In the last 16 months, my 3 closest friends who didn't have babies have either had or are having them, which means that I, inadvertently, have babies on the brain. I never really know what I'm going to do when I start pulling fabric for these Pattern Play posts. I generally look through my fabric library for the first thing that catches my eye and then start playing around with it until I come up with a scheme that I love. In this case, the Osbourne & Little print (far right) was my starting point, and then I played with way to make it masculine or feminine. I'm anxiously awaiting word on whether "my" newest baby is going to be a Morehouse Man or Spelman Woman, but in the meantime, I kinda think this scheme would work for either gender--call me crazy, if you like. With dark brown walls and a swap of the Brunschwig & Fils print (far left) for drapery instead of the Osbourne & Little option, I'm really loving this look for for a boy just as well.
Would you step out on a limb and use this scheme for a boy's room or is this screaming girl to you??
I wish you could see how incredible this pink velvet chevron is in person because it's really kinda like, amazing.
For this week's pattern play I wanted something that would be bold--a mix most people would probably shy away from (because these projects are really the most fun). As you search the archives it's my goal that you'll see a good mix of color and style pairings that will help/encourage you to be bolder in your personal spaces. Most of the time, if you think you'll love it you will, it's just about knowing how to balance everything out so your space doesn't end up looking like....Pee Wee's Playhouse.
I like to think of this ass my "Boss Mix", because the only people who would go with this scheme (that I love, I might add) are the ones who do what they want.
Thom Filicia has a new collection for Kravet! I spied the samples hanging on the wall and had my showroom rep hunt me down a few even though they weren't technically available yet. I love this bright mix--the stripe combined with Schumacher's Betwixt and the small herringbone from Nate Berkus' new line for Fabricut (which is well priced and features some great fabrics).
(This could make for a pretty sick office...I love the plush wool geometric carpet from Stark)
Stripe: Kravet Ithica/Toucan
Brown & white woven: Schumacher Betwixt
Grey herringbone: Kravet Crossroads/Steel Coral & Oatmeal embroidered: Robert Allen Morgans Point/Cayenne Coral & Taupe herringbone: Fabricut Loomis/03 Stark carpet: Adonis/Camel
If there's one thing you're probably not going to see me do too much of in my designs, it's use a neutral color palette.
Neutrals are something I generally shy away from because I never feel like their fun enough for me. It's always too old, too quiet (as in, "shhh, be quiet in here"), and too "don't look at me, I don't wanna be the star"--totally not my style. So this week I challenged myself to come up with a neutral color palette that I'd rock...and here's what I picked. Even though the palette is pretty creamy & calm, there's only one solid fabric in the bunch (and it actually has a silver sheen to it, although you can't see it in the photo)--everything else has visual interest. Abstract prints, graphic prints, geometric prints & stripes, this match up has all of my favorites!
Greek Key geometric: Duralee 36104/15
Small scale woven tan & white: Magnolia Liana/Lincot
Abstract polka dot: Suburban Home 71047/209
Brown & white tribal print: Brunschwig & Fils BR-79771-874
Linen: Jaclyn Smith Home 02133/Linen
Velvet stripe: Kasmir Paoli Stripe/Sable
The one thing I'd add that you're not seeing? Grasscloth wallpaper...it's the only way I'd pull this off!
Something about a highly graphic, neutral pattern scheme does it for me every time, seeing as the visual interest makes up for the lack of color. I'm not a huge neutral person (beige, taupe, cream, etc), but this I can do. I pulled these fabrics specifically thinking of a loft or penthouse space. Surrounded by eclectic artwork, interesting books, great personal photography, beautiful flowers and a generous mix of flea market/retail furniture, these patterns would sing (I especially love the greek key & polka dot prints for drapery)!
This combo actually makes me want to redo my bedroom.
Sometimes I get on these color kicks that I just can't seem to shake...and this is one of them. I pulled the Plaid Check from Duralee and it's actually my favorite in the mix because burlap is normally so traditional & neutral--at least for me--but I love how the Amethyst, Cobalt, and Sky blue stripes make it modern (boom--how's that for some new color names??). And coming in at a close second is the Royal Purple diamond-woven print...it almost reads like a solid, but I love that it has a pattern, is vibrant & textural.
Today's PP is actually from one of my current LR projects for a suburban family of 5. After initially discussing a white sofa, we ended up going in a totally different direction when we visited the MGBW Atlanta showroom & my client fell in love with the Carrie (also a fave of mine).
Though not originally a fan of reupholstering any vintage furniture--she wasn't keen on the idea of using "pre-loved" pieces and couldn't see the benefit to not buying retail--I found a pair of a.m.a.z.i.n.g vintage Mad Hatter chairs at one of my favorite local shops that were to. die. for. and knew I wanted them for her project. Not only are the chairs gorgeous (she had her eye on a similar retail version), but I knew they'd be the perfect complement to the Carrie, so I took a bit of time to really explain the benefits of using vintage furniture and why I prefer it over retail, whenever possible, 99% of the time. After viewing a few of my past upholstery projects she decided to go with the Mad Hatter chairs which, of course, made me a very happy lady. One of the main reasons I'm always yelling from the hills about vintage pieces? You're better off getting something that's fully customizable and unique to you, if you're going to pay retail prices. For the same price or less you can essentially create something that did not exist until the idea popped up in your head. Now THAT's a benefit. Want to change the cushions on your sofa to feather down? Not a problem at an upholstery shop. Want to add/remove tufting on the chairs you love? Just say the word. Legs too dark/too light? It's nothin' but a thang to make the change. Dying for some nailhead trim on your favorite ottoman? No prob. When you source vintage furniture (and not just ANY pieces but great ones), the finish product is only limited by your imagination (remember how I rebuilt these chairs?)
Want to know what makes this pair so show-stopping? Most importantly, it's the shape. Chairs that have this scalloped, architectural back are not that easy to find and when you do, you normally have to deal with tufting or channeling on the back and the legs can be too curvy (like the cabriole legs on a Queen Anne chair). This pair is seriously perfect, and the sides/back were already done in coordinating fabrics so she could envision my idea--doing a print on the back & a solid on the front. The layout of her LR will allow her to use her chairs with the back facing the windows for a more neutral/basic look OR place her sofa in front of the window and have the backs of the chairs face the entrance to the room (main entrance to the house, really). I love both options because of the versatility...it's like getting 4 different chairs for the price of one. Can't beat that.
So back to the fabrics:
1. John Robshaw/Duralee: Safa/Bark (sofa pillows)
2. MGBW Carrie sofa swatch
3. JF: Status/63S5721(chair pillows)
4. Kravet: 30299-111 (back of chair)
5. Kravet: 32191-16 (front of chair)
6. Kravet 32330-116 (sofa pillows)
I love, love, love the John Robshaw animal print, it's so gorgeous on the backdrop of that deep blue velvet sofa. The other neutrals were selected to keep the room light and give a bit of versatility if she ever decides to change things down the line. The small linen diamond weave on the back of the chairs is a large enough print to catch your eye but not so large that it becomes "bossy". The multicolor velvet stripe pillows will sit in each chair and the plain oatmeal linen was a client request for the sofa, since I was adamant about the animal print. We're still back & forth on the rug but hope to have a decision made soon! Install will be in the next 1.5 weeks and you know how I hate to post non-professional pics but maayyybe I'll make an exception this time...we'll see.
postscript: are you a frequent blog reader? have you taken my survey?? if not, please do! click here.
One of my previous clients recently hired me back to design their new open floor plan Living Room.
I say new because the the majority of the original footprint has completely changed since the first time I stepped foot in the house. Her husband is a (big time) master craftsman and did all the work himself--removed the walls, ran new plumbing new lighting, new flooring and oh, completely built the new kitchen--he's the handiest husband I've ever met! So based upon our previous experience, I knew they'd want a lot of color on the main floor and we decided to go for it with this combo:
1. RM Coco 19SR
2. Duralee/Katherine Eileen Boyd Senegal
3. Kasmir/Tommy Bahama AT Large IO
4. Robert Allen Cats Cradle
So you're looking at drapery, chairs, and pillows (clients are keeping all major furniture pieces) and my favorite fabrics in this scheme are a tie--I love the luxe turquoise Duralee leopard print & the Tommy Bahama stripe equally. Fun & colorful, right? Fabric arrives next week which means fabrication & reupholstery are only days away. Excited for this quick project!