{fabric finds}

I just shared the pair of gray and white ticking stripe slipcovered swivel chairs that arrived at my parents’ bay house.  And guess what arrived today?!  My mom just sent me a picture text of the finished sofa and slipcover, freshly delivered by the upholsterer!

the new slipcover

Doesn’t it look fabulous?!  The seamstress did an excellent job creating a form-fitting slipcover – the piping is perfect and the skirt matches the swivel chairs so well.

Want a reminder of what’s underneath?

what's under that new slipcover

It’s definitely an improvement – the navy floral was fine for their old living room in the Midwest, but wasn’t cutting it for a waterfront home!

I’m using my imagination to see how the sofa looks with the new chairs:

gray sofa + gray/white swivel chairs - now we need color!

I can’t wait to help her start pulling the rest of it together.  Next is a rug (I’m voting for one of Dash & Albert‘s great indoor/outdoor rugs), and of course pillows.  And a great chandelier to hang over the dining table (I’m thinking a red pagoda lantern, hmmmm).


Remember last summer when I helped my mom come up with some fabric options for the bay house?  Well, she’s made some headway!  Look what just arrived!

swivel chairs!

She got a pair of swivel chairs made by Lee Industries at a big sale event at the fabulous store Sister’s Unique in Newport News, VA (post on them to come soon!).


They’re slipcovered in a fabulous graphite gray and white ticking stripe.

a perfect pair

These will be perfect with the sofa, which is getting slipcovered in a nubby gray linen.

super comfy

We can’t wait to put it all together!  Once the sofa gets finished, then it’s time to get the pillows made, find a new rug, and get a new coffee table.

About a year ago, my parents very generously gave us the sectional couch in the living room of the Bay House so we could put it in our newly finished basement media room.  (Let me tell you – it is a PERFECT FIT!  I really ought to do a house tour…)  They had had it for a number of years but its yellow twill fabric wasn’t hiding the stains of constant visitors well, and the pieces of the sectional were constantly sliding apart on the hardwoods.  Around the same time as when they gave us the sectional, they also moved the last of their things back to Virginia, and ended up bringing whatever furniture didn’t fit there to the Bay House.

Hence why the living space at the Bay House now looks like it does right now: dark, heavy colors and fabrics totally not fitting in a summer house…and basically nothing to sit on!

view from entry (kitchen on right)

view from entry (kitchen behind and on right, den through the doors)

The whole back wall is covered in almost floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, fully taking in the view of the Bay and letting in tons of sunlight.  It’s kind of an awkward space to arrange furniture, it being a large open space with a million doors on all the walls, a big fireplace, and the kitchen opposite the wall of windows.

view from exit to porch

view from the exit to the porch (kitchen on right, den straight ahead)

So, for the past year, my mom has been trying to figure out what furniture to get and how in the world to arrange the space.  She wants to keep the wall color the same, start afresh with stuff hung on the walls, re-upholster or slipcover the existing sofa, and find comfortable and plentiful seating in a good arrangement.

view from den (kitchen on left, master straight ahead)

view from den (kitchen on left, master straight ahead)

Even though she was working with a shop in Kilmarnock (called The Pedestal – really cute store, pop in if you’re ever passing through!), she still couldn’t make up her mind.  So…decision-making daughter to the rescue!

The end of August, Husband and I went down to the Bay House for a sort of birthday weekend and to enjoy one of the last weekends of the summer.  Mom had been to The Pedestal recently and the gal she was working gave her stacks and stacks of suggested fabric books to go through.  It was time to be brutally efficient and just pick something out!!!

Wanna see what we came up with???

what i think we settled on!

do i hear oohs and ahhs?!

Now I am no fabric picker-outer expert by any means (please pipe up if you have opinions!), and the ones she came home with from the fabric shop were great, but look what we put together!


The existing sofa was made by Hickory Chair and is still in fantastic shape – and really comfy.  Mom either wants to slipcover it or re-upholster it; the navy floral has got to go.  We’re both really into the yellow and gray combo seen everywhere these days, and since the walls are yellow and the counter tops and floor tile in the kitchen open to the living room are a dark gray, gray the sofa shall be!

Whereas the current sofa’s skirt is about 5 or 6 inches, we’ll give it a 10 inch pleated skirt.  Mmmmm.  We were looking for a fabulous gray linen/cotton blend with just a hint of brown…and we may have found just that in Duralee’s 31922 360 Ebony:

a gray linen-y fabric with a smidge of brown

a gray linen-y fabric with a smidge of brown

As far as arrangement goes, the sofa will stay basically where it currently sits.


Seating!  We desperately need seating!!!  Opposite and facing the sofa, we want to put a pair of comfy swivel chairs, like these from Lee Industries (but NOT in this fabric):

a pair of chairs something like this

a pair of chairs something like this

Between it I put the Braiden Side Table from Crate & Barrel, pulling the blacks in the room but still keeping it airy.

And what fabric will these lovely chairs be covered in?  How about this dandy of a linen blend by Thibaut called Mizoram in Aqua, with a creamy white background a pretty blue floral print:

thibaut mizoram in pool

thibaut mizoram in aqua

here's a bigger view of the print

here's a bigger view of the print

Why aqua?!  Well, remember when she painted the entryway a spunky BM Bahamanian Blue?  This would go OH-so-nicely.


Remember the wooden bench in the current pics?  Mom wants to keep it in the room, but it’s not very comfy.  So, we’ll get a cushy down-filled cushion to put on the seat (maybe some pretty ties tying it down?) made out of this fabulous pale linen blend by Robert Allen called Nick Nack in Biscotti:

wheaty linen for settee

wheaty linen for settee

The bench would stay in its current position, perpendicular to the sofa.  Across the seating area and facing the bench, I propose a little settee like the Olivia Settee from Pottery Barn, also covered in the same Robert Allen linen:

can you envision it upholstered in the pretty linen?

can you envision it upholstered in the pretty linen?

There is also a great Nate Berkus settee over at HSN for a steal of a price and in a pretty Pool or Twill color that might fit the bill:

a very possible option!

a very possible option!


Pillows for this space will pull it all together, I think.  🙂  Remember that fantastic, glorious fabric I posted about a few weeks ago?  Well, it’ll take center stage in this design: Robert Allen’s Eleria print in Biscotti.  The neutral background coordinates perfectly with the fabric for the settee and bench cushion; the leaves go so well with the leaves in this print; the yellow of the flowers really pop with the yellow on the walls; and the pops of aqua are perfect with the print on the swivel chairs.

the piece de resistance

the piece de resistance

And the birds – the birds! – I just love them.  Such a touch of whimsy, but really adding more aqua to the mix.  And although she didn’t want oranges (she was open to red moreso), the coral-y orange really pulls in accent colors from existing artwork in the room, not to mention the crab pot buoys (usually bright orange and yellow) that they frequently find washed up on the shore!

eleria, i love you!

isn't this fantastic?!

I would also love Mom to use this fabric as a pleated cafe curtain in the kitchen.  LOVE IT!

Mom also has a big yellow, tonal striped, floral fabric remnant of some unknown maker, seen in the background here, which would also make some fun pillows:

bringing in that yellow!

bringing in that yellow!

Other pillows will be covered in this sweet stripe by Thibaut called Popeil in Marine – I just love the little embroidered nubs on it (actually the pic above shows a better representation of the actual color of this fabric):

stools/bench in front of fireplace?

every room needs a stripe!

She also wants some low-profile pieces in front of the fireplace, since it’s a traffic zone but could use some seating.  This fabric could then also be used for a pair (or three?) of upholstered stools in front of the fireplace, maybe ones like these X stools from Pottery Barn:

a perfect perch by the fire in winter

a perfect perch by the fire in winter

The gal at The Pedastal also suggested a couple of upholstered cubes or small benches, but the jury’s still out on whether to go for it.  Maybe she’ll just wait for some “found” item…like with washed up driftwood for a base?  We shall see!


I haven’t quite made up my mind on this one, but I kind of love this 8.5′ x 11’pale aqua diamond indoor/outdoor rug by Dash & Albert:

a little geometric flair!

a little geometric flair!

I’m not sure it will be big enough for the space, but I love that it is a sort of neutral coordinating blue in a geometric pattern.  And the fact that it’s an indoor/outdoor rug makes it a bazillion times more appealing for this oft-traveled space.


Did you think I could just leave it at fabrics?!  🙂  I’d looooooove to see this modern and airy lucite coffee table from CB2 centered right in front of the sofa.  I think it would be perfect for this space, not letting your eyes rest on a heavy piece of furniture, but outside to the view!  This beaut is a clear winner (har har har)!

ooh la la!

ooh la la!

So what do you think?  Are we on the way to a good combo of fabrics for this waterside retreat???  Let me remind you of how it’ll all look together:

methinks i like it!

methinks i like it!

Mom was super grateful for a second set of eyes to help pick out fabrics to get a looks she wants!  Well and for me too, since we spend so much time there in the summers!

I’d love any feedback or suggestions!

I’m down at the Bay House this weekend, where my mom and I spent the better part of two hours this afternoon searching through a dozen or so fabric swatch books in search of the perfect fabrics for their main living space here: Thibaut, Robert Allen, Lee Jofa, Duralee…  It was so much fun!  I think we’ve stumbled upon a good set of options, which I’ll share this week.  Seriously, though, I could flip through fabric books ALL. DAY. LONG.

In flipping through the swatch books, we stumbled upon my new most favorite fabric ever: Robert Allen’s Eleria print in Biscotti.  Take a gander:

eleria, i love you!

eleria, i love you!

It’s an absolutely gorgeous linen, nice neutral background, the most perfect shades of avocado-y green and dijon-y yellow, gray leaves, pops of turquoise blue, and then those coral-y birds with long turquoise fan tails stealing the show.  Here’s another pic so you can see more of the bird:

don't you just love this?! (i do!)

don't you just love this?! (i do!)

It might hold a prominent place in the living space here at the Bay House, but what I really want to do is find a fabulous wingback chair on Craigslist, reupholster it (with a little butter pleated skirt, please!), and put it in my living room (next to my soon-to-be-repainted 1800s fireplace mantle, of course).  🙂

In order to accomplish this, I only need to…

(a) get rid of/store the giant leather sofa in our living room (we have 2 enormous sofas in there, the other being this beaut of a camelback sofa from Restoration Hardware – my first “adult” purchase a few years ago) so we have room for the new wingback:

the sofa that would stay

the sofa that would stay

(b) find a leather club chair to pair with the wingback – maybe this Kensington club chair from RH (oh how I love the Chesterfield sofa shape!!!):

oh how you tempt me, tufting and nailheads...!

oh how you tempt me, tufting and nailheads...!

(c) find and buy said wingback chair – maybe something that looks like Mitchell Gold’s Randolph wingback:

love that shape

love that shape

(d) get it upholstered in the Robert Allen Eleria print in Biscotti, with a little butter pleat like Windsor Smith’s sofa in this pic:

that pleat is so cute!

that pleat is so cute!

…and finally…

(e) convince Husband that this all needs to be done.

Hmmm.  I think (e) isn’t going to happen though.  Which probably means (a) through (d) won’t.  A girl can dream, right?

I was just browsing through Etsy seller redrubyrose’s latest clutches (I posted on a few favorites back in August) and a really funfun fabric jumped out at me on one of her new ones.

redrubyrose clutch "yellow seedheads"

redrubyrose clutch"yellow seedheads"

The fabric, called Dandelion One was designed by artist Angie Lewin for St. Jude’s Modern British – Artist Designed Textiles.  St. Jude’s is a North Norfolk-based company that collaborates with an “eclectic range of artists” to produce their printed fabrics, screen-printed in short runs.

St. Jude’s has a modest selection of really cute designs, a few of my favorites of which are below:

angie lewin's

angie lewin's "dandelion one" (left) and "dandelion two" (right)

Dandelion One comes in sage/yellow, pale green/sage, and black/stone; Dandelion Two in sage, yellow, stone, pale green, and bark.

angie lewin

angie lewin's "seedhead"

Seedheads comes in blue/brown (pictured right), sage/brown, and gray/green (pictured left).

angie lewin

mark herald's "doveflight"

I really love Doveflight in blue/blue (pictured left); it also comes in gray/pink (pictured right).  redrubyrose also has a clutch in this fabric in blue; she calls it “Bluebird and Dove”.

I could use any one of these for a fun throw pillow……and I am especially eying Dandelion One for new dining room chair covers to perfectly complement my mustard walls!

If you get a chance, check out Angie Lewin’s other work on her website.  She has an amazing assortment of gorgeous modern botanical linocut and wood engraved prints (you can purchase them via her site!).  Also check out her blog, where she writes on an assortment of topics like other printmakers and artists.

Life has been CRA-ZY this past week…sorry for the lack of posts.  But this one is some fun eye candy.  Reading my daily design blog RSS feeds, I came across this super fun upholstered chair at the lovely blog absolutely beautiful things.  Couldn’t you imagine this as a pop of color in personality in an otherwise neutral room?  Or maybe that perfect corner chair in a newborn baby girl’s room?

chair upholstered in a fun fabric by rubie green

blog absolutely beautiful thing's chair upholstered in a fun fabric by rubie green

The fabric is just one of nine fabrics created by Rubie Green.  Some of my favorites:

marilyn (what a fun headboard idea!)

marilyn (what a fun headboard idea!)

east village in pink & mary

east village (in pink) & mary

tillinghast (looks verrrrry similar to a fabric in calico corners right now)

tillinghast (I love this one - I've seen a fabric that looks very similar to a fabric in calico corners right now)

mary (also comes in natural)

mary (also comes in natural)...and i love the red with zebra combo!

patsy (also comes in blue)

patsy (also comes in blue)

For those of you trying to be green, all Rubie Green fabrics are printed with water-based, non-toxic inks on organic cotton.

UPDATE! – absolutely beautiful things has a follow-on post with Rubie Green designer Michelle Adams!

My brain is always swirling with new ways to update the various rooms of my house.  Anchored with classic, neutral pieces, the easiest way to switch it up is to change out pillows, curtains, and easy-to-redo chairs.

One of the cheapest ways to do that? – IKEA fabric!  Not only is their selection dotted with the latest trend and colors (think graphics prints in bright oranges, greens and blues), but it’s CHEAP at $5.99-$7.99/yard, and offers a package of complementary fabrics, taking the guesswork out of throwing together a whole new look.

Some of my favorites right now are:






For example, our bedroom currently looks “fine.”  But its certainly nothing special, and I’m ready for something new.  The walls are an ice blue, the furniture is antiqued black, and we have a base of white bedding.  On the floor is a cool graphic rug in a bright turquoise I picked up on a whim at Urban Outfitters this spring, and on the bed are ice blue striped shams and a matching duvet cover.  Blah.

What I’m thinking is I need to toss the shams and duvet, and find something updated…then cover the bed in a variety of fun throws using one IKEA’s fabric sets.  I’m thinking GUNVOR, and then find some turquoise to bring in the rug and walls.  That will make for a pretty inexpensive makeover!