"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pattern and Colour

I bought this cheerful cushion this past spring and plonked it in a dark corner of the dining room.  I really like the way it looks and it got me thinking about pleasing pops of pattern and colour against the rather dark paint and furniture in our dining room.
Dining room.
I decided we needed more of it, but how many patterns and colours could I introduce into the room without looking hodgie-podgie?
One of my many china patterns that involves pattern and colour.
Shiny glasses, white serving pieces and colourful patterned china looks so good in contrast to dark surfaces.
I've often thrown a colourful tablecloth down as a backdrop to add some interest:
Friday night drinks and snacks.
A colourful, patterned tablecloth is a temporary solution to the dark room.
I also have a gorgeous antique paisley which I purchased from our dear Ellie.  But this piece is quite old and can't really stand up to my messy family as a dining room tablecloth, I'm planning to use it as a throw on a bed or sofa.
Antique paisley, gorgeous but I don't want it ruined.
In the background you can see the dark silk draperies we're replacing.
I had some draperies made for our front hallway last year which have really completed the entrance to our house, I just love them.  I'll often shut them on a drab day so I can look at some pattern and colour rather than bad weather.
One of the two windows in our foyer covered in this colourful drapery.
Blues, orange, coral and true reds look terrific in the dining room:
Spode vase.

Modern art "Red Values".
Currently hanging above the sideboard.

Persian rug in blues and coral.
This is the linen fabric that upholsters our dining room chairs, I love it:
Linen fabric on the dining room chairs.
What drapery fabric could possibly pick up all of these colours, add some pattern, and somehow not look hodgie-podgie all at the same time?

Suzanne Kasler for Lee Jofa "Montmartre" in sky/sage.
I've got them ordered up after darling Julie the designer visited the house twice to measure.  Twice is key!  They'll be ready in about three weeks, which seems quite quick just before Christmas.  Not complaining though!

I'd also like to add a bit more light with a couple of perfect little lamps for the sideboard, I need to do a shopping trip to find just the right ones.
How about these in a simple glass, so pretty:
Anything blue, yellow, and coral is catching my eye, have a look at this beautiful dining room:
And this one:
I'll need to introduce some sort of greenery and try not to murder it!

I also need to keep our chandelier sparkling clean, ugh it's a terrible job cleaning a chandelier!  Any tips for me?
Here are some inspiring chandelier-tastic images:
Love the blue and white, greenery, bits of coral and general fabulousness of this room:
Sources for the dining room images can be found on my "Dining Room"pinterest board.
Actual sample of our fabric.  
I'll let you know how I do with the dining room refresh!
Hope you're having a super day,


  1. Hi Dani, I love the pattern you have chosen for your drapes - the colours are lovely and go so well together. Myself, though, I'm a bit unsure about putting patterns together and I mostly gravitate towards solids and maybe the odd geometric pattern. Kind of boring, I know, maybe I should branch out - I'll keep watching this space! :0) By the way, we received our new sofas and are so happy with them - Canadian made!

    1. Patricia well done on the Canadian made sofas, increasingly difficult to find. I'm nervous about mixing patterns too which is why I thought I'd never find a fabric for these drapes. But of course there's lots of choice out there! I also like the layered look in English houses, the Brits can mix patterns so well! Have a super weekend XO

  2. The new curtains will look fabulous! So much color but not SO much color. And the nice thing is that you can hold onto your old ones if you want a moody New Years Eve dinner party. I absolutely love your rug. Salmon in a rug is a new thing for me. Once I bought mine, I started noticing how many rooms I've always loved that have rugs with significant pops of salmon. I love salmon and coral, such lively colors. One of my friends has that pagoda pattern in blue. Is it Marchesa?
    So I have 9 chandeliers bedecked in crystals and various other sconces with a few. I have tried many many methods. And for years I believed strongly in taking each crystal off, cleaning it, and reattaching. That meant they often stayed dirty for way too long because each one took a full day. So now what I do is 1) get on a ladder with a pair of pliers and make sure each crystal is all but fused to the skeleton of the chandelier. Then I get a microfiber towel wet with dish soap, rinse and wring it out a bit, and stick several dry microfiber or lint free towels in my apron pockets and clean the chandelier crystal by crystal but attached. It goes pretty quickly. I lay the wetish cloth in my open palm and then kind of massage the crystal in my hand. I might do five or six and then dry. Sooo much faster. But that might be totally horribly wrong. I'll be interested to get other tips on this. I just feel a feather duster or anything like that doesn't do enough.

    1. That rug is my favourite Stephen Andrew! We bought it for this house and I love the mix of corals and blues. That pattern is Scalamandre for Lenox, I have it in green and a dark brown, I love it in the fall and early winter, suits the season I think.
      THANK YOU for the chandelier cleaning tips. I will try this tomorrow. Taking off each crystal gives me a nervous breakdown. But this I can do and I think key is being sure the crystals are attached with the pliers so they don't drop off during their little massage.
      I agree I think a feather duster just moves the dirt around, not helpful! XO

  3. I love how your home is truly a home - cosy, pretty, visual interest, calming. It really feels like a safe space and refuge xx

    1. Thank you Naomi that's such a nice compliment. XO

  4. That is a terrific fabric choice. I love your pops of colour in an otherwise serene space. My house looked a bit more like a strumpet: definitely hodgie-podgie. I admire your patient and disciplined approach to home and fashion. xoxo

    1. Jen I don't know about that I love the way you layer things! Thank you Dollface XO

  5. Thanks for sharing! Right now my kitchen is white cabinets, cornflower blue walls, and blue and white Delft and Florentine tile. I can't afford to re-do the kitchen (even though it needs it) so I'm resorting to paint, the poor woman's remodel! I've been inspired by Provencal yellow and blue like your cushion, so I'm in the process of painting the walls sunflower yellow.

    I have an upstairs fixture with crystals, and when I am moved to clean it (not often) I put a towel underneath it, dilute some Windex, squirt generously, and let it drip. Generally when I'm in the bedroom I don't have my lenses in so it looks OK to me . . .
    Thanks again for the Chicago tips; I had a wonderful time!

    1. Hexicon that sounds like a perfect kitchen refresh! Your tile sounds so pretty, and renovating a kitchen is such a huge job, and SO expensive. Very smart to work with what you have and add a can of paint.
      Interesting, I wonder if I could use vinegar and water? Windex is one of my migraine triggers believe it or not:( So thrilled you loved your trip! I love Chicago it's now my favourite city. XO

  6. Oh I just love that fabric! Can't wait to see how it makes up!

    1. Fred thanks me too I'm in love with it, even though it's only fabric ;) Don't worry I'll do the photos XO

  7. I love the fabric choice!! It's absolutely perfect, and I know it's really going to bring your room to life. The plain silk are a little plain and blend in with the walls, they're not really adding anything extra, which these will. Such a wonderful cosy room you're creating. Love the lamps too, glass/ crystal ones that are in simple shapes are so good as a transition between modern and traditional in interiors. I can't believe you're able to get curtains all done in 3 weeks!! It takes that long just to get the fabric here if it's in stock... and as I mentioned Christmas is a big crunch time here, so they book out by October. I dropped off a huge bundle of rolls of fabric for a client job to my curtain maker earlier in the week, and made her promise me they would be installed the week leading up to Christmas... but the pile in the work room was incredible! There is no way she'd have added any more to her current orders. Can't wait to see the finished result. xx

    1. Heidi thanks I was hoping you would like them :) Aren't those lamps so gorgeous? I hope I can find something similar. I couldn't believe the turn-around, I actually made mention of the fact that I certainly won't expect them until January or February and Julie mentioned that they would only take 3 weeks! Apparently the workrooms are very slow just now, a bit of a slow-down with custom work, that doesn't sound very good for the economy. I will let you know how it all goes! XO

  8. Perfect fabric choice Dani--you could so totally be a decorator. Your home is so rich and cozy. You've also collected things so it doesn't look like everything got dropped in, brand-spanking new. Gorgeous!


    1. Dannie thanks so much that's high praise! I hope you're well Darling, have a super weekend XO

  9. I love the coral or salmon and light green combination. Your rug is beautiful and it sets the tone for everything else. When I visited Winston Churchill's estate in England his dining room was salmon and mint/light green. The next time I update my dining room, I will use this combination.

  10. I LOVE your home and all the patterns- I have tonnes and nothing ever looks hodge podge because I always use the same base tones and we have cream walls!!! and tonnes of art that Mr FF forbids me form posting! luff to you xxxx

  11. I lovelovelove the new pillow in the first photo. It reminds me of the J.Crew Ratti Acid Rose Blazer, for which I'm considering putting off a medical procedure to purchase. Just kidding! Maybe...

  12. I love your warm, lovely home. Such an elegant yet cozy sanctuary. My home tends toward mid century modern/eclectic mix and I could see your drape fabric easily as an accent in my own home. Love the colors and simple patterns floating on the light background. Can't wait to see the photos after they are installed.

  13. Dani,
    I am so behind reading your posts. I loved both this and the previous one. So true about the dining room being the heart of the home. I am loving dinners in there more than ever and trying to use it more. I think many lie fallow in many people's homes though you know? So many eat at the counter I think or grab and go and there is nothing like a sit down dinner to end a day!

    Your pillow and all the fabrics are gorgeous. I'm partial to prints and love these. Your Suzanne Kasler is beautiful. Love the colors and it's classic and pretty. I can't wait to see the curtains. I look forward to having some made too as soon as I get my house figured out.

    Your home is so lovely and inviting. You always inspire me Dani with your classic taste and thoughtful choices!! Your never trendy, but always chic.
    xoxo Kim