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We cherish the good bones beneath torn, faded or otherwise timeworn fabric. Life is all about second chances and there is always the hope of being found when we are lost.
Blog post - COLOR and Shel Silverstein
Recently I dusted off an old copy of Shel Silverstein’s Where The Sidewalk Ends. Happily I discovered that an otherwise rambunctious bed time had turned peaceful as my 4 year old son giggled as I read favorites like Captain Hook, The Acrobats, Tree House, Hat and Jumping Rope. I found myself getting choked up by nostalgia as I introduced him to a childhood favorites like Hug O War, Boa Constrictor, Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out, Sick, and The Long Haired Boy. One poem really put a lump in my throat - Enter This Deserted House. Being a mother of three (ages 20, 17 and 4) is a very “full plate” as we are all home right now riding on what feels like the final waves (hopefully) of COVID. 5 people, three dogs living in a very old 1600 square foot with a garage overflowing with furniture and too many needs to count. My house is not deserted, but it is old. When we bought it was really in a sad state, worn out and tired. Slowly as we attempt to create a space for everyone to feel comfortable and at home – the house feels less sad, less deserted and more ALIVE.
Enter This Deserted House
But please walk softly as you do.
Frogs dwell here and crickets too.
Aint no ceiling, only blue
Jays dwell here and sunbeams too.
Floors are flowers-take a few.
Ferns grow here and daidies too.
Whoosh, swoosh-too-whit, too-woo,
Bats dwell here and hoot owls too.
Ha-ha-ha, hee-hee, hoo-hooo,
Gnomes dwell here and goblins too.
And my child, I thought you knew
I dwell here....and so do you.
When I got to This Deserted House I felt overcome with gratitude for this “full house”, unique time when we are ALL TOGETHER. I kept coming back to that one poem and tried to figure out why it moved me so. As someone in the interior design field I kept thinking that even if your house was falling down or deserted, it still could feel beautiful and certainly home regardless. Wallpaper, textiles and color are what make my house beautiful on the inside, but it’s the people who come and go, make messes, give and take, cry, laugh, argue, hope, pray, doubt and wonder who make it so special. I thought about the words INTERIOR DESIGN – my interior self and how it was designed. Sometimes I feel like a well designed room with colors and patterns flowing from one room to the next. Other times I feel messy, unkept, even broken, like my house.
In conclusion, it is my observation that there is interior design of rooms and places and spaces and there is an individual’s interior design. I'm reminded of this thanks to Shel Silverstein’s poem Enter This Deserted House and others. I'm constantly trying to link these two topics and worlds of interior design. I welcome your thoughts.
Anyway – I’ve kept Where The Sidewalk Ends dusted off and in a good spot for bedtime readings. Furthermore, I signed up at my son’s daycare to do a ZOOM reading. I thought I’d share Shell Silverstein’s silliest poems for the kids but more importantly make them individual coloring books so they could bring the poems home. During my ZOOM time with the 16 daycare children I told them to take their coloring books home and color the pages. As a child I remember looking at the black and white pages of Where The SideWalk Ends and wanted to color them in!
Fast forward to Chairloom and TODAY. Chairloom is all about coloring in the pages. Adding color. Coloring vintage and antique furniture with textiles through reupholstery – that’s my coloring book.
Today I met local artist JP Hamster. I’d met his wife in the past and have begun a relationship with them and their colorful textile business – Adaptation Designs. JP’s painting that now hangs in our showroom is the latest example of how I’m adding color to my life!
Thank you to JP, Lindsey and Shel Silverstein!
Valentine's Day 2020 is tomorrow. This two piece vintage sofa project began today. Perfect ingredients for a blog post about love.
If you believe in love - this story is for you. If you are a believer in kismet this is double for you.
A woman contacted me about a month ago wanting an estimate on her sister's two piece vintage sofa. I gave her the estimate and although it was higher than others she received she wanted to talk to me about it and come look at our fabrics.
After a few imperfect attempts of communication and scheduling - we finally met at the Chairloom showroom. In this case I can honestly say that I had not made a great first impression on this woman. My texts or emails seemed short to her, and maybe even impatient. I felt like maybe she wouldn't even show up to our appointment.
But she came and we chatted and immediately let whatever bad first impressions fade away as I listened and responded to her sad story.
My client had a sister who recently had relocated to Philadelphia so they could spend this next chapter of their lives together - age 65plus. They had never lived in the same state as adults and this was their plan and of course it was made out of love.
My client told me when we met in the showroom that her sister had loved vintage and antique pieces and had this piece in mind for her new chapter in Philadelphia. Tradegy prevented all of these plans shortly after her move to Philadelphia as she suddenly was diagnosed with stage four cancer and died suddenly.
As my client told me this she also noticed fabric samples on a nearby shelf and was immediately drawn to their texture and color. She said she loved them and envisioned the sofa in one of them. Much to her shock and mine - the textile samples were from Two Sisters Eco Textiles in Seattle. When I said the name of the textile company out loud for the first time she and I just paused. It was at that moment that she and I realized something very special was happening in our midst.
Stay tuned for a beautiful final result to this story.
Have you seen the amazing designs from Tillett Textiles and T4? Some might be familiar if you are a long time lover of textile design. This "legacy business" is over 65 years old and situated in the Berkshires of western Massachussetts.
They house nearly thousands of screens and patterns in their archives and current collection. Decades and generations of creative textile design and art belong to them and are now under the creative direction of Patrick McBride, the great grandson of the founder - a silk screen pioneer.
I'm loving learning about their story as much as I'm loving the designs they produce. Patrick is dedicated to the Tillett legacy while pursuing relationships and collaborations with Herman Miller, Valentino and the like. Patrick is the steward of a beautiful legacy of age old techniques, methods and patterns. The challenge that he is embracing is to continue to give the archives a voice to tell their story. He is dedicated to keeping this company alive and exciting and is inspired by art & nature as he moves the company forward. Join me as I stay tuned.