Fabric Focus: Linen

Linen sofa

via Cezign

Linen is not just old, it’s ancient. Thousands of years ago, Egyptians wrapped mummies in it, and dyed-linen fibers have been found in prehistoric caves. The ancient Romans had a poetic name for linen, textus ventilus, meaning “woven wind.”

Though probably the world’s oldest fabric, linen is still kicking it in the 21st century. Its classic texture makes it a hot commodity in home decor. Want to know about using this comfy fabric in your home? Click HERE for the full story…

Fabric Focus: Matelasse

Matelasse can fit equally well in traditional and contemporary interiors

via Story & Space Interior Design and Color Guidance

Matelasse is a thick fabric with a quilted appearance. But unlike a quilt, which pieces together two layers of cloth with a central batting, matelasse is a single piece of fabric made on a jacquard loom. It gets its puckered look from an additional set of yarns made of coarse cotton, sometimes called crepe, that are shrunk during the finishing process. Click HERE to read more about matelasse and some different ways to use it in your home.

Fabric Focus: Crewel

via Angela Todd Designs

Crewel fabric, sometimes called crewelwork or crewel-embroidered fabric, is a hand-embroidered decorative fabric made with wool yarn on a firm cotton, linen or jute base. Designs are typically graphic, bold and colorful renditions of foliage, flowers or wildlife. The Tree of Life is a standard motif.

Crewel has been around about a thousand years and its roots are worldwide, having ties to India, Greece and Mongolia, among others. Today, most crewel is made in northern India in the Kashmir Valley. It reached its heyday in 17th-century England and was popular during the Jacobean period for bed drapery and wall hangings.

While crewel never went out of style, it seems to be gaining popularity again. Learn more about this venerable handicraft and where you might want to use it in your home. Click HERE for the full story…

What to Know About Switching to LED Lightbulbs

Swapping out incandescent for LED lightbulbs has several benefits. These include saving money on your electric bill, superior light quality, less impact on the environment and replacing bulbs once every decade or two instead of every few months.

But shopping for LEDs can be a dizzying experience. Aside from the bevy of bulb shapes to choose from, there are terms you’ve probably heard before, such as lumens and Kelvin, but don’t exactly understand. On top of that, there’s a seemingly endless array of light types and colors, such as daylight, warm white and so on. When you just need a couple of lightbulbs to replace, it all can be overwhelming.

If you’re thinking of making the switch, here’s what you should know about LEDs and selecting the best replacements. Click HERE for the full story.

Fabric Focus: Bridge Traditional and Retro Styles with Chintz

chintz pillow

via Landing Design

Chintz is a major player in creating traditional and retro vibes. It has an air of romance and translates well on curvilinear pieces. Like a lush garden, chintz comes in a vast array of designs and colors.  Find out what chintz is, its pros and cons and how you can make it work in your home.  Click HERE for the full story.

Fabric Focus: 6 Ways to Bring Ticking Stripe Fabric Home

Ticking stripe

via Kirby Perkins Home Builders

With its clean look and hint of nostalgia, ticking stripe fabric is a down-to-earth, decorative workhorse. Quintessentially simple, traditional ticking features a muted stripe in a color such as red, blue, brown or black on a light, neutral background. A twill of tightly woven cotton or linen, it was originally used as a cover for mattresses and pillows to prevent the spiky quills of down feathers from poking through.

From window treatments to pillows to shower curtains to upholstery, here are six ways to use ticking stripe fabric. Click HERE for the full story…

 

 

Fabric Focus: Grain Sacks

grain sacks look great just hangin' out on a ladder

via French Larkspur

With its homespun allure and slub-like texture, grain sacks are a favorite among designers and homeowners looking to add a bit of farmhouse decor.

You’ve probably seen it on throw pillows or even upholstery, with perhaps a colorful stripe woven through its length or a vintage advertisement printed on it.

But don’t think your home needs to fully embrace a rural lifestyle to take on some grain sack accessories. The material works just as well in contemporary spaces to add that touch of country appeal. Here’s how decorating with grain sacks can lift your home decor. Click HERE for the full story…

Fabric Focus: Decorating with Touchy-Feely Velvet

Velvet headboard and chairs makes for a luxurious bedroom design

via Summer Thornton Design

Ahhh, velvet! It makes everything seem just a little more sumptuous. With its regal good looks and unsurpassed softness, it’s hard not to love it. And there’s a bunch of different velvet types from which to choose, including solids, devoré, crushed, mohair and silk.

If you’re considering this posh fabric for your home, here’s what you need to know. Click HERE for the full story.

Crush of the Week: Albert by Sister Parish Design

Albert in Blue

This week’s crush is on Albert. My husband has nothing to worry about — Albert is a blocky, modern fabric and wallpaper pattern made by Sister Parish Design. It features teardrop-like shapes in square blocks which alternate in orientation.

The famous 20th-century decorating doyenne’s design archives have been re-imagined by Sister Parish’s granddaughter, Susan Crater, and great-granddaughter, Eliza.

Sister Parish (1910-1994) had an intrepid love for color and pattern and was the first to mix humble materials, like ticking fabric and handmade quilts, into mainstream decor.

She was also a pioneer in advocating American-made products. When she decorated the Kennedy White House living quarters she worked effortlessly to bring in as many local products and artisans. Her family continues the American-made tradition.

Albert, along with many other gush-worthy patterns, is hand colored and screen-printed on to a 50/50 blend of linen and cotton in the USA at Griswold Textile Print in Rhode Island.

Chest in Albert Red

Albert fabric is available by-the-yard (with a 2-yard minimum) in blue, red, chocolate, paprika, parma, citrus, sea foam and indigo. It’s 54 inches wide, has a 13-inch repeat and is suitable for upholstery. The 26-inch wide wallpaper comes in blue, paprika, red  and gold.

Pillows

Many of the fresh, graphic designs are also available on serving platters, waste bins, tissue box holders and shower curtains, soap dishes, and pillows.

Dining with Albert is possible too, in this set of 8 napkins.

Albert Napkins, Set of 8

Sister Parish Design’s goods are available through their website as well as selected showrooms and retailers. Sister Parish Design has also recently collaborated with One Kings Lane to create a line of furnishings featuring these fun textiles.

Lucky for me, there’s a retailer in Islesboro, Maine called Apples, which I hope to visit this summer!

Must-Know Furniture: The Mora Clock

Mora clocks are distinctively shapely

via Alice Lane Home Collection

It’s not every day you hear a clock described as sexy, but the Mora clock is distinctly shapely. With a curvy, hourglass silhouette, Mora clocks are a Swedish-made treasure and the envy of many. If you’ve been thinking of buying one or just have a crush, click HERE learn more about the history and unique design of the majestic Mora.