Chinese Chippendale Chair Upholstery Options

With my multiple dining room schemes still up in the air, one thing is clear to me: my black Chinese Chippendale chairs will no longer be used around a table.  This frees the pair up to be used as accent chairs in the living room.  Ever since I found these chairs, I’ve wanted to recover the chair cushions, and now I’m finally motivated.  My instinct was to reupholster the chairs in a black and white pattern because I’m so fickle when it comes to color and I love the flexibility and layering ability with neutrals.  I prefer a small scale black and white pattern as I’ve already used a larger scale zebra on my wood chairs  in the same room.

Here are three fabrics I’m considering as well as a colorful wild card.  (Just can’t help myself!)

chinese chippendale upholstery orangerie black white

#1 Highland Court “Leopold” in charcoal:  My initial favorite.  It’s a thick weave with a really nice hand to it.  I like the loose spots… it reminds me a bit of Les Touches.  I also think it would hold up well.  (Look at me being all practical in my own home.)

#2 John Robshaw for Duralee “Bindi” in indigo:  An easy pattern to pair with ANYTHING.  It’s simple. clean and also a weave (read more depth and texture.)  It’s also technically deep blue, but I treat that as a neutral.

#3 Stone Textile “Signature Print”:  I’m in love with this design by Elizabeth Mollen!  It’s whimsical, modern and traditional at the same time.  While its a printed cotton, it has a nice hand-drawn quality to it.  I’m using it for a project elsewhere in my house and MAY have enough leftover to do the chairs.  If not, the fabric is really well priced!

#4 Designers Guild “Orangerie” in rose:  I love this fabric.  Yes, its neither small scale, nor black and white.  But its gorgeous, with nearly a hand painted quality and has so many colors in it that it could be paired with many different schemes.  I probably wouldn’t have thought of it, but I have two scraps that MAY be enough cover the chairs.

Here are all of the fabrics on the chairs to give you a sense of scale and depth.

upholstery fabric options orangerie bindi signature print highland court leopold

Right now I am testing out the chairs in front of the fireplace.  I like the little change up.

white brick fireplace chinese chippedale chairs and  ornate gold mirror in design manifest living room

The color slut in me is just dying to use the Orangerie as it goes surprisingly well with my current coral, red and black scheme…

Design Manifest neutral living room with coral black and red accents

But what happens in 6 months when I decide I hate red and banish it from my home?  It’s inevitable.  The good news is Orangerie also has blue, green, yellow and lilac in the pattern.  Or do I keep it clean and classic?  I can always do black and white upholstery and two floral lumbar pillows.

Decisions, decisions.

Stay tuned Wednesday, there is a biggie post coming.  I have a new project and its going to be a lot of fun.

Bedtime Story… Or how I hacked my Ikea Bed

naomi and hand blocked paisley

A girl,  a Dream and a few yards of DIY Hand-Blocked Fabric

Ok, the time has come for me to tell my bed story.  Note:  I’m not calling this a DIY.  Frankly it was very difficult and involved collaborations with a professional carpenter (dad) and fashion designer/ expert sewer (sister) and I don’t recommend doing the whole thing yourself.   I didn’t read a single how-to post before starting this project, I didn’t prepare at all, I just dove in and realized half way through I was way over my head.  I’m dumb, silly, lucky and a little bit wiser now.

Nevertheless, a lot of you have asked about it.  So let’s get down to it.

wood stamp paisley

It started with a hand-carved paisley wood stamp.  The first thing I did when I put an offer on the cottage was buy this stamp.  I didn’t know where I would use it or what application (curtains, bedding, upholstery, on the walls?), but I knew I needed it in my life.  I bought the paisley block print from HERE on Etsy.  I loved that the scale was large (8″ high) because most of the wood blocks I found were only half the size.

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Happenins’ 10/5/12

Yo Yo!  Thanks for all the feedback on my floors.  Only now I’m more confused then ever!  I’m going to consult with my flooring guy next week and get more educated on the process and pricing of bleaching wood floors.  Then I will make a decision between bleached/stained and painted.

Let’s see what else has been going on this week?

I picked up this new Schumacher Fabric this week.  What do we think, is it the new Chiang Mai Dragon?  PS I’ve been really into chartreuse lately.


This is a material scheme for a bathroom we will be building later this year.  Wood-look porcelain floors, pebble floor in the shower and large 12×18 neutral porcelain tiles on the shower walls.  The cabinetry will be that gray sample you see in the middle.  It should be a really cool space.


I passed up on this settee this past weekend while antiquing.  They were asking $150!!  I forget the measurements but now I’m wishing I had them so I could see if it would fit in my dressing room.  I’m trying REALLY hard not to buy anything until I move into the house.  It’s tough to have patience in decorating!


These are the colors I’m considering for my bedroom.  Planning to get some samples and swatch-it-out this weekend.  Fun fun!



Some of you were probably hoping for an update on ProjectCrafstman.  Well here the deal with that.  Floors were installed and stained and coated with three coats of polyurethane.  (That’s our preferred method in a kitchen- much nicer than prefinished floors.)  They looked really beautiful and then we covered them up to prepare for cabinetry install.  And guess who forgot to take a picture before they were covered?  That would be me.  We’ll catch up again when our cabinets are delivered.


(Floors Pre-Stain when we made our custom stain selections.  We went with the top right.  
Our base cabinets are darker and we wanted a nice contrast.)

And with that I bid you adieu.  I have a design presentation in a couple of hours and I need to stare at my fabrics some more to make sure they are perfect.  Have a great weekend!  

Pattern Play- Jewel Tones and Off-white backgrounds

This Martin Lawrence Bullard embroidery is so fabulous.  For whatever reason, I don’t use green very often, but I love how it mixes with blues and pink and creams in this fabric.  One slightly challenging aspect to pairing it is the off-white background.  Nothing irks me more than pattern pairings where the backgrounds mix bright white and off-white.  All of the fabrics featured here are more off-white and really blend splendidly. 



I’m really having a jewel-tone love affair these days!  Oh, and I think I may need to incorporate more green into my work…


ps- do you guys like it when I list sources?  I’m feeling lazy.  If you like one, just ask me in the comments and I”ll give the deets.

Pattern Play- Just Because

Well hello again.  Raise your hand if you could have used one more day off?  I’m honestly so beat from all that relaxing.  It wasn’t all laziness- yesterday I went to task organizing my fabrics while cleaning out my DVR.  I realized that I have SO MANY fabrics, yet still want so many more.  I’m still missing key pieces for my next place (which is still not set in stone, but an announcement may be coming soon.)  Either which way, it feels good to be a bit more organized heading into a new month.  

These fabrics here are rejects from another design project.  I just adore them on their own and how they intermix together.  I actually just threw them on this chair while I was sorting and I like the result.  Just because.



Time to finally finish this cup of coffee and really get to work.  Happy Tuesday!