Bedding……..We all know a good night’s sleep is priceless…….and is a function of many variables like…the mattress, the warm body next to you…the sheets…the weight of the covers…and a million other things. To enhance your sleep, having linens that you just want to dive into, and blankets to snuggle under, makes for a refreshing “I can’t wait to go to bed” experience. I can remember back to when I was about 10, my wonderful mom bought me a pretty sunflower patterned sheet set (which was pretty radical for my practical mom), and I literally luxuriated under those sheets every night. It was the 70’s and you can imagine the loud pattern…funny the favorite things we remember.
I’m often asked by my clients for recommendations for new bedding. This is an important question, because you will spend almost 1/3 of your day in a “relationship” with your bedding, and it should be a comfortable, restful and joyful experience. So please get bedding that makes you happy!
When they talk to me my clients are generally looking for my input on a recommended pattern (yay or nay) on the bedspread or duvet cover, since it normally provides a good portion of the visual energy in the a bedroom’s décor. Here are some tips I shared with my clients. First, if my clients are starting with “no pattern” in the room yet, due to changing the bedding, and have only solid or textured fabrics on the headboard and/or chairs, ottoman and window treatments, then I generally recommend researching a ready-made patterned duvet or bedspread as a starting point. I know, I know, I’m all about custom. So how can I tell my clients to head straight to.…..Pottery Barn? But, really, it’s highly impractical for 95% of my clients to have me make them custom bedding when there are retailers with good products at reasonable process like:
If you like bold medallion-type fabrics like Pottery Barn’s Zella duvet (pink and green, sort of Christmas-y, don’t you think?), then you will probably be intrigued by PB’s many options. No, I don’t get any advertising dollars to promote Pottery Barn, just goodwill from my happy clients when they find what they want.
Here are two other Pottery Barn favorites of mine, the Jordana Paisley and the Lucianna Medallion duvet covers.
With the patterns shown above, you can choose many complementary patterns for the other soft furnishings (e.g. fabric items) in your bedroom: textures, stripes, small diamond designs, velvets, plaids.
Solid Bedspread or Duvet? If you already have patterns in your room, and want to make the bed more neutral, restful, and maybe not appear so large (really, a king bed in an apartment bedroom can almost overwhelm the space visually if the pattern is too bold), then look for either a solid color duvet or quilt. There are many options available out there. If you are exclusively shopping on-line, I recommend ordering just a pillow sham first to see how you like the colors, pattern, and the feel of the cloth.
Whatever you choose, just remember two things: 1) the bedspread will probably dominate the room’s visual esthetic, but 2) you can easily change it in the future if you find another bedspread that matches the room and pleases you more. So take a look – and call me if you need any help deciding!
As all Interior Designers will tell you one of the joys, and banes, of our industry is fabric. You’ve got to love fabric to be in the business – but at some point it starts to get a little overwhelming.
Last week my daughter was redecorating our guest bedroom (which also doubles as my fabric showroom) and we decided to take the opportunity to get rid of the fabric samples that had expired during the past year. Needless to say this became much more of an effort than we initially anticipated due to the amount of fabric books and samples that I have; books from Kravet, Lafayette, Stout, Greenhouse Fabrics, Duralee, RMCoCo, d’Kei, Samuel & Sons, Horizons, Comfortex – and even paint books from Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams and California Paints. I have to tell you, moving, sorting and restacking all the books felt like a monumental effort.
Here are some photos of what things looked like as a “work in progress” (after we sorted everything out, and put it all back where it belonged, it got a lot neater):
So, if you’re searching for a new look, or just a splash of color, give me a call – I have lots of fabric samples for you to look at…………(but definitely not too many)............................
Greenhouse Fabrics just introduced a fresh new fabric line called “Anna Elisabeth” which I am very happy to bring to you. The Anna Elisabeth brand “is brought to you by a diverse team of women here to assist you with fabric selection, research, and insight. Each with a unique design background, ….”
I love the tag line on their website: “It’s time to make a statement.” Yes, indeed!
The Anna Elisabeth line is inspired by Paris, and the Greenhouse website will delight your sense of adventure for fabric and travel. I really love that you can use their website to easily sort the line by color, style, category and usage – or search it by keywords.
I have the complete Anna Elisabeth sample collection in my inventory, so let’s explore this new line together for your indoor or patio decorating project. If you are not sure if Paris is a good source of inspiration - here are some of my photos of a wonderful trip that I took to France with my family a couple of years ago. It was truly inspiring.
So give me a call and let’s bring a touch of Paris to your interiors.
Every day we use the stools in our kitchens and family rooms. And every day we walk on the carpet runners that we have throughout our houses to protect our floors and give our hallways a splash of color. But when’s the last time that you really looked at your stools and runners? Take a close look. Are they looking a little worn and dated? This happens to all of us since they're hiding in plain sight. So what to do……..
Custom cushions are great way to add color, texture, and seating comfort to your home. Whether on banquettes, window seats, stools, chairs, or other hide-away niches in your home - a custom cushion can truly make your seating look first class. I love to do cushions, and have literally dozens of cushions in my studio right now to attend to. Take a good look at the cushions in your home and determine if a refresh might be in order. While you’re at it – you might want to take a hard look at your runners too.
Here’s a Serena and Lily stool I recently ordered for my client’s new kitchen renovation, with one of my custom cushions on top. We also ordered new wool floor carpet runners from Surya (I’m a Surya dealer – in case you didn’t know), so the whole kitchen color scheme of blue, white, and neutrals came together with a flourish.
Cushions and rugs are definitely high-wear and high-traffic essential décor items for your home. Take a look - perhaps you could use an update? Call me, and I'll show you all the exciting new durable and kid-friendly fabrics and rugs.
Paisley…you think you know what it is…fabric with those amoeba shaped thingies…or a pattern on a man’s tie…but are you really sure? I confess that I was a bit in the dark about the exact origins of paisley before researching this post. So, for today’s blog, let’s discover paisley together.
My Greenhouse Fabrics vendor (https://www.greenhousefabrics.com/) says the following about paisley:
Wikipedia (in my book, the fount of all knowledge achieved with just a few keystrokes) gives an excellent definition:
Given the expanse of the British Empire 1700’s and 1800’s I guess that it makes perfect sense that the British brought the design from the East to the mills in Scotland and popularized this very interesting and universally liked motif.
Paisley patterns can be either asymmetrical or symmetrical as shown by the beautiful selections from Greenhouse Fabrics below. The motif is indisputably botanical in form, and is thought to have derived from a palm, pine, or cypress tree. I think all that you really need is the little squiggle to classify it as a paisley.
It seems like both women and men like paisley since paisley fabric is used widely in both apparel and home décor. For example, Here’s a paisley tie that is available from Amazon (like everything else in the world these days….)
Paisley works extremely well on upholstery, as shown on the chairs in my client’s recently redone living room:
And of course, paisley is terrific on draperies, valances, bedding, and other soft fashions. Here is a Milan valance I did for a client.
You’ll see the paisley motif in rugs too since it can really bring color and a splash of flair to a room. Paisley rugs in more formal spaces are usually a symmetric arrangement since it really raises the formality factor. In more informal rooms, paisley, in a non-symmetrical form, can bring out a bohemian look.
Well that’s all for our brief paisley overview…a timeless fabric that delights with its curving form, like a versatile acrobat. It pairs exceptionally well with geometrics. Please consider it for your next design project! Now that you’ve read this you’ll recognize this curved form everywhere…you’ll see……
From 22 September through 22 October I will be having a special 20% off sale from one of my favorite vendors; Greenhouse Fabrics.
Greenhouse Fabrics features an unsurpassed inventory of over 10,000 beautiful fabrics, and they never stop searching for magnificent new additions for their collection. Whether you're looking for leading colors, stunning patterns, or intriguing new styles, you'll never be short of inspiration at Greenhouse. From deep berry-red to the ghost of last year's lavender, you'll find every imaginable hue and style in their fabrics which have an endless array of solids, patterns and textures — you'll be sure to find some new glimpse of possibility.
Although Greenhouse only sells to designers, you can take a look at their website to see all of their beautiful fabrics. I especially like the "Open up the color spectrum" feature on their home page since it allows you to click on a color to see all of the solids, patterns and textures in that hue. Their website is located at:
This is a fabulous sale on some stunning fabrics, so call Barbara to get all the information.
As a designer, one of my responsibilities is to recommend suitable fabrics that will stand up to the task at hand. For example, if you need a new custom cushion for your mudroom bench, I would probably recommend a Sunbrella®, Crypton, or other indoor/outdoor-rated and spot-washable fabric that could stand a little mud, snow, rain, and “backpack who-knows-what residue.” Think school bus floor…well, scratch that mental image for now! So,what are these super durable fabrics that are now engineered for softness and a good “hand” for indoor use, and how do you clean them when spots and stains happen?
Most of you have already heard about the fabulous Sunbrella® fabric that originated for outdoor use, but has become popular for indoor use too. This brand was developed by textile innovator Glen Raven in the 1960’s to create an awning canvas with a longer lifespan than traditional cotton. Their solution-dyed acrylic paired with high-style designs, caught on and today Sunbrella is considered one of the top marine-grade fabrics in the world. It has many applications, for boat canvas, upholstery, awnings, sling chairs and more. The fact that Sunbrella is acrylic and the color is in the actual fiber strands, not just printed on, makes it cleanable with bleach. In humid and wet areas, this means you can use bleach on Sunbrella to combat the dreaded mildew.
My favorite Sunbrella supplier has generously posted instructions for cleaning of this fabric (in downloadable PDF files):
Sunbrella Outdoor PDF Sunbrella Indoor PDF Sunbrella Stain Cleaning PDF
Several of my vendors offer Crypton fabric, which is great for seat cushions in kitchens, mudrooms, and dining rooms. It started with hospitality use (commercial spaces like restaurants, offices, hospitals, etc), and has new hit the home décor market with great success, and many patterns. Here is a blurb from the Crypton site:
Cleaning Codes for Home Décor Fabrics
Just like the care tag sewn into apparel items, each home décor fabric comes with a cleaning code. When you receive fabric samples from Center Stage’s fabric vendors, look for this information on the label—typically DC, S, W, WS, or X, as described below.
General Guidance on Cleaning:
Draperies, valances, and upholstered items should be lightly vacuumed every few months for longevity and dust control. If you should get a stain on a home décor fabric, the following details on the cleaning codes (courtesy of Greenhouse Fabrics) will help.
Cleaning Code: DC
Before attempting to clean the actual fabric in your décor, we suggest you test the cleaning method (above) on the fabric swatch Barbara gave you when you ordered or received your draperies or upholstered item. It’s always good to be cautious.
Clean spots or stains from the outside to the middle of the affected area, to prevent circling. Cushion covers should not be removed for laundering or dry cleaning. Hot water extraction or steam cleaning is not a recommended method of cleaning. Pile fabrics may require brushing with a nonmetallic, stiff bristle brush to restore appearance. To prevent overall soiling, frequent vacuuming or light brushing with a non-metallic, stiff brush to remove dust and grime is recommended. Overall cleaning by a professional furniture cleaning service only is recommended.
Barbara Phillips, interior designer and owner of Center Stage Interior Designs, has delivered impeccable window treatments and design services to both residential and commercial clients in Massachusetts since 2001.