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Paisley-A Brief History

7 Sep

paisley1Paisley just may have been the original print. Way back in time, when someone first got the idea of printing on cloth (or cave wall!), the first “rubber stamp” to come to hand was the hand itself. Curled up in a fist, pressed pinkie side into the dye and applied to a plain ground, a hand leaves the familiar curved teardrop shape we know as Paisley. How many of you have done this on a steamy car window?

Paisley has not lost it’s popularity over time. I’t still as viable a choice in decorating as it was a fashion statement back in the day. Now we see it in wallpapers and fabrics for furniture and accent pillows.

The annals of Paisley history tell that Napoleon Bonaparte introduced this design to the west when he brought a paisley shawl home for his beloved Josephine around 1800. This shawl probably tookpaisley5 an artist in India five years to weave, and cost the equivalent of a middle-class home at the time! Thus, everyone coveted it. Before long, every lady in the French court had to have one, and the British were not to be outdone.

With such a market, more craftsmen entered into the manufacture of paisley shawls. One town in Scotland came to base its livelihood upon the production of these required fashion accessories. With widespread distribution and lower prices, almost every woman in England could own one of paisley3these shawls by 1860. Thus the name and and fame of that once obscure Sottish hamlet was spread-Paisley.

Unfortunately, when bustles hit the fashion scene in 1869, it spelled financial ruin and even famine paisley2among the residents of Paisley and India alike. The bustle disrupted the drape of a shawl, and just like that, the accessory was packed off for cold storage.

Yet the indelible image of Paisley has never quite been put away. It became a household ornament, decorating cotton fabrics manufactured for drapery and upholstery through the turn of the century and on up to the current day. 200 years after the arrival of Paisley in the west, the timing seems right for this versatile and important collection.

 

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History of Toile De Jouy

31 Aug

Toiles de Jouy are the most European of fabrics.

Toiles are still a popular fabric in some homes. We thought we’d share a bit of the interesting history of Toile de Joy (or Jouy).

Inspired by an Irishman, advanced by the British, and refined to an Toile1art form by two German brothers who moved from Switzerland to France, these printed designs capture the romance of 18th Century Europe and remain some of the finest fabrics ever made in the west.

They were originally printed with wood blocks or copper plates with designs that were often based on engravings by well-known artists of the day. These fabrics depict pastoral and genre scenes, neoclassical motifs, historical events, chinoiserie, birds and florals.

In 1760 two German brothers, Christopher-Philippe and Frederick Oberkampf Toile2emigrated from Switzerland and settled in the town of Joy-en-Josas outside of Paris, where they built a factory. Their name soon became synonymous with monochromatic copper-printed textiles and their standards of excellence are responsible for Toile de Jouy’s lasting appeal.

When printing first began for Toile, only wood blocks were available. Unbleached cotton was washed in the water of the river, beaten, dried and smoothed through a a rolling press. Printers applied mordants (substances to fix dyes) to the cloth. After mordants adhered to the fibers, the fabric was washed again and boiled in a toile3madder solutions, or dye bath, creating a chemical reaction between the various salts and mordants. Color appeared where the mordants had been applied. Rolls of the fabric were stretched out in the meadows and leached by the sum to eliminate background tinting, and then were subjected to more washing and soaking in chlorinated water. Details and highlights were painted directly on the fabric by hand.

After 1770, copper plates allowed finer detail, and the Joy factory began producing more complex compositions, many of which depicted people in a landscape. These toile4ranged from scenes of contemporary events (hot air ballooning, Napoleon’s victories) to those from literature, theater and mythology.  Marie Antoinette decorated every possible surface with toile de joy. Although it is these vignettes that are most identified with the Joy factory and are most coveted today, the factory always produced more florals than pictorals. Sales and profits at the factory were immense, and it heyday, 1,500 employees produced 5,000 meters of fabric a day! Now that’s a lot of fabric to produce in one day!

Today’s uses are still in fabric and also in wallpaper. It’s a classic that will never grow old.

 

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Choosing beautiful fabrics can make a material change in your decor.

6 Apr

Fabric1Wise fabric choices can inspire your entire decorating plan.

Fabrics are used on so many surfaces in most homes. In fact, fabric is one of the most important elements as you make your interior design plans. Fabrics even set the mood for a room and influence the way you feel.
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The sheer number of fabric choices can be intimidating; that’s why it’s helpful to work with a professional.

Natural fabrics include cotton, leather, linen, silk, suede and wool, while synthetics include acetate, acrylic, microfiber, nylon, olefin, polyester, rayon and vinyl. Synthetics tend to be more durable than natural fibers, but not always. A lot depends on the finish applied to a fabric or the weave that’s used, as much as the inherent fabric itself.

The most obvious initial decisions are:

  • Fabric color family
  • Whether fabric is solid color or has a pattern
  • Fabric texture and weave
  • Whether fabric is woven, crocheted, knit or pressed

Select fabric first for beauty since the look of your home is paramount, but also consider how your fabric will be usedFabric3 so you’ll be happy with your decision over the long term. For example, fabrics that are optimal for a heavily-used great room sofa will be quite different than those for a seldom-used decorative chair in your entry. Always think about durability and stain resistance if you have pets or children. Also consider how much damaging sunlight enters a room.

Your fabric choices create the underpinning of your interior design plan and are critical to the beauty of your rooms. Consider fabrics carefully and get professional advice before you buy.

Chocolate is more than a delicious, sweet treat.

30 Mar

It’s a bold and luscious interior design choice.Chocolate1

Just like the chocolate we love to eat, the color chocolate used in interior décor is dark, luscious and rich.
Chocolate is a bold color that can be used in a similar way as black, but with more interest and a bit of softness. This beautiful color can communicate high-style or it can be very warm and inviting, depending how you use it.

  • Together with pastels, such as baby blue, light pink or butter yellowChocolate2
  • Layered with several lighter neutrals, such as cream, taupe, gray and beige
  • Paired with snowy white
  • Integrated with earth tones, like gold, apricot and sage green
  • Combined with bold colors, such as tangerine, acid green or tomato red

Like most dark colors, chocolate works best as an accent rather than as the predominant color in a room. And it’s important to surround large areas of chocolate with light colors to ensure a room doesn’t appear dark and closed.Consider these design elements for a touch of chocolate in your house:Chocolate3

  • A painted accent wall
  • Rugs and carpeting
  • Fabrics for upholstery, draperies and headboards
  • Table, bed and bath linens
  • Lacquer surfaces, such as table tops and furniture
  • Tile, backsplashes and countertops in kitchen and bath

Ready for an interior design color that reminds you of one of your favorite treats? Think chocolate for decorating this year.

 

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Think Taupe For a More Sophisticated Shade of Neutral.

27 Jan

Think taupe for a more sophisticated shade of neutral.

Taupe is an unusual color that’s hard to describe.Taupe1
The color taupe is a soft, sensuous shade, but what exactly is it? It’s almost easier to say what it’s not.

It’s not cream. It’s not beige. It’s not white, and it’s not gray. It’s a neutral with tints somewhere between brown and gray, and it’s usually a little bit darker than other neutrals. Some people compare it to the color of a delicious mushroom bisque. And like different batches of mushroom soup, taupe can come in darker and lighter hues.
Taupe is a chic, sophisticated neutral that goes with almost any style of interior design.
Most all shades of taupe go well with:Taupe2

  • Greens, such as khaki and olive
  • Black
  • Other neutrals, such as white and cream
  • Chocolate brown
  • Gold

Some taupes have a pink or lavender undertone, and these shades go well with dark pinks and violets, such as burgundy and raspberry. Other versions of taupe have a cooler tone; and these go well with dark blues, aquas and taupe3teals. It’s smart to compare your taupe design elements with proposed purchases before you buy to make sure the colors complement each other.
Think taupe for wall paint or an accent wall, window coverings, upholstery fabric, flooring, bed linens and more.
Consider the neutral taupe for a terrific addition to your interior look.

 

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Accent Chairs Can Complete A Room

6 Jan

5 Accent Chairs to Consider

Want to set off your room with something special? Sometimes all it takes is an accent piece to fill that void. Here is a list of 5 accent chairs to choose from to fit your style and space.

Accent Chair1
THE CLUB CRUCIAL ELEMENTS: An upholstered, roomy armchair with extra-deep seats, perfect for curling up with a book. WHERE TO USE: In pairs making up a cozy nook or as the ideal companion alongside a living room sofa. MOST LIKELY TO: Have leather upholstery or nail-head trim (or both).

Accent Chair2THE SLIPPER CRUCIAL ELEMENTS: Armless and upholstered with a petite silhouette and a seat that’s likely closer to the ground than you’re used to. WHERE TO USE: Near the coffee table, in a small apartment or at the end of your bed. If space is a scarce resource around your home, a slipper is a great option. MOST LIKELY TO: Be the choice seating for petite people. Sometimes simple and solid but, quite often, big and bold prints are seen.Accent Chair3

THE OCCASIONAL CRUCIAL ELEMENTS: The main focus of this chair, which can have numerous shapes and sizes, is that it is easy to move when needed. Most are armless as well and are put in place whenever the “occasion” arises. WHERE TO USE: This chair can be used anywhere and everywhere. MOST LIKELY TO: Have a special shape or fabric/print that draws attention when brought out.

Accent Chair4

THE WINGBACK CRUCIAL ELEMENTS: Easy to spot with its winged sides and tall back. WHERE TO USE: Fantastic option to offset a large sofa to balance out the room. Also frequently put by the fireplace. And sometimes unexpectedly, you can surprise guests by using them as end chairs at the dining room table to give a statelier look. MOST LIKELY TO: Stay where it always is. It is part of the everyday décor and never moved. Quite often may have a matching ottoman or pillow.Accent Chair5

THE BERGERE CRUCIAL ELEMENTS: Regal lines, exposed wood and an upholstered seat and  back make up this chair. WHERE TO USE: Found in pairs across from a sofa or possibly in a bedroom with an ottoman in between. MOST LIKELY TO: Have a loose seat cushion to keep the space casual.

Eclecticism or Hodge Podge?

2 Dec

eclecticism1Have you ever been limited and confused as to what style you’d like to choose for a room in your house? Do you have an item that doesn’t quite fit in with all the other furniture?  That’s where you can get creative with eclecticism.

Eclecticism is characterized by an almost a total freedom of choice among historical styles. There are no specific rules established to decorate with an eclectic style, but according to Cruzine  eclectic style is a combination of styles in order to design an environment, which would have a great look, artistic taste, and a specific connective element, which would make the whole design look as one piece of work.

eclecticism6Grouping suggestions could be: different carpet styles mixed with an elegant classical chair in the living room; a sofa with a straw mat or an animal skin; colorful cushions in combination with a modern sofa; a table with chairs in different styles. By choosing eclecticism, you might also be able to put up those souvenirs from your travels, or a sentimental item that you’ve been holding on to not knowing how to display it. You’ll be able to add vibrant colors to a classic styled space and it will also give you the opportunity to mix between the styles of the west and the east.eclecticism2

There are many exciting and interesting ideas on how to collaborate your favorite pieces. Eclecticism can incorporate all the things you love. Do a Google search for eclecticism in interior design and you’ll find many incredible examples and inspirations.

eclecticism4eclecticism3

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Decorating in many shades of gray adds layered elegance.

7 Oct

Gray1

 

Gray is a versatile and sensuous color to include in your home decor.
Gray is a very flexible interior design color because it comes in so many variations; in fact, there are probably at least fifty shades of gray!

People most often use gray as a neutral, instead of beige, white or cream. You can go cool or warm, depending on the version of gray you select. There are so many shades, and very few of them are simply a mix of black and white. Usually gray includes tones of blue, pink, green, yellow or other colors.

gray2
Gray can come in varying intensities too, from the lightest dove gray to dark steel gray. And don’t just think of gray as a solid, smooth color when you use it in design. Part of the beauty of gray is in its texture; think wood grain in flooring and furniture, texture in tweed or silk fabrics, and matte or lacquer finish in paint.

Gray is subtle and goes well with a lot of colors, letting the other hues get all the attention. Think French blue, pink, gold, black, brown and white for accent colors. For the most part, gray is a peaceful color that adds serenity to an interior environment. However, gray can be edgy and avant garde, like when it’s used for concrete flooring or countertops.

gray3

 

 

Many elements in your home lend themselves to gray as a neutral. These include:

  • Wall paint
  • Tile and stone
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Window coverings
  • Rugs and carpeting

 

 

As an accent color, use gray for throw pillows, table linens, lamps, artwork, bed coverings and more.

Thinking of going gray in your home? Give us a call. We can help.

 

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Soft Green Is A Sage Design Choice.

16 Sep

Using this subtle, natural color will add tranquility to your decor.

SoftSage3

Going green in your interior décor can be a peaceful, gentle prospect, especially if you select a soft green shade. Sage green creates a serene, calm atmosphere. And this hue works equally well as a soft accent color or a versatile neutral.

Sage green is actually a range of hues. Some versions include a lot of soft grey, creating an almost silvery grey cast, while others are pumped up with a touch of yellow, creating an early-spring effect. 

Sage green plays well with lots of other colors. As a neutral, pair it with accents of brick red, aqua, French blue, brown, violet or lilac. As an accent shade, pair sage with crisp white to make the color pop or pair it with soft grey, cream or ivory to keep the look subtle and tranquil. Many design elements also use sage green as part of a pattern, such as latticework, paisley, stripes and botanical prints.

Naturally, you have lots of possibilities to add sage green to your decor:SoftSage2

  • Painted walls and paint stenciling

  • Wallpaper 

  • Upholstery and drapery fabric

  • Bedding

  • Painted wood furniture and kitchen cabinets

  • Rugs and carpeting

  • Lamps and light fixtures

  • Accessories such as throw pillows, vases, flowers and table linens

  • Tile countertops and backsplashes

    SoftSage1

Add beautiful sage to your decorating plans this year. When your friends see the results, they’ll be green with envy!

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Today’s earth tones are a thoroughly up-to-date decorating palette

26 Aug

EarthTones1

Today’s earth tones are a thoroughly up-to-date decorating palette.

Forget the avocado green shag carpet and harvest gold kitchen appliances you remember from your mother’s or grandmother’s house.
Soft and warm, earth tone interior design elements take the chill out of a cool, autumn evening. These gentle colors make rooms feel cozy and relaxing, never harsh and cold. And since the hues mimic the colors of nature, the blending between indoors and outdoors is seamless, especially if you have large windows.
Earth tone interior design elements and hues blend well together, so they’re not as tricky to combine as other color palettes. In fact, decorating with earth tones makes it easy to coordinate your whole house, without colors clashing between rooms, even if the exact hues in each room are not identical.
         EarthTones2   

            For earth tone interior design,
            think beiges and browns, tans and taupes,
            even sage greens, soft rust tones and muted golds the                                                                       colors of wheat, straw, sand, rocks, trees and soil.

 

An earth tone palette can be smooth and sophisticated, rough and rustic, or dainty and feminine – it all depends EarthTones3on the tones you select and the style of your furnishings.
You can add white to brighten an earth tone palette, or introduce black to add drama. Then incorporate patterns and textures for added nuance and beauty. Obvious earth tone choices are in upholstered furniture, drapery fabrics, paint and accessories, but you can also use earth tone hues in flooring – wood, stone and carpeting – and in mantles and countertops.

 

Come down to earth with your decor this fall. Add earth tones for a natural and balanced look.

 

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