COTE DE TEXAS: Pretty Rooms & Pretty Fabrics

Pretty Rooms & Pretty Fabrics


Is chintz hot again? They’ve been saying “Chintz is Back” for a few years now.  Take it with a grain of salt - but,  I did find this new, gorgeous, gorgeous chintz that F. Schumacher just came out with:

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Loving this chintz by Schumacher.  Love, love love!

It’s the colorway – gray and white with red – that makes this fabric so new and wonderful.  Whose design is it?  Who else but Alessandra Branca, of course.  Born in Rome and now living in Chicago,  Branca loves the classics – with a twist.   For example – in her red and black chintz, there’s just a hint of acid green in the leaves – another favorite color of hers.  The white background mixed with all the grays just screams “now.” 
Branca has a definite color palette.   If she isn’t doing red and black with yellow, she’s doing acid green.  And if she isn’t doing those colors – she’s doing navy.  That’s it.  

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Yellows and reds with black accents.  Classic Branca.    An apartment like this never goes out of style.


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Another apartment with Branca’s colors mixed with floral and striped fabrics.

It’s interesting how certain designers have limited palettes.  Branca is known for her red and black interiors.   But what if a client likes her aesthetic, but wants light pink and green interiors?  Well, Branca has done bright pink and lime green before.  But do you hire Branca if you want pastels?
Think about Rachel Ashwell with her light pink and green and turquoise palette.  What if you want Rachel and a red and black interior?  Do you have to hire Alessandra instead?
I wonder if designers with such rigid palettes lose clients?  Are you better off without a specific palette if you want a huge career? 
Glad that’s not my problem!!

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Here is the Branca chintz – with complimentary fabrics from her new collection.

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Here it is in another colorway – with the acid green and gray and black flowers on a white background.   Another smashing fabric. 

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Since Branca is known for red and black, she also designed a toile fabric/wallpaper with a black background.  Shown here is another pretty toile fabric used as curtains – but it’s her striped fabrics that are a real knockout in this collection.   The striped fabric is heavy, crisp, and GORGEOUS in vivid colors.  One of the best stripes ever.  And again, here the chintz is shown as pillows.  I would love to see this chintz in a room with all white slipped furniture with curtains made out of that chintz. 

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Shown large…

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This would be so pretty mixed with navy blue or with hot pink. 


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Another vignette of Branca’s new fabrics for Schumacher.
I have to say – Schumacher is really hitting it out of the ballpark these days with their newest designer collections.  Mary McDonald and Martyn Lawrence Bullard both came out with smashing fabrics.

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And then, there is the Wearstler Collection – think how much money Kelly Wearstler made for Schumacher on just this one fabric and wallpaper, which started its own huge trend?  After her very successful association with F. Schumacher, Wearstler left to join forces with Lee Jofa.  Why?  I could never figure that one out!


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Schumacher picked a winner in Branca.   She is well known and extremely talented and will attract as many customers as McDonald and Bullard did.   When designing the new line, Branca used her own designs as the springboard – as seen in her own Chicago townhouse.


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For instance, her love of stripes – is seen in the collection:

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The Schumacher stripes are fabulous – they are printed on heavy, thick fabric.  The stripes are clear and bright.  Just beautiful in person.



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Schumacher relied on Branca’s aesthetic for the collection:  her love of stripes, plaids, toiles and chintz – all done in her bright, clear colorways.


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AND, Branca loves to use damasks and Fortunys – as seen in here in her NYC apartment.

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She recreated her own line of damasks and Fortuny like fabrics – here with the Melograno and Anna damasks.

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And Branca is famous for her use of toiles – as seen in her own Chicago townhouse.  Schumacher recreates toiles in her line – in reds and blacks and blues.

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Here is one of the new toiles – the Continenti is available in three colorways.


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But – for me – the best is the Elizabeth chintz – in either the red/gray or acid green colorway.  I am dying to use it somewhere!!

It seems like pretty rooms are making a comeback – especially those with beautiful fabrics.  These are the rooms that keep catching my eye – making me rethink the quiet, neutral palettes that I’ve loved for so long.
This room especially made me question solids only designing.
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It was this room that made me realize that I’m just loving pattern lately.  This classic chintz from Colefax and Fowler helped make Tory Burch’s living room timeless.  The persimmon silk curtains – though plain – didn’t exactly hurt the design either.  This is English decorating from the 60s updated for today. 

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Tree of Life fabrics – wow.  The fabric made me fall in love with this bedroom.  Totally.  I’m a sucker for a pretty Tree of Life fabric.  Michael Smith has a few in his collection.   But, there is something about this particular fabric – on the cream background – that is just gorgeous.

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Here, the same fabric by BRAQUENIÉ as seen in Givency’s French country estate.  GORGEOUS!    Pierre Frey sells this fabric and others like it HERE.

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In Lee Radziwell’s Paris apartment – she used a gorgeous toile fabric and placed it on an assortment of chairs and sofa –unifying them.

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And across the sitting room – the hot pink picks up the deep pink in the toile.  The toile is just gorgeous.


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This living room in Houston by Mario Buatta – a personal favorite.  Dated?  I don’t think so – although it was designed years ago.  I love it – still.   This house was recently totally redone when the owners moved out – and this classic house is now contemporary.  It’s scary how awful the new design is.   How to update the Buatta design for today without going contemporary – the walls could be white or cream instead of buttah yellow?  Maybe a different rug – apple matting perhaps, maybe less fabric choices? 


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The bedroom in the same house- pattern upon pattern.  To update it for today – use less pattern,  add a seagrass or textured rug.  But still, this is gorgeous – can’t it just stay the same?

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In England, Nicholas Haslam’s country house once owned by John Fowler. 

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The country house garden room - with this fabulous chintz.  I wanted to redo my family room in this chintz for about a month.   I obsessed over it for weeks.

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Using patterned fabrics for today – love the chintz fabric for the curtains.  This room is so perfect – the colors, the fabrics (velvets and linens mixed together,) the antiques – everything is fabulous:  Carol Glasser.   The peach velvet is especially wonderful.  Wouldn’t change a thing – not even an ashtray! 



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Schuyler Samperton mixes prints and textiles with solid fabrics – wow!!!  This is a huge departure  for Samperton, choosing this colorway - but it works.  Love this house!    Samperton created a classic design but updated the colors to make it current.  Amazing.



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Kathryn Ireland used two patterns in this bedroom – then mixed them with textiles.  LOVE!  This room looks exactly like it might have looked in the 30s or 40s in the English countryside or the Near East.  Fabulous – and love that rug!!!


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Quieter, Suzanne Rheinstein, uses one print, mixed with a solid blush silk in this bedroom.  Her designs are so timeless.   Her fabric choices are always impeccable.


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Love this!  The sofa actually came with the house from the previous owners.  Only in England would that happen.  So fabulous, timeless, classic.


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Before she established her red and black and yellow palette – Alessandra Branca designed this rather quiet living room – using one busy print mixed with a colorful stripe.  Another example – of good design showing no age at all.   I would move in here today!

Are you also loving patterned fabrics lately?  Or are you scared to take the plunge? 

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I wanted pattern.  I wanted the flowery chintz in the Haslam garden room.  But instead I chose a pattern that would work with everything I already had.   Another option would have been pillows instead of curtains.  Just be sure the pillows are large enough if you bring the pattern in that way – 22 or 24 inch.



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Not convinced about patterned fabric?   Here, a muted gorgeous Robert Kime linen sets the tone and the mood.   Apple Matting again!  It really looks great.  This room makes me fall in love with design all over again.  Amelia Handegan.  She’s good.  Very, very good.


To see the new F. Schumacher, Alessandra Branca line of fabrics,
go HERE.

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99 comments :

  1. Love it. Chintz never really went out of style (not that I care, have always loved it). I think there's a big difference between true style and trends. Many classic, lovely rooms have featured chintz and color. I'm happy that you're moving away from the gawd-awful "Hustonion(?) in France" aesthetic towards something more classic, but please don't sell it as something new and trendy.

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    1. Anon. 6:48 am, I could not agree more. I would bet that Mario Buatta hasn't changed his living room in years and refuses to fall for the trends that make up the decorating world of blogs. Richard Langham decorated Jackie Onassis' bedroom three times in the exact same Scalamandre fabric and wall color because she loved it. Yes, the "Houstonian wannabe Parisian" and occasionally Belgian is a bit old although single elements are not. It's just that the elements continuously appear used in the same way. How much imagination does it really take to fill a room with white slipcovered furniture, seagrass, muted linen curtains, accessories from Pottery Barn and a couple of pieces of concrete pottery thrown in sitting in front of a mirror. Oops, let's not forget the religious relics from Mexico. The look has become as cliche as "yard art".

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    2. you can say the same about almost any design, including buatta's. does it really matter if it is "easy" or "hard" - or if you just LIKE that look? I cant' help that i like white upholstery - I just DO! Just that I can't help that i DETEST chenille upholstery and couldn't live with it for a second. I just DONT like Chenille. It's ridiculous to say that just because certain elements are used in a design that it is cliched or easy and that is why people like it - ridiculous. And yes, you can evolve and want to add elements - just like i want to add some pattern now. It's interesting how you laud mario for never changing and jackie - YET, if you happen to love white fabric, you are a cliche, taking an easy way out.

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    3. I happen to love white fabric which by the way was not the subject of my comment. If you will reread the comment you will notice that I was referring to all of the typical Houstonian/French/Belgian elements lumped into the same space and it's redundancy. In the case of Mario and Jackie I could have made that reference clearer because in both cases the fabric was chintz (Jackie - Scalamandre, Tuillerie Garden). For them chintz never went out of style as you have suggested. I don't know where the reference to Chenille comes from, but you reference it often as a fabric you never use. We get it. I still maintain that if you look at most of the Houston designs that show up on this blog, you could guess the elements blindfolded. It's as though there is a giant design machine that looks at an empty room and spits out the furnishings. There is absolutely little, if any, imagination in any of it.

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    4. Anonymous,

      I agree with you....and how well you stated you thoughts.

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    5. Great discussion. I, too, am sick of the pale, washed out, soul-less interiors most designers are relying on these days to cover for their lack of imagination or inspiration. Of course, Buatta was a god, but that doesn't excuse this glut of mediocrity and cliches.

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    6. Dear Joni,
      Thank you for this wonderful post - I am redoing an old chateau in the Loire valley in France and remembered you post. I am going to use the beautiful Branca acid green chintz for drapes in my family room (with white couch and two white chairs) - but would welcome your ideas on how else to work with the chintz. The room has limestone floors and the walls are farrow and ball's elephant's breath. I love the chintz, but I don't want it to be too busy.

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  2. So gorgeous. What a beautiful, inspiring post. I have always loved chintz, and that English Country Home look. It is very hard to do well. In the 80s it was all about Laura Ashley for me. I had a lot of crazy Waverley prints in my 20s in the early 90s. Then I went to red toile, which I adored. Now I have color and pattern in pillows and curtains on solid couches, and I love that too. What I notice about these updated rooms is the persian rugs have been replaced by sea grass (or other neutrals) and the decorative items have been edited, as well as the art. I love to see modern art mixed in with traditional fabrics. I love your new curtains Joni, and the direction that is taking your look. Some huge print, large throws would be wonderful on your couch too! Thanks for one of the most inspiring posts I've read.

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  3. My only problem with this fabric, which you mention is printed on heavy material, is that it shouldn't be printed. It should be woven. I know I'm a stickler, but screen printing fabric is an awful shortcut. Cheap.

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  4. Fabulous post Joni. First of all I love Allesandra and anything she creates! Her new patterns are so luxurious!
    Interesting to me that in the more vintage designed rooms with lots and lots of chintz; that I may only add in a solid velvet sofa and contemporary rug, curtain panels,etc.
    Then I like to see the chintz's on curtains and pillows, maybe a small chair; otherwise keep the panels, flooring, pillows, and rug a wood, solid or stripe, mixing it up!
    Timeless looks though! Great post!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena and .

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  5. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Joni - this is my favorite post in a long time. I have never stopped loving chintz, and you have pulled together some of the best examples. My fav...still Mario Buatta's living room with the yellow gingham curtains. You are right, it is hardly dated. In fact, I think the bows at the corners of the valences are the only detail that date this room.

    I also adore Alessandra's new line for Schumacher, especially the clever way she outlined her toile pattern in unexpected color. I've been trying to find a place to use it in my own home.

    xo Kate

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  6. And, I'm crazy about that bench in front of the fireplace!!! franki

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  7. Great inspiration. I think I'll add some pattern/color to my own muted linen Swedish/French public rooms. It's like putting some "happy" into the existing "serene".

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    1. Perfectly said....and perfectly felt!

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  8. Thank you for this post! I have ALWAYS loved pattern and have had the most difficult time relating to this Restoration Hardware (sort of sterile) look. This post proves that great taste is always in style. Decorate the way you love!

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  9. There are really two lessons in this post: the use of pattern/color and the art of furniture placement. See how Branca gets more seating out of her wall-hugging custom sectionals/mini-sofas. Or Buatta's yellow living room. While it looks like an obstacle course, it's probably very cozy for larger groups. Same with Tori Burch's living room and the Tree of Life bedroom. Filled but user-friendly. The only photo that I'm not as enthusiastic about is Kathryn Ireland's bedroom. It may just be the lighting or angle of the photo, but her multi-fabric mix (usually her strong point) doesn't show as well as usual. Perhaps if one saw the bed textiles, the link between the bed hangings and wallpaper/curtains would be more obvious. Great post.

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  10. I forgot one more thing to my 8:53 post. Lee Radziwell's Paris apartment is a lesson in living with colorful books: make sure that your fabric choices are not too sedate. Something I would change in her living room, though, is the framing of the botanicals. I'd like to see something lighter, and probably fewer pieces on the wall. The pink of her striped slipper chairs could also be just a bit darker (less bright) to transition better to the other side of the room.

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  11. This is a great post! Lots of good examples for those of us who can't live with an all neutral room. That Amelia Handegan room is to die for!!!!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  12. Personally (just my own preferences here), I can't do red and black or acid green. Nothing about those colors says 'pretty' to me. But then, I've never been a 'red' person, and when I look at Branca's dark red/black toile room all I can think of is a bordello. But I've always loved a classic English floral chintz - in moderation. I love the sort of dressy but comfy look of an English country house, but over here somehow it seems to come across as more formal and stilted, maybe because everything looks too new??? Just compare an English room beside an American. You can always tell the difference. And it's not just the architecture.

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    1. Good point. I tend to agree that generally-speaking, the English do "English" better than Americans. However, I also think that Americans do "French" better than the French. I'm not talking about the "French country" look, which is pretty much an American invention, but rather the more, upscale version of French. I think it's because of the cost involved. When I see French in Veranda or similar magazines, it has usually been done by a designer with the budget/opportunity to find the perfect antique/object for the perfect spot, and color-coordinate fabrics/patterns beautifully (like Suzanne Rheinstein or Carol Glasser's French/Swedish rooms above). When I see French in French magazines or homes in France, there are fewer fabulous antiques, more hand-me-downs, less color coordination, and more living-with-what-you-have than going all out to completely do up a room. French style celebrates excellence: beautiful proportions, a perfect leg, lovely detailing ... and excellence costs money. Most French people don't have the means (or the aspiration) to invest this much in their interior decoration. With English style, one can get away with more shabby, less perfect and costly design.

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    2. Agree. But isn't there something wonderfully charming about a real French home like you describe? However, one could never pull off that distinctly French, colorful mis-matched, mixed hand-me-downs, eclectic and worn look in the U.S., I don't think. The centuries old architecture and setting are required to give it cachet. Unless one is a really good set designer, perhaps. The casual Boho look comes closer, but you don't see that style with the upscale designers Joni features.

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  13. Very inspiring post!! Really has me thinking about an update using more pattern/color for my own living and dining rooms. Truly enjoyed this! Thank you!

    June G.

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  14. Anybody know the date of the Tori Burch Vogue issue, or the source/dates of the Givenchy Tree of Life, Schyler Samperton, Suzanne Rheinstein, Carol Glasser, and Amelia Handegan photos? I don't know whether I already have these issues, but if not, I'd like to backorder. Beautiful.

    Also, anyone know the names of the patterned fabrics used by Suzanne Rheinstein and Amelia Handegan? Thanks.

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  15. First -- isn't it funny how a particularly fabulous print can sear itself into your memory? As soon as I saw that Tree of Life fabric, I recognized it immediately from Braquenie. I was extremely fortunate a few years ago to be included in a group of designers and magazine editors who enjoyed a private tour of the Pierre Frey textile archives in Paris, and I'm pretty sure the original version of the Tree of Life pattern was one of the ones we saw in the archives. It was truly fascinating to see their collection of rare textiles and learn how the owner of Pierre Frey and the company archivist go to auctions all over the world to acquire antique textiles that inspire their current offerings: http://cheekycognoscenti.blogspot.com/2011/10/day-i-died-and-went-to-fabric-heaven.html

    Personally, I LOVE that bedroom by Kathryn Ireland. Even though I'm a designer, the day I hit the lottery I'm hiring Kathryn Ireland to decorate my dream home -- I love the way she mixes up patterns, textiles, and luxurious elements in a way that feels so welcoming, comfortable, and lively. That's a bedroom where my kids can have a pillow fight, where my dogs can keep watch at the foot of the bed while I'm napping, and most importantly, I feel like I could hand Kathryn a pile of Braquenie, Fortuny, Scalamandre, Vervain, Schumacher, etc. damasks, toiles, stripes, velvets, and trimmings, all of those memo samples piled up in my office because I just want to be NEAR them I love them so much, and somehow she would make them all work together, timelessly, elegantly, and seemingly effortlessly.

    The problem with chintzes, large scale botanicals, etc. is that the lower priced versions marketed to the masses are so ghastly and those are the fabrics most people see in person. The high end fabrics in these categories are screen prints with 20+ colors, incredible detail, on fabrics with wonderful drape -- many of the ones Braquenie is reintroducing now were originally prints, but are now done as embroidery. They are exquisite, but priced so far out of reach for most people. So inevitably we see companies like Waverly coming out with inexpensive versions, but the fabrics are that stiff, almost canvas stuff, the colors are muddy and muted, way fewer colors in each print, none of that detail... These are the chintzes and botanical fabrics at JCPenney, Calico Corners, and JoAnn Fabrics, and these are the ones that drove everyone to neutrals in the first place!

    But I'm with you -- I'd rather use a really amazing fabric sparingly, just for a few throw pillows, than live in a Sea of Blah... :-)
    I love your posts, Joni. Thanks again for all of the effort and research that you put into your blog! You're my favorite accompaniment to my morning latte!

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    1. LOVED your comment. The pierre frey fabric is so gorgeous - i would love to have a bedroom with it - one day! one day!!

      thanks so much - loved that you said. and you know what - i've bought lots of 'cheap' fabric - for the 'look.' that's ok too. we can't all eat steak every night - and sometimes stew is just as tasty.

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  16. Thank you, Joni, for your time collecting this for us. Lovely! Handegan and Glasser are my favorites... the touches of floral and pattern. I wouldn't trust myself with anything more. I also love your new drapes!

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  17. The fabrics you showed are beautiful Joni! I have never seen more beautiful and luxurious fabrics as when I visited Paris, France and in particular Versailles. Of course, we're probably talking $1000 a yard for those! :o))

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Becky

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  18. Chintz is a classic and people who have real style and taste will always use chintz. It is formal yet not. It is English, yet American and even French. It can take on a garden feel, decorator show house feel or a cottage. It can be used with the finest or the simplest of accessories. It is ageless and never goes out of style. It can be re worked with different furniture pieces and color waves. It is comfortable, yet elegant. It has been used for centuries in the huge English county houses. Marie Antonete used it in her bed room and it is still there, recently copied. There is nothing like chintz. One has to have some style and taste to use it. I love it in the kitchen/ It can be placed in any home, any decore. I would say it is not coming back as it never left. Trendy, maybe not for awhile, but maybe,finally again. So tired of no color, no pattern. Richard from My Old Historic House. Wake up world, get with it, stop painting your furniture white and live

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    1. Don't know about American but it is certainly Indian and so, of course, English.

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    2. Great comment, for me you hit it out the park!

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  19. Brava Joni, I particularly love the Houston Mario Buatta rooms you featured, but the entire post was a delight.

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  20. Maybe it's not so much the chintz, but rather that "pretty" is back. And pretty can be achieved with chintz. Color and pattern have always been around, although in recent years geometric, Domino-magazine-style interiors have gotten more press.

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    1. I think you nailed it - pretty and fresh. While I believe that a designer needs to be careful when using some of the patterns available in chintz for curtains and how those curtains are styled (the simpler the better in my opinion), the one element that makes up beautifully in chintz is bedskirts and shams. The gathers in a bedskirt give just enough pattern to not be overwhelming in a room, but a lot of punch. It is import to carefully craft window treatments particularly if more than one window is in the room so as to not overwhelm the space. Sometimes a beautiful chintz floral above a textured solid is a nice compromise.

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  21. Joni,
    Thank you, thank you for this post about chintz. I love it, always have, but I never could afford the better, or good, renderings. Finally, recently, I lucked into a barely used Hickory Chair wingback sofa with .... post-war chintz. I'm in heaven & smile each time I come into the room. (The room finally pleases my eye & heart.) I'm not in the design field, read your blog for inspiration and felt the urge to add this comment after seeing so few about this post. Over the past few years I've felt out-of-sync with the boxy, huge furniture offerings to folks like me. I've fingers crossed that influential bloggers like you can influence readers (buyers) to consider a bit of pattern & appropriate scale when they update their décor. Once again, you've made my day. (I love your new patterned drapes.) Thanks. Jane

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  22. As a colour addict and gardener, I love chintz. But to be honest, after pouring over the photos in this post, I realized that I can only now handle certain chintz or applications of chintz in small doses. Some of the suffocating horrors of 80's chintz came back to weight down on my chest. Made me want to shake off the feeling like a retriever emerging from a lake swim. Bianca

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree. When it comes to chintz, which I do love, less is more. I really don't care for the frou frou window treatment designs with swags, jabots and fringe.

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    2. Don't be influenced by the saturated colors of Alexandra Branca. There are some fabulous patterns produced by Lee Joffa and Carlton Varney that you would probably love. I agree that swags, jabots and fringe can take away from the beautiful patterns and lustrous finish on chintz.

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  23. The most exquisite decors. There is no room in my book for anything other than the classic abundant style. The trends pass very quickly. i have witnessed slavish adherance to the new and trendy...only to be replaced gradually with the more pure form of the classic truly lived in , sublimely comfortable style that literally screams HOME ...

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    1. ..."classic abundant style"...what a beautiful expression...blessings laney

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    2. Princepesa definitely going to plagarize "classic abundant style" it sums it up for me. Great post Joni, love Branca's new fabrics! Love your new curtains, I am saving up for new ones made from B&F's Birds and Thistle after seeing them in Jeannette's home in HB and your blog although now I am wavering after seeing your Vervain used in your home and your clients. I loved the picture of the library done by Branca, it looks so cozy and inviting but I think my favorite picture was of Handegan's room, it looks so fresh and elegant. Have a great weekend.

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  24. The rooms you have shown us today are simply gorgeous. My favorites were the rooms designed by Carol Glasser and Schuyler Samperton. Did you notice that none of them have a "zebra" rug on the floor though?

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  25. My first "grown up" sofa was done is a gorgeous floral and I had a lovely striped wing back, I've always loved chintz and am glad to see it returning to popularity. I adore A Branca and would love to use her new fabrics in my house. Her apt is the epitome of feminine elegance. However, of all the images posted, I relate most to Glasser, Handegan and Sampeton, very chic yet comfortable. I think its the curtains pack the punch for me with Tory Burch. I learned several things from the comments: Rebecca Grace hit it with the "affordable fabrics" and Anon 0853 comments about pattern and placement. Great post but please finish the Royals!

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    1. I agree, I LOVED the royals, too. I left Prince Charles' Highgrove up for days looking at his garden.

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  26. ...in the kathryn ireland bedroom...is the rug truly faded...or has it been turned to show the underside...blessings laney

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  27. Floral used sparingly, is enhancing. However, when used in every element in the decor is absolutely overwhelming. My personal preference has always been the French/Swidish decor. Great post though.

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  28. It's still a shock to see you thinking of moving away from neutrals, I could never switch, I'm too cautious and it's also a money thing, I'd be too scared of spending a lot of money on something I could become tired of quickly. I prefer to switch out cushions and pillows. Also, I bought some Cabbages & Roses fabric and framed it in an Ikea 90 x 70 white frame, stuck it on a wall and it looks fantastic, modern but chintzy!!

    The Schuyler Samperton room is exactly what I'd like. The white neutrals are there surrounded by chintz and colour, I was thinking that the room reminded me of Kathryn Ireland and whammo - the next photo was of a lovely Kathryn Ireland room, all chintzy but not old-fashioned looking. Although I love to look at Alessandra Branca and Mario Buatta rooms I prefer the modern sensibilities of Samperton and Ireland. The mix of chintz and neutrals. My all time favourite chintz is the Colefax and Fowler blue/green/white rose in Tory Burch's living room which you show above - the fabric I bought from Cabbages & Roses is the nearest thing I could get to this.

    The Skirted Round Table podcast with Mario Buatta was wonderful, I like Chintz but don't love it but think I'll definitely buy his book.

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  29. The Houston Mario Buatta living room is my ideal "book" room. Every Barbara Taylor Bradford novel that I've read features a room that I've always pictured like this one! I just love it!

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  30. I really don't feel that rooms filled with chintz are guy friendly. I just can't imagine a bunch of guys sitting in one of those rooms and watching football..

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    1. But I suppose a bunch of girls sitting in a chintz-filled room watching football would be okay?

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    2. Who in their right mind would decorate a room for men who love football in chintz in the first place? What an oddball comment!! Obviously Mr. Slipper Sox can watch football while sitting and munching on white linen, but most people would attempt to find a bit more user friendly fabric.

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    3. ummm. right. no way. can you imagine guys watching football in tory's rooM? NO WAY!!! ;)

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    4. Yes, you are right and neither would Tory want men watching football in her beautiful living room. There is a place for everything and chintz and hot wings don't go together.

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    5. To Anon 8:01: I'm not saying what is okay or not okay. What I'm saying is I feel that chintz has a more famine feel to it than masculine. That's all.

      Delete
    6. Correction: "feminine" feel. Ha!

      Delete
  31. I am not even reading the comments anymore but Joni of all the rooms you showed and there are many gorgeous ones
    Ms. Brancas and Ms. Wearstler are truly beautiful but I am a less is more gal and I adore your family room.
    The new panels really add depth and I thought the room was perfect with the striped ones. But I am in love with
    this new look. Stunning!

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. I really enjoyed this post for the prettiness of the rooms, the color and warmth from pattern. I use chintz and toiles- they haven't left my home. Our living room is a soft ochre with coral and gold patterns, toile and a massive rose/coral/blue antique persian rug. Lots of pattern, books, and old art and antiques to mellow it all out. My husband watches football in the living room with all this pattern and he loves the warmth and coziness. Thanks Joni
    Kris in Seattle

    ReplyDelete
  34. This white blight and grey/greige worship has to stop. It's very prevalent in the French country blogs....as well as the rusty furnature they call 'distressed' but actually is *scrap*. I live in France and it's all about "ton sur ton'. Nope, living with so called 'calming' greige interiors just makes the mood drop. Mario Buatta had it right when he described how he couldn't live without color in your Skirted Roundtable audio interview.

    Ticking versus a gorgeous print? I know where my heart is.....!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Beautiful post. I don't think (to me) this ever went out, it is as classic as it comes and will always be. I look at well done rooms that are 40 or 50 years old as I saw a house just this weekend, where they haven't touched things in almost 30 years and it was absolutely beautiful, filled with a carefully curated assortment of fine antiques, beautiful fabrics, rich velvets and a new more recently acquired objects and when we left, we both commented on how stunning and classic it was despite the fact that it is 30 years old. I have personally always leaned towards classic decor. That said I do have to admit I love white rooms, I am really drawn to them and know at some point I will have one:) The one thing i am really tired of that I think is one foot out the door are the trends of chevron, the poofs, the horse art....all that just reeks of trendy and anything but timeless, of course this is just my own two cents. This post was a feast for the eyes!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I agree with Tina about disliking the "out the door" trends of chevrons, poufs and horse art. I like the warmth of chintz, but, for me, I prefer the large furniture pieces to be solid with pattern restricted to pillows and perhaps curtains. It allows for more flexibility when change is desired and it it less costly than reupholstering the larger pieces. Another lovely post, Joni. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Designers are always learning, how far can we push the limits with our clients? I thoroughly enjoy your AMAZING posts and absolutely GORGEOUS rooms!!!! My favorite thihgs about your family room are, the strong architectural details, classic convex gold gilt round mirror, angled zebra rug layered on top of sisal (lv lv), pop of color used with orchids!!!!! Can't get enough!! Magnificent Joni

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, no one does a better job of blogging than Joni. Well, I really like Slim Paley too, but Joni is the one who introduced me to her blog. Anyway, I thinks Joni's family room is beautiful too, but that convex mirror, zebra rug and brown marble around the fireplace drives me crazy. Just my humble opinion.

      Delete
  38. Dear Joni...I really loved this post...thoughtful and well chosen images..I have always loved the "English " look...comfy, cozy, chinz and the uncontrived layered look....no mention of Charles Faudree, the master of pattern and well done clutter! Happy to see pattern and colour back...your posts are a fav....always entertaining and insightful...N.xo

    ReplyDelete
  39. Not a fan of red or prints that scream for attention- it gets very noisy. I need calm and order to feel at peace. My favorite thing about this post? The "apple matting" in Alessandra Branca's townhouse and the Amelia Handigan room. Why oh why can I not find any in the US?

    ReplyDelete
  40. I don't think there is any element that will date a room faster than fabric. That being said, yes some will stand the test of time, but many will show exactly when that room was done. Therefore, I continue to keep pattern to pillows ect that can easily be changed.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Don't listen to the negative about the so called "Houston Look". Houston is doing just fine, darling. I have done the chintz, the Ralph L., the Waverly, and the toile in my own home over the years. I enjoyed them and when it was over I was happy to see them go. Think of it as who you would like to have a fling with and who you would like to marry. I think the important thing is to have a room that compliments you, your home's architecture, and your lifestyle. In my home and my personal dress I have moved from pattern to simple. I rarely buy patterned clothing anymore. I have a love/hate with animal prints and metallics. I have to catch myself and only use them in accents and not expensive ones at that. So then when I sober up and realize what I've done I can move on and not feel guilty about the commitment. Joni it's okay to have a fling with chintz, I will not judge you or your design aesthetic. I get it! So I say, have your cake and eat it too! Temporarily move out your coffee table and have a big gorgeous, tufted, flounced ottoman made using Branca's fabulous chintz- fancy trims and all! Maybe add some new pillows too! don't you have some pink ones stashed somewhere? Once in a while a girl needs to mix it up if you know what I mean. You go girl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most people as they age also move away from a lot of pattern which is the reason I am assuming you have. I agree. That's not to say, however, that you have to be plain Jane in your living spaces. I agree that wrapping an entire room in chintz would be overwhelming particularly in common sized living/bedrooms. Putting chintz on your windows and pulling colors from it in other fabrics and textures would never go out of stye if you chose classic pieces of furniture and antiques and mirrors. Too much of anything is a bore no matter how beautiful it is as a single element. When you look at Joni's all white rooms, you tend to look once and basically you have seen it. Your eye does not scan the room for interesting use of pattern or color whether in fabric or accessories. It's more like let's move on nothing to see here. It would take very little change to make this room more interesting, but she has to forfeit some of the white and that "ain't goin" to happen. Imagine the difference if she kept the white sofa and perhaps the two smallest chairs in white and did another fabric on the other two chairs or perhaps remove a chair, (the room looks crowded), put two in a different fabric and leave just one white one. Add some color via artwork and it would be a totally new room.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps it depends upon what one's style was as a new homeowner. I was deathly afraid of making mistakes with patterns, color and floral in my 20s-40s, when I couldn't afford a designer and had to make my own choices. I was so afraid to be "wrong." Now that I've advanced in age and income, I can afford a designer, but have learned to trust my own preferences, instead. I'm marching fearlessly toward pattern!

      Delete
  42. Chintz is like chocolate, best used in moderation.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I love you! Your posts are always so beautiful. They inspire me.

    Marilyn in Mt. Vernon, Viriginia

    ReplyDelete
  44. Love the post and comments. Just some random observations:
    1) On art: Is Branca's 9-piece cherry blossom branch floating between glass? Interesting. I think Radziwell's botanicals need lighter frames. Note Rheinstein's pictures hung lower than standard. "Eye level" if you're lying in bed?
    2) Glasser and Handegan use armchairs (facing sofas) that are slightly different in style and color/pattern from each other. No matchy-matchy for the best designers.
    3) On details: Love Branca's bench trimming (black-background-toile photo). See Rheinstein's use of quilting on some of her patterned fabric. Doesn't the chair slip look cosier quilted? (Note X-stitched quilting on chair slip vs. stitching around the paisleys on her bed quilt.)
    4) Kudos also to Rheinstein on her use of color/pattern: six different fabrics (including rug) in that small vignette, but oh, so subtle.
    5) Radziwell doesn't have a single antique chair in her living room, but her small scale upholstered pieces still look elegant. Many American chairs are too large/bulky. Big is not always better.
    6) Agree with Anon 9:11's comments about Radziwell's books. The colorful dustjackets are not distracting when the rest of the room's colors have equal power/weight.
    7) Unusual choice for Radziwell's curtains (blue). I had to look really hard before I found some blue in the room, in the toile upholstery. Not the expected choice for a predominantly pink room, but fabulous. Same with Tory Burch's curtains. Who'd have thought "apricot" for a predominantly blue/green room?, but a great color choice.
    8) The first time I saw Renea Abbott's black Wearstler-papered living room, I thought it was the height of sophistication. Now, within the context of the fresher rooms, it looks like it is trying too hard (I think I'm at the saturation point of Domino-style decor). But I still love her counter to ceiling marble backsplash. If Laney 4:31 is correct about the Ireland's rug being underside-up (looks like it), then she's also trying too hard. Just get a lighter colored rug; no gimmicks, and far more comfortable underfoot.
    9) While I love Suzani pillows, Tory Burch's look like eyeballs sitting on her sofa. I'm also not crazy about her plump double-pillow ottomans, which look a little 80s to me. But love the rest.
    10) Wow! re Givenchy's Tree of Life bedroom. It reminds me of Yves St. Laurent's and Valentino's lavish use of fabric in their homes. I guess when you're a high end fashion designer, you never skimp on fabric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Burch's eyeball cushions and sofa look like a happy-faced critter (snub-nosed gator?). Perhaps he's anticipating a nice snack from that bowl on the coffee table.

      Delete
  45. With respect to 2,5 and 7, I think the chairs that do not match are not as pleasing to the eye in the case of Glasser and Handegan. Sometimes pairs are more restful to the over all scheme.

    Because Radziwell's room is fabulous is because of the unexpected use of blue which in this case acts as a neutral. I absolutely adore everything about this room. It is fresh, crisp and timeless and those botanicals are simply divine.

    Apricot/peach is beautiful with blue/green rooms and in this case as with the room of Lea Radziwell, there is no conflicting color on the walls. It appears to be a very soft white. I believe in both cases, someone truly understood the old "color wheel".

    ReplyDelete
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  47. These are just awesome decorations. I loved the sofa out there with green and white color combination...

    ReplyDelete
  48. While I'm not a designer, I have been blessed to have a husband who doesn't care how often I change or pay to have things changed up for me. I like a classic look and classic changes! I'm into clean and white lately, probably because I've done everything. But I gasped at Schuyler Samperton's pink. SO beautiful..and I totally get why we become seduced to pattern and color all over again when we see a beautiful room or fabric. Some days I wish I'd majored in textiles and created a mill. We live in a world now where we can create anything we want. Makes me wonder what Mozart would do with the technology we have to create perfect notes on a computer! What would he create today? I always love to see your new posts in my inbox.

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  51. Halleluiah! I love this post! I appreciate seeing some pattern and color in interiors besides those trendy trellis patterns in Romper Room colors. When chintz is done right it NEVER goes out of style. These are all excellent examples of the ever classic...chintz!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Great fabrics! Thanks for sharing. Very inspiring.

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  53. The fabric in Lee Radziwill's Paris apartment is by Scalamandre "Chinoise Exotique".

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  56. Can we move on. Obviously, no one is stopping by to comment except the insane spammers who you say you have been trying to avoid by making it more difficult for ordinary comments.

    ReplyDelete
  57. These rooms are just beautiful, and this is one of my fave posts!!! I love pattern, and chintz, and these rooms are so comforting. Just lovely. I have a Joni blog file, and this one is going in it for future reference. Thanks!

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