We’re in the midst of a full-blown love affair with designer Suzanne Kasler’s best-selling line of luxurious linens, available in eight of her signature colors. So much so that we’ve expanded the line to include pillows, panels, tablecloths and cushions to make it easier than ever to layer in soft natural texture in every room. We got together with Suzanne to discuss her linen collection and to find out more about the fabric and its allure.
Ballard Designs: We’re not the only ones who love your Fabric-By-the-Yard linen collection. It’s been a huge hit with our customers. Why do you think we love it so much?
Suzanne Kasler: It’s been so exciting to see the response to the collection, which has enabled us to expand the line. As a designer, I love linen and it in all of my projects. Linen embodies that whole high/low look that’s so on-trend in design right now. Linen is elegant, yet unpretentious. It has softness, but also a crispness. You can dress it up or down and use it in any room.
BD: In the world of fashion, linen is a quintessential summer fabric. Does that translate into home décor?
SK: Not really. It ends up being an all-year fabric. Traditionally, it has been thought of — especially in America — as a summer fabric. But look at how the Europeans use Belgian linens in their home. It’s always been a part of their culture and used year round. I think Americans are starting to understand just how comfortable and durable it is. Also, the price point of linen makes it a great choice for using to freshen up a space.
BD: And how do you envision customers using linen in their homes?
SK: The great thing about linen is that it instantly freshens a room and is so versatile that it works with your existing furnishings. So when I’m updating a room, I’ll change out all of the drapery to linen, add a few linen pillows and a throw. It’s amazing how much doing just that transforms the room without actually redoing the whole space. Of course, if you can switch out the upholstery on a piece, it really changes up the look, too.
BD: This is not your run-of-the-mill, lightweight wrinkly linen. It has a soft, textured hand and a nice weight, which makes it suitable for a variety of uses. What kind of process did you go through to find the best linen?
SK: I think the Belgian linen is so lovely, so when we did our collection, I pulled a number of fabrics that were my favorites to use as a guide. We really wanted to get the right linen that would work for upholstery and also as drapery. There’s a certain weave and depth of color that gives it just the right dimension. And we needed to achieve the right weight, so it wears well if you use it on upholstery, but not so heavy that you can’t use it as drapery. We really worked hard to strike the right balance. We rejected a lot of samples! It’s the same with color: we went through a lot of samples to find the perfect shade in just the right tone.
BD: Let’s talk about color. Your collection is available in eight signature colors. What was your inspiration behind the color assortment?
SK: The color palette of my linens line really is the anchor of my whole Ballard collection, from lamps to bedding and even my totes. I designed this palette for the Ballard client, who has a more natural aesthetic. She loves an organic, or undone, look and feel that is also sophisticated. These colors are timeless and classic, much like the Ballard brand. We started the collection with our core neutrals and have slowly added more colors, including a fantastic Mandarin Orange and Lavender. All of the colors mix and match really well. When I’m decorating, I like to pair a neutral with a color, like Greige with Mandarin or Lavender with Flax.
BD: Can we look forward to more changes in the collection?
SK: Absolutely! We are rolling out five different blues next year. The funny thing is, I’m kind of known for using blue — it’s my favorite color — yet it’s not really reflected in the palette. So when the time came to add new colors, I presented several different blues. We loved all of the options so much that we decided to make them all! We’ll have turquoise, a really pale blue, navy blue, cornflower blue and almost a gray with a hint of blue — all really lovely colors. We’re also introducing a striped pattern with four different color combinations from the palette, which will work with the solid linens beautifully.
BD: We can’t wait!