Home Decor: September 2007 Archives
One of my many joys (or chores depending on the day) is to create custom design coordinate groups for our customers to use as a guide, inspiration or template for their homes. Since you know your schedule and your family's needs, how you use these groups is entirely up to you. But isn't it great to have some of the work done for you! I research market trends and color combinations and hunt through our warehouse to bring you fabric combinations that include color, pattern and texture that will work perfectly together so all you need to know is which colors work for you and your rooms and your yardage needs. I hope these postings will be the next best thing to hiring an interior decorator. About once a month I will feature a new design inspiration, whether it be your dream bathroom or that family dining room you have always dreamed of. First, let's focus on the center of the home, that family room or great room. Since this room will probably be the most popular and most used, it needs to feel calm, crisp and clean (even if it isn't).Let's use our Khaki and Robins Egge Blue Collection. It has just the right amout of color without being overwhelming and the blue with khaki is very refreshing without being washed out. The sofa would look great with P. Kaufmann Sarita Cocoa. This pattern should hide dirt and light stains that little hands tend to share but with still look great when friends drop by.
Don't forget the pillows for extra Pop and comfort on movie night. Try 2 in P. Kaufmann Jacquard Picnic Check Azure and 2 in P. Kaufmann Vassar Paisley Horizon. Both prints with compliment the sofa beautifully.
Next we will need some extra seating. Try pairing to comfy but stylish club chairs with our new Matleesse in Ivory. This will add duribility and texture to really make your room come to together. On the windows, I love the idea of roll up shades with Dupioni Silk Bisque on the underside (to show just a hint when you let the light in) and P. Kaufmann Yazman Cocoa on top as the dominate. Finish off your room with accents of Chocolate Brown, Ivory and Blue to really bring in that clean, airy feeling. It will look like you paid high dollar and spent hours pouring over design books, when all you really did was jump online amd visit my hand picked collections! Be sure to post pictures of you finished rooms or design inspirations in our Sew & Tell Gallery. And don't forget, I am here if you have any questions and would love to hear what rooms you are looking for advice or just a few tips.
Enjoy your home,
I got the idea for this project from Tara's Blog not too long ago on Halloween projects. I took the pincushion project, but scaled it up quite a bit. For my pumpkin, I used a circle that was roughly 16 inches in diameter - you can use a mixing bowl or any round object (I used a cat toy). You want it to be big enough to get a decent sized pumpkin, but not so big that you can't get an upholstery needle through the middle once it's stuffed. Cut out 2 pieces of orange fabric and sew around the edge using a 1/2" seam allowance, making sure to stop a few inches short to leave an opening for turning. Once you are finished sewing your circles together, turn the fabric right side out and push all the seams out (so you have a nice circle again).
Next, stuff your pumpkin to where it is pretty tightly packed, but still kind of fluffy. I used just a cheap bag of poly filling I had laying around, and I found that it worked better if you kept the filling coming in a constant piece, as opposed to ripping off little pieces and putting them in. When I worked with smaller pieces, my pumpkin was lumpy (my apologies to all the veteran pillow and toy stuffers out there who know the stuffing-ropes. If I did this wrong, please note that I am a COMPLETE novice at this). Once stuffed, you can slip stitch the opening closed.
To make pumpkin sections, grab your longest upholstery needle and a coordinating embroidery floss (for bigger pumpkins, you'll probably need the whole skein of floss). Depending on the size of your pumpkin, select the number of threads you want to use (I used all 6 and doubled them up). If your pumpkin is on the large size, yarn would even work well. Tie a nice big knot at the end of the string, find the center of your pumpkin, and put your needle to work. If you used a pretty big circle, you'll really need to squeeze it flat to get the needle through to the middle of the other side. Once through, pull the thread tight and bring the needle back to the bottom and back into the center, so that the thread stays on the outside of the pumpkin and creates a ridge. Do this 5-7 more times (make sure to keep that thread tight), creating 6-8 even sections (depending on size and looks).
For my leaf, I did a quick search of the Internet for an image of a pumpkin leaf and used it as a pattern. I cut out 2 pieces and sewed them together, leaving an opening at the base to turn it right side out and push the leaf points out. You could make this step easier by using one layer of green felt, but I'm a sucker for silk so I kept going with it. To give the leaf more detail, I did a quick blanket stitch around the edge with embroidery floss in a darker shade of green.
For the stem, I took a scrap of the green silk I used for the leaf, folded it in half, and sewed a curved line down 2 adjacent sides (see image). I turned it, stuffed it, ran a quick stitch through the top, and pulled it closed like a drawstring bag (make sure to put a couple knots to hold the hole closed).
Some floral wire wrapped in floral tape and spiraled around a pen made the little curlies. I stretched the wire out a little and tucked it under one of the section strings at the halfway-point of the wire. Finally, I hot glued the curly wire and the leaf down into the center of the pumpkin and then hot glued the stem on top of them to hide the knots and unfinished edges. I added an inexpensive bunch of silk leaves for accent and placed it all on a small table in my living room.
Part of what I like about projects like this is the ability to tweak and modify it to your own whims. Tara had mentioned making smaller pumpkins and using them as garland, whereas I envisioned a larger version as a center piece. I may even buy some black felt and make some temporary Jack-O-Lantern eyes and a mouth for Halloween. If this project inspires your creativity, I want to see! Post it up on the Fabric.com Sew & Tell Gallery and let us all share in the Fall-time fun!
A few years back my best friend Ann purchased a furnished "rental" condo in a resort area on the South Carolina coast. While the place had good bones, it was blah, blah, blah. Think basic furnishings, sparse accents, no window treatments...just no personality. Our mission was to turn this place into a cozy nest without breaking the bank account. We purchased new bedding, lamps, accessories and fabrics. We set out on a six hour drive to begin a two day makeover. While Ann got busy hanging pictures and arranging things, I got busy with the fabric. First up for me...drapery panels. I used a plaid promotional dupioni silk. Wow, they instantly brightened and added life to the room! Next, it's on to decorative throw pillows. I really wanted to pull all the colors from the plaid silk throughout the room. Accent pillows are such a quick way to accomplish just that. My last significant project, and the one I am most proud of, is that I covered a headboard. I had no confidence that I could pull this off. As it turns out, it was so simple! All I did was lay batting, then stretch and staple the fabric. Bye, bye boring old headboard! I wish I would have known it was going to be this easy. I am sure I could have used Fabri-tac to add some cute embellishments!
We are so proud of our quick makeover. It must have turned out well because I have not yet been able to claim my free week...The place is always rented! I have 2 projects under way right now that I am excited about. Vicki is going to help me because these are more detailed. Hope to have them ready by my next blog entry!
Please allow me to introduce myself, I am Nancy Hartness and I work in our wholesale division. My customers include the interior design community and many different types of "cottage" manufacturers. I am constantly inspired by their terrific ideas and their wonderful creations. Working for Fabric.com has been a fabulous experience for me. You see my previous work experience was selling fabric and wallcoverings to the commercial interior design industry and after 15 years I was ready to move on. I am lucky to be a long time personal friend of Stephen and I began working here on a contract basis while I was caring for my aging mother. I now have the pleasure of being here full time every day!I love to travel and I love home décor projects! I am influenced by many of the places that I have visited and the evidence is all over my home. When it comes to my design philosophy I believe your surroundings should make YOU feel comfortable and that fabric quickly changes the ambiance of any room. Mixing and matching lots of different styles, textures and trends is what makes me tick. For example, I think our dupioni silk can be casual or it can be formal. Its all in the application! Don't be afraid to pair a trendy print with an heirloom or a traditional print with a sleek modern piece. It's a quick and easy way to "freshen" any room's look. My friend and fellow blogger Vickie (who you will meet in the near future) claims that my home is European eclectic. I just call it home.
My specialty is quick and easy . Sometimes this is good and sometimes it is just down right funny (show you in the future). Because I am a huge fan of clip-on drapery rings and surrounded by Fabric.com's beautiful fabric, it is safe to say that I have more than one set of drapery panels for my favorite rooms. I am also a fan of Fabric-Tac glue...I have never sewn a stitch of trim. I appreciate all types of fabric design and, yes, my sewing room is piled high with fabric just waiting to be turned into something fabulous!
In the attached photos you will see what adorns my family room right now. Next to that is my dining room...Trim on the slipcovers not quite done yet (will be glued on of course) but maybe by next posting. I am thinking bullion fringe...
Ciao for now!
Color is truly my inspiration, my passion and my tranquility. My strengths in merchandising and design have allowed me to have my own business out of my home at first and in 1984 opening a shop in Northern Illinois. My wonderful husband and I have four amazing children, a son and three daughters. We are also very blessed with seven grand children, who I miss desperately as I am here in Atlanta and they are in Illinois. You ask why am I not with them? For now I will tell you although it is very difficult, I have the most wonderful job working at Fabric.com! This allows me the luxury of working with extremely talented people, not to mention the fabrics, the creativity and yes, COLOR! I, like Tara, do the imaging and merchandise the fabric collections in the "store". One of my favorite fabrics to image is the dupioni silk, the colors are gorgeous and I even get to name them! So if you see some "far out" names that would be Lauren at work!
In later posts I would love to share with you new fabrics, colors, decorations for the holidays and much much more, including our Home Decor Coordinates category. This category is where I gather fabrics in different designs and textures, lay them all out, personally coordinate them and present them in collections. This will enable you to feel confident that what you see in the coordinate collections has been personally selected to represent beautiful ensembles. I look forward to any questions or comments you might have or any inspirations you would like to share. Until next time I leave you with this picture of "Sir Jaxon Jacob", Jax for short! Not only is he hilarious, he is great comfort! Maybe you can guess one of my favorite colors.......