Andrea Mihalik’s chairs caught my eye as I was wandering around the Architectural Digest Home Design Show the other day — I mean, of course they did, look at them! — but once I saw that her company’s name was Wild Chairy, I was in love. (Good design and a good pun? That’s an unbeatable combo in my book.)
The punchy colors and arresting upholstery live up to the “wild” moniker, but the vintage pieces Mihalik salvages are great canvases because they keep it all grounded. The dynamic between elegance and edginess, and traditional and contemporary is what makes the chairs so interesting. Do yourself a favor and check out the impressive Before and After shots on the Wild Chairy site. Just be forewarned that it may inspire you to rescue cast-off chairs from the curb once you start seeing their potential.
You know the frustration of not being able to find a pen or paper anywhere in the house and instead having to scribble something important down on the back of a piece of mail with a carrot or lipstick, right? That’s how I felt a few months ago while trying to source pinstripe fabric to upholster a client’s master bedroom walls. No matter where I looked, I couldn’t find a decent pinstripe to save my life. What the hell is wrong with the world when a guy can’t find a decent pinstripe ANYTHING? Did Joan Crawford buy every damn yard of pinstripe in her heyday for her famous power suits? But I digress. As pinstriped products started to surface after some serious sourcing, I promised myself I’d try and make life easier for any other design lovers looking for menswear-centric materials. From discount fabric to ready-made window cornices, here’s a half dozen doozies sporting pinstriped perfection. Now that all is fine and dandy with my menswear quest, I’m currently sourcing pear, white and tangerine geometric wallpaper fit for a nursery. Guess how that’s going? Let’s just say there will be another post in a few months just like this one.
The Stretch Pinstripe Short Dining Room Chair Cover in black from Sure Fit is a cost-effective way (only $14.99) to add a menswear touch to existing dining chairs. Although available in several colors, the black color way looks the most chic.
As far as what I ended up using for the aforementioned master bedroom walls, I came across this insanely affordable 1/4 Pinstripe Suiting Fabric in Navy/Black from fabric.com for $6.98 per yard. When using fabric on walls, you can go two different routes: have an upholsterer add batting to the walls, then fully upholster them, or drop the fabric bolt off to be backed with acrylic. To budget appropriately, keep in mind that decent backing runs about $10 per yard.
Hands down, the best pinstripe fabric out there is British fashion designer Paul Smith‘s “Bespoke” line for Maharam. The Shade Store carries customizable cornices sure to give any window a tailored, menswear-inspired look. I will tell you what will not give a window a tailored look: plastic mini-blinds. Blech, I feel like those monsters sit perched in windows, peering at me just waiting to steal my soul.
American designer Thomas O’Brien is known for his classic, masculine style. Luckily for us, that style is available to all quite affordably through Target. The Menswear Duvet – Espresso looks like custom bedding; however, it’s mass-produced and less than a hundred smackeroos. Considering the fact that dudes can’t even get a decent pair of jeans for less than $100, I’d say this deal is superb.
It’s Monday morning, what better time to inject a little joy into your life with irreverent design?
Stylist and trend spotter Arren Williams noticed this chair, reupholstered in a fabric called D’ya-think-e-sauras, on Twitter. I love the incongruity of the formal chair and the playful dinosaur pattern. Your first instinct might be to put this in a child’s room, but I love the idea of having it right in the living room as a conversation piece.
As a decorator, I admit to being a major fabric snob, and when I say snob, I mean addict. For years, I’ve enabled my high-end fabric addiction by shopping solely at to-the-trade-only showrooms which non-professional decorators or designers can’t get into. Since this is all part of how I make my living, there’s no need for a 12 Step Program even though my reasoning is somewhat out of whack. I’d rather spend $12 on a chair, then use a $50 per yard fabric to recover its seat cushion than the other way around.
My to-the-trade-only situation recently changed—thanks to my amazing project manager, Dayka. She brought me to a magical place where everyone is welcome to purchase designer fabrics without enormous designer price tags, Calico Corners. Of all their offerings, I fell in love mostly with those from Thom Filicia and Iman. While I go pick up custom pillows and tableskirts made from them, you go scroll down and take a look-sie.
Iman’s “Punjab Peacock” is $39.19 per yard shown in Radicchio.
Check Out More Budget-Chic Fabrics
In September, we gave Color of the Month status to the bright, beautiful persimmon. It seemed to perfectly epitomize the point between summer and fall and, oh, the delicious accessorizing possibilities! That choice took two meetings and lots of wrangling. Though by the end, it was obvious what the color should be.
For October, the choice was much easier. It was a color our team loved for September, which met all our rules except being available in stores. (Remember, our criteria for picking colors are: (a) it has to be seasonal (b) up-and-coming (c) and easy to find.)
October’s Hue, Unveiled
We enjoyed spending time with Emily Henderson, host of the show Secrets From a Stylist, at our design bloggers luncheon in Manhattan last week. (You can read about the 40 bloggers, including Design Happens contributors like Emily, who joined us at our New York offices here.) Before winning HGTV Design Star, Emily enjoyed a busy career as a photo-shoot stylist for top lifestyle and design publications. Now she’s even busier.
Read on to learn more about which designer has influenced Emily the most and what she finds impossible to pass up at flea markets.