October 2011
ON
DECORATING
 

REVIVING A TIRED BEDROOM? ADD A PUNCH OF PATTERN!
If your master bedroom looks as if the decor came out of a bed-in-a-bag, it's probably time to redecorate.  And why not create a room as unique as you are?  After all, the bedroom is one of the most private rooms in the house, rarely on public display and where you can indulge any style that reflects your taste. 

For tips on creating a great bedroom, we turned to Greg Lawrence, vice president of creative affairs at Calico Corners - Calico Home.  "Quite often, people hesitate to put pattern in a bedroom--but remember, when you're actually in bed, you probably won't see the pattern behind you on window treatments or on shams and pillows.  And adding pattern can really enliven a room," notes Greg. 
>Read more
about decorating a master bedroom

 

WE'RE STYLING NOW! NEW FURNITURE FRAMES COME TO CALICO, ALL AMERICAN MADE
Dozens of new sofas, chairs and ottomans have been added to the Calico Corners Custom Furniture program.  Many have been incorporated into new Fall displays, so that we could show them off in stylish fabrics.  Here's a sampling of some of our favorites, all made in North Carolina or California by our trusted manufacturing partners.  See even more furniture in our
Fall/Winter Look Book

>Read more
about new furniture frames at Calico

 

CAN LIFE BE BOTH SIMPLE AND SENSATIONAL?
The following essay struck a chord with editor Jan Jessup and we thought you might enjoy it too.  Written by color consultant Kate Smith, and used with her permission, this short essay explores what we all seem to crave--a simpler life.  Is it possible?  Kate and Jan were recently together at the Color Marketing Group annual North American conference--more about that to follow in the next issue!  Kate writes for her blog, Sensational Color and also consults with companies where color choices for consumers are critical to their success. 

>Read more
of this essay

 

REVIVING A TIRED BEDROOM: ADD A PUNCH OF PATTERN!

If your master bedroom looks as if the decor came out of a bed-in-a-bag, it's probably time to redecorate.  And why not create a room as unique as you are?  After all, the bedroom is one of the most private rooms in the house, rarely on public display and where you can indulge any style that reflects your taste. 

For tips on creating a great bedroom, we turned to Greg Lawrence, vice president of creative affairs at Calico Corners - Calico Home.  "Quite often, people hesitate to put pattern in a bedroom--but remember, when you're actually in bed, you probably won't see the pattern behind you on window treatments or on shams and pillows.  And adding pattern can really enliven a room," notes Greg. 

When you spend a third of your life in bed, that room should be a special space.  The images here show just how easily an interesting mix of fabrics can transform a bedroom--whether a more fashion-forward mix or a more traditional assortment.  Here are Greg's tips for creating a great master bedroom:

1.  Start with a fabulous headboard.  There are so many styles of upholstered headboards available--and they're more comfortable to rest against than hard surface wood or metal headboards.  The beauty of an upholstered headboard is that  you can cover it in just about any fabric choice, so you have thousands of options--not to mention adding designer touches such as tufting, nail head trim or contrast welting.  Some headboard styles can also be slipcovered with a sort of fabric pinafore that ties on the sides or slips over the top--a nice seasonal change to vary the look.


This cosmopolitan bedroom is perfect for a pattern enthusiast!  The custom upholstered Julia headboard creates a dramatic profile against a wall--and would look just as stunning covered in a more sedate fabric choice. This exhuberant mix of pattern creates quite an impression.  Repeating the patterns keeps a room from looking too frenzied.  Here fabrics repeat on the duvet and shams, on the headboard and bed skirt, on the plaid pillows and ottoman. Shop the Cosmopolitan Fabric Collection.
 
2.  Play with fabrics to find the right mix. Calico allows customers to borrow fabrics and samples to take home, so that you can see them in the light of the room, with the other furnishings, artwork and accessories.  "It's good to experiment," says Greg.  "A bedroom can take more pattern than you think--and mixing in a lot of them can add a stylish designer note." 

3.  Pick a favorite fabric and then build out from there.  "Start with the fabric that speaks to you the most," advises Greg.  "It might be just a pair of shams if it's a strong pattern, or you may want to see an entire bed in that design.  Then mix in other fabrics in different scales and textures." 

If you have a large bedroom with a sitting room or reading area in front of a fireplace, carry over from the bed some of the fabric colors or patterns, then add new textures on upholstered pieces.  Think about the room as a whole, not just the bed.  Repeating some of the fabrics will add harmony. 

4.  Remember to add an accent fabric.  Select one strong pattern or color fabric to use as an accent--perhaps on a pillow, a chair seat or a reversible throw.  "This will wake up the room and add a punch to the decor," notes Greg.  "It's like adding an exclamation point at the end of a sentence--use it sparingly!"  In the bedrooms featured, the accent fabric is the ikat pillow of Ghiza OD in Leaf and then the reverse side of the duvet, featuring the printed damask Clayton in Red

 
The reverse side of this duvet is Clayton in Red. Shop all fabrics from the Kingston Fabric Collection shown here.
 

5.  Change up your bedroom with the change of season.  Having a Spring/Summer look and a Fall/Winter look is not an indulgence.  It preserves your bedding and protects it from fading so that it will last many more years.  Here are some easy ways to dress your bedroom for a change of season: 

For Fall/Winter, add pillow covers or shams of velvet or chenille, a faux suede or a lustrous silk for more texture.  Have a reversible duvet made that features a pattern on one side and a textured solid fabric on the other.  If the duvet is too much for your climate, consider a reversible throw of similar fabrics.

For Spring/Summer, consider a custom coverlet in a bright, colorful print, a subtle solid or a lightweight matelassé (we have many more patterns and colors to choose from than those available in ready-made bedding).  Slipcover an upholstered headboard or a chair/settee in the room.  Open draperies and add a pretty sheer curtain beneath for privacy.  Change pillow covers to feature a fabric that's colorful and fun.   Lighten up and brighten up! 


The same bed with a solid quilted coverlet and fewer pillows is a lighter, more restful look--better for Spring/Summer weather when the heavier duvet goes into storage.  This is also a look preferred by those who like a colorful, more serene style decor. 

                                 
6.  Do pets figure into your bedroom decor?
 If you like to have pets on the bed, consider bedding (or at least a throw) made from washable Sunbrella indoor-outdoor fabric.  Dog beds can also be customized to complement your color scheme--no need to settle for what's available in the limited color range of commercial pet beds.    
 


7.  Don't forget to mix in some solid textures. 
Even if you love pattern, the eye needs a place to rest when creating a design scheme.  Add solid color pillows, an ottoman, a bench, a bed skirt or draperies to balance out patterns used elsewhere. 

And if you really prefer solid textures to mixing patterns, then be sure that you have a mix of textures--linen, silk, velvet, jacquard wovens, faux suede and so forth.  This will keep the room from appearing too plain vanilla, too boring.  A luxurious mix of textures in a favorite color family can create a serene, elegant looking bedroom. 

Consider tone-on-tone pattern for a more subtle approach.  These are fabrics that are variations on one color--a damask in two tones of red, for example, or silk stripes in shades of taupe, or a paisley print in several hues of blue.  This is a way of adding visual interest while staying within a more narrow range of colors and textures.

8.  Vary the scale when mixing patterns.  This will prevent them from fighting for attention.  Allow a larger pattern to be dominant, then find mid-scale and small-scale designs to complement.  Consider stripes and plaids too, always great choices to marry with large patterns--and a way to add a bit of menswear style, if the room starts looking too sweet. 

                                            

The fabrics used in this bedroom were chosen from five different vendors to avoid an overly coordinated, formulaic approach to designing a room.  Note that the patterned fabrics are all of different scales so that they can live together harmoniously.  The solid citron walls and the solid peacock blue fabric give the eye a place to rest--a good idea for any room where pattern prevails. Shop these fabrics from our Cosmopolitan Fabric Collection.

9.  Remember that pattern on a drapery will not have the same effect as pattern on a bed.  When fabrics are pleated or shirred in a window treatment, you really see the illusion of pattern, as much of the design is hiding in folds and fullness.  You don't read the pattern as literally as you do in a duvet, coverlet or bedspread on the bed.  So if you've fallen in love with a beautiful pattern or print, the bed is a great showcase for such a fabric. 

                        
Note the difference in how the pretty print Florabunda in Oatmeal reads on the bed compared to how it reads in the drapery.  Large patterns will appear less prominent in the fullness of a drapery at the window.

10.  Finally, the end of the bed is a great place for a long bench or a settee
to receive pillows or a duvet that comes off the bed at night.  A bench can also hold baskets or trays of books or magazines.  It can make packing a suitcase easier.  And it's a handy place to perch while putting on shoes or changing purses. 


A bench or settee at the foot of the bed needs to be appropriate to the size and scale of the bed.  If it's hard to visualize, try this trick: note the dimensions and tape together sheets of newspaper to replicate the size.  Place the paper at the end of the bed and see if the footprint seems right for the bed and the room.  FYI, Queen size beds are 60" wide, King size or Dual Twin beds are 78" wide and California King size beds are 72" wide. 

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE A VIDEO ON HOW TO MIX PATTERNS IN A BEDROOM FEATURING OUR COSMOPOLITAN FABRIC COLLECTION

 

 

 

 

 

WE'RE STYLING NOW! NEW FURNITURE FRAMES COME TO CALICO, ALL MADE IN AMERICA

Dozens of new sofas, chairs and ottomans have been added to theCalico Corners Custom Furniture program--plus a sumptuous chaise lounge, retro leather chairs and handsome recliners that disguise their ability to lean back (there will no confusing these with a rockin' recliner with built-in beer holder from your local furniture emporium).  Many of our new frames have been incorporated into Fall displays so that we could show them off in stylish fabrics.  Here's a sampling of some of our favorites, all made in North Carolina or California by our trusted manufacturing partners.  See even more furniture in our Fall/Winter Look Book.

The Cassett Sofa and why we love it: this sofa is on trend with tufting that starts at the inside arms and continues all across the back, a perfect setting to feature handsome pillows and add accents of color.  The arms have a graceful, welcoming flair and its 83" width means that the Cassett Sofa will have presence in a room, but is not oversized.  The dressmaker skirt is 10", a perfect length to add banding or braid at the hem, if desired.  Shown in chenille repBurnish, color Linen.

The Edith Sofa and why we love it: this large-scale 90" sofa has true Chesterfield styling with tufted back, arms and seat.  The Edith Sofa has dramatic flared arms, making it a good place to curl up with a book and hide from the family.  This frame is enhanced by nail head trim--and it's standard, so there is no extra charge.  Just choose Antique Brass or Shiny Silver nails.  Shown in faux suede fabric Aspen, color Cordovan.

 

                           

The Tito Chair and why we love it: this chair takes on French airs, with its exposed wood frame, upholstered arm pads and distinctive back lines.  The back could be covered in a contrast fabric, if desired.  The seat is really cushy--and because it's only 27" wide, the Tito Chair can slip into many places that can't accommodate a larger frame. 
Shown in woven stripe fabric Allegro, color Red.

                           

   The Garland Chair and why we love it: this chair looks as if it were plucked from the library of a grand country estate.  Its       pitched back and upholstered arms make it well suited for reading or conversation by the fire.  Add a lumbar pillow for additional back support, if desired.  The lines of this chair showcase a great fabric, such as the chenille tapestry Tazio in Olivine shown here--also from a fine American textile mill.

                           

  The Hampton Chair and why we love it: distinguished by optional nail head trim applied in intersecting rows, the smart looking Hampton Chair is a versatile performer.  A 24" wide slipper chair, it looks great in pairs and is deep enough to accommodate a tall sitter.  Slipper chairs are perfect at parties as guests can sit and face in any direction to strike up new conversations.  And if you're tight on space for upholstered chairs in a bedroom, a slipper chair can be just the ticket. 
Shown in the jacquard fabricTwisted, color Ivory.

                          

The Zoe Ottoman and why we love it: the X-factor on the upholstered legs of this ottoman give it a certain cachet--and yet it's of a scale to tuck in almost anywhere at just 20" square.  The Zoe Ottoman looks smart when used in pairs--under a sofa table, in a foyer, at the end of a bed.  It would also be a stylish ottoman for a sleek chair or to provide seating at a vanity table.  Shown here in the luxurious cotton leopard velvet Jamil in Natural.

 

 

 

CAN LIFE BE BOTH SIMPLE AND SENSATIONAL?

The following short essay struck a chord with editor Jan Jessup and we thought you might enjoy it too.  Written by color consultant Kate Smith, and used with her permission, this essay explores what we all seem to crave--a simpler life.  Is it possible?  Kate and Jan were recently together at the Color Marketing Group annual North American conference--more about that to follow in the next issue!  Kate writes for her blog, Sensational Color and also consults with companies where color choices for consumers are critical to their success.  Kate covers the full color spectrum--writing about color in paint, roofing, fashion, nail polish and more!  Have a look around her blog and subscribe for free, if you like.

 

Can life be sensational and simple at the same time? That is a question I asked myself a few years ago as my son entered his senior year in high school. I was thinking about what I wanted my life to be like post full-time parenting.

After dropping off my son at Virginia Tech to begin his third year in college, I thought about all of the ways that, by design, my life is much simpler. I also thought about how the process of keeping things simple has continually challenged me to question my choices against the end goal and not over-complicate things.

I think that same challenge is true for color and design. In our desire to be creative and original we often over-complicate designs that could be so much more elegant if they were less worked. Even iconic designers and artists are not exempt from this problem.

The early paintings by many Old Masters, for example, were beautiful in their simplicity. Some of their later paintings, often composed to show off the many worldly belongings of their wealthy patrons, seem too complicated and less successful. You don't have to be an art aficionado to see that once the pictures began being placed in gold frames with ornate curlicues that the magic in the painting was gone.

Look at something you're creating. Is the question, "What more does it need?" or "Could it be better with less?" Only you can find the right answer for you. The one that allows you to create a design, a work of art, or a life, that doesn't need a frame with fancy curlicues.