Fit to Frame

March 26, 2016

I have a bit of a problem when it comes to beautiful fabrics. I love them so much that I have turned into a bit of a textile hoarder: scraps from sewing projects, samples, even pretty satin ribbons that wrapped a present – I keep it all. I can't walk by a fabric store without stopping in and perusing the selection. This usually results in a purchase, whether I have a specific plan for said purchase or not. My 20+ year career in the fashion and home textiles business has not helped. Not a week goes by that I do not come home with an “orphan”–  a roll of fabric that was a misprint, a discontinued color or quality. I can't bear to see any of it thrown out. I keep fabrics in closets, under my bed, rolled up behind the front door and my DIY book Scraps was the direct result of this collecting and hoarding.

Fortunately, there are many ways to put a treasured fabric stash to good use, and simply framing a favorite pattern is a really quick project that will give you a lot of bang for your buck! Opt for a gallery-wall style assortment of coordinating colors, or stretch a pattern with large repeat over a painter's canvas.


Left image via Typepad, middle image Crystal Vision in Capri, right image via Lia Griffith


Artfully rendered black-and-white prints practically beg to be translated into wall art. All you need is a staple gun and a few canvasses of varying size. Hang a large horizontal rectangular framed fabric on the wall right above the bed in lieu of a traditional headboard; an affordable DIY that will instantly upgrade your bedroom's décor.

A Touch of Brass

February 26, 2016

I was a teenager in the eighties, so I have fond memories of the “decade of excess”: Duran Duran, Dayglo and Dynasty. The latter, TV, was my favorite guilty-pleasure: the cat fights, the big hair, the giant shoulder pads and the OTT gowns with sequins, beads and gold lamé. It was tacky and over-the-top and I enjoyed every minute of it. As I grew up, everything that was so new and exciting became decidedly uncool. The nineties were all about minimalism: uniform dressing and brushed nickel were de rigueur. So imagine my surprise when gold and brass made a comeback. If the popularity of the gold iPhone is any indication, this trend has some staying power. LA designer and trendsetter Kelly Wearstler was one of the early adopters who fully embraced this gloriously exuberant material in her bold interiors, often dramatically offset with strong black-and-white color schemes.


Both images via Elle Decor


In London it was cult designer Tom Dixon who blazed the trail with his groundbreaking furniture, lighting and accessories in gleaming copper and brass. Tom draws his inspiration from a wide variety of places: from Olympic medals and space helmets to car parts and disco balls. Lately, I have surprised myself, when shopping my local hardware store – a favorite resource of mine for jewelry components – as I keep asking if they have hex nuts and chains with a brass finish. It has led to some quizzical looks when I explain what I intend to do with said hex nuts. Even in my mom-and-pop hardware store, it is clear: brass is back. There is a wider selection than ever for beautifully designed brass bathroom fixtures. These look best when used with a neutral color palette and classic materials such as statuary marble, and black-and-white checkerboard tiles.