Thursday, February 24, 2011


Namely, lots of cheap fabric. I kind of gave up on the blog there for a while, but I promise that I'm back in full force from now on. I have a new job that will keep me a little busier than I was before, but I'm slowly working on some updates around the apartment and I have a huge list of partially finished future posts. 

I found myself on last week, a site that I've browsed in the past. It's not the most organized or well-designed site, but there are a lot of hidden (cheap!) gems if, like me, you have some patience procrastination skills. Many of their fabrics are particularly inexpensive because they're sold as pre-cut pieces. This time I found lots of fantastic fabrics, many of which I hadn't seen before. Here are my favorites, some of which are under $5/yd!

by rows, top to bottom:
Robert Allen Cat's Cradle, $4.95/yd
P. Kaufmann drapery fabric, $8.98 for 1.2 yds
Kravet Greek Maze, $36.98 for 5.2 yds
Kravet tapestry fabric, $17.98 for 2.1 yds
Mill Creek Greek Key drapery fabric, $23.98 for 4 yds
Bonzai Damask upholstery fabric, $14.99 for 3.2 yds
Duralee upholstery fabric, $17.98 for 1.8 yds
Cabo upholstery fabric, $40.98 for 5.8 yds
Richloom Chainlink, $22.95/yd
Wyatt Damask upholstery fabric, $23.95/yd
Thibaut Courtyard, $31.98 for 1.6 yds
Barrow Yuma, $28.95/yd

by rows, top to bottom:
Richloom Emily in charcoal, $21.95/yd
Richloom Emily in grapevine, $21.95/yd
Richloom Lucy in eden, $11.95/yd
Richloom Lucy in chocolate, $4.98 for 1 yd
Richloom Mirth in lark, $!5.95/yd
Richloom Mirth in bouquet, $15.95/yd
Richloom Campione, $5.95/yd
Richloom Mirth in licorice, $15.95/yd
P. Kaufmann Jacobean, $13.98 for 2 yds
Richloom Invigorate, $4.95/yd
Richloom Katherine, $21.95/yd
Robert Allen Scenic Flora, $16.95/yd

I can picture that last one working as a poor man's version of the most amazing bench in existence:

by rows, top to bottom:
Richloom Modesto, $79.98 for 20 yds
Robert Allen Khanjali in glacier, $15.95/yd
Robert Allen Khandar in cinnabar, $12.95/yd
Robert Allen Khandar in indigo, $12.95/yd
Robert Allen Khanjali in peacock, $15.95/yd
Robert Allen Khandar in jewel, $12.95/yd
Ikat tapestry fabric, $182.98 for 18.2 yds
Richloom Cornwall Suzani in garden, $17.95/yd
Richloom Calder Suzani in linen, $85.98 for 14.1 yds
Richloom Calder Suzani in licorice, $17.95/yd

by rows, top to bottom:
Richloom Giraffe, $23.95/yd
Richloom Ridges, $24.98 for 6.2 yds
Robert Allen Timberland, $29.98 for 3 yds
Mill Creek drapery fabric, $11.99 for 4 yds
Osborne & Little Theorem, $26.98 for 1.8 yds
Kravet Fretwork, $39.98 for 5 yds 

There's been some talk around the blogosphere lately about what is passé, whether we should care, and whether that sort of judgment can really be valid when 99.9% of the world has never seen/heard of said motif/pattern/style/concept. As far as I know, my audience on this blog thus far consists of my lovely, loyal friends who are not weird design obsessives like me. So most of you have probably never heard of Kelly Wearstler's Imperial Trellis, and therefore don't know that it's been declared over by all the cool design people.

Imperial Trellis Schumacher Fabric

I still like it, okay? So I was a little excited when I came across this in my travels:

Richloom Platinum Collection Cleopatra Chenille Upholstery Fabric in Chocolate $17.95 per yard
Richloom Cleopatra, $17.95/yd

– a
lbeit a little disappointed that they seem to only carry it in poop color. A few minutes of googling later, behold – pretty colors! It certainly can't be used to the same effect as the real thing (it seems to be much smaller-scale and it's chenille) but I think the aqua & green colorway could look absolutely adorable on a cute chair!

here, here, and here

o you love any of these fabrics as much as I do? What would you use them for? 

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I do realize that I fail miserably at regularly posting, the #1 item on all how to have a successful blog lists. Consider this my plea for forgiveness regarding my recent disappearance. I drove to Central New York this past weekend to visit my parents and came home with a box of many hundreds of family photos to scan and organize. This is a taste of what's been keeping me busy during all my waking hours (that aren't spent at my real job) over the past few days:

my grandmother and her sisters

my grandfather looking dapper in spectator shoes

my grandmother with her friends

my grandmother at the beach with friends

my uncle as a baby (on an absolutely fabulous couch!), 1942

my mother in May 1948, 5 years old

my mother and my uncle, summer 1949

my mother as a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding, August 1967

my mother, my sister and her friend, early 70s (I love that blouse and those huge wide-leg pants!)

More design-related posts soon. Or maybe I'll just keep posting photos of all the fabulous things my relatives wore before I was born...

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I'm in the process of helping some friends with their apartment, and it's finally starting to come together after many months. Though it's far from done, we've now purchased almost everything and I'm starting to see how the colors and textures will look side-by-side. There are still some decisions to be made, but here are some mockups of the fabrics, paint colors and accessories that each room might contain:




Since the budget is super limited, each space is being decorated around the few things they already had and whatever we could scrounge for free. More pictures to come!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I know this is probably old news by now, but a couple of days ago Google released Art Project, which allows you to explore seventeen museums around the world and zoom in to specific paintings in incredible detail.

Admittedly, only some of it is truly innovative. Most museums have their collections online, where you can often zoom into them in comparable detail; the way that Google Art Project is consolidating pieces of these collections on one website is really just a glorified and limited ArtStor for the public. 

The "gigapixel artworks," however, are an interesting addition to public resources for art education. I read one article expressing outright disdain for the museums' choice of which artworks to choose for this "gigapixel" close-up. I can't really disagree more with the author's opinion that the "selection is perverse." Most museums very rightly chose pieces that would benefit from this sort of viewing - in other words, instances where the technology adds something to the viewer's experience of the piece because of the physical texture of the painted surface.* The ability to actually explore a museum just as they could previously explore a city with Google Street View is of course lots of fun - but the low-quality images and the difficulty of moving around are some reasons that this will give us much cause to worry that museums are going to have a hard time getting people in their physical doors. It's a fun and tantalizing taste, but not enough to really fill you up.

It certainly isn't helping me get over New York, though, when I can "walk" through some of my favorite rooms in the Met...

and visit an old favorite at the Frick in stunning detail.

detail, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Self-Portrait. 1658. The Frick Collection, New York.

Even better is having the chance to examine some that I won't be able to visit in person for a long time.

detail, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Dutch Proverbs. 1559. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.

detail, Caspar David Friedrich, Der Mönch am Meer (Monk by the Sea). 1808-1810. Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

detail, Jan Van Eyck, The Madonna in the Church. ca. 1438. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.

* this quote from the Telegraph article particularly galls me: "The Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid opts for a Cubist composition by Juan Gris instead of Picasso’s Guernica, which, for many people, is the only reason they actually visit the museum in the first place". I'm sorry, should museums be encouraging people to come to a museum only to see that piece they heard was really famous? Should we not be trying to educate visitors about the non-"highlights" - the works that they don't already know - and demonstrate the reasons why those works are equally worthy of their attention? And, beyond that, is it not clear that the Reina Sofia chose the Gris because it's a multimedia collage whose small details of texture are only visible at that level of zoom?


I found this fabric the other day and I am in love. I've been looking for the perfect print to recover the currently very boring white chair in my living room...

What do you think? A good option? 

If that colorway doesn't do it for you, here are the others:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I think the inspiration for my bedroom is much more evident in the final product than was the case for my living room. It started with two ideas: first, that I definitely wanted dark walls, and second, that I happened to find an awesome asian screen for $25 on craigslist. With those elements fixed, I decided on a neutral but luxe palette to complement the wow factor of the screen-headboard.

numbers determined by rows, top to bottom
[2], a bedroom by Betsy Burnham, is one of my all-time favorite bedrooms.
[1] Stephen Gambrel and [4] Nate Berkus: these type of neutral, textured and luxurious spaces were what I had in mind for the furnishings.
[3] also Betsy Burnham. This is one of the closest to how my bedroom actually turned out - although, in this picture, the white molding looks good, whereas it's starting to drive me crazy in my room.
[5] I loved the peacock wall color in this Domino image. My almost-identical version is Behr's "Heron."
[6] Although the furnishings in this room by Peter Frank (with the exception of the light cowhide) are a little too casual-boho for my taste, I love the vintage screen against that deep blue grasscloth! 

I doubt anyone needs convincing to agree that a giant gold chinese screen is pretty fantastic, but here's some corroboration, just in case:

[1] I love the eclectic mix of styles and colors in this space by Huntley and Company.
[2] A little darker and more overtly glamorous, this bedroom by Cecilie Starin is nevertheless similar in its use of neutral colors and a variety of textures to create that modern-chinoiserie vibe.
[3] An old Domino favorite, this little vignette isn't really a screen, but is still my favorite inspiration for large-scale chinoiserie pattern.
[4] This image of Lázaro Rosa Violán's studio has also made the blog rounds time and time again, but it's my favorite example of a chinese screen mounted on a wall.

Dark bedrooms have been in everyone's mind for a while now, and I've stocked up plenty of dark-walled spaces in my files. These are some favorites:

[1] This was one of the first images I saw that made me really interested in interior design. I don't know what specifically clicked, but it might have been the combination of dark walls (I grew up with white ones), the chandelier, and those luscious pooled curtains.
[2] The Portrait Suites Hotel, via Apartment Therapy
[3] Just like everyone else, I am still completely obsessed with Jenna Lyons' house.
[4] Homes and Gardens magazine

And my favorite subset of dark walls: dark blue walls. Just in case there weren't enough examples earlier in this post, here are a few more:

[1] Another early favorite. Someday I'll have a room with this color scheme!
[2] If I could somehow combine my wall color and my headboard, it would equal this wallpaper from House and Garden magazine. I would also kill for those "clostra" window screens.
[3] Drake Design Associates. I kind of wish my nightstands were the left half of this desk.
[4] Dwell Studio 

I hope that satisfies everyone's thirst for pretty pictures for the week! Now this blog is going to return to regularly scheduled programming. Oh wait, that's just more pretty pictures...