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.

  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:

      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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