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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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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.

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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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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.
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            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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Sliding Door Window Solutions

29 Jul

Sliding Doors Can Be Fun or a Challenge

There are few things more exciting than being a first time homeowner. It can be thrilling to decorate your new home to fit your taste and style. But as you finish laying down the floor, slapping paint on the walls, you get to the
daunting task of the windows. Specifically, the sliding glass door that takes you to your new backyard. A lot has changed and there are many options now besides vertical blinds. So before you panic, here are some suggestions:

SlidingDoor2Honeycomb– Many don’t realize a honeycomb shade can come as a vertical option. And just like the shades you put in your window, they insulate well.SlidingDoor6

 

Sliding Panels– A streamlined, contemporary option that can be accomplished with woven wood, roller shade fabric, or screen shade material.

 

Doorwall ShuttersPlantation Shutters- A classic option for any window. Whether they bi-fold, slide or open like French doors they will be durable and beautiful in any home.

 

Window Shadings– They have the look of drapery with the function of a vertical blind. These still SlidingDoor7have open/close louvers and the option of pulling all to one side or splitting in the middle like a vertical blind. But these give a softer feel to the room because of the sheer fabric overlay. They are great for filtering in light and giving you some privacy.

Drapery– There are many ways to hang drapery over a sliding glass door. You can make the look formal or casual, traditional or contemporary. A traditional pinch pleat drapery moves on a traverse rod that opens SlidingDoor5with the ease of pulling a string. You can also look into grommet panels that easily slide over a rod. And as a combination of both, if you want a more decorative rod for your pinch pleat drapery, look into a rod with rings. Even on a larger sliding door where you will need extra supports, there are rings that are not complete circles so they can slide over the brackets.

This is just a starting point for you to see what is more your style then you
can take it from there with fabric and color. Let us know what style you like!

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Adding A Clock To Your Decor

1 Jul

Adding a clock to your decor is a functional and aesthetic choice.

The time is ripe for this unique and appealing design element.clock1
Clocks are more than just for telling time. After all, to find out what time it is, we can use a wrist watch or our smart phone. Clocks are also about enhancing interior décor and adding interest to a room. A clock can become a piece of art on your wall, in place of a painting or print.
Clocks come in many different shapes, sizes and materials. You can purchase a traditional style clock that’s an antique or a reproduction – maybe a grandfather clock or cuckoo clock. There are lots of bold new clock3designs to consider too, many which are one-of-a-kind pieces. People are also salvaging old school clocks and railroad clocks for a vintage look.

Clocks work well as design pieces in almost any room, adding elegance, sophistication, rustic beauty or whimsy, depending on the style you select. They’re very useful when displayed in your kitchen, home office or great room, where you might actually need to know the time as you’re planning your day. Clocks are also beautiful and appealing in a bedroom, living room, dining room and home office.
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Choose a clock with chimes and you’ll not only get a visual design but an auditory addition to your home. And a pendulum on a clock can add motion to your décor. Some people are even adding durable outdoor wall clocks to their patios and other outdoor living spaces.

 

Every minute counts. Add a clock to your décor before more time slips away.

 

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Decorate With Green For a Natural Feel

3 Jun

Green1It just feels natural to decorate with green!

Go rich and lush, calm and serene, or bold and brilliant.
This versatile color brings a familiar touch of the outdoor world to your indoor environment.
Green is a very adaptable design color, partly because it comes in so many variations. Green is the color we see most often in nature, so it’s not surprising that so many shades of green are named for plants and gemstones, including:
Green2Such a variety of hues means you can use green to create a range of looks and evoke a variety of emotions – subtle or edgy, calming or energizing, traditional or thoroughly modern. Green goes well in almost any interior style from Traditional to French Country to Transitional to Lodge-style, and more.
It’s not always easy decorating with green. Mixing shades of green can be a challenge. It’s usually best to stick with one, or at most two, shades of green, then use neutrals and other accents in your design scheme.
When you’re shopping, look at green hues closely in different lights and view your green design elements
together before you purchase. Better yet, get the advice of an expert when you decorate with green.
Colors that work well with green really depend on the shade of green you select. In general, greenGreen3
goes well with:
• White, gray, and neutral beiges and creams
• Browns, camels and taupes
• Pinks, reds and salmon
• Small touches of blue, black, orange or yellow

 

Searching for a natural, outdoorsy look and feeling in your home? Just add green!

 

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Plantation Shutters, A Brief History

27 May

Why are plantation shutters so expensive?

plantationshutters1

Shutters have been dressing windows for centuries.  You may associate them with the old south and the regal look they gave the massive homes, but they have been around since ancient Greece.  In that tropical area, they served three functions: protection from the weather, ventilation and light control.  They originally had fixed louvers and were made out of marble which is what made them so strong against the weather.  However, the marble is what made them only affordable to the wealthy, thus their prestige begins.

plantationshutters2As the popularity of the shutters spread throughout the Mediterranean, wood became the new norm.  The louvers became moveable and created more functionality.  In medieval Europe they served as a security measure with a steel bar that locked them close .  And because of their increased function, you began seeing them in palaces, like The Andul Royal Palace in India  or the Palace of Versailles in France.

 

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Then as the Spanish and the English started colonizing the Americas, the shutter fad came with them.  The southern states, taking after the Spanish influence, began using them in their large manor homes where they took on the name ‘plantation shutters’. In the south, you saw the use of large louvers and they were almost always painted white.

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In the New England area, the louvers were smaller and used in a café style, similar to how they were in England during the Victorian Era.

 

 

 

 

If you’ve ever gone shopping for shutters, you’ve probably had the jaw-plantationshutters5dropping experience of the first time you heard the price.  Shutters are definitely an investment.  They are durable, stunning to look at and their functionality is unparalleled.  They just happen to be the most expensive thing you can put on your window.  Shutters are the ONE window treatment that add to the appraisal value of the home so consider how this may help you in the future.  But after hearing the back story of their evolution, you can see they stand the test of time.

 

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