Design Crush - Ikat Fabrics

I'm going through an Ikat period. Ask anyone who's seen me lately, and they'll tell you I keep trying to mix Ikat patterns in to every project. I like the real, antique ones (who doesn't?), the reproductions, cheap enough to use with abandon, and especially the newest fabrics that take a bit of the Ikat graphic punch, clean it up, and use it in a fresh, new way. Since the textiles are so ancient, there are Ikat-weave fabrics in many cultures around the world, so there must be an Ikat for every occasion. This obsession has been with me for a very, very long time, but in recent years I'm finding the bright modern Ikats on the market today just perfect for my work at the beach. Plus, they are becoming more popular, so each market there seem to be more and more to choose from. With unique and colorful versions from Madeleine Weinrib, Brunschwig & Fils, China Seas, and even some we offer at Posh Living, we may have more Ikats in design than we can handle in the immediate future. I hope this doesn't create a "trend" that will one day be "over"; I hate when that happens to something I really love. So enjoy them, but a word of caution to clothing manufacturers and big chain stores - please give us Ikat-lovers a break, and don't overdo it!

Photo at top, Madeleine Weinrib fabrics; Domino Magazine

To read more about the history of Ikats, and see some great photos, see my article on our Posh Living website by clicking here: Ikat Fabrics, Ancient and Modern

And here's some more Ikat eye-candy:

A fabulous scarf...

China Seas Ikat on sofa from Domino Magazine....


Design Crush - Fabrics by Mally Skok

Here's my latest design find ( and it's a full-fledged crush ):
Patti's beroom - more Mally Skok fabrics in action. She loves... on Twitpic
Gorgeous fabrics by designer Mally Skok. I have just about flipped over the crisp, clean patterns and clear colors, and they have a bit of India/Uzkbeki flair that I adore. They seem so completely timeless. Just look:
Still on my rounds to clients houses today - an old Victorian... on Twitpic
And don't miss this one:
Just dropped in on a client in Cape Cod to see her chairs new... on Twitpic
I have learned from her Tweets that she seems to be a traveler and gardener; the type of person I might really like if we met. I'm going to put her on my list of people I'd like to have lunch with some day, right beside Peter Dunham, Diana Krall and the Keno brothers.
And if you're still not convinced, I leave you with this -
Took the strike-off of my new Ikat linen into the garden to p... on Twitpic


The Basket

This little basket came into my life recently when I was passing through the clearance aisle of a big-box store, and it was sitting there all alone. It was looking cheerful and was also 75% off. Well, I thought to myself, that would be a happy little treat. I envisioned carrying things to the beach, or toting flatware and dishes outside for supper. Never did I think the Basket would become the new "it" bag! It happened rather unexpectedly. I brought it home and sat it on the dining room sideboard, where it mocked me for a week for not having the time to load it with cold drinks and magazines and head for the beach. I was wishing it had straps for the bike handlebars, like those old 1970's baskets with the plastic daisies. Then one morning I was heading out the door with the usual assortment of odd-shaped, bulky and heavy items (think latte', camera, catalogs, snacks for the office, can of coffee) and there it was. It was ridiculously easy to toss everything in; even my summer purse and cardigan went in, and suddenly I was happily carrying one thing instead of ten. So superior to a tote bag, the Basket holds its shape firmly and the top is always open, so you just toss and go. The Basket has taken over my toting life. Here it is with a vase of flowers left from our photo shoot, some samples I was playing with, and some magazines I wanted to flip through at home. Everything travels upright without spilling, I can put heavy things in it, it's just so cheerful! So the Basket is my Design Crush of the moment. I know it's not a big, earth-shattering design discovery, but it is a simple solution to a daily problem, it looks cute, and it makes me happy. And that's what good design is all about. I saw some polka-dot ones in a catalog, and I'm already planning my fall basket wardrobe.


A Crush on Blogger James Andrew

Photo from "What is James Wearing?" taken by Lars Stephan
Like so many others I, too have fallen under the spell of blogger James Andrew, of "What is James Wearing?" fame. Yes, his blog is a fun glimpse into a jetset lifestyle, and yes he has fabulous taste in clothes. But the real clincher came for me when I spotted photos of his apartment on another blog. It's a great interior, no doubt - but here's the thing: his living room has a pair of very mismatched lamps and end tables, and a fax machine stuffed on a shelf with papers and other detritus. I love this. The best homes are lived-in ones, and the most interesting people decorate according to their passions and their needs. Fax machine not hiding in some fakey-antique looking armoire gets points with me. The art is definitely whippet-centric, demonstrating his love for the companion hounds. (My dogs, Hazel and Rocky, approve of the art collection). Books are impeccably shelved and organised, so he's a bibliophile like me. And that fabulous shirt would look great on me. So, James, if you have room for one more friend in your uber-chic life, I would like to apply. And borrow that shirt for the weekend.


An Ongoing Crush - China Seas Fabrics

Roman Shades in Island Ikat by China Seas
Photo by Ngoc Minh Ngo, House Beautiful, March 2009.

OK, it's not really a crush but more of a personal obsession of mine. China Seas has a way of coloring their patterns in a way that is totally fresh and forward-looking, and yet the colors aren't way off from colors we may have in the rest of the home. It takes a bit of colorist genius to do that successfully. The oranges are soft, the blues are crisp and clear....The graphic fabric patterns take traditional elements like fretwork or chinoiserie and make them look modern and fresh by playing with scale. And they are printed on the most delicious heavy linens that give them substance and a quality feel. I think they're worth every nickel. They've been getting a lot of press lately and it's well-deserved!


Where Palm Beach Comes To Play: Wedding Bliss

Crush of the Day: Wedding Couple Garrett and Ann

I love how they still have a pair of Grandpa's Lilly Pulitzer pants; I love him for hopping into them and rockin' that kelly green blazer; I love her for holding dear the notion that weddings should be about the bride and groom's happiness, and if Lilly makes her happy, Lilly it shall be. Don't let those pants hide in the closet when the honeymoon is over! You guys made me smile today - may your life together be as joyful as those famous, colorful fabrics. CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE GARRETT AND ANN ON THEIR HONEYMOON:
Where Palm Beach Comes To Play: Wedding Bliss


Crush of the Moment: Thomas Paul

We just can't get enough around here of Thomas Paul's fresh, snappy modern prints from Duralee. They've given our shop a needed lift, and they are clean and simple enough to mix well into traditional rooms. That's one of my complaints about a lot of modern design - the elements are great looking on their own, but those of us who don't live in a minimalist loft or Neutra house in L.A. can't easily use them. Thomas Paul has hit just the right note with a collection of fabrics that just about anyone can take home; a bit of modern punch for the classic American home. (The birds are just darned cute too).

Design Crush of the Day

My Design Crush at the moment is Jeffery Bilhuber - his rooms don't look like a designer did them, they just look like the homes of people with incredible taste and a sense of tradition. His house will be published in August Vogue. I like to stop by his web site when I need a visual lift: www.bilhuber.com
Beautiful pictures - I particularly love the recurring pair of chairs facing each other across an ottoman, and the odd antique rockers here and there for a bit of granny chic.

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