The Inspiration Behind the Palais D’Hiver Collection

Every summer and winter season, St Genève showcases a new collection of bed linens and as Creative Director, I’m responsible for creating these, from inspiration to completion. I’m often asked what my design process is, and how I decide what fabrics to choose and what feel I want each collection to have.

As an Interior Designer, I design each collection like a room so that each bed linen relates to the next — like rugs matching curtains and sofas working with chairs — to create a cohesive look. I love the idea of being able to mix and match, even from one season to another, to extend the collections and give clients options on how to update existing looks or layer a look.

The inspiration behind each collection can come from anywhere – a fabric, a painting, a book, even a memory. The seed of this collection was sewn in Frankfurt while buying fabrics from the Heimtex textile show. I spent one whole day at the Stadel Art Museum, wandering from room to room absorbing masterpieces from seven centuries.

I was so inspired by the 19th century building, as well as the artwork that I decided I wanted to set the next collection in a beautiful old building surrounded by paintings and artifacts. This triggered memories of the winter I spent in Russia at the Hermitage art museum which of course had originally been the Winter Palace — home of the Russian royal family before the revolution. I envisioned the square outside with falling snow, crystal chandeliers, roaring fires and luxurious layers. The Palais D’Hiver collection was born.


Graphic Designer Katelyn Hengel and Design Assistant Karen Faint setting up a shoot.




The next day, while visiting the Italian mills, I chose fabrics that had that Winter Palace feel — opulent, regal, icy snowy silvers and royal purples. Rich textures and intricate designs rounded out the collection of fabrics and once back in the studio, I worked on delicate finishings that would compliment the fabrics.

Our amazing photographer Janis Nicolay of @pineconecamp and the St Genève design team then went in search of a beautiful mansion that would be grand enough to give the illusion of a winter palace. Highcroft House in Vancouver BC fitted the bill and after sourcing props, paintings and art works we created the the Palais D’Hiver world. It’s amazing how a cold grey wintery day in January would inspire an entire collection that we created six months later on the other side of the world. But then, this is what design is all about.

Now we’re designing the Summer collection… watch this space for the inspiration behind this…


Antique, gold chandelier.







Antoinette Viola layered with Lucente and Lucido.







The regal crown epitomizes  Palais D’Hiver.