Featured: Southern Lady Magazine
A Louisiana interior designer’s brand of well-crafted home goods and gifts brings distinguished style to Christmas décor and everyday embellishments. by Elizabeth Bonner Czapski
They say there’s no place like home for the holidays, but after almost two decades in the interior design industry, Colleen Waguespack was struck by a surprising seasonal trend: nothing was made to last.
“In looking for Christmas decorations that were the quality of what we use on the interior design side, I found they weren’t being made of timeless materials you’d be interested in pulling out year after year,” she says. “It started with saying, ‘Gosh, we should make stockings and tree skirts for clients in fabrics that complement their houses, rather than Christmas being such a departure [in appearance].’” The decision to do just that inspired her to create Fig & Dove, a curated collection of fine decorative accents for the well-appointed home.
Colleen got her start in corporate design in Washington, D.C., but after about 10 years, the New Orleans native moved back to Louisiana and transitioned into residential interior design, eventually opening her own Baton Rouge-based firm. “The switch to residential was so different because of all the detailing—drapes, throws, accessories. These are the last 10 percent [of a project], those finishing touches that make a job feel personalized and homey,” she says.
As Colleen became adept at this type of meticulous styling, clients began coming to her with distinctive requests for the holidays. “We would finish a house, and people would say, ‘You’re going to hate my Christmas decorations. You need to help us with Christmas,’” Colleen recalls. She initially dismissed the idea, but quickly recognized its potential. “I realized that if you have a new or just renovated home, Christmas is when you’re going to entertain. I wanted the whole thing to look fabulous.”
In 2015, Colleen launched Fig & Dove’s first holiday line, collaborating with trusted makers to produce chic and elegant décor. They started with basics like stockings and tree skirts, seeking perfect proportions and high quality constructions with textiles that range from lavish Fortuny fabrics to classic neutrals. Understated stocking holders—acrylic blocks with brass or nickel hooks—have become the bread and butter of the business, along with similar products such as star tree toppers and pearlescent doves.
Having expanded beyond e-commerce and into select boutiques across the country, Colleen decided to introduce year-round offerings as her team found themselves moving into a natural niche defined by “that last 10 percent” of decorating. “We evolved into elevated decorative accessories and gifting—one-of-a-kind items that finish off your coffee table or entertaining pieces with a dual purpose,” she says.
Colleen takes a less-is-more approach and handpicks items that are attractive yet useful, multifunctional, and suited to both contemporary and traditional homes. The signature acrylic doves are an example of that versatility and can be used as ornaments or wedding décor or as a thoughtful gift representing hope and peace. Monogrammed wreath sashes have gained popularity as a crisp alternative to burdensome bows. This season’s Christmas additions include stackable acrylic candleholders and an Advent collection of ornaments by local artist Logan Ledford, who treats the little orbs as mini canvases for her abstract paintings and creates a new palette for Fig & Dove every year. “They look great in a bowl at Christmastime, but mine stay out all year long,” Colleen says. “They’re like pieces of art.”
Her discerning aesthetic is what Colleen feels instills true value in Fig & Dove products, which she hopes will bring heirloom appeal to the holidays and beyond. “Southerners like to pass things down, and our artist collaborations give [them] something worthy of collecting,” she says. “Those types of Christmas decorations that have sentimental value—that special star at the top of the tree, the skirt, and stockings—should also have timeless qualities and constructions so they last and you still love them 20 years later.” For information, visit figandove.com