If bedding is fashion, Dian Austin's designs are the ball gowns. After several years as a successful buyer and executive in the world of fine apparel, Dian Austin left the runways behind. But she took her knowledge of luxury fabrics and couture-quality detailing with her, creating a collection of bed linens renowned for handcrafted quality and opulence.

How did your grandmother influence your career?

She made the most gorgeous clothing for the Hollywood elite. Each season, Grandmother Austin would bring me a selection of fabrics for my wardrobe and describe the designs she had in mind. She included me in the whole process.

How did you make the transition from fashion to designs for the home?

It was a natural progression as I developed more of an interest in my home than my wardrobe. I thought there was a real void in the marketplace for luxury-couture bedding, and I had the experience to develop and produce (my ideas).

Describe your design process.

I am influenced by everything around me: a painting in a museum, period costumes and uniforms, exquisite fabrics, lovely details on clothing from anywhere in the world. I can immediately visualize the designs for an entire collection.

What are your favorite fabrics?

The lush textures and surfaces of brocades, cut velvets, jacquards and embroidered silks attract me.

What is your favorite color for a bedroom?

I love the warm feeling of Old World frescos in neutral hues of champagne, sand, and topaz. Currently my bedding is made with a deep garnet pane velvet from Italy, combined with crushed silk and hand-embroidered detailing.

What are your favorite items in your own bedroom?

My husband Doug, our wedding picture in the first antique silver frame I purchased at Portobello Road, and fresh cut flowers.

What is on your bedside table?

I have a small Regency chinoiserie table (that) holds a lamp made from an Italian bronze statue, our wedding picture, my grandparents' wedding picture, a few of my favorite French Limoges items, and lots of books.

How many pillows on your bed? Where do they go at night?

I have seven decorative pillows, two of which are long bolsters. At night, they are piled on a luggage rack next to the armoire.

Dian Austin