Pattern Play….

Last night, I found myself at 10:30pm playing around with different fabric samples I pulled a few days ago for a client.  They are a couple in the Castro area of San Francisco who live on the second floor a converted Victorian.  I have been hired to do the living room and it is a tight space, as the case normally is with most Victorian conversions – it is a long, lean room with soaring ceilings.  However, the architectural interest that comes to mind when you think “Victorian” has been ripped out – the moldings are whimsy, the wall paneling has been long removed and the fireplace mantle is “meh” to say the least.  I would love to come in and do a full remodel to bring this starlet back to its leading lady status.


As is in most cases with my clients, they are first time home owners who have extended themselves to the max to purchase in this hot San Francisco real estate market.  Funds are slim – like I am calling in favors slim – so much of the high impact (and high budget) architectural details have to be shelved for another day.   I did find money in the budget to build new shelving, re-tile the fireplace, put in new hardwoods and install a window seat.  Fingers crossed, I can swing new stair railings in glass and walnut using an out of the box trick – it may or may not work …we will see.

All that said, since I won’t have a ton of architectural elements to play with in this room, I am going to be leaning heavily on textiles to tell a store and add visual interest.  While I am pretty positive, the clients will not go in this direction, I am currently in love with this fabric story……

Clockwise: Pindler & Pindler Whimsy in Shimmer//JAB Velvet in Tizian //Beacon Hill Camaraderie in Smoke//Pindelr & Pindler Goldleaf in Dove

I would use the Whimsy fabric as drapery with a dark or black leading edge to tone down some the “cuteness” in this fabric.  It may reappear as a pillow on the sofa which I would do in an inexpensive linen in a taupe color.  Pillows would be made in Camaraderie while I would recover their round ottoman in the Goldleaf fabric with contrast piping.  A sleek Milo Baughman inspired chair would be treated to the yellow velvet potentially with grey calf leather accents.

This is a work in progress – so we will see what happens when all is said and done, but this fabric story has all the criteria I strive for: color, pattern, texture, sheen and my personal favorite, a sense of humor.

Alrighty, I am off to continue my search for steel casement French doors – either vintage or someone who can make them at a price point that I don’t have to hoc my first-born.

Have a GREAT weekend!!!

Check me out on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and now Instagram (@CourtneyOutLoud).

Head Over Heels About Headboards……

Last week, I felt like I was a superstar between client visits, a trip to LA and my super support team of family and friends, I was riding moon beams and giving high fives to angels.  Somewhere around Sunday that all came to a screeching halt.  Evidently giving high fives to angels is the perfect way to contract a cold.  I am coughy, tired, sore and cranky….. I seriously could punch a baby rabbit in the face.  That is how drained and icky I feel.  All I want to do is lie in bed and wait for the Grime Reaper.  Sadly, there is no rest for the weary or sick in this house, so I dragged my butt outta bed and got to work.

While my body may have been physically running about pulling fabric swatches and measuring chairs, my head was firmly on my “mental pillow” trying to catch a few extra moments of rest.  However, even in the depths of sickness, I dream about design, in particular, headboards.  If you are like me, when you are sick, all you want is your bed so it seems a bit obvious that while I was guzzling Theraflu like it was Two Buck Chuck, that I should hallucinate/daydream about headboards.

For myself, I find that sourcing custom headboards can be a bit stressful.  You have to buy the fabric, find a workroom to build the frame and if you are truly unlucky (as it typically my case) you will need to find a third vendor to actually upholster the darn thing.  (Sidenote, it was a rookie mistake on my part to have 3 vendors work on once piece – that will never happen again!) .  Fortunately, one of my favorite go to stores, Z Gallerie, has recently launched its headboard program saving me from being a head case!

Z Gallerie’s headboards start at $449.00, come in sizes up to California King.  To make life easier on y’all, Z Gallerie has made their custom headboards in seven different styles but here are my favorite four:

The (1) Juliet  is a simple, curved silhouette brushed with  silver nail heads while the (2) Grace is a dramatically arched headboard.  The (3) Kate  is a sassy, classic headboard with double hand applied nail-head trim and finally the (4) Francesca is  a regal, elegant with a timeless arch cut.

While I lean towards a class silhouette, I love myself so bold fabric so I was stoked to hear that Z Gallerie is offering the headboards in over 17  different upholstered fabrics.  That’s all fine and dandy but how often have you found yourself bored with their textiles that stores give you to cover your furniture with.  I understand that microsuede is a great thing but I would rather have a dinner date with Rush Limbaugh and discuss contraception, then put it on my couch.  Thank goodness Z Gallerie is offering a variety of patterned fabrics include the Kenya Zebra Stripe (as seen on the Francesca headboard above).  On the flip side, they are not offering COM (customer’s own fabric) as an option right now which pains me but it’s a start. 

So as I drag myself to bed tonight, I can dream of happy thoughts about being head over heels about a new headboard for a client.  Okay, I think I may have overdosed on the Theraflu as I just tried to turn on my TV with my iPhone.   With that said, what type of headboard do you love?  High and tight?  Low and tufted?  Modern and wood?  Shoot me  a comment and let me know.  And also be sure to check back tomorrow as I am hosting a give away…Yay for Hump Day Give Aways!

Check me out on Facebook and Pinterest as well as Twitter.

Master Bedroom Update: Yup, It’s Another Chair……

I have not talked much about the master bedroom update since the article I wrote for Centsational Girl.  It is still pretty much the same room as seen in the picture on the House Tour page

I am stuck on whether I should wallpaper the angular accent wall or paint.  The wallpaper I want is extremely expensive and comes with a 25 yard minimum order which isn’t a bad thing since I would love to do our whole bedroom in it.  At over $85/yard, it is a pricey investment that does not improve the overall value of the home especially knowing that this is not my “forever home”. 

So while I am dragging my feet on beginning the wall transformation, I did pull the trigger on having the occasional chair recovered that sits in the corner.  I had multiple ideas for the chair (here and here) but opted to do a simple upholstery job that would not lock me into a particular design should I change my mind. 

The chair was originally covered in a moss green ultrasuede which was fine when it served the purpose of a really expensive laundry hamper since I am too lazy to fold clean laundry (yeah it’s one of my growth areas for 2012).

However, I wanted something a bit more glam in the fabric department.  As I mentioned, fabric for the chair went through a couple of missteps from a overscale zebra print, to grey and gold polka dots to large-scale window pane print.  Each fabric was great on its own but didn’t quite work with the overall room I envisioned in my head (FYI if anyone wants some great zebra, polka dot or windowpane print fabrics, shoot me an email).  After looking at all my false starts, I realized that (1) my eye was consistently going to golds and pewters and (2) the fabric patterns were the sticking point on all of the other fabrics.  Armed with this information, I redirected my fabric search, found a great fabric & finally got the versatile chair I was hoping for……

The fabric I opted for was Club Room III in Dune by Duralee.  It is a tawny color with strips of gold lurex-like fabric woven throughout it.  It catches the light beautifully but is subtle.  To play along with the sheen of the chair and the gold vibe, I got the Bijoux-Dot throw pillow from West Elm.

While the chair isn’t in-your-face-fab-awesome like my other chair make overs (here and here), I think it will serve its future purpose — to blend seamlessly.  The end goal is to create a room that is a calm retreat and I think the chair puts me on the right path.

So how was your weekend? 

Check out my Facebook and Pinterest pages as well as my Twitter feed.