Creative Cafe // Textile Artist Jana Platina Phipps

Carmen NatschkeArtful Consideration

Trim Queen Jana Platina Phipps in surrounded by luxe textiles and trims.

There are times I have to pinch myself to snap back to reality – to realize that I’m not dreaming this incredible world I live in. A world filled with exquisitely talented creative dynamos like the one and only Trim Queen, Jana Platina Phipps.  Today in the Creative Cafe we are graced with the company of this charismatic textile artist that is taking the trim world by storm. Jana shares her fabulous confections, her passion for fashion, DJ music making, life and this little phrase, so full of wisdom, that now resides on my creative studio’s whiteboard, “Take that first step, reject perfectionism, and play.” 

Trim Queen Jana Platina Phipps in surrounded by luxe textiles and trims.

Trim Queen Jana Platina Phipps in surrounded by luxe textiles and trims.

I am inspired by creativity in general, how people express themselves uniquely through art, writing, music, dance, cooking, décor and fashion, to name a few.  Between my “maker parties” at my design studio and teaching Trim Alchemy at the Country Living Fairs, seeing what others create, very differently than me, inspires me greatly.

Textile art and design attracts me because it’s hands-on and has a tradition. I have always been a maker of sorts, attracted to things with stories behind them— bric-a-brac, vintage dresses, old magazines, and jewelry. When I went to my first factory as a design assistant, I saw the whirring machinery in a dance with yarns, and I found my voice.

Jana channeling her DJ Diva!

Jana channeling her DJ Diva in style-filled trim from headphones to chic bracelet!

If not creating textile artI’d be an international DJ who teaches yoga/tennis life skills on the side, part owner in an art gallery full of artisan collaborations! Alternately, I think I’d be a filmmaker or jewelry designer. Hey, life is long—you never know!

Jana talks trim trends, "What’s next? Velvet and metallic trimmings, but not fussy, it’s more casual, incorporating linen and graphic styling. These are some samples I am currently working on in the studio."

Jana talks trim trends, “What’s next? Velvet and metallic trimmings, but not fussy, it’s more casual, incorporating linen and graphic styling. These are some samples I am currently working on in the studio.”

Being an artist, I find myself deconstructing everything; I am fascinated by how things are made. I study handwork, embroidery, knotting, and passementerie of course. Color combinations stop me in my tracks, in nature, on the runway, at museums; even on Instagram.

Book cover "Textiles."

Book cover “Textiles: Collection of the Museum of International Folk Art.”

The most recent textile art-related book I’ve read and would recommend is  a book I discovered at the Museum Design Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico discussing the ethics of design, and I was stunned by the depth of the archives at the Museum of International Folk Art. The “Textiles: Collection of the Museum of International Folk Art” book is a beautiful representation of that collection and also explores the artisans and provenance of each artisanal piece. 

My current go-to inspirational book is “BIG MAGIC” by Elizabeth Gilbert. There are so many powerful ideas that speak to how fear holds us back, but a favorite is, “Perfectionism is just a high-end, haute couture version of fear.” This book is a must-read for creative, or people seeking to live a more creative life.

"This is an embellished pillow using a process I call The Alchemy of Trimming, taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary. I use an “off the shelf” pillow and make a “cuff” by layering trimmings to make a belt, in essence, that I wrap around the cushion. It’s an easy way to personalize something you have on hand, adding soul to your décor. You can see the step-by-step tutorial here."

“This is an embellished pillow using a process I call “The Alchemy of Trimming,” taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary. I use an “off the shelf” pillow and make a “cuff” by layering trimmings to make a belt, in essence, that I wrap around the cushion. It’s an easy way to personalize something you have on hand, adding soul to your décor. You can see the step-by-step tutorial here.”

The most challenging artistic project I’ve undertaken was starting my own business was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. I was a new mother and knew I couldn’t sustain my current working situation—the hours, the commute, and the unreasonable face-time demands, while evolving as a mother. I worked on a business plan with a consultant that walked me through various scenarios. I was able to see on paper that a consulting business could work and eventually thrive. The research and exercise gave me confidence to start my company.

My creative endeavors have have always traveled for work, to clients domestically and factories internationally. I love to travel and always take the long road and seek out local color. Since I started Trim Queen, as a blogger sharing the creativity of the industry, I have gained press status. A trip to Maison & Objet in Paris was pivotal. Impressed by meeting textile designer Karin Sajo at Deco Off, I made a trip to Monmartre to interview her in her atelier.  It was thrilling to see her process and cultivated artistry, something I never would have been entitled to do previously. Encounters like this fuel my creativity.

Visiting the off-limits archive of the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe was definitely a career highlight.

"My "Queenie" pins also feature my collection of vintage brooches using beautiful ribbons fashioned into military style pins. The brooch is detachable so you can switch it out for your favorite family heirloom that probably sits in the bottom of your jewelry box. My ideal way to upcycle. "

“My “Queenie” pins also feature my collection of vintage brooches using beautiful ribbons fashioned into military style pins. The brooch is detachable so you can switch it out for your favorite family heirloom that probably sits in the bottom of your jewelry box. My ideal way to upcycle. “

The project I dream about creating someday  would involve traveling the world with my family in a tricked-out art bus stopping at factories and small towns learning from artisans, and collecting techniques and materials. I’d culminate with some maker sessions bringing together people to create. Then, I’d fabricate an art installation at Liberty of London using what we made. 

My advice to those who feel the call to pursue their creative dreams is to follow your curiosity and be prepared to realize you may end up somewhere that wasn’t even on your radar. Take that first step, reject perfectionism, and play. That’s the beginning of creativity, if you get in the zone, you will flourish.

Fashion Comes Home: Cynthia Rowley’s Home Fashion Debut

Carmen NatschkeInside Design, Spotlight: Decor & Furniture

"Wallis" sofa, "Venus" demi-lune and "Serendipity" cocktail table.
"Coco" daybed.

“Coco” daybed.

Last fall during the furniture industry’s home fashion week I had the pleasure of sitting down for a delightful chat with the inimitable, charming, and witty fashion designer Cynthia Rowley. Our hour-long conversation touched on a variety of topics from fashion to home fashion, creativity to surfing, and to Cynthia’s passion for incubating entrepreneurial talent.

"Wallis" sofa, "Venus" demi-lune and "Serendipity" cocktail table.

“Wallis” sofa, “Venus” demi-lune and “Serendipity” cocktail table.

DD:  Did you find that there were similarities in the design process for your fashion and home fashion collection?

CR: Yes,  the design process between fashion and home were very similar. For the home fashion collection I designed for Hooker Furniture, I started with color, materials, and focused on story-telling – the same process I use to design my fashion collections. I would also add that there is a symbiotic relationship between the two worlds  – they feed and nourish each other. I feel that fashion inspires furniture design. For instance, the athletic/fitness suit in the window display inspired the chair design that sits next to it. And some of the pieces I designed have served as inspiration for what I will be presenting in upcoming fashion collections.

"Serendipty" console and "Brando" ottoman.

“Serendipity” console and “Brando” ottoman.

DD: This is your first furniture and decor collection, describe your experience delving into the world of furniture design.

CR: This was my first collection for the home fashion industry, and since I hadn’t ever done this before, I didn’t know what could be achieved or what the constraints or perceived constraints on furniture and décor design could be.  From that perspective, it removed all limitations that may have been there had I had previous experience in creating a furniture collection.

DD: I’ve been at market for a few days, and I can tell you that your debut collection is my favorite this season. Just walking into the showroom and being greeted by your executed vision for this furniture collection was an extraordinary experience.  What was it like for you in that moment when you first saw your collection in the showroom?

CR:  It felt like being a bride again and walking down the aisle. I told myself to take my time and drink it all in – to remember each and every detail and emotion I felt in that moment.

Cynthia Rowley"Fleur de Glee" Desk and "Curious" chair with faux sheepskin throw.

Cynthia Rowley “Fleur de Glee” desk and “Curious” chair with faux sheepskin cushion slipcover.

DD: We’ve discussed fashion’s influence on your furniture collection, yet you’ve created a furniture collection that pays homage to classic design as well. It appears to be one that defies trends or fads. And that is notable in many of the pieces including the “Curious” chair which offers maximum design flexibility with the option to add a fluffy faux sheepskin slipcover to change up the look just like you would with your wardrobe.

CR:  Yes, Cynthia Rowley designs are rooted in classical forms and are created to outlast trends. And both my collections for fashion and home fashion are imbued with practicality and flexibility.  When designing the home collection I toned down some of the inherent fashion edginess which works on the runway for the season but isn’t practical for say a sofa or other piece of furniture. Conversely, I have now taken some elements from my home collection and will be using them to inspire my next fashion collection.

DD: You have an arts background, and it comes through in your fashion and in this collection. How important is creativity to you? And how do you keep your creativity well from running dry?

CR:  Creativity requires taking risks and that means being curious. It also means exploring, delighting in discovery and always maintaining a sense of playfulness. In our home we had a banister slide installed to inject playfulness into the home. That playfulness makes an appearance in several pieces in my collection -and one of the collections is called “Curiosity!” For instance the “Semainaire” chest, on the outside it is pure elegance, yet a witty, charming delight awaits when the drawers are opened to reveal the days of the week.

"Sporty" bedroom furniture collection inspired by the surfing lifestyle.

“Sporty” bedroom furniture collection inspired by the surfing lifestyle.

DD: It was so fun to learn that we both have connections to surfing, and I love how you translated that fun in the sun lifestyle into your “Sporty” collection.

CR: My husband is a surfer and so is my sixteen-year-old daughter. I’ve been surfing for about 14 years, and love it.  I was very happy to be able to showcase the sporty experience throughout various pieces in the collection.

DD: You have a fantastic way of visually conveying your vision. I’m a very visual person and sitting here talking with you I see that you see the world in a very visual fashion,too.

CR:  It’s interesting, I’m very visual in how I communicate.  A while back I was trying to teach a friend to surf and said, “ look at this [ Cynthia gestures in a paddling motion] or look at how those people over there are doing it.”

Cynthia Rowley shop in Manhattan.

Cynthia Rowley shop in Manhattan.

DD: As we wrap up this interview, I want to thank you for the lovely gift – these candies are amazing, so yummy!

CR: Those are from my “CuRious” candy shop!

DD: I didn’t know that! That is so exciting. Would love to learn more about it.

CR:  Yes, candy store, art gallery and fashion store all in one place! The Cynthia Rowley flagship store on Madison and 78th street in Manhattan houses those three business ventures. And the art gallery and candy store were born from CR employees. I encourage and do what I can to support the entrepreneurial spirit of our staff.

DD: Kind of like a business incubator and angel investor combination?

CR: Yes! And it has resulted in the “Exhibition A” contemporary art gallery and the “CuRious” candy store. On the main floor of the building is the Cynthia Rowley fashion store, on the second floor there is a large-scale wallpaper illustrated with a CR logo fashioned keyhole replete with an over-sized eye guarding a hidden, secret delight, which is the “CuRious” candy store which I liken to a “candy speak-easy!” Then on the third floor is the Exhibition A art gallery.

DD: So interesting! Will definitely make sure I visit next time I’m in Manhattan.  Thank you for taking the time to sit down to talk with the Decorating Diva!

Creative Cafe // Textile Artist Deborah Main

Carmen NatschkeArtful Consideration

Luxury designer pillow designed and created by Deborah.

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.

Deborah Main of Deborah Main Designs

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.

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.

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.

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.

Chinchilla fur and

Detail of Deborah’s creation for the Pillow Art Challenge at BD West Design Fair.

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.

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

The project I dream about creating someday with 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!

Creative Cafe // Artist Pamela Copeman

Carmen NatschkeArtful Consideration

Pamela Copeman artwork. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Today, the enchanting and talented artist and interior designer Pamela Copeman joins us in the Creative Cafe to discuss her passion for art, what inspires her and her life-long dedication to creating things of beauty.

pam studio collage

Pamela Copeman and her art studio at home.

I am inspired by books, movies, theater, and I also find great inspiration from television shows, especially period pieces such as Downton Abbey and Mad Men. Whether it is the grand sets of Downtown or Joan’s dresses on Mad Men, I find these carefully constructed worlds inspire me especially when I paint interiors and fashion. I am also inspired by my travels. Whether to Guatemala or to Europe or even Las Vegas, I find different cultures and surroundings offer so much ‘eye candy’ and visual stimulation. I have always believed that inspiration is everywhere, you just have to look for it, and I love translating these influences and energy into my paintings.

"Dreaming of May Flowers" by Pamela Copeman. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

“Dreaming of May Flowers” by Pamela Copeman.

I see creating art as a way of communicating in a deeper language that words cannot always offer. It is an escape when the world creeps in too far. I am able to express myself through my art, whether it is mixed media, watercolor or oil paints.  Art has become as extension of who I am.

Art attracts me because I can create something that is totally original. Even if I’m referencing an image or photo, I am painting something that I envision, something from my mind’s eye. This is a different type of creativity than I use in my Interior Design work. With design work, I collaborate with my clients to create a space that reflects them. In my studio, it is just me. When I paint, I find myself in a near meditative state, in quiet pursuit of laying paint to stimulate in the viewer an emotion or a memory.

"The Gown" series by Pamela Copeman. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

“The Gown” series by Pamela Copeman.

If not pursuing artI would love to be an actress (I majored in Speech & Drama in college), particularly in a drama or a musical. There is something very safe for me when I take on a role. My mother raised me and my four sisters on fairy tales and I don’t think I have ever outgrown make-believe!

Being an artist and creating art is something that gives my soul flight…it fills my heart with wonder and joy. Art makes every day special and filled with color. Art elevates my view of the world and other cultures.

Cover of Carol Marine's art book "Daily Painting." | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Cover of Carol Marine’s art book “Daily Painting.”

The most recent art-related book I’ve read and would recommend is the novel “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt.  I adored the premise and the beginning of the 771 page book.   However, for me, there were so many twists and turns accompanied by an ending that I found absurd, that I ended up being disappointed.  I do still love the painting The Goldfinch that is on display at the Frick Museum in New York City.

As far as an art book, I have just received Carol Marine’s book “Daily Painting.” I have studied with Carol and love her painting style and her! This book is very academic and illustrative, it follows some of the exercises of her classes. I strongly recommend this book for all painters – it is visually appealing and highlights other artists as well.

Still life "CarolAnn's Blue Bottles" by Pamela Copeman. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Still life “CarolAnn’s Blue Bottles” by Pamela Copeman.

The most challenging artistic project I’ve undertaken was two Christmas commissions for the sisters–in–law of a dear friend. I was flattered and determined to do a great job. I was asked to paint a home in Spain from a poor quality photo – with poor light to boot. The home itself was challenging with an intricate architecture featuring multiple peaks and chimneys. The other painting was of a street in Italy.  This one should not have been as difficult because I have traveled to Italy.  Again though there were issues ~ the photo was taken from a poor vantage point and she wanted a particular restaurant awning in view. I labored over these and probably made about $1 an hour after all the time spent sketching, researching, and re-painting. I was petrified that one sisters-in-law’s painting would be better than the other and my friend would be alienated forever based on my skill. The pressure!!

I started these challenging paintings by sketching first and then did an image search for similar photos to help me with the shading etc. The end result was that when I met both of these sisters-in-law a couple of years later they both mentioned how much they loved their paintings. The icing on the cake was when my friend told me the paintings were one of her favorite gifts to give that year.

"Twin Nest" by Pamela Copeman. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

“Twin Nest” by Pamela Copeman.

My creative endeavors have led me to travel to workshops in several international locations. Many years ago I was gifted with the opportunity to travel to Mexico and study with artist Page Pearson Railsback.  At the time was a new painter and I was very insecure about my artistic skills. Additionally, I had never traveled alone outside this country.  It ended up being perhaps the best present I have ever received.   I learned so much not only about the process of painting from a gifted artist, but also about the beauty and kindness of Puerto Vallarta and about myself and my ability to manage multiple flight connections – which made me a much more confident traveler and woman.

I continue to take the opportunity travel whenever I can ~ even when revisiting a place there is always something new to see or learn.  When I traveled to Tuscany this fall, I painted everyday with watercolor. It was a new and challenging medium for me but so much more portable than oil paints.  I loved the ease of watercolors and being able to paint everyday.  

My favorite place that art has taken me is into a group of talented local artists known collectively as Girls Just Wanna Paint. I was beyond thrilled when they invited me to join four years ago. Each month one of the member artists selects a challenge for us to paint. For example, December’s challenge was Celebration. We then post our paintings online at Girls Just Wanna Paint. Early in the month we meet to socialize and critique one another’s work. Not only have I grown so much artistically, I have developed a new circle of friends whom I admire and love so much.

The project I dream about creating someday would be to curate and design an exhibit of my paintings in a gallery or library. The title would be “A Few of My Favorite Things.” I have often been asked what my genre is in terns of my art. I answer that I am still developing my favorite “thing” to paint. There are so many subjects and different mediums that catch my attention that it’s hard for me to narrow what I paint to one genre. In my show I would include still life, faces, gowns, of course beautiful interiors. I would also love to create a fabric and wall covering line!

"Tuscany Clothes" by Pamela Copeman. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

“Tuscany Clothes” by Pamela Copeman.

My advice to those who feel the call to pursue their creative dreams is that there is no time like the present to set goals for 2016. If you have the desire to create, there is usually a need in your soul to do so. Start with a local class and get your feet wet. Be aware that there is a learning curve when taking on any new skill and you just like anything else, you have to do the work. I have studied hard to be an artist and in return art  has given so much back to me…on so many levels.

Connect with Pamela Online

Website: Pamela Copeman
Blog: Posh Palettes

Twitter: @pamelacopeman
Instagram: @pamelacopeman
Pinterest: @pamelacopeman
Facebook: Pamela Copeman Design Group

Paris Apartment Style: 3 Chic Decoration Inspiration Boards & 5 French Home Styling Tips

Carmen NatschkeDecorating Diva U, Style Sketch

Tres Chic light & airy library in Parisian Apartment Style. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

 

Parisian Apartment Moodboard Inspiration & Visualization

Is your design dream to own a Parisian apartment decorated in that “je ne sais quoi” effortlessly chic and infinitely elegant French style? Well, you’re not alone. Thousands of decorating divas the world over swoon over the dreamy possibility of owning a glamorous Parisian home with views of the Eiffel Tower and the famous tree-lined boulevards that lend their verdant charm to the City of Lights.

But if  buying a Parisian apartment isn’t in the cards for this year, you can still experience the splendid style of Parisian decoration by updating your current home’s interior- either as a whole house project or a smaller project you can decorate room-by-room as budget and time allow.  And that’s what I’m doing. I’m in the planning phase of redecorating a space in my home and have created three interior visualization boards to capture the styles I favor. My take on those French inspired styles are Mid-Century Magnifique, Charmingly Coquette and Artfully Deco – all featuring exquisite furnishings from French Heritage ( Join me on a fabulous tour through their High Point furniture showroom, here.)  Then once you’ve found which board best suits your signature style, scroll on down for a round-up of 5 decor secrets for styling your home with the posh panache the French are known for.

A quick disclosure here before we begin. French Heritage is a Decorating Diva content sponsor – allowing me, through their generosity and financial support, to bring educational and inspiring decorating and design materials to our readers at no cost to you.

Mid-Century Magnifique

Mid Century Modern Parisian home style. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

 Furniture & Decor Resources: Jonathan Adler “Meurice” Chandelier 654 – Robert Abbey,  “Ancient Cosmos” artwork by Gloria Graham Sollecito, “Sebastian” Sofa – French Heritage, “Iven” Chest – French Heritage, “Bruno” Chair- French Heritage, “Avignon” by Voyager in Amber Canyon – Carpet One Floor & Home , Leopard print “Voltaire” Chair – French Heritage, and “Poiroux” Round Side Table- French Heritage.

Charmingly Coquette

Romantic Flair Parisian Style Decorating at Home. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Furniture & Decor Resources: “Savoy” Vitrine – French Heritage, Empire Form Italian Chandelier with Amethyst Colored Accent Crystals – The High Boy, “Prunus” Handmade and Hand-painted Wall Covering – Fromental, “Seated Woman” by Carl Erickson for Conde Nast – Soicher Marin,  “Geneva” Set Of Two Nesting Table – French Heritage, “Vincent” Occasional Bergere Chair in a Sophisticated Shade of Pink – French Heritage,  “Rochelle” Butterfly Console – French Heritage, “Eloise” Arm Chair – French Heritage, and Vintage Reclaimed Wood Parquet Flooring.

Artfully Deco

Modern Deco Parisian apartment chic at home. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Furniture & Decor Resources:  Garland 2 Light Distressed Twilight Sconce – Crystorama, “Trocadero” Love Seat – French Heritage, Small Figure Series #6″ – Kerry Steele,  Nola Campbell’s “Koyukoyu” Ink on Paper Painting – 1st Dibs, “Avrille” Sideboard – French Heritage,  “Babette” Arm Chair – French Heritage, “Emilie” Square End Table, “Mirage” Rug in Black – Safavieh, and “Sorrell” Caned Side Chair – French Heritage.

Parisian Apartment Interior Styling Secrets

1. Mix it Up: Eschew matchy-match and cookie-cutter boring furniture suites, and follow professional designers’ lead and blend decor and furniture from different periods and styles.  Doing so will create an interior that looks collected over time and exudes a classic timeless allure that will better withstand the test of time and fickle home fashion fads.  To avoid a disjointed look when combining modern, contemporary and classic styles, use color to tie all the disparate pieces into a chic interior style collaboration – as illustrated in the photo below.

French style bedroom design. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

French Heritage furniture and decor: “Maraise” Arm Chair, “Gervais” Mirror, “Passy” Bombe Chest and Eastern Wing Bed, and “Siezeime” Chest.

2. Sumptuous Sophistication: Don’t be afraid to to add gilded glamour or opulent decor to the space, but do be mindful of editing the interior to maintain balance – as there is a fine line between sophisticated splendor and over-the-top brash decorating. Done right it will look like the room featured in the photo below.

Gilded glamour in Parisian interior design. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

French Heritage furniture and decor: Louis XV Mirror and Auteuil Chaise.

3.White and Airy: Opt for a creamy, warm white or neutral tone on the walls and flood the space with gorgeous natural light.

4.  Gallery and Glitz: Art completes the home, so indulge in an artful gallery wall or place eye-catching sculptures throughout the space. Introduce shimmering elegance with crystal draped chandeliers or jewel-tone upholstered furniture, drapes or rugs.

5.  Get Focused:  Create maximum impact with an architectural or design focal point that captivates the attention and interest of visitors to your home. In this example, the French heritage wall unit library serves as the perfect room focal point and offers tons of storage and display space.

Tres Chic light & airy library in Parisian Apartment Style. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

French Heritage furniture and decor: “Bercy” Classic Wall Library Unit, “Colette” Coffee Table, “Sebastian” Sofa, “Colette” End Table, and “Barnard” Chair.

Disclosure:  All opinions expressed in this post are all my own.  This is a sponsored post/branded content for French Heritage. We appreciate the generous sponsorship of design brands that support the Decorating Diva blog and make it possible for me to bring you, our wonderful readers,  excellent design and lifestyle articles throughout the year.