Photo by Per Kristianson
Well, only a week after professing my love for love seats I found one to call my own. Say hello to my little friend:
She’s a beaut, eh? Curvy, petite, with a deep comfy seat, and in impeccable condition. We also have no room for her, nor do we need her, and I fell in love with the idea of putting this settee in Baby L’s room when she’s bigger. In a hypothetical home that we do not have. Hm… Not exactly fitting logical, practical criteria for buying new furniture. But it’s Mother’s Day, so I got the go-ahead. Ha ha! Timing is everything, right?
I have a feeling she’ll be a long-term project (like the wingback) to be worked on at “upholstery club” (My friend Lindsey and I and occasional friends who join us in her basement). I’m currently finishing the matching partner for my Louis chair I showed you, but I’ll be done that soon and be ready for something new.
So now begins the mission to find the perfect fabric for this lovely love seat.
Here are my criteria:
- I love that this settee has no tufting, because I want to go bold and fun and whimsical with the fabric. Something large scale, colourful, and bold. Especially since it will likely end up in a child’s room.
- While I’m leaning towards a floral or paisley, I don’t want the fabric to look too old fashioned - like the fabric grandma would have upholstered in originally; something a bit more contemporary to juxtapose with its antique shape.
- I think I want the pattern to be somewhat feminine and curvy - after all. this is a curvy little piece of furniture.
- I do not want anything symmetrical/geometric etc. that will need to be exactly straight or centred. I’m terrible at making things straight, and my upholstery skills are just not there yet.
- I want the fabric to have a range of colours. That way I can pick from a variety of colours in the fabric to create a scheme around in the future. (Alternatively I could do a neutral fabric… but only if that neutral is still fun and pretty!)
- And I want the fabric design to have staying power. No trendy patterns. No juvenile themes. I want to like it in 5 years, and for my daughter to be able to grow up with it.
So. Tall order. Here are a few of the fabrics I have my eye on:
This fabric is one I’ve loved for a long time and thought I might use on a headboard a couple years from now for Baby L, if the fabric is still around. But it fits the criteria for my settee - curvy, whimsical (I love the crazy birds), varied colour palette, and not too baby-girl. Plus I love the name. ;)
Lucy Eden by Richloom, from Fabric.com
The next two are also high contenders because I love the colour palettes - so many gorgeous colours to work with. But they could read a bit too granny if the scale of the print is too small. I’ll have to see a swatch.
Darjeeling Bachette through Designer Fabrics Online
This next one is a great contemporary floral - but the grey and yellow scheme might be too limiting…
Dahlia Dove by Thomas Paul for Duralee through Fabric.com
I adore this next one, and it comes in double width, and it’s quite reasonably priced. But it’s a limited colour scheme. And what do you think, is ikat “trendy”? Will it look totally dated in a few years? I’m just not sure I can commit. But boy, is it lovely.
Bari 22-A through Designer Fabrics Online
Also breaking some rules (it’s a stripe which needs to be lined up perfectly) is this fun colourful fabric. Wouldn’t it look cool on an upholstered piece? But perhaps the colour scheme is a touch juvenile.
Freedom through Designer Fabrics Online
This one’s not a floral, and it’s not colourful, but it’s still fun! I appreciate that it’s reminiscent of the legendary Les Touches fabric from Brunschwig and Fils. And Baby L is in love with puppies right now, so I’m sure she would appreciate its dalmation-like style!
And I’ve loved this branchy fabric from Dwell for a long time. In fact I have it on the bench cushion in my entry (in the grey colourway). Totally whimsical. Colour scheme is limited, but I think I could add accent colours in pretty easily with pillows… the blue’s almost a neutral (or I could use the grey…)
Vintage Blossom in Jade by Dwell Studio through Tonic Living
And how awesome is this next fabric?! I’m a huge fan. I’m just not sure this is the project for it. (Maybe a headboard in a boys’ room, or an ottoman in a play room…) But it’s tempting.
World through Designer Fabrics Online
If this one were cheaper I’d be seriously tempted to use it. It’s the epitome of whimsical. It’s like Narnia on fabric. Perfect for a story time settee. *sigh*
Forest in Red Pepper by Thomas Paul for Duralee through Fabric.com
Photographer: Stacey Brandford, Designer: Sarah Richardson Design (via House & Home)
Sharing some photos from House & Home’s March 2012 issue featuring Sarah Richardson’s London project.
I recently had a reader ask about these great bookshelves:
While I know these ones are custom made, it’s a look a lot of us would like in our playrooms and nurseries.
For myself, I used IKEA’s picture ledges in M & L’s room:
They’re cheap, easy to install, and do the trick. I love having their nicest books displayed (though there’s also a big basket full in the closet, and a basket full of board books in the living room, and a bag full of library books too…) I think it not only adds colour and interest to the room (some children’s books are so beautifully designed) I think it encourages reading, too. I keep M’s favourites on the bottom two shelves where he can reach them, and any special books up higher so that he can read hem with me.
Depending on your kid, though, it might be nice to have the dowel across the books to keep them from toppling down (ours rarely do, as long as we don’t overfill the shelves).
Here are a few other solutions you could try for a similar look:
Madison Book shelves from Pottery Barn Kids
I really like these sling shelves, though they’d take up a bit more floor space:
KidKraft Sling Bookcase from Sensory Edge
Here, Lillian “hacked” some IKEA BEKVAM spice racks to create shelves:
via IKEA Hackers
And the same look, painted:
via House to Home
I’ve seen rain gutters used as shoe shelves, but books could work too. Painted, they almost look like crown moulding:
Sticking with the idea of using alternative supplies, you could look for plate racks:
Vertical Plate Rack from Ethan Allen
STENSORP plate rack from IKEA
Or drywall mud pans attached to the wall:
Drywall mud pan, Home Depot (They have a couple bright colours, or stainless steel, which could look cool!)
Or search for window planter boxes:
Imagine this Windowsill Planter from Canadian Tire spray painted to match your walls, or in a fun accent colour!
Or if you’re handy you could try to make your own, like Martha’s instructions:
Making Children’s Bookshelves from Martha Stewart Living
Still want more ideas? Check out Babble’s article here with lots of different shelf configurations.