Archive for the 'Fabric' Category

17
Oct
07

Living Room Touch Ups

Picked up the reupholstered side chairs from T and H upholstery (cost to upholster 2 side chairs and to make three pillows from leftover fabric=$165.00). The chairs, along with the rug, the new sofa (the one on the right), and a few accessories finished the touch ups to the living room.

Living Room After

A before shot:

Living Room Before

The infamous sofa:

New Sofa

Here are the pillows T & H made for me.

Tulip Pillows

I’ve ordered down inserts, but T and H was kind enough to put some fiber fill ones in them so I could still pick them up and enjoy them. The trim is from JoAnne fabrics, and I bought all they had, which wasn’t much. Jean at T & H told me today that a new fabric place has just opened up in Indy- Heritage Fabric and Design Center at 6951 E 30th St. She said their selection is really good. I’m pretty stoked to have a new fabric resource since I’ll probably avoid Calico Corners for awhile. I’ll try to visit this new spot and post about it soon.

I originally bought the tulip fabric for the chairs, but the pattern was too big so I used the stripe leftover from the bedroom wingback instead. Even the stripe is a bit too big, but I needed to use up some of my supply. Every once in a while I have to throw my practical side a bone.

Chair

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02
Oct
07

The Letter I Didn’t Send to Calico Corners

Probably should have. I changed the actual names of people in the letter to Helpful and Buzzkill.

I came into the store this morning with a friend who was helping me select fabric for two chairs. As we shopped I noticed a sofa that I liked by the entrance. Helpful, who was helping us with fabric selection, also gave me information about the sofa. I mentioned that I might like to buy it if my partner, John who was not with us at the time, also approved. Helpful told me to call her if I needed her to put a hold on it.

After I described the sofa to John he said he wanted to see it. So I called Helpful and asked her to put it on hold. She said she would, so we drove back to the store from downtown Indianapolis where we live.

Not long after we arrived and sat on the sofa to try it, a woman whom I recognized from the sign next to the store entrance as Buzzkill, the in-store designer, approached us.

With something of a sneer Buzzkill said, “That sofa is sold.” I thought she might be referring to the hold that was placed on it and explained that I was actually the person Helpful was holding it for and pointed to the tag pinned to the sofa that had my name and contact information on it. Buzzkill said something to the effect that her customer had held it at noon. Then she asked me when I had asked Helpful to hold it. I told her that when I called Helpful at about 2:00 she said it was still available. I also mentioned that if it were not available when I called I would have appreciated knowing because that information would have saved me another 25-minute drive to the store that day. There was no hold tag on the sofa other than mine.

Annoyed, I went to look for Helpful to let her know that there was a problem, something Buzzkill should have done first rather than arguing with me over when the hold was placed. Helpful was unaware of any other hold and said so, at which point, Buzzkill said she was holding it for her daughter and that she could let me know Monday whether or not it was still available. Disappointed and unbelievably angry, John and I left.

Later, I called Helpful again to say that I was not happy with the way Buzzkill had treated us and that we were interested in the sofa but only if we could purchase it today. Helpful called back to say that she had just been told holds were not allowed on sale items after all and that I could purchase the sofa today if I wanted. I gave her my credit card information and let her know we would pick it up shortly, which we did. Helpful was, as she always is, friendly and accommodating. A third associate was also helpful and even kind enough to deliver the sofa to our home, which we very much appreciated.

Miscommunications understandably happen, but I must say, Buzzkill seemed to go out of her way to make my partner and I feel like trespassers in your store. I will not speculate on the reason for her behavior, but her tone was accusatory and condescending until I approached Helpful to discuss the matter. Even then, I found it insulting to be told by Buzzkill that a mind-noted hold for her family member was priortized over a customer hold that was actually recorded and tagged.

By the time the purchase was complete I felt like an inconvenience rather than a paying customer.

I appreciate the quality of your product and have been very satisfied with past purchases. As I mentioned, other members of your staff are very helpful. Today’s transaction, however, has me feeling ambivalent about a future trip to your store.

Believe it or not, the sofa is worth the mess we went through to get it. (Picture to come.)

16
Sep
07

Rug Dilemma-Resolved

I wasn’t ready to spend $1,400.00 for the rug I found online.

Not that this is an outrageous price. Decent 8′ x 10′ rugs can range from 5K to 20K. But that’s not the kind of budget we work with. I ran across an awesome light blue and white crewel number at William Sonoma Home, the perfect size, for $699.00 (that’s $700.00 to people not trying to talk themselves into buying a rug). The color was too light. Sad that it didn’t work and that I had more schlepping in my future, I trudged back to the north side. I stopped in Home Goods to check out kitchen wares and as I passed the rugs I saw this one:

Living room

The rug wasn’t there two days earlier when Dave and I made fun of the giant acorns that I would later blissfully buy, actually on the same trip I bought this rug. Perhaps I was blinded by the rug’s price, which was only $399.00 (that’s $400.00 to people who aren’t trying to communicate what a good deal they just found). And Julie, the large graphics and the richer color (which doesn’t come through in my photo) work better with the rug in the dining area, a concern I know you had. Now I’m not one to assign divine credit when it comes to shopping finds, but then again…

There are a few more addditions to the room, the crewel throw pillow (William Sonoma Home) on the red sofa and the green pillows (Crate and Barrel) on the striped sofa. Here is a picture of another pillow I bought later from Pottery Barn. It had a touch of the blue which I needed to work into the room a little more.

Throw Pillow

And more good news: I need to replace the little chair at the desk with something more subtantial, and just as I was about to start going back to auctions John’s mom showed us a pair of beautiful federalist looking sweeties that she said she would sell me. I can use the leftover fabric I put on this bedroom chair on the new chairs.

Reupholstered Wingback

While I’m at it, I think I’ll have a throw pillow made for the wood chair by the TV. If you’ve already read this far, you must be a design junkie. So tell me, any thoughts on how to trim said pillow? I have little experience in this area.

Also, I think I may need a coffee table now. Ideas? I’m thinking a couple of airy, squarish and maybe metal (old gold finish) tables, but that may be too obvious. I’m open to other directions.

18
Jul
07

Patterns, Color and Winterthur Revisited

I’m intrigued by how good designers mix patterns. Henry F. DuPont’s, Winterthur, is a great place to see a seemingly infinite number of ways to do it.

I took John there for his birthday a few years back because I knew he would enjoy the craftsmanship of some of the finest examples of wood furniture in the U.S. As DuPont turned his estate into a survey of high quality non-native American furniture (approximately Empire and before), he also created a giant canvas on which to layer his talent for putting rooms together (and gardens, but that’s another post).

Julie and I have been exchanging comments lately about color in neutral rooms. While the elements of DuPont’s dining room are a little more reserved than Julie’s more worldly style, the basic idea of using color with a neutral background is here—the fabrics carry the color.

Dining Room

The architectural elements are allowed to shine on their own with a neutral coat of paint (more of an oyster than the pinkish color you see here), and maybe a few highlights (see the trim on the doors). The rich wood of the furniture also gets to play a major role.

I like that the drapery fabric and the chair covers are the same medium sized pattern. Sometimes I think I’m afraid to use a fabric in other parts of the same room. I don’t know why (maybe it’s an attempt to avoid the catalog look). But a few repeated fabrics, even a vibrant stripe like this one, can give a room unity of design, calming the space. If I remember correctly the stripe and the large pattern of the rug are the only two fabric patterns in the room and the differences in scale work well together.

floating staircase

The stair hall (not a great picture, sorry) is an even more refined space, with light and airy Federalist pieces, which play nicely with the floating staircase – delicate, but sturdy. Anyway, the green of the settee fabric, which in another application might be considered bank-ish or too heavy handed looks downright understated in this setting.

chinese parlor 2. jpg

There’s nothing understated about the Chinese parlor. I love it, with all of its game and tea tables everywhere (mostly, if not all, American Rococo, aka Chippendale), and that great (in every sense of the word) wallpaper that makes you feel like a character in a giant storybook. The whole room is a big, elegant play room for grown-ups, but really, wouldn’t kids be happy here, too?

chinese parlor

I’ve never worked with pattern on the scale of this wallpaper, but I like it, especially that DuPont made it work with two large rugs and the large pattern in the two different green damasks. The sturdy forms of the furniture ground things. And now that I look at it so do the drapery and sofa fabrics, which even though they are a damask pattern read as a solid when seen next to the wallpaper.

If you are a furniture/design or even a garden buff, Winterthur is well worth a trip for inspiration.

07
Jun
07

Sheer Off – 2007

As the bedroom evolves it is taking on a coastal feel—probably due to the gold accents, the blue paint and the dark wood furniture. John noticed it first. Then Dave mentioned that the space was making him think “British colonial” (more the Caribbean island colonies, than the original U.S. 13).

All of which is fine, but if that’s the direction the room is going, the window treatments need to follow. I’ve already ordered Ambria matchstick shades (color: Fruitwood) from Lowes, unlined so light can filter through. This leads me to my next seemingly ridiculous design quandary: What fabric to use to soften them up. Dave suggested something light, which I think is a good call. Sheers are perfect (typically cheaper than other kinds of coverings), but which sheers are right? There are hundreds.

Well, after shopping this weekend I narrowed it down to two. So I’m presenting anyone who is interested the opportunity to weigh in on Sheer-Off 2007.

Here are the candidates side by side in two photos. Lefty is a polyester. Righty is a silk organza. FYI- the window is east facing and we keep it open a lot of the time. Let me know which you prefer and why. I wish you could touch them.

Sheers  (14) copy

Sheers 2 (21) copy

Since it will be two weeks before the blinds are installed I don’t have to make a decision right this second, but it’s hard for me not to have an opinion now. John has one, too.