In the 1970s, Diane von Furstenberg was a plucky young European princess when she made history with a versatile, universally flattering wrap dress—created, as she puts it, for "a woman on the go, who is completely global, of any age, any nationality." This month the designer—long divorced from her prince, though still plucky—brings her signature unfussy sophistication to a new home line, with everything from leopard-patterned bed linens to sunny porcelain teapots.
"Surroundings are very important to me," says Von Furstenberg, a yoga-toned 64. "I travel constantly, but even in a hotel room, I'll drape a scarf over the lamp." She's tucked behind an imposing black Ruhlmann desk on the fifth floor of the teeming New York City studio where she lives and works amid hot pink walls and Warhol portraits of herself. For Von Furstenberg, the home "is a projection of who you are," as important as what you wear and the people you surround yourself with.
Von Furstenberg's own home is inspired by her life: "When I go places"—recent travels include Dubai, Istanbul, Vanuatu, and Tahiti—"I'll pick up a basket or a plate, things I love and that give me pleasure to look at." For her housewares line, she wanted to design "not a matching collection but a language," she says, full of pieces that combine effortlessly with a woman's own finds.
Like her elegant, asymmetrical porcelain dishes: Their shape (Von Furstenberg calls it the "power stone") recalls the striking corrugated glass dome she constructed atop her studio's building to let in light. Available in a range of patterns plundered from her fashion archives, the plates are both more formal and more interesting than the usual everyday set—and the only statement pieces a well-dressed table needs.
Squares Need Not Apply
The Transitional Tableware is meant to be commingled—funky porcelain plates and bowls atop colorful glass, brass, and rattan chargers. "I like things that look chaotic but actually are not," says Von Furstenberg. Flatware includes gold-plated stainless steel and resin-handled pieces: "I use four of one, four of another."
New shapes distinguish Von Furstenberg's tableware: Her matte porcelain Pebblestone bowls, plates, and espresso cups (here in Smoke Gray) aren't perfectly circular. "We're familiar with everything being square or round," she says. "I wanted to do curvy instead—a curvy shape that's a little off."
A kaleidoscopic array of glass coasters (shown here in Sun Stripe, Animal Garden, and Barcelona Mosaic prints) combines effortlessly with solid, earthy espresso cups (from the Miro Flowers collection). "Prints and color are what I do," Von Furstenberg says. "I like using them to create moods."
Von Furstenberg thinks a woman's bedroom, like her wardrobe, should change throughout the year: "A comforter isn't a huge investment. When it's spring, or you just had a baby, get a new one!" She plans to offer six wrap-dress-inspired duvet prints seasonally. These Batik Dot sheets complement a Floral Batik sham.