So let’s just say the formality of the rooms in yesterday’s post is just not your style, but you happened to have inherited your beloved grandma’s French bergeres or your grandfather’s old wingchair and you are at a loss to know what to do with them. I say look no further than a fresh fun fabric to breathe new life into them. One of the best people to turn to is designer Mally Skok. Her fabrics start out as watercolor paintings that are then hand-printed by local artisans in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The fabrics make beautiful pillows and window treatments, but seem particularly suited for revitalizing upholstered pieces. As Mally herself says, there is “nothing like putting a slightly inappropriate fabric onto a really good antique chair for adding that bit of pizzaz that stops the chair from looking like its taking itself too seriously.” I couldn’t agree more.
Her Ikat Crazy comes in lots of colors and is instantly transformative! Just think how fuddy duddy this chair might look in a heavy old-fashioned covering. And be sure to note the different way it has been positioned on this wing chair…
…versus this tub chair. Same fabric in different colorways, with different parts of the pattern centered on the chair. Extra versatile too!
And if you really can’t stomach the brown wood frame of your chair (and assuming it isn’t actually a valuable period antique), painting the edges a clean white and pairing it with a jazzy fabric like Mally’s Zig Zag from her Africa collection might be just what you need. I can’t help but be a bit tired of chevron, but this organic hand drawn version is a stunner.
Her sweet India collection fabrics look ideal on painted and Scandinavian pieces. There is such a lightness to the patterns which doesn’t overwhelm these more fragile pieces. I have a real soft spot for her Julia pattern, as does she…
…and her Rohet Flora mixes and matches with her other Rohet designs.
Her Africa collection is particularly lyrical, perhaps influenced by her strong relationship with the location – after all, she was born in Capetown before wending her way to Massachusetts. This chair almost looks like it is a colonial piece and covering it in Botswana Trees is so perfect.
Her fabrics also look great with a different but complimentary fabric on the back. Mally’s array of stripes in many colors work perfectly for this trendy look, which is most successful when a graphic print is paired with a simple geometric.
Mally has a brand new fabric, Suzani Luv, that I have my eye on. Just last week I stumbled onto these three French fauteuils for that most magic price – free – which is a story unto itself that will need to wait for a later post. Good furniture is definitely turning out to be hard to come by here in Doha and there was no way I was going to turn them down. They are in beautiful condition with a very formal blue damask on them. Since it looks like dining room option two is definitely happening and that the Saarinen tulip table is being sent here, I thought the pair might be perfect as dining chairs once they are freshened up and mixed with something more modern.
Suzani Luv comes in three colorways, but it is the taupe and lilac one that screams my name. Don’t you think my chairs would look fabulous like this? I think I might be ditching the seat cushions too – the chairs are more comfortable without them.
If I want to go even further I can paint the frames and I would love to hear your opinions on that. I am contemplating doing that on the larger chair to use it in a different room, but more on that in another post…