You’ll often find when you go antiquing that many of the settees, fauteuils, bergeres, (see our French Furniture Guide) and benches are covered in a neutral or rather plain linen. This is often done so you can take the piece and put your favorite fabric on it, to compliment your unique home decor style. That’s why you will often find them in muslin, beige or white linen.
I love, love juxtaposing an antique chair with a fabric from today. Of course, I love a design classic like a Louis XV chair covered in a toile, and have several of those in my own home. But I equally love seeing bold geometric patterns, stripes, decadent velvets and other graphic prints on antiques as well.
Here are a few of my favorite fabric trends paired with antique frames:
The trellis print by designer Kelly Werstler is hot, hot, hot right now. Its name matches its pattern quite well, and the large scale repeat design makes for a pretty fabric or even wallpaper. I love the pop of this fabric on the pillows against that gorgeous French bergere. And don’t be afraid of this one, you’ll find it looks beautiful on an entire piece too.
Another trellis patterned fabric on a Louis XV style fauteuil.
Ikats are huge right now. These are actually a design classic but they have been experiencing a massive resurgence this season. They tend to be a little blurry – almost like a watercolor – so they are very pretty for toned-down bold pattern.
Another pretty ikat pattern by one of my favorite fabric companies Manuel Canovas. (Available via designers)
Stripes and Chevron:
I love that cut velvet stripe on the left. A gorgeous stripe can make an antique chair look so fresh and modern.
Here is an antique wing chair I found in France, that I had reupholstered with this gorgeous velvet wide stripe. I LOVE these chairs and sit in them everyday. These are in a room which functions as our library, great room and kids play room.
Right now you’ll find embroidered and suzanni pieces all over antique chairs and settees. Talk about making a design statement! Take a look at the two side chairs in the foreground of the photo, covered in suzannis – very charming!
If you’re worried about little hands or paws ruining your seat, you can always opt to put these beautiful fabrics on the outside of your frames, much like I did on my own antique settee.
I’m seeing lots of classic patterns, super-sized. I often talk about scale, and stress that you must select things in the correct scale to your space. Once you understand scale, including how the scale of the piece works in the room and how many patterns you will be mixing, you can start to play with scale and intentionally put a larger-scale fabric on a smaller piece.
I love this oversized check on this petite Louis XVI fauteuil. What about you?
Same with this great big check. I tend to select a smaller scale when mixing many fabrics, but if I want impact this would be the way to go!
Speaking of oversized… we’re also seeing oversized floral fabrics. I love, love blousy, floral prints. Sometimes though, they can appear very dated, so this is a fun way to bring in a modern floral. And I love how they mixed in a stripe on the arm tufts!
And last but not least, we’re seeing a lot of fun toiles. Like, for instance, this one below in a rich pink. We’re also seeing oversized patterns and toile scenes depicting modern day city life!
So when you come across a pretty chair, settee, or bench in that plain white upholstery, let that ignite your imagination! Think of all the stunning fabrics you can use to bring that piece to life in the home that you’re so carefully decorating to express all that inspires you.
And as always I love, love reading your feedback, be sure to send photos of any pieces you’ve reupholstered!
Till next time…
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