thursday for more information about Roi James’ upcoming studio show.  Till then, we at Deborah Main Designs hope you’ve enjoyed a little global inspiration!  XO, PG

The Winner Is? Wallpaper by Kimberly Lewis & Patrick’s 5 Tips for the Right Selection!

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Winning a wallpaper contest on Instagram was fairly easy, but wait until we get to the selection process, now that’s a totally different story!

Sponsored by Brooklyn-based wallpaper designer, Kimberly Lewis, and fine French furniture manufacturer, Grange, I simply followed their #InstaContest instructions, and before I knew it, I had won 3 rolls of Kimberly’s colorful wallpaper. Now how sweet is that?  It was a FANTASTIC surprise and I’m so grateful to Kimberly and Grange for having the contest. Fun pops of color and pattern to choose from…one lucky gal I am! (Please follow Kimberly’s Instagram feed @KimberlyLewisNYC and @GrangeFurniture. Well, and mine too while you’re at it :-) @DeborahMainDesigns).

But actually making a decision and selecting the “right” wallpaper is a whole ‘nother story!! It is HARD and far more challenging than I thought!! (You may not know this about me, but I’m fairly indecisive…Ha!)

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But before I get into this whole “selecting wallpaper” process, let me introduce you to Kimberly of Kimberly Lewis Home.  Because it just so happened, that because I’ve taken soooo long to make a decision (remember how challenging it was to select a roof shingle?!?!) Kimberly was headed to Austin for a wedding, so we were able to meet up in real life (#IRL) last weekend.  We had lunch at Bouldin Creek Cafe (ya know, a little iconic Austin) and had great fun bopping around some of my fave South Austin vintage shops. Below we’re at Flashback, a fun filled-to-the-brim vintage shop specializing in 1950’s -1980’s.

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Here’s a rack (below) that Kimberly loved for all it’s color and pattern. And me too, but I was also eyeing that gilded mirror, cause you know I recently had a run in with a gorgeous gilded mirror I couldn’t resist (check out last week’s post HERE ).

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We also had time for a quick pop in to another of my absolute FAVE vintage shops in Austin, Amelia’s Retro-Vogue & Relics . Here we are below with friend Laura Del Villaggio of Milli Starr, Austin’s best kept secret milliner. Jane Clarke, owner of Amelia’s keeps a highly curated collection of a little bit of everything from 1890’s to 1950’s. Many of my prized textiles are from Jane’s personal vintage collection!

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A little bit about Kimberly.  She’s super nice, from Massachusetts (which some of you may not know, but I was born in Beverly, MA), has an impressive design background working with brands like Wolf Gordon, a design degree from Pratt, and got to study textile design at the Danish Design School.  And, not to mention that she makes fun colorful wallpaper, with a touch of “preppie” in it, she also is one of  “8 Brooklyn Wallpaper Designers To Watch”.  And a couple of her patterns, inspired by vintage dresses (key to my heart!), were selected in 2013 by the Brooklyn Museum. Now how’s that for recognition!

Here’s what Kimberly had to say about her very first visit to Austin:

Travel is a great source of inspiration for my wallpaper designs. I was excited to find myself most recently jumping on a plane to Austin, TX. Deborah most kindly gave me a mini tour of her favorite stores and I was excited to soak up some of the local flavor. A big thanks again for showing me around Austin, I had a fabulous time both on Friday (at the vintage shops) and at the wedding! I honestly would love to book another trip back soon! – Kimberly Lewis

And what inspires Kimberly:

My most recent wallpaper designs are inspired by a trip to France, while other designs hark back to my childhood growing up in New England.  I am always on the lookout for inspiring decor, color palettes, and experiences to add to my design process and love to soak up inspiration everywhere.  – Kimberly Lewis

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This design above, the Beverley in Perry (available in four colorways), is one of the many colors and patterns I’m lucky enough, as a winner of the contest, to choose from. And I have to say this one above is the one I’m leaning toward, but certainly after reading this post, you can help me decide, right? (Please follow along on my Pinterest board “Wallpapers Galore” ).

Selecting wallpaper is not as easy as it looks when you’re a pillow designer like myself who loves ALL color and has NO wallpaper on her walls and does not wear ANY pattern! Now how’s that for a challenge?

That’s where my interior designer Patrick Landrum of PL&D/Patrick Landrum Design, whom I’m lucky enough to work with on my “Vintage Cottage Bungalow” home remodel project, comes in. He’s a pro at “Authentic Luxury Design”!

All I have to say is thank God for Interior Designers! They really know EVERYTHING there is to know in making design decisions, using different materials, and putting together the look you want.

So if you’ve never worked with an interior designer before, just DO IT! They’re worth their weight in gold!!

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But first, a little background on my love for wallpaper.  Growing up as a young child in Massachusetts, like Kimberly, I was surrounded by beautiful wallpaper on my bedroom walls and the walls of my grandparent’s homes too.  Wallpaper very much like these below that totally inspired me when visiting my cousin Cheryl on Deer Isle on summer.

All homes on Deer Isle are gorgeous, historic, big white homes that are filled with stories! My cousin took me to this adorable muffin shop that happens to also be a cozy Bed & Breakfast.  Well, the couple that owned it gave me a tour (more on that in a future post) and I fell in love with the wallpaper and stories that came with it.

Below are two, of several rooms, filled with inspiring vintage wallpaper like in my childhood.

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These patterns below are classic from the 1930’s and ’40’s!

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Now, onto my task at hand: selecting a colorful patterned wall paper.

I decided to get moving on my remodeling (since Austin permitting is taking forever!) with my studio for Deborah Main Designs.  My studio is in my home, my son’s old bedroom to be precise.  I’ve spent weeks overhauling my entire studio, going through every piece of fabric and trim I’ve collected for the past 10 years.  A daunting task, to say the least, if not for the help of Jana with Task Rabbit!

One drastic move I’ve made (inspired by the offices of two talented interior designers, Linda Holt of Linda Holt Interiors and Leslie Hendrix Wood, of Hadley Court, and members of this wonderful group Interior Design Chat) is that I’ve cleared out the wall-to-wall bookcases of fabric and now have this AMAZING 1960’s dark wooden credenza below. With a white top, the perfect height to design on, it gives me not only extra storage space in the drawers, but another counter top surface for designing.

So, my plan is to wallpaper the wall behind this fabulous credenza. (Btw, I purchased the credenza and my vintage blue velvet sofa from The Brass Peacock, another fabulous Austin vintage shop specializing in furnishings.)

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Now here are the choices I’ve narrowed it down to:

The Beverley pattern (not sure which color yet) or one of Kimberly’s newest designs, The Gate (not yet on her website).

The Beverley is inspired by vintage clothing, and I can totally see my great Aunt Adelaide Main in a dress like this. But The Gate pattern is inspired by Kimberly’s travels to Europe, and of course makes me think of all those fabulous gates in Varenna, Italy from our trip this summer (Here’s the post on that divine texture HERE).

Here are my wallpaper choices below by Kimberly Lewis:

Sunpetal Wallpaper

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Lime Fizz  Wallpaper

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Midnight Wallpaper

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Perry Wallpaper

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The Gate Wallpaper  (not yet available online)

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As you can see from the existing wall color (below), which is like an aqua green/blue, it sure would be simple to pick that same green//blue color of the vintage-inspired Beverley pattern, the Lime Fizz, and be done with it.

I DO love the vintage pattern, but there’s also good reason to pick the soft gray and yellow, because with all the natural light in my studio, it would help keep my space bright and calming (with perhaps soft butter yellow paint on the walls).

Or, one of the Beverley patterns with navy blue in it, because I LOVE blue!  And to complicate matters, there’s also good reason to pick Kimberley’s new collection, The Gate….oh, how it reminds me of Italy.

So you see my dilemma?  What is a woman to do?? That’s why I specialize in designing one-of-a-kind luxury pillows….I LOVE color and want to use it all!!

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That’s where my knight in shining armor, interior designer Patrick Landrum of  PL&D/Patrick Landrum Design, comes in on cue! I said, Patrick, how am I ever going to decide??  Well, here’s what he has to say.


5 TIPS FOR SELECTING THE RIGHT PATTERNED WALLPAPER – by Patrick Landrum of PL&D/Patrick Landrum Design.

  • #1: Think About Cause and Effect

“Using a patterned wallpaper in a space has the single most dramatic effect of all the design elements available. You can change the level of intimacy, add drama, whimsy or movement, and create limitless scenes evoking exotic locales before you even place a piece of furniture.

Generally, the larger the pattern the more active or busy it will be. But colors will also effect this aspect. The more contrast in value or hue of the pattern to the background the more active the pattern will appear visually whether the pattern is large or small.

Larger patterns are usually more appealing in larger spaces, but they also work wonderfully in powder rooms adding high drama in a space that’s occupied for short periods where too long a stay could become dizzying or claustrophobic.” – Patrick Landrum

  • #2: Focus On What You’re Doing in the Space

“When selecting a patterned wallpaper you can either decide on the mood you want to create, or conversely choose a paper you love.

Consider what activities take place in the room and be sure that the mood is appropriate and/or the pattern and color doesn’t distract from what goes on in the space.” – Patrick Landrum.

  • #3: Remember the Lighting

“Lighting is a key issue with wallpaper as with paint. Darker colors will need more lighting, metallics will have a different requirement. Some papers will need ambient light to be effective, and some highly patterned ones will completely change in different levels of light.” – Patrick Landrum

  • #4: Don’t Be Afraid to Dip Your Toes in Slowly

“If you are wary of using too much pattern, consider papering one or two accent walls. If you do one wall it must be a strong focal point wall, typically with a larger piece of furniture on it. You can also do a wall with the entry door on it. Usually you do not want to do a window wall only as this can create a disembodied wall feeling. If you do two walls they must be adjoining walls.” – Patrick Landrum

  • #5: How This Applies to Your Studio

“Specifically with the Deborah Main Designs‘ studio, the pattern must be “mellow” enough as to not distract from her work in selecting fabrics, colors, etc. A close pattern to background color ratio is perfect. If you squint your eyes and you see little variance in light/dark then it’s a good choice.

Since highly patterned walls are new to Deborah, do one wall only, the one with the large buffet. To avoid having to add a lot of new lighting, go with the drama of a darker paper with little contrast and go very light on the other three walls and ceiling. This will give you the best of what wallpaper can offer without compromising your work space, or your psyche.” – Patrick Landrum


Thank you Patrick for those helpful tips!

Now that you have the down and dirty of the challenges in selecting wallpaper, five helpful tips, and how excited I am to have the opportunity to select some of Kimberly Lewis’ colorful patterns, please enjoy some more inspiring wallpaper below, some only recently launched at High Point Market.

Now, once I get this wallpaper selection down, I’m onto discovering French-inspired wallpaper for the master suite to go with that gilded gold vintage mirror I scored at FiND! (Please check out my post on #HPMKT & FiND HERE).

Till then, enjoy, and let us know your wallpaper selection experiences in the comments below.  XO, PG

4a46fe41ec9dcf55e73c6657e0a1333bThibautThis Thibaut pattern above reminded me of the 1930/40’s wallpaper I loved in that Bed & Breakfast up in Deer Isle, Maine.  Below is Thibaut’s new “Trade Routes Collection” recently introduced at High Point market. It was a huge hit and comes in many colorways.

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I met Michele Varian on Modenus’  #BlogTourNYC in 2014 and have been smitten over her wallpaper ever since!

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Last but not least, just out in the latest issue of No. 26, the fabulous luxury & design lifestyle publication by D Coop Media, are these luxurious hand blocked wallpapers from France by Atelier d’Offard. Divine decadence!

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NOTE: I was not compensated by any person or business for this post. All views and images are my own, except where noted. I will be receiving 3 free rolls of Kimberly Lewis wallpaper from winning the Instagram contest, as mentioned in this post. Thank you for reading my blog!

Lamps Anyone? Finding the Perfect Find at FIND & HIGH POINT

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Style Spotting is all about “The hunt”, right?  With High Point Market, the largest home furnishings market in the USA, going on this weekend in North Carolina, Oct 17 – 22, 2015, and many of my design friends there looking for beautiful pieces for their clients, I wanted to take you through what kind of “perfect find” inspires me.
But first, if you are a homeowner or even a designer looking for what’s on trend, I wanted to be sure you knew who to watch and follow, on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, for their exciting design picks at High Point.
Here are High Point Market’s “Style Spotters” below to follow.  They are a select group of influential designers, home stylists and home fashion bloggers, invited by High Point to walk this entire market (which is HUGE!) and spot emerging design trends coming to your home, from trending colors, special finishes, unique products, to their favorite furnishings. Read all about them HERE.

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From left to right, top row: Arianne Bellizaire, Beth Dotolo,  Courtney Lake, Jonathan Legate. Bottom row:  Kati Curtis, Leslie Hendrix Wood, Lori Gilder, Michelle Jennings Wiebe, and Patti Johnson.)

You can also follow the Twitter hashtags #hpmkt and #hpmktss. That’s just one way I find out what’s trending and keep my eyes toward the future. So, if you’re interested in design, even just a little bit, these Style Spotters are the ones to follow for ideas and inspiration

Then, afterward, call your interior designer and get refreshing that home for the holidays! That’s what I’m doing, getting inspired and working with my interior designer, Patrick Landrum, of P&L Design, remodeling our home.

So on to what inspires me. I don’t get much time to go antiquing and I still can’t believe I’ve never been to Round Top, the big antiques fair in Texas or High Point Market. BOTH are on my wish list for 2016. They both offer such unique experiences for the savvy interior designer on the hunt for that perfect side chair, lamp, or mirror for their client, or for people like me, your average home owner, who loves the thrill of looking to get inspired. (Note: Round Top is open to all shoppers and High Point is a market to the trade for wholesale buyers and interior designers only).

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The other way for me to get inspired is go to vintage shops. And it just so happened that a dear friend of mine (who I’d been trying to have lunch with ever since I got back from Italy so we could share our stories!), Linda Funay, knew what I loved and had me meet her at this adorable little vintage shop called FIND out in Lakeway, Texas.

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IMG_20151003_235225Here’s Linda and I having lunch at The Grove that afternoon on a cool day, a rarity in Austin these days, as we’re still topping 95 degrees.

Finding FIND in the Texas Hill Country is not a challenge at all, once you know it’s right next to Benjamin Moore Paints, but getting out of there without coming away with something IS a challenge!

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Meet the delightful Kim Neal, above, owner and curator of FIND. Once I walked into her shop, all of a sudden I didn’t hear a word Kim and Linda were saying, because everywhere I turned I was finding something I loved.

It’s funny what inspires you! I felt slightly rude that I wasn’t listening very well as Kim walked me through her store, but that’s because everywhere I turned – and I mean everywhere – I was SO inspired!!

I could not pause long enough from “Ooohing” and “Aaahing” over everything to have much of a conversation. Is it just me, or has that ever happened to you where you’re so enthralled with what you see that you barely can utter a word? I had never had that happen before, and in reality, I’m sure I was babbling away. But really, it’s all Linda Funay’s fault, who kept saying ‘I told you Kim she’d like it’…..and Linda was sure right.  I absolutely loved FIND!!

I got excited about so many things at this cute vintage boutique that all I did was wander around and keep FINDing more great stuff.  Finally I apologized, and of course Kim was so gracious about it all.

I mean, see for yourself. Chairs, lamps, heads, you name it, FIND has it all!  From mid-century modern to antique to plain fun, funky and vintage. And color and texture that was incredibly inspiring to me!

20151002_135423And they reupholster too! So any of these chairs above can be redone in a fabric of your choice.20151002_135331Her assistant suggested that this pair of lamps would look wonderful with my blue velvet vintage sofa if I put black shades on them. Hmmm….just maybe. I also really loved this lamp below and she suggested I could have complementing black and gold lamps in my living room, but sadly this one was too large.

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Don’t you just love this line up of heads below? What a hoot!

20151002_135354As you know, we’re doing doing a bit of remodeling here at my own home and I’ve been working with the talented interior designer and dear friend Patrick Landrum. Thank God too because there have been some challenges in getting things off the ground to remodel The Cottage (but I’ll go into that later on). So I was definitely on “The Hunt”, looking for specific vintage pieces that would add some punch to my home that’s already filled with antiques. And I already had my gorgeous blue velvet vintage sofa for inspiration!  (Look for it here on my Instagram).

20151002_135443I loved these 3 copper pendants in the above image….but they were a little too large for my kitchen island/bar. But check out these cool contrasting vintage chandeliers below – one crystal and the other an industrial chic mega pendant! Fabulous texture!!

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20151002_154100And pops of color were plenty inspiring too!! (Note: For color enthusiasts, please check out my friend Amy Wax’s NEW Color 911 app right HERE. You’ll absolutely LOVE it!!)

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20151002_153804When I saw this mid-century beauty above, I so wished we hadn’t had cabinets built in to our family room, because this would look fabulous against our wall by the fireplace.

I kept seeing mirror after mirror at FIND, but they weren’t at all what I was looking for, so I asked. This is when it pays to open your mouth! I just happened to mention to Kim that I was looking for a very ornate, gold gilded mirror along the lines of Louis XIV.

To my surprise Kim said, ‘Oh I think we have a gilded mirror right by the front door’. And the minute I turned the corner and saw it, well my name was written all over it. I didn’t have to go to Round Top after all, as I found just what I wanted, my perfect find, at FIND!

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Don’t you just love it?  This is where it’s helpful to have an interior designer to reign in your imagination and creativity. I thought it would be perfect in my studio above my 1960’s credenza.  I pleaded with Patrick over the phone that it was perfect. And he even calculated all the measurements to tell me that yes, size wise it would work. But then, after checking it out on approval, I realized it wouldn’t do at all for that space.

But then Patrick popped over to have a look see and together we found the perfect home for my gold-gilded, vintage mirror in my husband’s and my master suite.

And, just like that blue vintage velvet sofa is inspiration for redecorating our living room, this fabulous vintage gilded mirror plays that role perfectly for my bedroom! (Watch for details in 2016 on the redecorating of our master suite).

So now you know what inspires me and how it happens. Thank you Linda and Kim for making my Friday one of my most fun days this month!

20151002_133922Me, owner of FIND, Kim Neal, and friend, Linda Funay with Austin Monthly Home.

To learn more about what inspires me and a little history about how I even started my luxury pillow design business, Deborah Main Designs, please check out my interview below with the talented duo of Soft Design Lab, Deb Barrett and Jackie Von Tobel. Till next week’s #TextureTuesday, I wish all my designer friends at High Point, and exhibitor friends design duo John Strauss and Carissa Marie of CMJSCreativ, a fabulous market! XO, PG

 

 

 

 

NOTE: I was not compensated by any person or business for this post. All views and images are my own, except where noted. Thank you for reading my blog.

Texture Tuesday – Vintage Gown Meets The Pillow Goddess

What a whirlwind of a summer it has been and still is!  Lots of exciting developments happening in our tiny Austin, TX studio. Stay tune in September for a wonderful interview coming out on color in the industry magazine Window Fashion Vision and a webinar September 25th on Soft Design Lab.  And I thought I was going to get to hang out at Barton Springs Pool all summer…HA! :-)

But thrilled for the opportunity to share my love of color!  And before you know it, I’ll be dipping my toes in the Mediterranean, as we’ll be taking a little summer break from our weekly #TextureTuesdays.  Be sure to check back here next week, Tuesday July 28th, to see how The Pillow Goddess got shot y’all!  

Till then, please enjoy this post below about how we transform vintage ball gowns into fabulous luxury pillows.  (One design is already sold out!) Hope y’all are taking time off too and having a wonderful summer with family and friends!  XO PG

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At Deborah Main Designs we’ve been busy as bees preparing for the June market which starts today! So for this week’s #TextureTuesday, below is a brief story and images of what I love most about creating one-of-a-kind luxury decorative pillows.  And you get to see a sneak peek (before anyone else does) of Deborah Main Designs’ new metallic, pale green, cream color grouping of pillows headed to Dallas later this morning!

The Dallas Total Home & Gift Market begins today, June 24th through Tuesday, June 30th, 2015.  If you’re a home or gift retailer or an interior designer headed to Dallas, please be sure to stop by to see my line now available at the Doris Sanders Showroom, in the World Trade Center, #531.  We’re thrilled to be back in Dallas and we hope you’ll stop by!

My photographer Gregg Cestaro is out of town, so you’ll have to make do with my own studio photos for now.

It was so fun to design these pillows and put a different color grouping together that is not usually my norm. I tend to go with bright, bold colors.  But for some reason, this creamy metallic, copper and even snake skin velvet really inspired me.

20150617_134801

 Above is a 1960’s dress that I fell in love with at Austin’s City-wide Garage Sale a month ago.  It was torn in some places, but the brilliance of the gold metallic brocade against the rich luxurious copper velvet really caught my attention.  And it was so inspiring to work with.  When I bought it, I knew I had that exact color ultra soft velvet my dear friend Laura Del Villaggio of Milli Starr had given me, that would be absolutely perfect for the backs of this pair of pillows.  I couldn’t wait to get started!

 Below I transformed this dress into a luscious pair of 22 x 22 luxury pillows with rich copper velvet on the back. (I apologize for the poor quality of photo that doesn’t quite capture the amazing metallic texture with this vintage textile!)

20150623_142518

 And I’m saving the top part of the dress with this magnificent copper velvet bow for a soon-to-be Les Bijoux de Luxe pillow, as soon as I find the perfect vintage brooch for it!

Now THAT’s something to look forward to and really gets my creative juices flowing.  I love more than anything to transform slightly damaged vintage cocktail dresses and gowns into beautiful pillows just for you!

20150617_134819

Below is the 1960’s pair along side a beautiful pale green, blue, gold and copper new silk brocade filled with ferns.  Love these two pairs together!

20150623_193214

I’d be remiss if I did not remind you that ALL our pillows are American Made, handcrafted right here in our specialty studio, Deborah Main Designs, in Austin, Texas! And we’re in the Gift & Accessories magazine’s new “American Made” section below., so be sure to pick up a copy while at market.

pillow photo

Now back to the pillows.  Below  is the front of the 27 x 27 over-sized silk brocade green fern pair.

20150623_135959

 And below, here is the back of the same silk brocade fern pair.  We often put something full of texture, or a contrasting pattern, on our pillows to create almost two pillows in one, as the homeowner can use either side. Both sides are handcrafted from new silk brocade that I hand selected in Suzhou, China, along the silk road.

20150623_140014

Now, I threw in a small dash of subtle creamy pink into this grouping with this fabulous vintage textile below.  It’s almost like an impressionist painting and wait until you see in person at the showroom the blush colored velvet on the back!  Yummy!

20150623_141821

 Now this one below is not brand new, but there are only TWO of these left.  This 14 x 24 pillow (a pair, backed with vintage pin striped charcoal wool) is handcrafted also from a 1960’s gown.

It is one of my all time most favorite textiles!! It not only is metallic but it has the most amazing texture with different colored nubs of wool, from aqua to tomato, throughout.  A divine vintage textile ONLY available in very limited quantities at Deborah Main Designs!

That’s what sets us apart from other pillow design studios is that we hand select all our textiles, from new to vintage, and try to find textiles that you’ve never seen before. And the best part for me as an artist is I get to re-purpose vintage dresses and gowns into heirloom-quality pillows just for you. 

That’s what I love about being a pillow designer! It’s the thrill of the hunt, and the excitement that comes when you know you have just the perfect fabric to go with a recent vintage purchase.  It’s truly a magical experience for me!

20150623_143410

And last but not least, for this week’s #TextureTuesday is this contemporary fabric of a snake skin velvet.  It is full of texture and we’ve made a pair of these for you to shop for this week at The Total Home & Gift Market in Dallas. 

We at Deborah Main Designs hope you’ve enjoyed being the first to see our new designs for market. If you’re one of our long-time stores, please be sure to pop in to see what’s new. And if you’re an interior designer or store that hasn’t yet shopped our line, please come introduce yourself to us at The Doris Sanders Showroom, WTC-531 to see the luxury we can bring to all your client’s interiors. I’ll be at the showroom from 3:00 today through Saturday or Sunday.  Really look forward to seeing you!  And we have a special gift and discount for all new opening orders, not to mention all day frozen margaritas.  And I just saw that Libby Langdon is speaking Friday….she is definitely not to be missed! I can’t wait to hear her speak!! Happy Summer all and see you at market!  Till next week, XO PG

20150623_140910

Texture Tuesday – Vintage Gowns meet Luxury Pillows at Dallas Market

20150623_193331

At Deborah Main Designs we’ve been busy as bees preparing for the June market which starts today! So for this week’s #TextureTuesday, below is a brief story and images of what I love most about creating one-of-a-kind luxury decorative pillows.  And you get to see a sneak peek (before anyone else does) of Deborah Main Designs’ new metallic, pale green, cream color grouping of pillows headed to Dallas later this morning!

The Dallas Total Home & Gift Market begins today, June 24th through Tuesday, June 30th, 2015.  If you’re a home or gift retailer or an interior designer headed to Dallas, please be sure to stop by to see my line now available at the Doris Sanders Showroom, in the World Trade Center, #531.  We’re thrilled to be back in Dallas and we hope you’ll stop by!

My photographer Gregg Cestaro is out of town, so you’ll have to make do with my own studio photos for now.

It was so fun to design these pillows and put a different color grouping together that is not usually my norm. I tend to go with bright, bold colors.  But for some reason, this creamy metallic, copper and even snake skin velvet really inspired me.

20150617_134801

 Above is a 1960’s dress that I fell in love with at Austin’s City-wide Garage Sale a month ago.  It was torn in some places, but the brilliance of the gold metallic brocade against the rich luxurious copper velvet really caught my attention.  And it was so inspiring to work with.  When I bought it, I knew I had that exact color ultra soft velvet my dear friend Laura Del Villaggio of Milli Starr had given me, that would be absolutely perfect for the backs of this pair of pillows.  I couldn’t wait to get started!

 Below I transformed this dress into a luscious pair of 22 x 22 luxury pillows with rich copper velvet on the back. (I apologize for the poor quality of photo that doesn’t quite capture the amazing metallic texture with this vintage textile!)

20150623_142518

 And I’m saving the top part of the dress with this magnificent copper velvet bow for a soon-to-be Les Bijoux de Luxe pillow, as soon as I find the perfect vintage brooch for it!

Now THAT’s something to look forward to and really gets my creative juices flowing.  I love more than anything to transform slightly damaged vintage cocktail dresses and gowns into beautiful pillows just for you!

20150617_134819

Below is the 1960’s pair along side a beautiful pale green, blue, gold and copper new silk brocade filled with ferns.  Love these two pairs together!

20150623_193214

I’d be remiss if I did not remind you that ALL our pillows are American Made, handcrafted right here in our specialty studio, Deborah Main Designs, in Austin, Texas! And we’re in the Gift & Accessories magazine’s new “American Made” section below., so be sure to pick up a copy while at market.

pillow photo

Now back to the pillows.  Below  is the front of the 27 x 27 over-sized silk brocade green fern pair.

20150623_135959

 And below, here is the back of the same silk brocade fern pair.  We often put something full of texture, or a contrasting pattern, on our pillows to create almost two pillows in one, as the homeowner can use either side. Both sides are handcrafted from new silk brocade that I hand selected in Suzhou, China, along the silk road.

20150623_140014

Now, I threw in a small dash of subtle creamy pink into this grouping with this fabulous vintage textile below.  It’s almost like an impressionist painting and wait until you see in person at the showroom the blush colored velvet on the back!  Yummy!

20150623_141821

 Now this one below is not brand new, but there are only TWO of these left.  This 14 x 24 pillow (a pair, backed with vintage pin striped charcoal wool) is handcrafted also from a 1960’s gown.

It is one of my all time most favorite textiles!! It not only is metallic but it has the most amazing texture with different colored nubs of wool, from aqua to tomato, throughout.  A divine vintage textile ONLY available in very limited quantities at Deborah Main Designs!

That’s what sets us apart from other pillow design studios is that we hand select all our textiles, from new to vintage, and try to find textiles that you’ve never seen before. And the best part for me as an artist is I get to re-purpose vintage dresses and gowns into heirloom-quality pillows just for you. 

That’s what I love about being a pillow designer! It’s the thrill of the hunt, and the excitement that comes when you know you have just the perfect fabric to go with a recent vintage purchase.  It’s truly a magical experience for me!

20150623_143410

And last but not least, for this week’s #TextureTuesday is this contemporary fabric of a snake skin velvet.  It is full of texture and we’ve made a pair of these for you to shop for this week at The Total Home & Gift Market in Dallas. 

We at Deborah Main Designs hope you’ve enjoyed being the first to see our new designs for market. If you’re one of our long-time stores, please be sure to pop in to see what’s new. And if you’re an interior designer or store that hasn’t yet shopped our line, please come introduce yourself to us at The Doris Sanders Showroom, WTC-531 to see the luxury we can bring to all your client’s interiors. I’ll be at the showroom from 3:00 today through Saturday or Sunday.  Really look forward to seeing you!  And we have a special gift and discount for all new opening orders, not to mention all day frozen margaritas.  And I just saw that Libby Langdon is speaking Friday….she is definitely not to be missed! I can’t wait to hear her speak!! Happy Summer all and see you at market!  Till next week, XO PG

20150623_140910