Peeking at the beautifully curated fabric line photos from Rose Tarlow Melrose House for Perennials is like being transported on a mini vacation to wine country. The Rose Tarlow Melrose House for Perennials collection consists of solution-dyed acrylic fabrics, all of which will stand up to everything the outdoors can throw at them. Resistant to mold, soil, or UV light, they're also elegant, reminding us of classic French linen. The initial offering of over 70 different fabrics dovetails Perennials' classic direction, featuring earthy tones, antique hues, and timeless textures. Come take a peek at the new fabric line, as well as the inspirational images from the collection.
This week I'm inspired by spaces that boldly use pattern — as well as rooms that boldly eschew it. Check out spaces influenced by a restrained hand when it comes to color and pattern, as well as ones that happily embrace it. Which room is your favorite this week?
Serena & Lily's Spring 2012 collection is finally here, and it's filled with gorgeous pieces that expertly meld global influences with modern aesthetics. Whether it's playing with mesmerizing geometric prints, island-inspired materials, or shiny surfaces, these trends can easily be adapted into any home environment. See which groups caught our eye and dare to try out a trend or two in your casa!
Austin-based upholstering business Spruce is a longtime favorite of mine. With its staff of smart women artisans and its amazing selection of reupholstered vintage furniture, it's one of my favorite online stops. Spruce recently teamed up with artist, designer, and illustrator Leah Duncan, and will be carrying Duncan's wares through its storefront shop and online store. As Spruce noted on its blog, "She has such an appealing and singular style, yet so accessible and current. What’s not to love?" If you aren't familiar with Duncan's work yet, take a look. You're in for a treat!
I love how innovative quilts are. From Gee's Bend quilts to the heavy metal-inspired quilts from Boo Davis, it's hard to pinpoint this needlecraft or identify it to one style. The same holds true for how to decorate with quilts — there are countless ways to add them to your house. Here, I've rounded up a few of my current favorite examples of how adaptable quilts are to any interior. Let's take a look!
Brooklyn, NY-based design studio Eskayel, which I first discovered in an apartment by SF-based designer Kimberly Ayres, creates ethereal, abstract, Rorschach-style patterns for wallpaper, fabrics, pillows, and ceramics. The brand's new Era Collection, inspired by Italy, has just hit the information superhighway with 12 new designs, and I'm having trouble deciding which fantastic repeat I love the most. From the pillow with a touch of hot pink to the wallpaper that oozes moody, midnight blue, I'm aching for it all. Check out five of my faves from the new line!
Last week, I attended a fantastic cocktail party at the home and office of San Francisco-based designer Ken Fulk (right), hosted by Ronda Carman of All the Best, to celebrate SFERRA's 120th anniversary. The luxury linen brand was founded in 1891 by Gennaro Sferra when he first opened his linens factory in Venice, Italy. In 1977, it was purchased by CEO Paul Hooker (left), then a young 20-something, and has grown to include an extensive collection of fine linens for the bedroom, bathroom, and tabletop and become one of the most respected names in the arena of luxury textiles.
When Gennaro launched the company, his focus was intricate handmade laces and embroideries. As you can imagine, a lot has changed since then, so I was eager to learn more about the progression of the brand and where it's headed next. Luckily, Hooker gladly obliged to do a little interview with me. Read our conversation below!
CasaSugar: You bought SFERRA in the '70s, and it's since become one of the finest linen brands. How has the market for luxury bedding changed since then?
Paul Hooker: When I bought the business in 1977, there was no such thing really as "luxury bedding." SFERRA offered no bedding at all in our collection. We made tablecloths and napkins, mostly handmade lace from Italy. The changes in both have been dramatic. Today, it’s all about luxury bedding, and fewer and fewer people over the years have been having traditional dinners with lace tablecloths, so the change has been dynamic indeed.
CS: What growing trends do you see in the world of luxury linens?
PH: The buying trend today among the affluent consumer is one word: VALUE. She is not overly impressed with labels, to the contrary, she wants to know why she is being asked to pay a premium price for what is being touted to her as "luxury." What makes it so special? What is it made of? Will it last? She will pay for quality, no doubt, and she still aspires to owning luxury products, but today, she needs to be shown the reason for "paying up" for luxury. The importer and the retailer who doesn’t have those answers may not be around long enough to find them.
CS: What are your most successful products?
PH: Our customer loves the color and design, but she generally selects the "basics." She knows that she is spending one third of her entire life in bed, and combining the wonderful experience of a great mattress and luxurious sheets makes it all so wonderful. She wants to be pampered in bed, feeling the very finest cotton in the world next to her, to give her the ultimate sleeping experience. So, when it comes right down to it . . . "Would you like Percale or Sateen, white or ivory?” It’s quite simple what she wants, so we strive to give her several choices of the finest "basics" in the world.
Did you catch this past weekend's John Robshaw sale at One King's Lane? His items flew off the shelf at a fast clip, and if, like me, your favorite finds sold out before you could click them into your online shopping cart, don't worry: the textile designer plans on working with OKL again in the future. John recently took the time to answer a few quick questions I had about his process and inspirations.
- On colors inspiring him right now: "Next season, the colors I will be working with are smoky clay, white and gold. I have this smoky clay color that I put right on an unbleached white linen with gold. It will be an old gold that sort of fades and tarnishes."
- On why block printing is a timeless technique: "I love block printing because it is spontaneous. I mess around with the blocks. I have fun and make mistakes. When I spill dyes I usually muck up the blocks, but always stumble into some new combination, thought, or idea that would not happen on a computer. I love block printing because it is hands-on and there is no way to replace that.
- On why he chose to work with One Kings Lane: "The One Kings Lane folks are truly fanatics about the home industry and you can tell that their passion is driving their success. They take the time to properly organize and curate sales, which I find really boosts the consumer shopping experience on One Kings Lane."
Take a look below for some of my favorite finds from John Robshaw's current line. Want to learn more about this designer? Check out this article on Elle Decor.
New Orleans painter Amanda Stone Talley has played around with "alterna-canvases" before, including suitcases, tortoise shells, and even pumpkins, but her new canvas surface is something much more versatile: fabric! Talley ventures into the textile world with three debut fabric designs featuring her signature abstract concentric patterns: Who Dat?, a black, white, and cream design; Broadmoor, a mustard and gray design; and Magazine, a multicolored design. Each is available in four different types of fabric: linen, cotton sateen, jersey, and upholstery twill. She also plans to introduce new designs in the future.
Until March 15, Talley is offering the fabrics at an introductory price of $50/yd with a no-yard minimum, and after that period, they'll ring up at $115/yd with a three-yard minimum. Now's the time to shop, so email Amanda to make your order! And head here to see close-up photos of the fabrics.
I asked Amanda a few questions about her new designs, so read our mini-interview below!
CasaSugar: How was it for you to transition from painting to pattern-making?
Amanda Talley: Not hard at all! It's mainly a digital manipulation of the original painting, and it is really fun. I love that it is a translation of the artwork and not an exact replica. It acts like a mirror that creates a Rorschach-type effect.
CS: How do you imagine the fabrics being used?
AT: I want people to use the fabrics as creatively as possible and send me pictures! I see tunics, tents, upholstered walls, Euro shams, and curtains. I just don't want to be the one to make all of those things . . . I want to paint, but I am working on making canvas rugs, too!
CS: What do you think separates these designs from others in the marketplace?
AT: I worked in a fabric room for eight years, and I really believe that there are no other fabrics that look like these patterns at all. I'm so excited and proud of the designs.
"I have scoured the Internet for pink chevron fabric that I could use to reupholster a chair. I have found pretty much every color but not pink! Has anyone seen this fabric on the Internet? Alternatively, are there any good websites that sell fun upholstery prints? Since this is my first project, I would prefer something inexpensive (not Rubie Green). Thanks!"