Design Trends for FALL

This week the temperature in New Orleans, Louisiana plummeted below seventy degrees.  For us, this marks the beginning of Fall.  A seasonal refresh is an easy way to welcome cooler weather --  throws and blankets are unpacked, summer slipcovers are abandoned, and stronger colors and fabrics wind their way to the forefront of our conscious when we want to feel cozy and enveloped in our living space.  Here are our favorite ideas for a fall/winter update, including some of the hottest design trends this year.  Our gallery director, Collin Magee has included a selection from our current inventory that fits each trend -- enjoy!

OUR FAVORITE 2017 FALL TRENDS:

BLUSH:   you can call it blush, you can call it rose, and a lot of experts have dubbed it "millennial pink"...whatever you want to call it, we love it!

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Weekends I & II (pair of 22x30 unframed works on paper; $3,400)

Weekends I & II (pair of 22x30 unframed works on paper; $3,400)

FIREPLACE AESTHETICS: It only makes sense that fall would bring us to fireplaces.  Fireplaces are often the heart of a living space, and creating a focal point with mantel decor or artwork can center a room.

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Here, we're recommending a piece that brings fireplace warmth on its own. Forged (19x34 unframed work on paper; $1,650)

Here, we're recommending a piece that brings fireplace warmth on its own.

Forged (19x34 unframed work on paper; $1,650)

METALLICS  Who doesn't love shiny things?  I have a strong magpie gene and can't get enough shimmer in my life, and this season is full of home decor and accents that satisfy the need for some glitz.

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Feather Flight (48x60 framed canvas; $8,650) has a metallic gold background of shimmering brushstrokes.

Feather Flight (48x60 framed canvas; $8,650) has a metallic gold background of shimmering brushstrokes.

WOOD + FUR + NATURAL ELEMENTS  You don't need to believe in Santa to bring wood and fur into your decorating scheme.  Home decor magazines are full of ideas and advice on integrating natural or organic pieces into your existing space.  Look for antlers, shells, wood, fur, and fluffy textures in macrame and throws.

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Yours and Mine I & II (pair of 10x20 framed canvases) remind us of beautiful quartz crystal formations.

Yours and Mine I & II (pair of 10x20 framed canvases) remind us of beautiful quartz crystal formations.

VELVET: Who doesn't love velvet?  The luxurious fabric has long been the darling of the design world, and this year you can find it it nearly every room of the house -- even the kitchen!

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Golden Age (72x72 framed canvas; $15,500) plays with light and color to create a velvety texture.

Golden Age (72x72 framed canvas; $15,500) plays with light and color to create a velvety texture.

The beginnings of a fashion line

Amanda Talley began her fashion line on accident -- stumped for wardrobe choices for a photo shoot in 2015, she collaborated with then-friend and now-tailor Paty Alfaro on a custom dress and jumpsuit for herself and her gallery director.  Fast forward a few months and special occasions, and friends were asking where they could get their own Talley creations.  Finally, after making textiles an official wing of her business in late 2015, Amanda hired Paty full time and the studio began producing clothing.

The Scout Guide ad that started a fashion line

The Scout Guide ad that started a fashion line

Initially using favorites from her own closet, Amanda had Paty alter garments and recreate them with her signature prints.  In the spring of 2017 Amanda took the next step: hiring a design professional to help cultivate a "from-scratch" fashion line.  The process involved a lot of magazine tear sheets, racks of clothing, and dissections of current fashion trends to determine what has "staying power".   After some thought, Talley determined that creating a "capsule collection" of key pieces would be her goal.

Capsule Collections were originally popularised by Donna Karan in the 1980s. The idea was to create a capsule wardrobe that features only the most essential or influential pieces from a collection. A capsule collection is essentially a condensed version of a designer’s vision, often limited edition, which transcends seasons and trends by being functional.  With guidance from her consulting designer, Talley began to hone in on what she considered to be wardrobe staples, and create her collection.

Inspiration torn from magazines

Inspiration torn from magazines

Sleeve detail inspiration

Sleeve detail inspiration

More sleeves and cuff ideas

More sleeves and cuff ideas

After poring over magazines and a few shopping trips, the direction for the first piece began to crystallize, and the first design for an "Amanda Talley Original" was sketched out.  After a few rounds of edits, a spec sheet was created for the workroom to help Paty translate Amanda's ideas into sized garments conforming to industry standards.  

Initial sketches for the "Cassandra" blouse

Initial sketches for the "Cassandra" blouse

Spec sheets for the studio workroom

Spec sheets for the studio workroom

After the details were reviewed and approved, it was time to choose a pattern for the first sample set.  As a pattern-driven line, this is always an important (and difficult) choice -- with 56 choices it's not simple!

2017 Pattern Collection

2017 Pattern Collection

After much thought, the Prisma pattern was chosen for the first sample set.  Amanda likes this pattern because the colors are rich, but not seasonal.  It works year-round, which is important  in New Orleans, where we only have two seasons: hot and hotter.

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Prisma Pattern

Prisma Pattern

Despite not (yet) being a multimillion dollar fashion empire, Talley knew that she wanted her items to feel luxe, and have high-fashion details.  Because the process still relies on Paty's workroom and her skillful hands guiding each garment, details such as gathered sleeves, an inverted pleat back and an extended placket in the front were added to the final product, constructed in the studio's signature polished cotton sateen.

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The first piece of the Amanda Talley capsule collection is now available through the studio.  It retails for $280, and is available in sizes small, medium and large.

Amanda in the first piece of her capsule collection, the "Cassandra" blouse.

Amanda in the first piece of her capsule collection, the "Cassandra" blouse.

Building the perfect bed- Part Two: Decorative Bedding

Now that you know what you need to build the basics of a dreamy place to lay your head, its time for the fun part -- decorative bedding!

Sheeting:

While the Ritz-Carlton recommends (and sells) the Frette hotel line in their hotel, your own home offers a much broader canvas for expression.  My advice is to start with 100% cotton sheeting with a thread count of 250 or higher.  There are sheets available in thread counts as high as 1000, but it's been my experience that once you get over 400 thread count, you're talking about a cotton sateen, and I'm a percale girl myself.  My very favorite sheets are either from the Sferra Celeste Collection,  (406 thread count sheeting with beautiful hemstitching) or Wamsutta Scallop  sheeting, a well-priced classic percale that stands the test of time -- some of my favorite sheets are the appliquéd Wamsutta sheets my mom received as a wedding gift over 50 years ago!  If patterned sheets strike your fancy, classic French companies like Porthault and Yves Delorme offer a variety of prints including florals, geometrics and more.

If sateen is more your style, look for sheets described as "cotton sateen", usually with a thread count of 500+.  Italian brands Sferra, Frette and Anichini make beautiful sateen sheets with damask patterns woven into the cotton.

Blankets:

Every bed can be improved with the addition of blankets -- they add weight, texture and softness to any style of decor.  I recommend using blankets of natural fibers like cotton, wool, linen and cashmere.  Not only will these materials feel better, but with proper care and storage they will also last longer.  My favorite source for blankets is Brahms-Mount, where you will find a variety of styles and price points loomed right here in the United States.

Coverlets, Quilts and Matelasse:

Addison + Grace monogram and bedding by Leontine Linens

Addison + Grace monogram and bedding by Leontine Linens

Coverlets can be both a part of your exterior bedding, or the outer layer with which you finish the bed.  Here in the deep south, sometimes a coverlet is all one can bear in the summertime.  In other climates a coverlet might be layered underneath a duvet or quilt.  If you're planning on your coverlet being the outer layer of your bed, using a thicker piece will make bed making easier, as it can help disguise the lumps and bumps that come with layers of luxury.  If you're going for the lightest bedding possible, Matouk offers beautiful coverlets in plisse and pique that can be appliquéd with a monogram or design in virtually every color of the rainbow.  If completely personalized one-of-a-kind items are on your radar, Jane Scott Hodges and Leontine Linens can create almost anything you can dream up.

Millefiori quilts by Yves Dleorme

Millefiori quilts by Yves Dleorme

Quilts are one of my favorite categories of linens.  I love the French tradition of piling quilts on top of quilts, and using them as table coverings and even upholstery.  Quilts also do not need ironing, and if they are made well can be tossed in the washing machine and be back on the bed with little fuss after a spill -- which also make them ideal for children's rooms.

Matelasse  is French for “quilted” or “cushioned,” and in usage with fabric, refers to quilted textiles. It is meant to mimic the style of hand-stitched Marseilles type quilts made in France. A traditional matelasse lends an elegant gravitas as the fishing touch on a neutral bed.  You can find a great selection of matelasse coverlets through Peacock Alley.

Matelasse coverlets by Peacock Alley

Matelasse coverlets by Peacock Alley

Duvets:

I have a love/hate relationship with duvets.  I'm never satisfied with the way my finished bed looks without one, but the constant fluffing, poufing and general wrestling that goes on when dealing with a massive body of goosedown is a daily battle.  Because I do love duvets, I've come up with a few tips on "maintaining" your bed with one.

- Buy your duvet one size up from the size duvet cover you are using.  Oftentimes duvet covers are cut to accommodate the largest possible duvet, and it's been my experience that a king size duvet in a queen size duvet cover is just about perfect.

- If your duvet cover does not come with buttons or "stays" in the corner to help your duvet stay in place, have a tailor add them.  Its an inexpensive way to guarantee you don't spend ten minutes every morning standing on top of your bed shaking your bedding trying to get the duvet out of the center and into the full body of the cover.

- Use an inexpensive cotton protector on your duvet at all times underneath the actual decorative duvet cover.  It will prevent down leakage and also give an extra layer that you can launder without actually washing the duvet itself.  If you google "pillow protectors" you should be able to find several options.

- If you love the look but not the actual duvet, take it off your bed at night and fold it over a chair.  This is my favorite tip.

That said, duvet covers are plentiful and available in any style you can imagine.  You can match them to your sheeting, to your coverlet, to your curtains, or go rogue and have one made from antique or decorative fabric.

Extreme duvet action by Anichini

Extreme duvet action by Anichini

Pillows:

Truly, pillows are probably worth an entire blog post on their own, so I'll just summarize and say that pillows can add a lot to both the look and function of your bed.  I recommend using pillowcases for your sleeping pillows, and using decorative shams for European pillows, bolsters and other decorative pieces.  If you're going to put your face on a pillow, you want it to be a soft fabric that can be removed and washed easily, hence the recommendation for sheeting fabric on sleeping pillows.  Otherwise, the sky is really the limit so far as design and construction of your other pieces.  Here is a quick list of the more common pillows you'll find on a functional bed.

Bolster pillow:

Bolster pillows are designed to bolster something -- maybe another pillow, but oftentimes you as you read a book or catch up on Netflix.  They tend to be either cylindircal or long and rectangular.

Bolster pillow from Citizenry

Bolster pillow from Citizenry

European square:

European square pillows are large square pillows, traditionally 26 inches square but I've seen them advertised as such up to 30 inches square.  They look great as the first layer of pillows against the headboard.  I like to use three on a king side bed, two on a full or queen, and one on a twin.  They are a GREAT dorm bed accessory, especially if you monogram them.

Boudoir:

Boudoir pillows from D. Porthault

Boudoir pillows from D. Porthault

Boudoir pillows are not only made for the boudoir.  They are 12" x 16" and I love to use them as baby gifts.  When I'm not using them as baby gifts, I pile them on the bed so that I can mix different patterns.  Most linen companies offer this size as a standard option when purchasing sheeting.  I especially like the ones from Porthault and Sferra.

 

Standard sleeping pillows:

Most people use either standard, queen or king size pillows as their sleeping pillows.  As discussed in the previous blog, the most important thing about these pillows is that they be comfortable for sleeping.  After that, I would suggest ordering an extra set of pillow cases with for each pair of sleeping pillows, as you will need to launder them often.  Iron them (the cases) -- it makes a difference!

So, this is where our primer on decorative bedding ends.  Stay tuned for our next blog, which will be about all of the ways you can use Amanda Talley Textiles in your dream bed!

 

Building the perfect bed- Part One: Components

Although I am not an expert on many things, I consider myself expert at building a comfortable bed.  In addition to managing my mother's fine linen store for years, I am by nature a Princess and the Pea.  From childhood I've enjoyed stacking up blankets and sheets and folding them in a way that pleases me.  I'm lucky enough to have a stash of beautiful bed linens passed along to me from my mother's trousseau, as well as things I've bought over the years myself.

Back in the late 1990's when the internet wasn't available through a smartphone I spent a lot of time helping all sorts of people come up with what "the perfect bed" was.  Obviously, individual tastes and preferences vary, but a friend who worked for the Ritz-Carlton gave me the short list of what the hotelier uses in their guest suites to create the perfect night's sleep.

Guest suite at the Ritz-Carlton

Guest suite at the Ritz-Carlton

This is what I learned:

Frette Hotel bed sheets and linens -- two flat sheets, two european square shams, two queen shams, two queen cases and duvet cover

Featherbed + featherbed cover

Four goose down queen pillows; two soft and two firm + pillow covers

Two goose feather european square pillows + pillow covers

Here's why:

- Sheets stay cooler when two flat sheets are used; this is why many European brands do not even make fitted sheets.

- A feather bed provides an additional layer of softness and luxury to any bed.  Always use a featherbed cover, as it is time consuming to wash a feather bed -- for obvious reasons.

- European square pillows stuffed with feathers are perfect for reading in bed -- the feathers provide good support without being immobile like poly or other man-made fillers

- Queen pillows are slightly larger than standard pillows, and a mix of firm and soft ensure you can dial your own formula in when it comes to sleeping pillows.  A goose down pillow has fewer allergens and scents than a feather-down mix and can be molded into shape by the sleeper.

The Ritz-Carlton also keeps room temperature cooler than usual, which is optimum for sleep.  All that delicious goose down will keep you cozy without getting sweaty.

Unsurprisingly, the formula has not changed.  What has changed, though, is your ability to order literally the entire bed with one click 

Once you've perfected your bed's skeleton, it's time for the fun part: decorative bedding!  There are as many different styles of decorative bedding as their are styles of clothing.  It's on you to decide what you're trying to convey when you dress your bed.  Some people like piles of blankets, others finish the bed with the thinnest of coverlets.  Pinterest is great for bedding inspiration, as is any shelter magazine you can get your hands on -- stay tuned for styling information and advice for a bedroom that will make you swoon!