Newly opened in Austin’s Davenport Village, Bleu by TPG boasts luxury homewares you won’t find anywhere else in the city. Store owner and principal designer of The Pankonien Group Laura Pankonien is known for her classic interiors and her fresh take on incorporating color and texture into her designs, curating antiques, vintage decor and to-the-trade items for both customers of her firm and retail clients. Here, we chatted with Pankonien for the inside scoop on this exciting new venture.

Browse carefully curated antiques and to-the-trade items at this new Austin showroom. PHOTO BY AVERY NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY
Browse carefully curated antiques and to-the-trade items at this new Austin showroom.

What inspired you to open Bleu by TPG?

I noticed a real lack of curated homewares in Austin, and I’ve always dreamt of having my own showroom to experiment mixing my favorite objects and textiles and have a place to display my favorite treasures. When a space became available that allowed me to combine my design studio and showroom in the same place, I knew it was meant to be! One of my main goals with Bleu is to expose our retail shopper to new collections, many of them typically only available to the trade, that they may not have seen before in the Austin retail market.

Store owner Laura Pankonien

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

My design aesthetic could be described as well-edited with a mixture of classic and midcentury. Lately I have been loving creating the feel of ‘nostalgic luxury’ in my projects. My go-to inspiration comes from travel, digging into my favorite decorating magazines and books, and playing with textiles to create new color and pattern palettes. And, of course, my favorite color, blue, is seen throughout the shop. Bleu is my tribute to how much I love the color in every shade!

Luxury homewares abound.

What are a few of your favorite pieces right now?

I’m proud of the fact that every single item we sell in the shop is selected by me with my design aesthetic in mind. Right now we are offering select lighting from Arteriors, custom pillows made from Lisa Fine, Peter Dunham and Schumacher textiles and kitchen items from etúHOME. We refresh the store weekly with new products, and I look forward to the fun process of trying new vendor offerings in the shop and continuing to evolve the Bleu aesthetic over time.

How does Bleu fit in with The Pankonien Group?

The opening of our new store introduces the retail customer to our design firm’s work and is an easy way to select from the layered mix of objects we love to use when decorating our projects. We wanted the design to look and feel like a beautiful traditional home with a modern twist on fabrics, textures and furnishings, which I think helps our clients envision what our products may look like in their own space.

Blue, Pankonien’s favorite color, is showcased throughout the space PHOTO BY AVERY NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY
Blue, Pankonien’s favorite color, is showcased throughout the space.

What trends do you see popping up for fall?

The trend toward classic casual luxury is still having a big impact on interiors. Modern versions of traditional textiles and forms—basically a cleaner, simpler version of the grandmillennial design movement—will continue into next year. In kitchens, we’re continuing to see a mix of natural materials like white oak and unlacquered finishes that is translating into how people are styling their spaces. Our custom pillow offerings, antique wood cutting boards, rattan accents and wide variety of pottery provide the retail shopper a beautiful way to experiment with this continuing trend. 3801 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Ste. C-160, Austin,