Paula Queen of Pyar & Co.
Paula Queen was inspired to start Pyar & Co. in 2011 after a family visit to India to celebrate her marriage to her husband, Sumit. Inspired by the craftsmanship, textures and patterns of exquisite Indian saris, Paula decided to find a way to translate these unique elements to modern American décor. The Pyar & Co. line features custom-designed, hand-crafted pillow collections created from a portfolio of more than 1,400 exquisite Indian woven silks, jacquards and velvets.
Embellished with beads individually selected from markets and hand-dyed threads, Pyar and Co.'s pillows feature elements like colorful stripes, sparkly sequins and hand-dyed metal studs. All work for Pyar & Co. is ethically sourced and fairly traded.
Paula has also recently launched Lil' Pyar, a line of beautiful baby items with great style, a welcome departure from the ubiquitous pink or blue. This week's Fab Furnishings Giveaway features her unique Tanna baby blanket. Here she shares her design insights with us.
TotalHousehold: Were you involved in design before your fateful trip to India?
Paula Queen: Prior to founding Pyar&Co., I was a business development manager for a construction management firm. It was during my honeymoon in India that I became inspired to start my company. I was taken by the beauty, craftsmanship and materials used in saris. My wheels began spinning and I began dreaming up how to bring this gorgeous piece of Indian culture to the American masses. I landed on something a little unexpected, but completely accessible for every home: Pillows!
TH: What is the overriding mission of Pyar&Co.?
PQ: My vision for Pyar&Co. has always been to offer handcrafted luxury pieces that tell a story, while emulating the intricate details of a sari. I want to give people home accessories that are more than just pillows. My pillows are created to add a pop of color to a home, to serve as a conversation starter and even intended as pieces of art.
Pyar means love in Hindi and that’s what I want our pillows to represent. When I see the reaction that a customer has when they see my pillows, it is beyond rewarding to me!
We are expanding everyday. We’ve added more collections for the home—throws, poufs and table linens. We’ve also recently launched Lil’ Pyar, a children’s collection that features quilts, blankets and poufs. Additionally, we’ve introduced our Essentials Collection, which includes tote bags, scarves and makeup bags. Look for lots of new releases this summer.
TH: How do you choose your fabric combinations?
PQ: When I first launched Pyar&Co., I spent a great deal of time researching successful apparel, interior design and home accessory brands worldwide. It was beneficial for me to understand how they applied color and other elements in their designs. I worked and reworked my own designs until I came up with something unique and a bit unconventional.
To this day, I still continue to do a great deal of research. I am also very fortunate to have direct relationships with customers who share their thoughts on color and fabrics. Their inspirations and feedback inspires and challenges me to create new and innovative designs.
TH: Can you give us five tips to choosing the right pillows?
#1. Create your own trends! Use pillows as a way to reflect your own identity through design and color. By doing this, your space becomes all about you.
#2. Think about the room’s vibe. Do you want your room to excite or relax? Determine the feelings you want your room to evoke and get started.
#3. Combine the old with the new. Mix in your new pillows with your existing ones to easily switch up the look of a room. I especially love doing this with the change of seasons.
#4.One size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Mix in varying sized and shaped pillows to create a layered look. It creates visual interest and depth.
#5. Go for the color. Take your neutral room up a notch with colorful pillows. Pick colors that complement your existing décor. And don’t be afraid to go all out.
TH: How can you make a child's room unique—what are the secrets to keeping it from looking babyish yet still be kid-friendly?
PQ: Decorating a child’s room is all about flexibility, function and fun. The room should evolve as the their interests grow and develop. As a mom myself, I know how much of a delight it is to add new pieces of interest to my 3 year old son’s room. When picking furniture and accessory pieces, function should be top of mind. Does it provide extra storage? Does it allow for growth as the child grows? I think a perfect example is our Lil’ Pyar Kitab, a pouf that offers both a place to sit and a platform for learning. Finally, a child’s space should be fun! Incorporate colors they love, patterns that inspire and furniture they can’t wait to use.
TH: How can people decorating without the help of a pro use rich color?
PQ:As Pyar&Co. offers something unexpected for the home—much of which in the form of rich color, it’s easy to see why I’m a big fan of color in the home. If you’re hoping for small changes in a room, start by evaluating the current color palette. Pick complementary colors and build them in as accents—pillows, throws, lighting, drapery and other accessories. Keep in mind that these should act as pops of color, blending with your current décor to create cohesive look. And if you’re ready to go all out with your rich color, don’t be afraid to go big! Evaluate what you have, what will work within your new color scheme and what you need. Eliminate pieces that will compete with your rich color. Then, start applying color to major areas: walls, flooring and furniture. Just remember that these big changes are not as easy to reverse as removing an accent pillow, so choose a rich color you love!
For more about Pyar & Co., visit http://pyarandco.com
This week Pyar & Co. is featured in our Fab Furnishings Giveaway. Enter to win the Tanna Blanket from the Lil' Pyar collection by visiting, http://www.totalhousehold.com/contest/fab-furnishings-giveaway