from the archives: one house, one fabric



Could you decorate your whole house using just one fabric?


In 2014 House Beautiful featured a converted garage which designer Justine Cushing decorated completely and utterly in Colefax and Fowler’s Bowood Chintz. It captured my attention and imagination and made it into my file box.

544A71FD-4CF8-49A8-A3F0-8E03387B87FFOn the one hand it’s such a bold move this notion of using one pattern throughout your entire house, on everything from curtains to slipcovers to headboards to vanity skirts. Would it feel restrictive (like trying to write a sonnet instead of free verse)? Or liberating because one major design choice is already made (also like trying to write a sonnet instead of free verse)?

28C44C26-B04C-46BB-AFE0-53C738E4E550How does one pull this off? How to pick the fabric? (for starters), and how to make it look stylish instead of just repetitive? Or how not to make it look over-styled and over-decorated? And why take this approach in the first place?


90B2EB0F-B872-4A89-AC0C-61449CEE8F68Among other things, this article began my love affair with Bowood, and now I think we are all in love with it (if you spend one minute on Instagram this will be confirmed). It’s a pattern that is romantic and old-fashioned but also looks crisp and fresh. The gray/green color can work like a neutral, while the subtle floral design adds warmth.  61CAC002-B67F-4F5F-B69D-F27604CF3DE1

The only room in the house without Bowood Chintz is the tiny kitchen.

426840B3-5C0E-4423-B26D-323F816E14DEWhat I find interesting is how Ms. Cushing brings in touches of other patterns with floral towels and crocheted throws and animal print rugs. And there are notes of purple that I would never have thought to use with this fabric, yet they add a nice contrast and brightness.AFEABDE4-D33B-4AEA-BB9C-C28F1E47CA2CTo keep it all together she uses one paint color (Benjamin Moore’s Linen White).


Throughout the small house, there are antiques and family heirlooms mixed in with some striking, modern pieces, and according to the article, any piece of furniture that didn’t seem to work or was worn out, got covered in Bowood chintz.I’m so intrigued by this idea that if I had a small cottage by the sea or on a lake, I think I’d give it a try. What do you think? Would you try it? And what fabric would you use?


Some design and decorating inspiration for your Tuesday! Cheers!




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