Category Archives: pretty things

favorite floral fabrics

I noticed something very upsetting about my apartment today: it is severely lacking in the floral print department. I do have an excuse: I have three yards of an outrageous chinoiserie floral sitting in the corner of my guest room waiting for a purpose, so I don’t want to go out and pick anything else till I use that. That’s rational and prudent. But still, it doesn’t mean I don’t like to torture myself with the knowledge of all the other gorgeous prints out there.

And the world is on to me it seems. While I was researching this post, I came across an Etsy shop, Englishfabric, that sold vintage fabrics and mentally noted it. A few hours later, I got an email from the shop owner, offering to sell me some vintage fabric I posted about a long, long time ago. My “brand” appears to be the floral lady and I am completely fine with that.

So these are my favorites as of late. I limited the selection to larger scale florals and non-vine prints. Floral vines, while lovely, have less versatility because of their strong vertical orientation (they’re great for curtains, but tricky on pillows or furniture), but allover florals or bouquets can work in a variety of applications. #FloralScience

manor rose schumacherpink and brown floral duraleespring bling waverlyorangerie rose designers guildchinese flowers brunschwiggarden glories lee jofa

Resources: Manor Rose by Schumacher / Pink and Brown by Duralee at Decorators Best / Spring Bling by Waverly at / Orangerie Rose by Designers Guild / Chinese Flowers by Brunschwig and Fils / Garden Glories by Lee Jofa at Inside Fabric

souk style

moroccan basketfuchsia moroccan poufmoroccan sequin basket
I’m going to interrupt my Morocco travel journal with some of the things I brought home from the souks. Surprise: poufs and blankets.

Bartering is not my strong suit, and it felt silly at times when the amount in question was literally a dollar. Some things were very inexpensive like the brass animals and the baskets. I’m happy with the price I paid for the wedding blanket, but it’s not as if it cost pennies. I probably paid a bit too much for pottery and the poufs in the end, mostly because the conversions get tricky. One dollar is equal to eight Moroccan dirhams–not the simplest amount to convert, especially when paired with bartering and a foreign language. It was an adventure though, and now I have a story about the time I got the hard sell on pottery in Fez.

So while I am not the one who will get you a rock bottom bargain in Morocco, I do have just one tip for souk shopping:

If You Love It, Buy It

The souks of Fez and Marrakesh are often described as “maze-like,” and it’s true. You might loop back past a particular stall, or you might not. If you come across something you just love, even if it’s the silliest thing like a tagine-shaped basket, buy it. I never came across another one of those baskets, so I’m glad I stopped when I spotted it.

Do you have tips for the souks?

carleton varney

carleton varney storeI’m very, very excited to see that Carleton Varney has opened an e-commerce store. He’s the heir to the Dorothy Draper decorating throne, and as such, embraces her use of color and pattern. I’ve stalked Brazilliance –in my mind the much prettier alternative to the ever-present Martinique print– for ages, and now I can get my fix. This is amazing.

The best part? Everything is extremely well-priced and reasonable. Accent chairs for $540, pillows for $100-$120–all of it using iconic fabrics. Now here’s to hoping more of those famous Dorothy Draper florals appear on the site soon!

Apollo Mirror / Abundance of Roses Needlepoint Pillow / Florence Blue Chest of Drawers / Brazilliance Throw Pillow / Carmen Armchair in Zebra Needlepoint

new cole & son wallpapers


“Fontainebleau” by Cole & Son

I’ve been quietly obsessing over the new collections from Cole & Son. Historic Royal Palaces came out last year, and the very latest is Folie.

I love the versatility of the collections; both include borders and friezes, so you can use a painterly faux paneling with greek key trim and a toile panel (if you’re so inclined!). I actually ordered a sample of “Palace Maze,” but sadly the colors don’t quite work for me–a shame since it’s a beautifully graphic pattern.

palace maze

“Palace Maze” by Cole & Son


“Tivoli” by Cole & Son

queens key

“Queens Key” by Cole & Son


“Rosseau” by Cole & Son


“Versailles” by Cole & Son

You can order samples through Decorators Best or check the Cole & Son stockists.