Tag Archives: fabric

Jacaranda Color

I just discovered a lovely blog, Lilly’s Notebook. One of the first posts I read featured gorgeous pictures of otomi fabrics from an online store: Jacaranda.

Drawing inspiration from the jacaranda tree as “a reminder of nature’s perfect design,” this company champions natural and handmade goods by importing unique, indigenous items from Mexico, Central and South America.

My favorites were the pillows…

…ceramic plates…

…and of course, the textiles:

And wouldn’t it be fun to frame some of these swatches?

Then on the blog (which only has a few entries at the moment), I found this fantastic before and after of a reupholstered chair:

Love it!

They hope that as the jacaranda tree’s falling petals leave “their design imprinted on the world,” their own products will leave their own imprint in our homes.

See more HERE.

Lilly Pulitzer for Garnet Hill

As a self professed lover of all things pretty, I would be a terrible liar to claim disdain for the ubiquitous beach side styles of Lilly Pulitzer. I’ll admit it – PRETTY!! Watch me rub those precious prints against my cheek and giggle with delight. But don’t you dare tell anyone!

Seriously though – it is kind of a preppy soccer mom fashion choice that often makes one think, “mutton dressed as lamb.” At least in my neck of the U.S. woods. But you can’t deny the colorful loveliness of Lilly.

So I must confess my admiration. And if I don’t think I can pull off the punchy print dresses, another option would be to dress up my bed (okay – this is fantasy land right? – since Chris would never go for it).

And Garnet Hill’s bed and bath collection for Lilly Pulitzer has some lovely options:

With Christmas just a few days away, I thought I’d also mention that anyone doing last minute shopping for me might want to consider these pretties:

For more print images and info on what’s new with Lilly, check out their Colorful Blog. It’s adorable and now added to my reader. Don’t be surprised to see more Lilly love here in the future. Hey – if I’m going to come out of the closet on this one, I’m doing it in technicolor.

Wearable Upholstery

In leafing through my decor magazines looking for post inspiration, I found myself sighing (again) at the Oscar de la Renta Home line advertisement for Lee Jofa.

The fabric itself is lovely – but oh, that image of heavy ball gown skirts and magnificent jewelry…

The skirts featured in the ad are actually wearable fashion. Just three of several pieces that will be auctioned off for charity. Proceeds of the auction will go to Casa del Niño, a child assistance service in the Dominican Republic. Each one of a kind item will be available for bid on Bidding for Good through November 30th.

Here are images of each:

This YouTube clip has some great close ups of some of the fabrics as well as a visual display of how his fashion designs influenced his home textile designs:

Opening bids are $750. But even if I could raise that kind of cash, I expect (and hope) that the designs will go for exponentially more than that, raising a lot of money for a very good cause.

The stars aligned for this one. I’m both enchanted and inspired. Who says fashion is a shallow industry!

(Find more details and images of the line in articles on elledecor.com and access.decorati.com.)


I am in love with this linen fabric from Vervain: Papillon.

Here are a few more colorways:

The designer, Barry Dixon says, “it’s loosely based on a vintage china transferware pattern I inherited from my grandmother.” No wonder I can’t stop looking at it. Have you seen my header? I have a bit of a thing for china patterns, so this fabric combines two of my favorite things, textiles and fine china.

In fact, the first thing I thought when I saw “Papillon” was that I could design an entire room around it. And that is exactly what I did with my wedding china. I found a pattern that I loved and couldn’t live without (what – don’t ALL brides have these same down to earth priorities?) But it was a little ornate and I decided to just use it for dessert service. Then I picked a more simple, but complimentary pattern for dinner plates, etc.

So I guess I start with the details and work my way to the bigger picture from there. In short, I would be a decorator’s nightmare. You could actually ask my blog designers about that. On second thought….don’t.

Design Process: LuLu DK

I’ve always been fascinated by textile design. Specifically fabric – but the more I learn about wallpaper (and how it’s not just another incarnation of the same thing), I’ve had to widen the scope of my obsession at bit.

One designer who would be high on my list of “people I wouldn’t mind being” is designer, LuLu Dekwiatkowski of the fabulous LuLu DK line.

And I base that assessment on her talent, creativity and (at least seemingly) rock star life as a designer, artist, business owner, mother and world traveler (and possibly a few other things – but you get the idea).

Her design process is an art form in and of itself, and all of the images I’ve seen on the LuLu DK website and blog (Trail of Inspiration) make me covet her profession even more.

She often starts with collages (her own inspiration boards so to speak) which are actually fine art pieces that not only show in galleries, but were also compiled in a book, LuLu, a travel journal/art book/autobiography, with accompanying paintings and photos – all of which represent her “travels, life and loves.”

I love how you can see these “inspiration collages” alongside the finished product – as well as in actual decorating projects:

The Trail of Inspiration blog is really wonderful in that LuLu really invites you into her world with bits and pieces of her thoughts and work – all in the most charming images. I was particularly taken with these:

My favorite posts of LuLu’s though are the ones describing her textile design process. There have been three so far. Here are some excerpts:

“First I hand paint my artwork onto cloth (painters drop cloth) with acrylic paint and coffee (coffee with milk makes the perfect beige tone). Once the design is finished the screen printer will send me a rough replica on paper, to see if they have matched my vision properly. Once I approve this, they then carve a screen that will be used to print the fabric (a screen is usually a large metal or wood board that lays on a long table and has carvings of the…design on it.

“In the mean time, I send color swatches (above) of all the different colorways I want the mill to do fabric samples of..

“As I mentioned in a previous blog posting, the bright yellow fabric [below] is my original artwork which we are in the process of making into a linen/cotton fabric.

“I send the original design to the screen making mill and they mimic the design the best they can on the computer in some cases and by hand in others. They then send me a paper sample showing the fabric reproduction that shows how the fabric will look and how the colors will be divided.

“Once I approve it, they will make a screen. A screen is a large wooden or metal board that will lie on a table and create one color of the design. There is a different screen for each color in the design. Each color of a design is printed individually and then left to dry so that the next screen can be placed on the table for the next color to be printed….and over and over. So the more colors a design has, the more screens a design has, the more runs a fabric goes through and of course the more time-consuming and expensive a fabric is.

“In the design above I asked the screen maker to make this design a little washy and toned…Above is an extreme version showing the depth of variance I am able to achieve, if I desire. The design can be more single toned like the original or double toned like the CAD…depending on how extreme I choose the 2 colorways to be. This design has 2 colorways, so for it to be extreme I would pick a light yellow and a dark yellow. For it to be more single toned (like the original) I would pick 2 similar yellows….Once the CAD is approved the screen printers send the carved screens to the printing mill and they start on all my color ways..

“The next (and most exciting) stage of fabric making! The colorways arrive!

“Here is a sampling of our Sunburst fabric which I have written about in past post…I always make a ton of color samples…mainly because I don’t want to go back to the mill to have others made and also because I am so particular and in love with color, so I want to see every option. This season it is all about bright pastels for me…We usually pick 3-6 colorways per print and I think the ones that dominate the photo are my general picks from the 20 options that came.”

Hopefully there will be more of these to come. I can’t get enough. And HOPEFULLY, I’ve represented it all accurately – since I pulled everything directly from the blog.

I could write more (I didn’t even touch upon the Matouk bedding, linens and decorative pillows and Elson & Company carpets!) – but I think that’s enough inspiration for me today. Now I’m off to dream about my imaginary life as an artist/textile designer…

Koi Cushion

Is it strange that I LOVE this pillow

…since in real life I’m terrified of koi? I’m serious – have you ever seen them swarm for food. They make barking noises.

At our old condo, there was a koi pond, and one day as we were standing on the bridge looking down at the writhing koi, Chris commented on the sludgy looking algae water.

Chris: Gross. Can you imagine falling into that water?

Kate: I would literally have a heart attack if I fell in that water.

This is how afraid I am of the koi. And how you know I must really like that pillow.