Pandora de Balthazar Dresses a Timeless Bed
“I’m passionate about dressing beds, so imagine how fortunate I feel to be immersed in the subject every day—and night—of my life. I don’t simply pay attention to the “window-dressing,” because our concept’s heart is a layered way of making a bed that promotes health and well being. It’s called the Timeless Bed, and it’s built around the European Sleep System, an ergonomically designed arrangement that reduces anxiety, induces relaxation and entices sleepy bedtime.” — Pandora de Balthazar
(Editor’s note: This article appears in the Fall 2016 Round Top Register Guide to the Round Top Antiques shows and is a sponsored article.)
The Infrastructure to Dress a Timeless Bed
The infrastructure to dress a timeless bed starts with a natural mattress protector filled with cotton, wool, down or batten. Next is the down mattress pad made of natural, machine-washable Hungarian down and feather in an 80:20 ratio. Two fitted deep-pocket sheets follow—the bottom one protects the down mattress pad, and the top one keeps all of the substructure firmly in place. Finally, a flat bottom sheet of 600- to 1,000-thread-count Italian sheeting, or our antique sheets if you are inclined, is left untucked and laid perpendicular to the headboard.
This is the foundation for a body at rest. The elements covering the body are highly personal. The first layer above the body is a flat top sheet that drapes; it should be laid without tucking and have enough sheeting for a gracious turn back at the bed’s top. This sheet is topped with the lightest sleeping duvet imaginable. If you sleep hot, a blanket, rather than a duvet, is recommended.
We make four weights of duvets in five sizes so that clients who crave the look of puffy duvets can add the decorative top with a Florida winter-weight duvet, duvet cover and blanket All are to be removed from the bed prior to sleep, of course. When the top sheet and blanket cover is turned back and fluffed, and the eight-pillow, two-neck-roll European Sleep System is added, you have the perfect top-of-bed solution—the Timeless Bed.
Dreaming of a Timeless Bed
Once the infrastructure of my bed is in place, then the design fun begins. I always begin with a linen headboard, bed skirt and blanket cover from which I build each of my design choices. The composition becomes a daily basic—tough and tender, green, recyclable, machine washable and very organic, as each piece of the puzzle is very natural.
This approach allows me to build my bed decoration around any style I wish for myself or whether it’s for an elegant mansion, a beach home or a minimalist New York City art collector’s home.
I open my mental closet of beautiful things and choose what I believe will enhance my mood or my season. Dressing my bed is more fun than dressing my body—so personal it becomes the thing that brings the ultimate happiness. I must decide whether I want a lovely, soft, floating romantic look or a spa inspired bedroom. Is it to be country chic, shabby chic or Asian chic? Do I envision color or the purest white?
Once I’ve selected the sensual elements, such as the color I want to see upon waking, I choose other things around me: the portrait of my mother, for example, which nurtures my heart.
What time of year it is always matters as well: in late June, for instance, I choose an antique white linen blanket cover, embroidered in the softest of trousseau blue, dancing gently around the edges of my bed. Adding antique white linen pillow shams, some with a similar touch of the soft blue embroidery, perhaps with a monogram or a signature, and my bed is complete.
In the fall I add a large crewel landscape and a French chest with burl walnut and ormolu for a change of season. Its textures and colors are quietly bold, so I select an antique ivory blanket cover edged in an elegant lace, floating it over my softest billowing Hungarian goose down duvet for effect. I add a white linen sheet layover with ribbon holes through which I thread my favorite fall ribbon, something I can change to persimmon for a punch of colorful fun, or to a soft elegant ivory that reflects my blanket cover for a subtle yet layered approach to a beautiful bed.
When creating cocoons for others, I’m always curious to know how we can fulfill someone’s idea of what it means to celebrate life. We can dress a bed to suit any mood because beauty is in the beholder’s eye. There is no style we cannot dress for our clients; we simply say that whatever one wants, one gets.
Pandora de Balthazar’s European Sleep System Origins
Pandora de Balthazár understands the power of luxurious rest. In an era where life is defined by skyrocketing stress and accelerating busyness, her exquisite linens and customized sleep systems offer a respite for the harried.
Destination, Luxury, Inner Sanctum
Since 1998 she has brought her singularly beautiful and effective wares to Round Top. Each show season she sets up a majestic white tent on the grounds of the Arbor Antiques & International Design Show. The 2,100 square foot air conditioned space is a landmark for those navigating the show and a destination for those seeking rest for their bodies and souls. During the spring and fall shows, Pandora hosts pajama parties and offers cocktails and other refreshments during the nearly three-week shopping experience.
Once inside, guests are enveloped in inviting possibilities. The soothing scent of lavender wafts through the air. The distinctive textiles—bedding, bath décor and sleepwear—invite touch. Knowledgeable sales associates offer refreshments, expertise and sleep lessons, which introduce Pandora’s revolutionary European Sleep System.
Pandora oversees it all. As a child of the South, hospitality is as much a part of her character as entrepreneurship. She began her professional life as a financial planner, but a devastating car accident in 1986 left her in constant pain—and changed the course of her life. As part of her recovery from a delicate spinal microsurgery performed in Hungary, Pandora was confined to constant bed rest for six months. As a result, she discovered the important role properly supportive pillows and high-quality linens play in healthful rest prompting her to commission special-sized pillows custom made from Hungarian goose down, which has greater support volume.
The European Sleep System was first offered to merchants in High Point, NC, in 1995. The System includes custom embroidery and antique linens as well as the ultra-supportive pillows.
More than 50,000 European Sleep System sets have been sold, allowing Pandora to deliver the gift of restful health to clients across the nation.
pandoradeBalthazar.com and pandoradeBalthazarexperience.com
You can catch up with Pandora and her team twice a year at:
Arbor International Antique & Interior Design Show, 1503 N. State Hwy. 237, Round Top, TX Fall: Sept. 15 – Oct. 1, 2016 (spring 2017: TBD)
High Point Market, The Salon at the Suites at Market Square, High Point, NC 27260 The show dates usually fall between Oct. 18–24 and April 18–24.
Showroom (year around): 418 E. Wright St., Pensacola, FL 32501
Read more about Pandora de Balthazar’s Round Top roots.