Swatcharama

After briefly agonizing (I don’t approve of prolonging agony), I made a decision about the dining room rug. I ordered the natural fiber rug from Overstock—exciting! I’ve now shifted my focus to dining room chairs. Here’s the photo again of the upholstered parsons chair from Ballard that I’m considering:

Ballard allows you to customize upholstered pieces by choosing from their range of lovely fabrics. I ordered a goodly bunch of fabric swatches in my general color scheme—neutrals, creams, khakis, with some hints of darker brown. I thought I’d share some of the swatches I’m considering. Again, I’m really glad I ordered the swatches because some of my catalog favorites turned out to be not as high on my list when I saw the actual fabrics in real life. Here they are thrown together with my paint chips and my new ceramic lamp in the background (a T.J. Maxx steal!)

Here’s a better shot of the new lamp. I can’t decide whether it is more accurate to describe it as a “teardrop” or “gourd” lamp. At any rate, it’s pretty, no?

But back to the swatches…they’re the real stars of this story. The fabrics are gorgeous. I think they’re lively, but still subtle. And I think they’ll wear very well.

I’m usually not one for animal prints, but I couldn’t get enough of these (“Zebra” and “Nomad”):

Here’s another one from designer Suzanne Kasler who has created a line for Ballard. I think this one tends a little too much towards the gray for my color scheme, but it’s gorgeous nonetheless. It’s a heavy linen called “Flax”:

This one, Scandicci Gray, is very lovely as well, but again I’m (most likely) ruling it out as being too cool and maybe a little too dark. It has a nice sophistication and depth about it, though. It’s kinda “moody” (in a good way):

This swatch, called Parish, would bring in some darker tones that appear throughout the rest of the house. I have a lot of dark-colored mullions, doors, and trimwork on the first floor. The pattern is a tad strong though, and I think duplicating it on multiple chairs could overpower my smaller dining room:

Ikat prints still seem to be pretty popular. Normally, you’d associate them with stronger, more saturated colors, but this one—rendered in a nice warm neutral—is soothing and lovely to look at. Here’s “Malabar Sand”:

And last, but not least, my very favorite of the bunch: Laguna Khaki. This one didn’t stand out for me in the catalog or on the website, but I find I keep coming back to it. I love the geometric pattern—it’s modern and fresh. But most importantly, it makes me happy to look at it! I want the dining room to feel airy and cheery, and I think this fabric could help me create that effect:

And here’s another parting shot of my current fave:

I’m hoping one of these fabrics could create a nice counterpoint with my more traditional Duncan Phyfe dining table. Or am I crazy? What do you think?… I mean, about the former, not the latter, please!

P.S. Here’s what happens to Archie when I force him to look at a lot of fabric swatches. First this:

Then this:

His interior design sensibilities may be a little stunted at present, but we can’t be too hard on him. He is still a baby, after all. A very big baby.

P.P.S. If you think my fabric choices are guided in part by a desire to color-coordinate with my pup, you may be right.

 

The Writer

Writer & Residence blog. A blog dedicated to two of my favourite things, interior design, and writing.

3 Comments
  1. Hi which did you choose, I’m trying to decide bw the Ballard nomad and the Laguna khaki and came upon your blog in my research. Can you send a pic of final product? Thanx

    1. Hi FAbric! In the end, I opted for a solid chair, rather than a print. You can see the chairs I ultimately chose here: http://www.thewriterandresidence.com/dining-room-re-do-progress-update/

      After living with the Nomad and Laguna Khaki swatches for a while, I was concerned that either print might be too overpowering since I would be repeating it on six larger dining chairs. The fabrics themselves, however, were very lovely and seemed to be of a high quality. The Nomad fabric was noticeably thicker, more of what I think of as an “upholstery” weight. I did love the crispness and clean look of the Laguna Khaki, but I was concerned the pattern might be too busy–again, when repeated on six large dining room chairs. I loved both patterns, but in the end I thought would just have too much pattern in a small room. I’m sorry I’m not able to provide photos of the upholstery, but you might try the swatch tool on Ballard’s site. It helps you get a better sense of what the pattern will look like on chair, sofa, etc. Hope this helps, and thank you for your interest.

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