Wednesday, January 18

my fabric obsession continues: Brunschwig & Fils, Clarence House, Hinson, Travers, Kravet and Rose Cummings

Who doesn't love
Brunschwig & Fils? 
Say the name five times quickly...
I have heard a variety of pronunciations for this fabric house!
using toile does not have to be all gussied up and overdone.
I like the fresh, almost modern appeal of how this toile works in the room,
did you know toile comes from the French words
"canvas" and "linen cotton"?
a B&F country toile I have used a number of times
It's safe to say that one of my most favorite areas of design is putting together fabric schemes.  While it can be interesting, it can also pose a challenge for clients because it is difficult to visualize how a fabric swatch will look on an entire curtain panel or sofa, not to mention how it will meld with all the other moving parts of the room.

I don't regularly take my clients shopping because it takes up lots of time and often confuses the process, but at least once in the beginning of the design process, it is a good idea for us to hit the D&D together to see the various showrooms and styles of fabrics.  Usually after one morning, a new client has a better understanding of the importance of layering with fabrics.  Today, many of us don't want as much layering as in the old days, but with a more edited eye.  Still, there's no doubt good fabric pairings can finish a home. 
I am totally obsessed with toile, and not used in your grandmother's clutter variety, but mixed in a way that is nicely edited.  Sometimes toile used repeatedly can make a small room feel bigger - ironic! 

bold use of fabrics and toile wallpaper

But either way, my very favorite fabric company has always been Brunschwig & Fils.  Since the early days when I was fresh out of design school, I toted that black and white bag around while freelancing for other designers and shopping for clients.  The French country influences tug at B&F, and originally made in the finest European workrooms, the fabrics are rich, detailed and varied.  I know I can count on them to offer up great pairings of colors together with patterns.  I am fond of Rose Cummings fabrics too with their dramatic patterns, which harken to days gone by in English castles, and of course the regal fabrics of Clarence House and Scalamandres impress. I enjoy the variety of fabrics Kravet has to offer as well, but Brunschwig & Fils still gets my vote every time -- thank you Kravet for picking them up and adding them to your wonderful collection of fabric houses!
I associate cotton stripes like this tan and white painted one above I used for 
beach house roman shades from Hinson
with Albert Hadley,
 and his gentlemanly approach to combining fabrics
 We can count on Brunschwig & Fils to keep bringing
us interesting, new fabrics such as these two (above printed cotton and below, Ikat)
a fine example of fabric adding layering: 
photograph I took at this summer's Hampton Designer Showhouse. 
This room was designed by designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd.  She utilized many of her newly released fabrics, which are available at Duralee
 I often design pillows using two different fabrics: combining heavier more ornate fabrics with lighter patterns for a clean aesthetic. 
This Clarence House shell ensconced fabric put together with a fine cotton pinstripe
and tape trim illustrates my point -
I designed these for a screened in porch

when shopping through the rows of fabrics and handling the rich detailing of the wovens and prints over at B&F, I'm reminded of the talented designer's before us who combined fabrics in a sophisticated manner, and laid a rich foundation for us to add upon, edit and bring into current day. 
Billy Baldwin's designs

Elsie de Wolfe
Stop back soon for profiles
of some of my favorite designers from the past -
I plan to show examples of their influence still at work today