Friday, November 30, 2012


As the days become shorter and a cool forecast looms on the horizon, it’s time to move indoors. The transition into winter is the ideal time to prep your nest for the season of family gatherings and stylish soiréescreating warm inviting rooms with accessories, textures and tones. 
Starting with the shared spaces, adorn your windows with thicker curtains insulating any room with a dramatic, elegant touch. Cozy up the lounge area with accessories, adding decorative Silk Velvet throw pillows in Bordeaux or Fawn for pops of rich color. And for the centerpiece of any gathering, dress your holiday table with an Amethyst Olivia Tablecloth draped over Linen Whisper in Champagne for a timeless setting to compliment each delicious meal. 

The perfect place to find refuge from the cold is in the bedroom. Sateen sheets in seasonal hues provide a base of color. Layer on the warmth with a Duvet Cover that expertly couples Satin and Velvet, a Personal Comforter in a ravishing patchwork of textures, and top it off with Shams and Throw Pillows in Quilted Silk Velvet for jewel colored accents. Bella Notte designs pieces that build upon each other perfectly, pairing indulgent beauty with functionality to create an inviting and intimate sanctuary.

When asked about the design aesthetic in her own home this holiday season, Bella Notte designer Kathleen McCoy shared, 
"[It’s] always pretty eclectic—urban with a vintage influence. I have dark wood floors, white walls, neutral furniture with a lot of color pop in the accessories and art. But I’m especially excited for my Fall bed—a mix of Perfect Peach and Bordeaux in Celeste and Silk Velvets."
Whether you're decorating your home for the holiday, or buying a loved one the perfect gift, Bella Notte Linens has something for everyone! You can visit our shop. page to shop Bella online, our Retailers page to find a brick and mortar store near you, or if you're in the San Francisco bay area, visit the Bella Notte Outlet in Novato!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Can't get enough of behind-the-scenes design, style, and sketches come to life? Here's part two of our interview series with Bella stylist, Juliet White. (Click here for Part One)

Juliet directs the photo shoots from the UK!

Q: What is your favorite part of styling a shoot for Bella?
The beginning, seeing the new introductions, and the very end, seeing the finished shots in a beautiful book. I get excited to see what the designers have come up with each season. Often a simple color change transforms an existing fabric into something completely fresh. Its fun, (as any of you will know, who have done this) to just play with all the swatches. There are endless combinations. The thought behind the inspiration book was to help people find their way through all the beauty! And be able to put together something that fits their personal style.
Juliet's Perfect Peach Tabletop Mood Board

Initial sketch paired with final photo

Q: What do you love about Bella Notte linens and styling for them? 
Pretty much everything. I have always loved the color palette and natural fibers. I think mostly its the overall feeling of relaxed luxury they convey. They are pretty irresistible. The line is completely versatile, enabling me to create some variety. Sometimes the mood calls for layer upon layer of luxurious textures and colors, whilst at other times the mood is simple and understated. There are several fabrics in the line that will quite happily stand alone and shine.
Juliet's Petal and Perfect Peach Mood Board
Initial sketch paired with final photo - the mint headboard takes an unexpected turn.

A long day of shooting!

Q: Do you ever get frustrated when the reality doesn't match your vision?

Sometimes it is frustrating, but usually the unexpected changes that happen in the process turn out to be an improvement on the original idea. It’s always possible to adapt throughout the process. Its par for the course.

Q: How do you stay ahead of the curve, fresh and current with regards to style? 

I make sure I have a steady stream of magazines, books, blogs, and try to get to design shows like MAISON&OBJET in Paris. Film and art play their part too.

Q: How would you describe your aesthetic?
I would have to say it’s very simple, rustic and textural. I am not formal, but love a touch of elegant.
Simple, textured, with a touch of elegance.

Q: What do you do when you're uninspired? Do you ever hit a creative wall? 

Yes, if I am working with something that is a little out of my comfort zone, inspiration can be a stretch. I usually dig deep into my books, magazines and do lots of blog hopping.

Q: Is it difficult to be somewhat removed from a bustling city? Or does it help your creativity?
Both. I miss the rub-off effect of being around other creative people and their work. But [I also] find nature very inspiring. I have the coast and two national parks within 30 minutes of my home, all of which lend themselves to inspiration.
Furry accessories on set!

Hoppin' action shot.
Q: What publications do you read?
I look at everything and anything connected to interior design, but my "must have" reads are Australian Vogue Living, British Elle Decor and The World of Interiors.
Thanks for taking an intimate look into Juliet's creative process. We love the way she expertly combines colors, textures, fabrics, and unique accessories to pull together each set. From Bella fabric swatches and magazine clippings, to Juliet's masterful sketches, to Jay's final photos, we hope to ignite your own style and vision with our designs.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Stylist, Juliet White with Bella mascot, Lucy
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have the imagination and artistic aptitude of a stylist? We caught up with our style extraordinaire, Juliet White, to get the skinny on how she creates dream-like Bella boudoirs from start to finish. In this personal peek, we reveal how she first began, where she finds inspiration, and what it's like to watch her initial ideas and mood boards become reality on set. Enjoy!

Q: Have you always been interested in design? 

Yes absolutely. As a child I was always creating, I loved making arrangements of interesting things from nature. Later I drove my mother crazy with my ever-changing bedroom, painting my furniture over and over again and moving it around to create new looks.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a stylist? 

In my second year of college I spent time as an assistant to the decorating editor at Homes and Gardens magazine in London. It was a huge revelation to me that I could do something I loved so much, and get paid for it. 
Juliet pinning the final touches on set
Juliet and designer Kathleen giving a "lived in" look to the bed
Q: Where did you go to school? What was your emphasis?
I have a bachelor’s degree in textile design from Loughborough University in the UK.
Q: Where and how did you discover Bella Notte Linens? 
Shortly after beginning work as a visual merchandiser for Wildflower Organics in Austin Texas. I think it was 1997. Bella Notte had just been added to the stores inventory. It was love at first sight for me! I used it anywhere and everywhere I could in the store. After a short time we were bursting at the seams with Bella. It was a joy to work with such a versatile collection. Bella was growing quickly at this point too, and adding constantly to the line.
Q: What steps are involved in prepping for a photo shoot—where do you begin? Do you start with a concept? A color? A fabric? Where do you find your inspiration? 
The process starts with the designers sending me the new seasons introductions. There are usually a few new colors and fabrics to bring into the existing collection. I then put collections together and design sets for them. The fabrics and colors always inspire the sets. The set grows organically from them, rather than fitting them into a pre existing concept. After I am clear about the visual story for each set, I send the Bella team my thoughts in the form of sketches / swatches and notes. At the other end they start purchasing props and building sets as directed.
Juliet's Bordeaux Mood Board
Q: With you living in England and Bella Notte based out of Northern California, how does this collaboration work?  
It works because we are all on the same page most of the time. We are for the most part on similar creative paths, trying to achieve a common goal. We have to be very precise in our communications. It would not be possible of course, without great technology.
Initial sketch paired with the final photo
A glimpse into the studio during a shoot
Q: Once the photo shoot begins, how does your involvement work? How has this grown and changed over the years? 
Initially I flew to California, purchased props there and styled on set. Now because of family commitments, I work remotely via Skype from my home in the UK. We set up a date for a shoot and these days I give direction to the on set stylists and photographer via the computer. It is quite stressful as I am always aware that my Skype connection could fail at any time. It’s also very hard to sit and watch when I just want to jump in and do it myself! This has become easier over time. We set up two sets at a time working on one while the other is photographed. The photographer, Jay, sets his camera up so that I can see what he is seeing on my computer. Some shots easily come together, whilst others take some work. 
A collection of photo shoot props selected by the design team
Juliet and her son watch as the set is dressed to match her sketch
Q: Is it difficult to direct a photo shoot when you aren't there in person?
Not as difficult as you might imagine. But this is because we have had practice working with each other, and are able to communicate well. It only works because each member of the team does his or her part well.
Juliet's Seaglass and Perfect Peach Mood Board
Initial sketch comes to life, bubbles and all!
Juliet directing the process

Friday, November 9, 2012


Our friends at The Garden Gates have created this wonderful video about how to order Bella Notte linens. Choose your fabrics, select from any of 17 original colors, and watch your own, original dream bed come to life.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


With so many textures and tones in each Bella Notte line, it can be difficult to know where to begin building the perfect bed. The yearly inspiration books are created to demonstrate an infinite array of possibilities through beautiful imagery.

Our photographs, edited and compiled into 8x8” booklets, are an invaluable tool in organizing our couture fabrications into real options for everyday living. Flipping through the pages helps to connect the viewer with the product—a gravitation towards certain color combinations and an appreciation for the layering can spark inspiration and provide a foundation for a customer’s own unique vision.

These inspiration books are the culmination of many creative processes, starting in the studio where designer Kathleen McCoy transforms ideas, sketches and fabric samples into tangible collections and pallets. A desired direction and overall mood is shared with our stylist, Juliet White, who begins set design—expertly weaving colors, fabrics and prints in unlikely combinations. Photographer Jay Graham captures each scene with his expert eye as Juliet’s vision is fully realized from sketch to set to print.

Once collected, cropped and compiled into the desired layout, our images are entrusted to local print house ColorGraphics. Located in the historic Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, ColorGraphics along with their team of technicians and printers, have transformed our digital images into tactile brochures to share with our stores and followers. They take deliberate steps to ensure quality and perfection with each printing, beginning with assembly of the files digitally to create two proofs—high end flat color proofs (to use on press to match color in photos) and an iris paper “blueline” (trimmed and stitched, showing pages as they would fall in the real brochure). Once each is approved, the printing process can begin. 

In our case, all text pages are printed on one form, beginning with the front 12 pages, then turning the sheet over to print the back 12 pages, followed by the cover and translucent flysheet. The cover is then adorned with our logo—a brass die is made and embossed into the cover stock using heat and pressure and applying foil at the same time. A score is added to the spine so that it doesn’t crack when thumbed through again and again.

Next, the text form is folded so all 24 pages are in position. On a saddle stitcher the cover and fly sheet are dropped onto the text on an assembly line, stitched, and then 3 knife trimmed so the final books are perfectly cut. Both the cover and text paper have at least 10% post consumer waste in the fiber, a fact that we truly appreciate. From paper sourcing to color matching and even down to the delicate spiral detailing of our logo on the front cover, they ensure we are satisfied with every detail. 

The completed product is a source of pride for the entire Bella Notte team and allows us to artfully archive each line. We hope you enjoy the 2012 Inspiration Book!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Fans are inspired by more than just our bedding! Here’s a short clip from PaperSpecs about last year’s Bella Notte inspiration book. Stay tuned for a behind the scenes post on our latest 2012 catalog!


HD Buttercup has opened a brand new store, In Bed, in the bustling, eclectic San Francisco neighborhood of Hayes Valley! Complete with custom mattress lines, a gorgeous assortment of accessories and a collection of all natural linens, including Bella Notte, In Bed is the boutique of the hour.

We stopped by the grand opening on Tuesday, October 23rd and were immediately struck by the grandeur of the showroom. Dramatically high ceilings, crisp white walls, and a medley of bedding collections adorned the ornate beds and wall displays around the store. The juxtaposition of crystal chandeliers hanging from rustic rope added to the quirky, urban edge. Patrons sipped on fresh cocktails and munched on bento, all the while taking in the vibrant scene.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves—take a peek at a few snapshots we captured!