Category: Textiles

Hermes textiles

Love, Love, LOVE this fabric pattern from the Hermes textiles collection. “Marquetrie de Paille” is of course based on the straw marquetry pattern that was so beloved of Jean-Michel Frank. I am now dying to use this for something, somewhere…

Kelly Wearstler sneak peek!

I was searching through the Lee Jofa website looking for fabrics for a project I’m working on and discovered these…

Sea Urchin – Ivory/Bone

Bengal Bazaar – Graphite

Katana – Mocha/Cream

Confetti – Cream

Some of the new designs by Kelly Wearstler due to launch this Fall/Autumn (for the Northern Hemisphere). So what do you think folks….do you like them? Better still, do you think they’ll soon be as ubiquitous as good old Imperial Trellis??


Does anyone out there recognise this fabric?
The image is from the September 2005 Domino mag, if that helps…


I love stripes. Simple as that. To me, they are a design classic that never date, and work in almost any situation. I love them wide, I love them narrow. I love them for curtains, I love them for upholstery. I love them vertical, and I love them horizontal. I’m especially partial to a pinstripe, or a mens suiting stripe. I would almost put stripes on everything if I didn’t hold myself back. Here are just a few that I particularly like…

Schumacher, Olivia Stripe -Aqua

Lee Jofa, Oxford Stripe – FD561

Lee Jofa, Matt Stripe – Esspress

Highland Court, 31377-30

Highland Court, 31380-639

Highland Court, 31738-587

Kravet, 24629-3

Kravet, 25863-616

Kravet, 26585-716

Kravet, Bibendum Silk – Melon

Kravet, Bolero – Bronze

Paul Smith for Maharam, Bespoke Stripe – Navy

Paul Smith for Maharam, Dandy – Pewter

Paul Smith for Maharam, Syncopated Stripe

Highland Court, 14837-160

Kravet, 23866-316

Luna, Queue – Dapper

Schumacher, Scintillation – Ermine

Fabric frontrunners…

Who am I kidding, there was no way I was waiting til tomorrow…
So these are the choices so far for the chair recovery project. The colours are not necessarily true to life, but you get the idea…they’re all pretty neutral. Any thoughts? Or other suggestions?

‘Kashgar’, a silk/linen mix from Loro Piana

‘Glace’ – a wool satin from Donghia

And finally, I think the favorite so far is ‘Serenity’ – a wool/silk mix from Larsen

Diamonds are a girls best friend

One particular design feature/motif that I particularly like, and one that I never seem to tire of, is diamond buttoning on upholstery. I’m not sure what it is about it that I like so much – maybe its the fact that it seems to give a piece instant history (or suggested history), or maybe its the fact that it makes furniture look so plump, comfortable and therefore inviting. I found plenty of images around of old and current examples, so I decided to do some reading about the history of diamond buttoning. My trusty library very rarely fails:
“Diamond buttoning has been used since the Victorian era (circa early 1800’s) to fix and decorate fabrics into chair seats and backs. During the 1950’s buttoning became fashionable again, partly as a decorative feature, and also as a method of holding fabrics into a compound shaped piece”. – from ‘The Upholsterer’s pocket reference book’, by David James.

A few recent examples I found were from the new collections of Poltrona Frau, and the Spanish designer Jamie Hayon. I love their interpretation of a modern take on a traditional style.

Poltrona Frau – Regina chair

Jamie Hayon sofa for BD Showtime collection
These images show the resurgence of diamond buttoning as a decorative feature and as a method of attaching fabric to curved shapes, dating from the 1920’s to 1950’s. I particularly love the Edward Wormley slipper chairs and the headboard. Such timeless designs.

Edward Wormley slipper chairs, from 1st Dibs

1960’s Slipper chairs from 1st Dibs

James Mont armchair from 1st Dibs

Tufted settee (source unknown)

French Canape from 1st Dibs

Andre Arbus Dining chair from William Switzer

Ottoman (source unknown)

1920’s leather settee from 1st Dibs

1940’s silk headboard from 1st Dibs

Diamond buttoning as a motif has gained so much popularity that textiles and wallpaper designs have been produced with a faux-buttoning design, I’m guessing mainly as a buget option for a look that can be labour intensive, and therefore not cheap. I love the wallpaper. I saw a photo of it used in a very girly boutique in Sydney, and it looked fabulous.

Fabric from Kravet (pattern 9091)

“Harlow” wallpaper from Evans & Brown

These interior shots, to me, prove that diamond buttoning never goes out of style. Miles Redd is the master, of course!

Interior image from Beach Studios

Interior by Nicholas Haslam

Image from Kor Hotel group

Interior of Miles Redd‘s Living room

Nancy Corzine

I thought I might profile a few of my favorite designers / style icons. Someone who’s style I admire greatly is Nancy Corzine, the furniture, textile and lighting maven. I had a chance to visit her showroom in the D & D Building in New York. Her range of furniture, lighting and textiles are beautiful and sumptuous. I found an interview with her today that I thought was interesting and wanted to share, so please enjoy. I’ve been searching through my magazines for some pics of a showhouse she did recently, but to no avail….might have to wait til the weekend when I have a bit more time.

The big apple

So, just wanted to rave a bit more about how much I loved New York….
Design-wise, it has to still be the capital of the universe for sure. I had so much fun just wandering the streets and checking out shops that are not available outside the US including
Distant Origin (stockist of Chair Couture), Kate Spade and Anthropologie (where I bought a dress by Corey Lynn Calter – so cute! – see the photo of me wearing it) as well as heaps of fabulous book stores like Barnes and Noble, Strand (tones of 2nd hand as well as end of runs, great bargains to be had, and I’ve just discovered they ship overseas..) and Potterton Books (in the foyer of the D&D Building – specializing in rare and hard to find design books).

I picked up a few great finds, a great book on Andre Arbus that I purchased through an Amazon vendor and had delivered to my friends apartment (they won’t ship outside the US). What an amazing designer he was. His pieces are so timeless and graceful in proportions. The book is written in French (I’ll have to get my husband to translate it for me!) but the photos are amazing, and have inspired me to change the décor of our apartment…You can click on this link to see some of the designs that are currently in reproduction, or see 1stDibs for a selection of originals.

Speaking of the D & D (Decoration and Design) Building in New York, I spent an afternoon there, which I thought would be plenty of time, but with 18 floors of showrooms (a decorators paradise) I barely got through half! I did manage to check out some of the fabric and furniture showrooms including Clarence House, Quadrille, F. Schumacher (I checked out the Kelly Wearstler and new Jamie Drake collections up close), Brunschwig & Fils, Ralph Lauren, Holland Sherry, Donghia, Nancy Corzine, Kravet, Patterson, Flynn & Martin/Rosecore (for Kelly Wearstler’s rug collection, which is much more beautiful in the flesh), as well as the furniture collections of Maxine Snider and Jan Showers at Tui Pranich & Assoc.

All in all it was a fantastic trip, and I’m now counting down the days til we can go back again….

Loro Piana

A few weeks back I had the honour of being the first designer in Hong Kong to view the newly launched uber luxe interior textiles collection from Loro Piana. For anyone who isn’t familar with this textile house, the family owned Italian company produces the world’s finest cashmere fabrics, along with other world renowned natural fibre fabrics. The new interiors collection consists of fabrics made from the finest cashmeres, wools, linens, cottons, silks etc. They are absolutely beautiful and sooo luxurious, and they’ve inspired me to post some photos that were in Elle Decor (US) a few months back, of the NY based fashion designer Zang Toi‘s apartment. He has used the Loro Piana cashmere on his sofa, trimmed with mink. I can’t think of anything more beautiful and indulgent to live with. I love this apartment, its so fresh and so light, and very Parisienne.

I won’t be able to post again for a few weeks as I’m off to NY myself, and hoping to have some great photos or samples to show all on my return.

Ikat and Suzani textiles

Has anyone else noticed the resurgence of Ikats, Suzani’s and other Middle-Eastern and Asian textiles? I’m totally in love with them, and the indigenous colours and designs from each region. So I thought I’d share a source that I found for original Ikats and Suzani’s that are hand made in Uzbekistan. Uzbek Craft is an American company with ties in the region that sells textiles and other products online, and they deliver worldwide. Here are just a few of the designs that I fell in love with over the weekend…

I love the vibrant colours of these Ikat fabrics. For anyone that dosn’t know, Ikat is a very tradiational method of creating designs in fabric by resist-dyeing the threads before the fabric is woven. In Uzbekistan, villagers take the weft (crosswise filling threads) and tie tiny bits of plastic onto the threads. The tightly tied areas of thread, when put into the dye pot, resist the color and create a pattern, once the plastic ties are removed. Traditional Uzbek ikats are often dyed in lively motifs representing the village life, culture and beliefs of the people. Ikats are often symbols of status, wealth, power and prestige. Modern Uzbek ikats are made from cotton and silk and are brightly colored with man-made or natural dyes. Ikat fabrics are woven by hand on narrow looms which is a labour-intensive process. Uzbek ikat fabrics are generally 15.7” (40 cm) to 23.6” (60 cm) wide. Handwovens, free of the chemical additives and stresses of power-loom production, are vastly different in appearance and feel from machine-made fabrics. Plainweave ikat fabrics, due to the unique resist patterning, look the same on both sides of the fabric; there is no right side and wrong side to the cloth. The Uzbek ikat typically has a 2” to 3” solid border along each selvage.

These Suzani’s are fabulous, and I’ve noticed in a tonne of design magazines lately that people are using these beautiful textiles for bedcovers or wall-hangings. Another history lesson anyone?

Suzani’s are antique decorative tribal textiles made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan an other Central Asian countries. The name comes from the Persian word Suzan which means needle. Suzani’s were traditionally used as coverlets for the bridal bed, and were made from cotton or silk cloth, with a meticulously hand-embroidered silk thread. This needlework would start at the birth of the daughter, and would continue with the help of family and friends until the bride’s dowry was complete.

I will try to post some photos of modern usage or interpreations of both Ikats and Suzani’s.