28 Inspiring Photos of Antiques & Interiors at Bremermann Designs

Carmen NatschkeTimeless Style: Antiques & Vintage

Antiquing in New Orleans at Gerri Bremermann on Magazine Street. | The Decorating Diva, LLC
Bremermann Antiques and Designs shop photo tour. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Gerrie’s signature floral arrangement of white roses with verdant lemon leaves set the elegant tone in this room filled with french antiques at Bremermann Designs.

The “Grande Dame” of New Orleans’ interiors, as Gerrie Bremermann is oft referred to, is one of my favorite designers and antiques dealers. My adoration for her sublime style sophistication can be easily understood with a cursory review of her design portfolio, but it’s not just her celebrated design style for deftly blending antiques, contemporary furnishings and modern art in serene color palettes of whites, blues and neutral tones reminiscent of Florida beaches that has captivated me. It’s her personal story.

The story of an inspirational and talented woman, born in colorful New Orleans, raised in seaside Palm Beach and returning to New Orleans to marry and raise her young family, who in her forties embarked on an inspiring interior decorating career that has seamlessly intertwined with her passion for antiques.

At a time when most would have been contemplating retirement and an empty nest, Ms. Bremermann was just beginning. Though she didn’t study to be an interior decorator or had worked in the field, she had an innate talent for creating beautiful interiors. After years of contributing her creative and stylish interior design skills to various philanthropic endeavors, Bremermann had become the defacto “go-to” decorator for local charitable organizations. And it was only natural that the New Orleans’ Junior League sought her participation in their inaugural design showhouse.

The showhouses’ small bathroom, with walls dressed in fabric from floor to ceiling, that Bremermann decorated with the help of her daughters was an immediate success with visitors. More than forty years on from that design project, Bremermann now in her eighties has graced many interiors with her inimitable style. Her decorating projects have been featured in some of the world’s most respected and vaunted design publications, and her antiques shop and design studio, Bremermann Designs, on famed Magazine Street is a font of inspiration for all who visit.

Bremermann Designs Photo Tour

French and European antiques highlighting some of  Bremermann's signature color scheme of exquisite blues, whites and golds. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Bremermann’s signature color scheme of exquisite blues, whites and golds on show in one of the many antique filled rooms at her shop and studio.

Antique crystal chandelier with green accent crystals at Gerri Bremermann Designs on Magazine Street in New Orleans. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Shimmering elegance takes center stage with this divine crystal chandelier trimmed in golden detail and accented with round emerald green crystals adorned in a crown-like fashion.

Antiques shop photo tour of Bremermann Designs illustrating the timeless elegance and sophisticated style inherent in beautiful antiques. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Timeless elegance and sophisticated style reign supreme.

Regal ceiling medallion with delicate floral motifs complements 8-arm antique crystal chandelier. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Regal ceiling medallion with delicate floral motifs complements the 8-arm crystal chandelier.

Striking jewel-like details of the antique crystal chandelier, enchant and captivate. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Striking jewel-like details of the antique crystal chandelier, enchant and captivate.

Design vignette of contemporary table lamps set against a splendid antique French trumeau mirror at Bremermann Interiors. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

This vignette of contemporary table lamps set against a splendid antique French trumeau mirror painted in a fading neo-classic pastel blue and accented with distressed gilding illustrates Bremermann’s finesse in blending the old and the new.

Detail of oil painting insert and ornate gilded elements of French antique trumeau mirror. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Detail of oil painting insert and ornate gilded elements of French antique trumeau mirror.

New Orleans' interior designer Gerri Bremermann's bedroom design at her Magazine Street shop and studio. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Bedroom decorated by Gerrie Bremermann showcasing a skillfully and artsy blend of contemporary furnishings, vintage decor, antiques and modern art. (Canopied bed is the “Gerrie” bed and available at her shop and also on 1st Dibs.)

Contemporary art graces many of the spaces in Bremermann Designs. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Contemporary art graces many of the spaces in Bremermann Designs.

Antique Louis arm chair dressed in resplendent aqua-hued upholstery.  | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Antique Louis arm chair dressed in resplendent aqua-hued upholstery and antique velvet decorative pillow.

Rococo style brass candle wall sconce at New Orleans antique shop of Gerri Bremermann. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Rococo style brass candle wall sconce.

Vintage crystal candelabra style wall sconce lighting in floral pattern. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Vintage crystal candelabra style wall sconce lighting in floral pattern.

Delightful pink room with colorful crystal chandelier and modern art piece. | The Decorating Diva,LLC

Delightful pink room with colorful murano glass chandelier and modern art piece.

Colorful murano glass chandelier at Bremermann Designs. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Vintage Venetian chandelier bursting in vibrant sapphire blue and jewel-toned pinks holds court at Bremermann Designs.

Lovely vintage crystal perfume bottle collections adorned with pretty, pink ribbons. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Lovely vintage crystal perfume bottle collections adorned with pretty, pink ribbons.

Ornate vintage and antique glass perfume bottles embellished with gilded hand painted ornamentation and finished with satin pink ribbons.  | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Ornate vintage and antique glass perfume bottles embellished with gilded hand painted ornamentation and finished with satin pink ribbons.

Vintage multi-colored crystal light pendant. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Vintage multi-colored crystal light pendant.

Louis XVI side chairs possess an elegance tempered with a rustic charm  at Bremermann antiques shop. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

These Louis XVI side chairs possess an elegance tempered with a rustic charm that would make them a perfect fit in a romantic French country inspired interior.

French Regency style antique side chairs and decorative pillow at Bremermann antiques. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Pretty in pink – French Regency style antique side chairs and decorative pillows in sophisticated deep pink and accented with white.

20th century amber teardrop and clear glass beaded petite chandelier. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

20th century amber teardrop and clear glass beaded petite chandelier.

Vintage linen and lace decorative pillow. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Vintage linen and lace decorative pillow.

Antique cabinet with pull-down writing desk. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Antique cabinet with pull-down writing desk.

Pretty pottery and decorative marble balls. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Pretty pottery and decorative marble balls.

Distressed cane-back fauteuil with charming grey gingham upholstery topped with animal print decorative pillows. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Distressed cane-back fauteuil with charming grey gingham upholstery topped with animal print decorative pillows.

Mixing traditional and modern styles using antiques and contemporary furnishings. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

When traditional and modern styles intersect: Mixing antiques with modern furniture and decor creates the feeling of a home filled with loved items collected over time and gives the interior a unique personality.

White tea roses sitting pretty in a beautiful white porcelain vase with raised floral detail. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Beautiful white porcelain vase with raised floral details is the perfect vessel for Gerrie’s signature white rose floral arrangement.

Divine antique iron daybed. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Divine antique iron daybed with a gorgeous pink damask cushion piled high with silk and velvet brocade decorative pillows.

Antiques Shop Tour: Traditional Modern Style at Shaun Smith Home

Carmen NatschkeTimeless Style: Antiques & Vintage

Shaun Smith Interior Design and Antiques in New Orleans. | The Decorating Diva, LLC
A chic and eclectic blend of historically rich antiques and elegant contemporary decor combine to create an eye-catching vignette of decorative elements. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

A chic and eclectic blend of historically rich antiques and elegant contemporary decor combine to create an eye-catching vignette of decorative elements.

Color creates cohesive design vignette when mixing antique and contemporary furniture and decor. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

A harmonious balance between decor from different periods and styles is achieved through the judicious use of color. In this case orange serves as the great design harmonizer that makes this vignette work.

Visual interest and depth is added by placing two round glass-topped cocktail tables of differing heights next to each other. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Visual interest and depth is added by placing two round glass-topped cocktail tables of differing heights next to each other.

How to create a table vignette. decorative still-life vignette enchants with its stacks of books, decor accents and sculpture . | The Decorating Diva, LLC

This decorative still-life vignette enchants with its stacks of books, decor accents and sculpture. When mixing and matching design elements from across styles and periods as shown here, the key to making it all work so beautifully is to have a common thread that runs through the collection. Color is the uniting factor – an analogous color scheme of red and orange accented with gold provides a cohesive and attractive setting . Adding depth and perspective within the vignette by staggering heights and horizontal placement keeps the table vignette from looking flat and unappealing.

Cozy, elegant corner featuring pieces collected over time. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Cozy, elegant corner featuring pieces collected over time.

Modern art and contemporary accents side-by-side with treasured antiques. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Modern art and contemporary accents side-by-side with treasured antiques.

Vintage-style cream-toned, tufted leather club chair softly welcomes with its wide arms and comfortable seating. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Vintage-style cream-toned, tufted leather club chair softly welcomes with its wide arms and comfortable seating.

A calming palette of neutral hues defines the classic, timeless allure of this space. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

A calming palette of neutral hues defines the classic, timeless allure of this space.

Details of luxurious, decorative pillows and comfortingly chic sofa blanket edged in Greek Key details. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Details of luxurious, decorative pillows and comfortingly chic sofa blanket edged in Greek Key details.

Ornate detail on floor length mirror. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Ornate detail on floor length mirror.

Sweet and pretty accent chair divinely dressed in a neutral-tone damask patterned fabric. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Sweet and pretty accent chair divinely dressed in a neutral-tone damask patterned fabric.

A marble crucifix stands tall against a gray-blue portrait of a young man. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

A marble crucifix stands tall against a gray-blue portrait of a young man.

Splendid Louis Chair re-upholstered in a velvety pale blue sits next to a charming rustic country table. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Splendid Louis Chair re-upholstered in a velvety, pale blue sits next to a charming rustic country table.

Tranquil color scheme of soft blues and warm-honey tones. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Tranquil color scheme of soft blues and warm-honey tones.

Simply luxe. Subtlety tinted wood wine gift containers in shades of sky and wood. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Simply luxe. Subtlety tinted wood wine gift containers in shades of sky and wood.

Religious artifact, possibly from a church altar, is poised in rooted tradition against a modern abstract painting. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Religious artifact, possibly from a church altar, is poised in rooted tradition against a modern abstract painting.

Exquisite blue trinket box decorated in a tribal-inspired pattern. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Exquisite blue trinket box decorated in a tribal-inspired pattern.

Ornately embossed leather and wood chairs sit solemnly next to a faux fireplace mantel. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Ornately embossed leather and wood chairs sit solemnly next to a faux fireplace mantel.

Favorite Finds at Palliser Furniture

Carmen NatschkeSpotlight: Decor & Furniture

Palliser Vivy indigo leather sofa | The Decorating Diva, LLC

During the spring 2016 High Point Furniture show I had the opportunity to tour the Pallliser Furniture showroom and see all the new introductions for fall 2016 home fashion. I was delighted to find fashionable pieces that were easy on the eye and the bank account. Along with stylish and affordable, I also learned that the sofas and chairs were perfectly scaled for smaller spaces such as city apartments and urban homes.

Having lived in condominiums in Tampa and Miami, I was well acquainted with the design challenge of finding gorgeous decor that fit the petite spaces I was living in. So it was nice to see a major manufacturer meeting that need in a style-filled manner.

In this post, I share some of my very favorite pieces.

Vivy in Indigo | The Decorating Diva, LLC

“Vivy” contemporary leather sofa and arm chair in “Indigo.”

Palliser Furniture's Contemporary Modern Sectional Sofa Seattle | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Svelte silhouette married with contemporary details ensured that the “Seattle” leather sectional earned a spot in my decorating diva heart!

Daydream sleeper sofa | The Decorating Diva, LLC

The “Daydream” sleeper sofa’s modern lines and tailored upholstery are a perfect fit in this dreamy, urban loft.

Disclosure:  All opinions expressed in this post are all my own.  This is a sponsored post/branded content for Palliser Furniture. 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.

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!