Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mixing Patterns & Colors For Decorative PIllows


I have been in the land of pillows the last couple of weeks. First there was the PINK pillows....

I spent many hours sourcing and making just the right combinations.


The unthinkable happened. I received my sample swatches of the pinks and they were all wrong. Not clear, but a muddy almost make-up looking blush pink. It was just terrible in my room.


With all design projects we have to be flexible so I went back to the drawing board. 


This time it was all about yellow.

Luckily I already had two swatches that I knew were the perfect yellows so I ordered those pillows, and they are already on there way here!!

 Duralee Kilburn yellow found here

Schumacher's Chenonceau in buttercup found HERE!

Since my sofa is blue ticking I knew I wanted blue to go with these two yellow fabrics so out came my swatches....

Luckily I keep all my swatches past and present that I love, so I had a really good starting point.

I narrowed them down....

The darker check won over the brighter blue. I liked the contrast with the yellow better.

Next came time to make a collage and actually place the pillows on the furniture.

Here is where planning is so important!!

To my surprise I did not like the blue check with all the other fabrics I planned on using. 

I tried several different combinations, and it just was not going to work.

When you have to keep changing things over and over to make something work, chances are it is the problem child and  it needs to be eliminated. In this case the problem child turned out to be the navy check.


With that in mind I went to my pillow cover stash and got out these covers....

Thibaut's south sea fabric found here.

I immediately loved it with the yellow, however there was still something not quite right so I went back to my stash and pulled out some of the green swatches.


I made a collage and all of sudden I KNEW this was it!!...

Now my room felt like Spring to me!

When trying to combine your own fabrics for a project there are some good guidelines to follow, but never be afraid to do your own thing.

However I think it is important to know a few things before buying, or having pillows made for an upcoming design project.
  • How many pillows can a homeowner tolerate?
  • Do they like varied sizes and shapes?
  • Should there be a mix of coordinating fabrics?
  • How many different fabric choices will be pleasing to their eye?
  • Do they like symmetry or do they like a more casual look?
  • Should the pillows be tightly stuffed or more loose with a down filling?
  • How about embellishments, ruffles, welting, braid?

As you can see there is a lot to think about when designing the type of pillows, and the placement of pillows on a piece of furniture.
 It is obvious that I can take more than a few patterns in my rooms and I realize not all people can do this, so it is important to keep that in mind when trying to formulate your own pattern mix.
Before making your purchases or figuring out what size you want, decide which pillow will go on which pieces of furniture in the room. Will the pillow be behind another pillow so it will need to be a bit larger or will it be in front?
Here is a size guide for pillows before they are stuffed with an insert and after that I found on Classic Casual Home blog.....

Isn't is surprising how much smaller they get when a down insert is placed inside the pillow?

Mixing patterns can be very daunting for most home decorators so where do you begin. I will use some of the patterns I am using in my room, but will keep it simple by only using 3 patterns for you to understand the concept

1. Choose the main player for your room.
I say choose one star fabric, a fabric that will make a statement in your room. It can be a mix of several colors or just a fantastic looking large scaled  print.

2. Choose an accent color
Add one of the colors pulled from the larger scaled pattern in a solid or geometric pattern in a medium scale. You can also use one of your accent colors in this pillow. In my case it is blue.....

3. Use a smaller scaled pattern

 Add a geometric in a smaller scale pattern. Stripes, check, and dotted fabrics are a good choice for this category.

This 3 step formula is probably the easiest to follow and remember you can always throw in one solid into this mix.

In design it is good to use odd numbers so keep that in mind when placing your pillows on your furniture.

All of these suggestions are only guidelines, nothing is ever in cement in design, and if you are brave enough, and confident enough of your own design aesthetic please break the rules, and be true to yourself. 

If it makes you smile then you have done a good job.

Now if you are designing for a client you must ALWAYS keep your clients desires in mind at all times, and guide them with your expertise.

Have fun playing with different fabric selections, and remember a good plan will always save you costly mistakes later!!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Special Sleeves Are On-Trend This Season

We are not just looking at the long and short of it, but the style of sleeve. Sleeves have become a little more important this season.

Generally I like a classic preppy style, but I also like to freshen things up a bit. As trends come and go I definitely would not make them an investment piece. Let me show you some of the sleeve options I would wear and purchase.....

The Bell Sleeve

Main Image - Pleione Stripe Knit Bell Sleeve Top (Regular & Petite):

This would be so easy to wear, soft pink stripes, which by the way stripes are huge this season, that sure makes this girl happy.

It also comes in a navy  stripe....

 Main Image - Pleione Stripe Knit Bell Sleeve Top (Regular & Petite)

This next top is so fresh looking and would look great with just about any color of pant. I like the idea of a navy pant with this top as shown in the picture...

product photo

Here is another white top with some open work in the sleeve. I think the open work keeps the top looking very fresh......

This is probably one of my favorites. Talk about fresh and crisp, this meets both those criteria.

Tie Sleeve Top

Our next trend is the tie sleeve top. I actually have this one coming my way. If you want something to look a bit more fashionable always look for articles with details and this one has a very nice detail.

I feel the tie sleeve top will stay in fashion longer than the bell sleeve. It is just my opinion, but the tie sleeve is a bit more subtle. In fact I purchased a tie sleeve top two season ago, and they are still around and being featured so I feel safe that they will be around for awhile.

This top has 4 of the style components for this season, loose bohemian fit, balloon sleeve with the tie, and don't forget about the crisp stripes!

Keep in mind when wearing a loose fitting top wear a tighter fitting bottom and the same goes with a tighter top with a looser bottom. Just a good guideline to follow.

As I said at the beginning of my post I would not make any of these an investment piece, but all of the above examples are affordable and will last a few seasons. 

Have fun adding a few on-trend pieces to your wardrobe, always keeping in mind, proportions, color and your base wardrobe  in order to make a wise purchase. I think any of the above tops are basic enough to fit just about any wardrobe.

Keep an open mind there are many other types of sleeves being featured this season, I only showed you sleeves that I would wear, however you might find many more styles that you like. 

Get at least one fun sleeve this season!


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Changes Around The House

There has been some moving, and shaking going on around our house this week.

My hubby decided to move out our entry table to my surprise to play with the design for our entry hall project. 

Just moving that little mirrored table out made the entry look much larger to my minds eye.

It also looks a bit bare now, but once the molding details go up it will look more complete. You can read about our design plans here........

He moved the mirrored table into the dining room and at first I thought I liked it, but as I stared at it more I realized it was not right for the space. 

I even moved out my black floor lamps because they did not work then I realized it did not go with my dining chairs, and it just felt like we plunked it there because we did not have a spot for it, not the look I was going for.

It is amazing to me how one misplaced piece of furniture can throw the whole house off. All of the sudden this one piece that did not look right colored how I felt about my whole living area. It no longer had a flow or looked like it had a purpose. This is not good at all.

So the musical tables began and then we had to play with various mirrors and pictures as well. I have to give Kudos to my patient husband for doing this for me.

I like the pieces in their new spots much better now. I do have plans for both areas down the line, but for now at least they look much better than they did.

The mirrored entry table is now the first piece of furniture you see as you enter our home. It now resides across from the kitchen. You can see the wall where our ship blue print use to hang. Notice I said use to hang because it is moving into my hubby's den/office today.

 It's reflective qualities are a definite plus...

I am going to enjoy putting flowers on this table, I can envision some tall blooming branches in the blue and white vase.

Because there is so much shine I also need to add a bit of texture so I am going to try out a natural wood lamp on the table, so there will be more trial and errors in the future.

Here is a picture of the wood lamps in our previous home. I think the texture will be a nice addition to all the shine of the table and the mirror.

The dining room wall now has the black floor lamps back with the Queen Anne lowboy, and one new addition, our sailboat oil painting. I like it for now, but I do have other plans for our next house project in the future.

I really do enjoy looking at this painting, it use to hang in our master bedroom.

The black floor lamps are not quite right but they don't shout out that they don't belong here. I require ambient lighting, and these two lamps are the first lights I turn on every morning.

Ideally I would love sconces in here , but that is another project as I said before.

For now this is how it will be and I can live with it, only a few more pictures to hang and my sweet hubby will be done for now. 

Let's face it, I am never done, always in process because that is how my mind works!!


Monday, February 20, 2017

Spring Pillow Plan On The Sofa!!


I am still waiting on some samples for my Spring pillows for the great room. The samples that I have already received only had a couple that would work and none of them were the perfect PINK that I am looking for.

One thing I am discovering, what is pink to one person is not pink to another. If the word blush is attached to the name it just might be more of a very soft makeup color, more peach in my book, than pink. I don't normally pay attention to names because we all know they can be deceiving.

Since I don't do peach in my home most of the samples I was waiting for did not work for my room. I did find a couple of blue and white combinations that are nice.....



However, I am still waiting on a few more  samples before I take the final plunge. Patience is key in a well designed room. If I am making the investment in a purchase I might as well get the best I can find that is within my budget!

In the mean time I played with the possibilities and came up with what I think will work.

The pillows will be on my blue ticking sofa which sits on my black striped rug as the base. I also have two white chairs in the room that will have pillows.


Area Rug

I have 4 combinations I am thinking about. You will notice that the only fabric that changes is the very first one in the line-up, which is a blue and white combination.

The main fabric I chose as my starting point is Nebula by Pindler and Pindler. I already have pillows made out of this fabric  below is a closeup of the trim I had my seamstress add to the pillow. It is the same fabric that my sofa is upholstered in.....

Now that you have seen all the base pieces I am working with shall we look at four possible combinations?


You will notice I added a touch of white and black as a tie into the rug with the Greek key pillow. I find it  makes a statement without shouting, plus I love Greek key and it mimics the mirror silhouette in our room..

# two

# three

# four

Once I choose the patterns that I like I decide where I will place them in the room. 

This is where I have to be flexible in my choices. Sometimes the pillow that I thought would work in one spot, has to be placed in another in order to have a nice visual flow.

When adding color, or pattern to your room it is important to always keep in mind the flow of the room. You don't want any one pattern or color to be jolting to the eye.

In my collage I place all the important players in the room that will determine the over all feel, look and flow of the room.

By doing this I can tell where the color spots and patterns need to go. Once I have the pillows on site I will have fun placing them and will feel confident I made the right choices.

I write about my process and the way I think to better help you, my readers, to do your own processing and to help you get a jump start on your own projects. 

Just another day in the mind of Kathysue!!