Pattern Focus: Polka Dots

via Tobi Fairley Interior Design

via Tobi Fairley Interior Design

With their fun-loving persona, polka dots are a go-to pattern for decorating nurseries and kids’ spaces. But they’re not just for kiddos. Check out the benefits of using polka dots to create a bright spot in your home. Click HERE for the full story…

Crush of the Week: Birds and Butterflies by Schumacher

Birds and Butterflies wallpaper pattern #17460

Birds and Butterflies by F. Schumacher & Co.

This week had some déjà vu moments. Maybe it’s because it’s spring and my subconscious was thirsty for nature scenes — or the birds outside my window were chattering. Whatever the reason, I stumbled upon Schumacher’s Birds and Butterflies pattern a couple of times, and was happier in doing so. It’s my crush of the week!

via Sarah Wittenbraker Interiors

via Sarah Wittenbraker Interiors

Birds and Butterflies isn’t new, but actually a revived early 1960s pattern described on their website as “colorful creatures take wing amid black and white gesture drawing of twining foliage”. What I like about it is it’s whimsical without being childish, and combines a lot of different colors. It’s sweet, fresh and vibrant, but not over the top.

Birds and Butterflies isn't just for bedrooms!

via Design Transformations

While the status quo might be to use this dreamy pattern in a bedroom, it can work in a lot of different spaces in your home, like entryways, living rooms and even this laundry room. It might even make sorting and folding a bit more pleasant.

via F. Schumacher & Co.

via F. Schumacher & Co.

While these images only shows wallpaper, Birds and Butterflies is also available printed on a fine chintzed cotton ground, which would make fetching draperies.

Schumacher sells to the design trade only, but some wallpaper and fabric outlets sell the Birds and Butterflies pattern to the public.

I hope you enjoyed my crush of the week. Thank you for viewing!

Pattern Focus: The Power of Paisley

via Jennifer Robin Interiors

via Jennifer Robin Interiors

While paisley may remind you of men’s neckties, kaleidoscopes and psychedelic ’60s garb, it’s actually an ancient Persian pattern. Paisley ranges from simple to ornate, large to small and bold to subtle, and even bridges multiple generations. Click  HERE how to learn more about this unique pattern and how it can look best in your home.

Crush of the Week: Pitch Blue by Farrow and Ball

While Pitch Blue paint by Farrow and Ball is my first crush of the week, it’s more accurately my crush of the decade.

Pitch Blue entryway via Pinterest

via Pinterest

I first came across Pitch Blue paint a couple of years ago when I wrote a post about paint colors inspired by Amsterdam.

Three years on, and I can’t stop thinking about this beautifully rich color. Crazy? Perhaps. Are my priorities in check? Probably not. Right now, I don’t have a place to use this color, but a girl can dream!

What makes Pitch Blue is mesmerizing? It’s a blue that’s “in between”. It’s darker in value, but clear and cool with a hint of brightness. Farrow and Ball mentions it has black in it’s base, but I also see a fiery mix of magenta somewhere in there too.

One of its spells is that it magically works in both dim and well-lit spaces.

 

 

Pitch Blue living room via Pinterest

via Pinterest

See what I mean about magenta with Pitch Blue? Together, the two colors enhance each other.

Pitch Blue formal living room via Pinterest

via Pinterest

The architectural wall molding in this living room is painted the same color as the wall to unify the surface. The continuity of the Pitch Blue wall highlights the subtle shadows created by the molding.

I find this approach more attractive than breaking up the wall with contrasting white molding. For me, the more Pitch Blue, the merrier!

via Noushka Design Ltd.

via Noushka Design Ltd.

However, it is a color that makes quite a statement. For the more color shy, consider painting one wall as a feature wall or an architectural component, like this fireplace surround.

via Farrow and Ball

via Farrow and Ball

Against white woodwork, Pitch Blue is crisp, clear and clean.

Thanks for viewing my crush of the week!

Pattern Focus: Houndstooth

Houndstooth works in both contemporary and traditional spaces.

via Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Named after the jagged teeth of a dog, houndstooth is considered an upscale pattern with a gentlemanly air. While often associated with men’s suiting fabric, chef’s pants and Sherlock Holmes’ hat, houndstooth has found firm footing in home decor. Click HERE to see the best ways to use this classic pattern.

Pattern Focus: Toile for All

Toile bathroom via Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

via Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

 

Even if you didn’t know its name, you’ve likely seen a toile fabric or wall covering. With monochromatic pictures printed on a light background, a toile pattern often portrays idyllic, exotic or pastoral scenery. If you’ve ever wanted to subtly introduce cows or hot-air balloons into your decor while still keeping it elegant, this is your pattern. Click HERE to learn how to best use toile in your home.

Pattern Focus: Buffalo Check

via Richardson Architects

Traditional buffalo check, also known as buffalo plaid, is a heavy woven fabric made of intersecting blocks of red and black.

Popularized by tales of Paul Bunyan and Wild West cowboys, buffalo check has a cheery appeal and many applications in the home. Click HERE to see some of the best ways to use this age-old pattern.

Undone in the French Quarter: A pied-à-terre is ‘unrenovated’

via Logan Killen Interiors

via Logan Killen Interiors

One theory about how New Orleans earned its “Big Easy” nickname points to a local gossip columnist in the 1970s who contrasted the city’s easygoing, laid-back lifestyle with the pace of New York’s Big Apple.

Laid back is exactly what New York TV producer-director Chris Fisher thought of New Orleans after he spent time there visiting his goddaughter. And he liked it. Looking for a respite from his hectic New York life, he purchased a unit in an 1820s-era three-story Creole mansion on St. Philip Street in the French Quarter.

The cookie-cutter kitchen and overdoneness of the space didn’t fit with its historic vein. So Fisher hired Katie Logan LeBlanc and Jensen Killen of local Logan Killen Interiors to bring the magic back. Click HERE to read the full story….

Beyond the Bed: Hudson’s Bay Point Blankets

Hudson's Bay point blankets are sold in the US by LL Bean

Hudson’s Bay point blankets are sold in the US by LL Bean

If it’s possible to have a blanket crush, mine is on the Hudson’s Bay point blanket. A high school friend had a pea coat made out of a Hudson’s Bay point blanket, and I’ve never forgotten about it. Nothing short of awesome, I loved the its heft and candy-colored stripes.

Unfortunately, the coats are no longer made, but the blankets have been in production for centuries. If you love them as much as I do, here are some ways to show off your blanket not just during the winter, but all year long. Hudson’s Bay point blankets make great upholstery and more.

Hudson’s Bay point blanket history

Hudson's Bay Company logo

Hudson’s Bay point blankets have been in production since 1670, and were aboard the ship Nonsuch when she sailed to Canada’s Hudson Bay on a speculative voyage for fur trading.

The blankets were desired by Native Americans because they hold heat, even when wet, and were easier to sew than animal skins. They later became a main source of trade. Although the blankets are associated with Canada, they are actually made in England!

Blanket stripes and colors

The blankets are made in solid colors of red/black, green/black, white/black, and a two-tone brown, but the multi-stripe is the most popular. According to Woolrich Inc., holders of the exclusive license for Hudson’s Bay blankets in the U.S., the multi-stripe’s four stripe colors (green, red, yellow and indigo) were chosen because of the quality colorfast dyes available at the time the multi-stripe blanket was introduced, around 1800.

However, for Native Americans these colors had symbolic meaning; “Green is taken to mean ‘new life,’ red often stands for ‘battle’ or ‘hunt,’ yellow relates to ‘harvest’ and ‘sunshine,’ and blue represents ‘water.’”

Points – what do they mean?

“Points” are the thin two or four-inch long black lines woven into the blanket. (You can see them in the top image). They represent a system developed in the 18th century to indicate the finished overall size of the blanket.

Over the centuries the sizes of blankets have changed, particularly during the 20th century as beds became larger. Blankets of 2-1/2, 3, 3-1/2 and 4 points were most common during the fur trade era. Today, blankets are made in the following bed sizes: 3-1/2 (Twin), 4 (Double), 6 (Queen) and 8 (King).

A twist on tradition: Hudson’s Bay blankets as upholstery

Hudson's Bay Point sofa via Sit and Read

via Sit and Read

Hudson’s Bay point blankets look superb installed as upholstery fabric. The simple, linear lines of mid-century modern furniture, in particular, work well with the stripes of the blanket. This fetching sofa was made by Brooklyn-based Sit and Read.

Hudson's Bay point blanket chair via NuBe Green

via Pinterest

Hudson's Bay point blanket ottoman via Homestead Seattle

via Homestead Seattle

Mid-century modern furniture not your thing? Hudson’s Bay point blankets cover the traditional side of things too, like this demure ottoman.

And this old wicker rocking chair wrapped up in a point blanket couldn’t look cozier.

Pillows!

Hudson’s Bay, the store associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company sells a bunch of point blanket products. One of my favorites is this multi-stripe chevron throw pillow.

via Hudson's Bay Company

via Hudson’s Bay Company

Hudson’s Bay point blankets can be purchased in the US at:

LL Bean

Woolrich

Do you have a Hudson’s Bay point blanket that you’ve repurposed – or just plain love? Please share your story!

 

What to Know About Milk Paint and Chalk Paint — and How to Use Them

via Liz Williams Interiors

via Liz Williams Interiors

Love the dreamy look of milk paint and chalk paint but don’t know how or where to use them? Although similar in appearance, milk paint and chalk paint share a lot of traits but also have some differences. Learn how each is unique, how they’re applied and what to expect. Click HERE for the full story….