Monday, July 1, 2013

China Seas- Again and Again


I, just this week, returned from beautiful Figure Eight Island, off the coast of North Carolina, where we installed a job for some of my favourite clients, whose many projects you have seen pictures of here in “Decorating with Sheets.”


Petite Zig Zag used in a room by
Leta Austin Foster and Della Lee

And I couldn’t help but think about how much China Seas fabrics and wallpapers I use.  Hopefully, I will have pictures of this job in the next half year, but in the meantime, I thought I would show you China Seas (part of Quadrille Fabrics which also owns or represents Alan Campbell, Haute Home, and Charles Burger from Paris).  Decorators love this company—and for good reasons:

It is sturdy
It is original—although mightily copied right now
It is classic yet new
It certainly says something—each time it is used




I mean, talk about saying something!  This is one of my favourite designs which, hopefully, I will be using in our redo of The Hillsboro Club in Hillsboro, Florida, where we are using so many Quadrille fabrics—in fact, all the bedroom wallpapers are from Quadrille, and much of the fabric—with large additions by Sister Parish Designs.  You will see these later.

Here is an ikat—an ancient design now much in favour—called “Kazak” used imaginatively by Eddie Ross and featured in Elle D├ęcor. 




Very clever—and lots of fun.  You wouldn’t need a lot of fabric to have these runners made, and in this colour scheme, they could be used in the spring as they are here, but would also look great on a black undercloth for Halloween or on a deep green velvet one with lots of red holly berries and poinsettias at Christmas time.

In an absolute turnaround, here is a room done using “Veneto,” a somewhat new and hip rendering of an ancient Venetian design.


Photo courtesy of House Beautiful
Room by Ashley Whittaker 

Also in the “baroque” look is this paper, Este Reverse, shown here with Porthault linens, always a favourite of mine since I sell them—and love them!




I love using lots of their fabrics together—here is a room with Henriot Floral and Nitik II as just two of the fabrics in this cool, airy summer house.  And I love the way they sometimes take a fabric such as “Monty” and reduce it down to just its outline as in “Monty Outline”, so that you can put them together if you want a rather hip look.  One of the wonderful things about this company is that they will print to order, so you can have the colours match if that’s what you want.


Photo credit At Home 2009
Monty by China Seas is used on the chair



Some of their designs harken back to a former time such as “Tulip Multicolor”




But the nifty thing is that if “vintage” weren’t your look, you could use “Tulip Background” and be a bit more up-to-the minute—imagine a sun room with all white wicker and this bright coral-y orange Tulip Background.  Get your sea grass rug, your bamboo blinds, and some wonderful dark green rhapis palms in terra cotta pots, and you’re ready to go!




You get the same idea when I show you the more traditional “Paradise Garden”




And the pared-down “Paradise Background”




Same basic fabric but the interior design has been taken away, giving the fabric an entirely different look.  They did it again with Independence Toile (used as the fabric below) and Independence Engraving (the wallpaper) which allows a wonderful combination look.




This picture was taken by House Beautiful for the charming summer house of John Knott and John Fondas, the owners of Quadrille (et al).  It is on Little Cranberry Island which is a quick boat ride from Northeast Harbor’s main dock, and I am lucky enough to have been there for dinner, since both the Johns are great pals of mine.  And what a wonderful dinner it was—all pies!  Chicken pie, Vegetable pie, and Blueberry pie.  We waddled back to the boat and home!!!!

Now that was only fabrics in the Quadrille section.  I will be back next time with some from China Seas, so it will again be “China Seas, Again and Again and Again.”

XOXOXOX   LETA

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