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Reaching Back for Inspiration

One of many lacquered doors of Paris


We’re beyond excited to have a guest post by Tamara Matthews-Stephenson, the author of the Nest by Tamara blog, as our Diary entry today. She’s taking a look at the design industry's appreciation of handmade, artisanal products by sharing her recent visits to world-renowned trade shows and antiques markets, and delving into our collection of antique and vintage pillows to illustrate how she sees the trend manifesting in our substantial collection of antiques. Take it away, Tamara!


Five Current Color Trends 

Five color trends influencing our homes by Tamara Matthews-Stephenson

Last week I published a slideshow on Nest by Tamara blog showcasing five current, important design and color trends. These are ideologies I gleaned from travel to recent trips throughout Europe while visiting a series of design industry trade shows. While traveling to antique show Mercanteinfiera in Parma, Marché aux Puces in Paris; and design-industry trade shows Heimtextil, Déco Off and Maison & Objet, I created five important movements I feel are influencing our home market. I believe these will continue to grow in popularity in the year 2017 and beyond. I had the opportunity to present these ideas to the opening of one of our top industry trade shows in New York City, NY NOW as well.

My very favorite of the five I wrote about is one I named “Artisinal, Historian.” This idea is very near and dear to my heart, as growing up, I spent most weekends at antique markets because my father was an antique dealer. At these shows, I saw antiques through the passionate eyes of both my parents, and my love for beautiful artisan-made wares was born. Today, I am happy to note that our design world has a growing interest in handcrafted products for the home. 


Door to Edith Wharton’s apartment building Paris 


Many of the design shows now have "Made" sections or areas that pay homage to current-day artisans and their work. This trend showcases our collective love for handmade design. It also realized in our surging interest in antiques and vintage items, which harkens to a time when many pieces we invested in and brought into our homes were future, family heirlooms. The entire design world is now enthralled with this growing interest. I had my "ah ha" moment and was inspired by this notion while walking throughout Paris a few weeks ago. I reveled in the gracious hand-carved doors, many of them lacquered. They serve as entryways to so many of the lovely buildings throughout the City of Lights, such as the two above—the one just above this paragraph the door to literary talent Edith Wharton’s apartment building. These doors have faded over time showing a lovely patina, which only works to solidify their beauty and quality, making them works of art in my eyes!

 Pandora de Balthazár Antique Textiles on Trend

Pandora de Balthazár Dream Catcher decorative pillow cover.

Our Dream Catcher decorative pillow cover.

Today, I stopped by the decorative pillows section of this Pandora de Balthazár website to see what she is offering up, and I immediately became smitten with these beauties made from antique and vintage textiles, which fall well within the realm of this current “Historian, Artisan” trend. These lovely pillow covers are filled with their luxurious Hungarian goose down.


Antique decorative pillow cover with a ribbon embroidery motif.

Antique decorative pillow cover with a ribbon embroidery motif.

Each one is a lovely creation that would certainly bring a special, nuanced handmade appeal to a home, whether modern or traditional in aesthetic. Please take a look at these six gorgeous pillows I’ve chosen to illustrate my point of view in this Diary entry, which are currently for sale on her online shop. 

Pandora de Balthazár Red and black embroidered pillow cover handmade in Hungary.

Red and black embroidered pillow cover handmade in Hungary.

Techniques—such as embroidery, handmade appliques and quilting—are employed in these designs. So much work goes into these little gems, and how lovely that we value the past, yet incorporate these into our modern homes. I can visualize these pillows, perhaps on a canopy bed overflowing with billowy white bed linens. It would be an all-white, neutral palette with one or more of these pillows as the "stars" of the composition. Equally enticing would be a bed layered with various jewel-toned linens, and one of these pillows would add to the rich textures on this cornucopia of layered design.

Pandora de Balthazár Multi-Color Linen decorative pillow cover with a nosegay motif.Multi-Color Linen decorative pillow cover with a nosegay motif.

We would like to thank Tamara for taking the time to share her “take” on this growing trend, which we celebrate wholeheartedly due to the fact that our collection of antique and vintage textiles is so vast. We are now working on the content to make more of our antiques available online in the next several months so stay tuned for the “new” time-honored introductions!

Pandora de Balthazár orange and blue primitive geometric decorative pillow cover.

An orange and blue primitive geometric decorative pillow cover.

And speaking of Mercanteinfiera, Pandora is heading to Parma with Toma Clark Haines, aka The Antiques Diva, next week so watch our Instagram feed for exciting finds she’ll be spotting at the fair and during a segue to Venice. These are indeed exciting times!

Pandora de Balthazár Antique raised flower linen decorative pillow cover.

Our antique raised flower linen decorative pillow cover.

The Pandora de Balthazár Lifestyle Diary and this post, Reaching Back for Inspiration, © Pandora de Balthazár, all rights reserved. Products mentioned in this and all posts can be purchased through our atelier and an array of our products are available on this site so we’d be thrilled if you’d take time to browse our collections. We also have a dynamic presence in the Arbor Antiques section of Round Top and during High Point Market. Be sure to bookmark our Calendar of Events page to keep up with all of our latest activities.

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