The great thing about changing our location on Pier 94 during the New York International Gift Fair is meeting a new group of designers and discovering their wares for the first time. When the handsome Kevin O’Brien walked by our booth wearing the most beautiful raw silk shirt in an unusual shade of blue (a cross between turquoise and lapis lazuli), we had to stop him and ask about it. “Well, I dyed the fabric myself in Nepal and had the shirt made!” was his response.
Pretty Pillows All in a Row at Kevin O'Brien's Booth
Of course, that led to a half-hour discussion about Nepal and Vietnam, the amazing artisans there who create the most gorgeous designs and the vision to turn these fabrics into a collection of handmade decorative pillows, bedding, robes and even yoga accessories.
Divine Devore Velvet Pillows
A born artist, Kevin abandoned a career in architecture to pursue his lifelong passion – to paint. But when he realized that novice painters don’t sell many paintings, he followed the recommendation of a friend and began to paint on fabric. Barney’s NY saw his talent and placed their first order… and as they say, the rest is history.
Aqua, Pink/Gold and Wildberry Colors
Aqua and Grass Colors
With studios in Woodstock, NY, and Philadelphia, PA, Kevin now runs a business that has as its mission to make things a little better for everyone who come into contact with its products, its people and its conduct. We certainly think his designs are divine and with such beauty and integrity, who could ask for anything more?
Photos from yours truly and Kevin O’Brien Studio
When we visited Winterthur, Henry Francis du Pont’s Museum and Country Estate in Wilmington, DE, last spring, we noticed how beautifully the decor of some rooms coordinated with the flowers blooming in the gardens. The azaleas and rhododendrons were peaking while the Spanish bluebells were fading and all the pinks, whites and blues were reflected in the gorgeous floral patterns of the 18th-century painted Indian palampore covering the bed and the 16th-century Ottoman rug.
Winterthur in Bloom
The Cecil Room - 18th c. Indian Palampore
We were told that, from the start, Henry truly understood the delicate balance between the natural world outside his home and the decorative accents inside and would have his staff change the rugs, curtains, upholstery and bedcovers in certain rooms to fit the season. And while impractical that would be for us to do in our lives today (given our lack of staff!), we think accent pillows are a great way to celebrate the beginning of spring and to bring the garden into your home.
John Robshaw - Earth Pillow
Pottery Barn - Mill Valley Pillow
Yves Delorme - Mary Rose Pillow
Dransfield & Ross - Helsinki Collection
So tell us, dear readers, how do you celebrate spring?
Photos from Garden Visit, The Peak of Chic, John Robshaw, Pottery Barn, Yves Delorme and Dransfield & Ross