blue and white ticking (some inspiration and ideas)


Blue and white ticking fabric, also known as mattress ticking or French mattress ticking, is one of my go-to fabrics. It has been around for a very long time, and was originally used for its pragmatic feature of being thick and durable so that whatever the mattress was stuffed with wouldn’t poke thru. These days, it’s used for both its practicality and its aesthetic appeal.


So aside from being a down-to-earth fabric with a long history of usability, I think ticking goes with almost everything. And, it’s affordable (the links above will take you to some sources). I like what it does to a room—in some cases it brings it down and in other cases it adds to the rustic charm—however it works, it usually does the trick for me.

I’ve gathered some pretty examples of ticking used in various ways. I hope you find something that inspires you today!

Frank de Biasi

Custom wallpaper above and bold pairings with red.

House Beautiful
Processed with VSCO with al1 preset
Amanda Brooks

On chairs and ottomans it’s fresh and classic.


Sincerely, Marie Designs
Markham Roberts


One Kings Lane

Looking smart with black piping (above).  And it always looks good in a summer home (below).

Markham Roberts

In bedrooms it looks great mixed with other unexpected patterns or taking center stage.

Ralph Lauren Home
Elle Decor
One Kings Lane
India Hicks

Happy Friday!


7 patterns to take you away (a mid-week pick me up)


Have you ever been sitting in a room and realized that your mind had wandered off somewhere else? And then you realize that it’s quite possibly the room itself that has transported you to a different time and place. I’ve noticed that sometimes when this happens to me, it’s the subtle influence of a pattern. It might be a tropical motif on the wallpaper, or a pastoral pattern on the toile drapes, or a playful animal motif that casts its spell on you.

With that in mind, here are 7 patterns that have transportable powers and would be fun to add to a room (town or country) that might need a touch of magic.  Or just fun to look at for a mid-week pick-me-up!  For more on patterns take a look at Susanna Salk’s latest book The Power of Pattern.  Enjoy.  And do let me know your thoughts on these enchanting designs.

BAF69016-72D4-404C-A72E-FE9BE6629182Rockbird Signature in Multi by GP&J Baker

15028225-C1CC-43CA-A745-F8DAA6B74F9DPagoda in ruby by Katie Ridder 

41550906-D97E-441C-A4F6-69DACDF13032Ismaelia by Pierre Frey

A9107603-69B1-48D1-96FC-42E3EC3083F6Lochwood in pink by Nina Campbell

0EDA7B03-1CC6-425F-917F-C5E5D605BFC9La Parisienne, noir by Manuel Canovas for Cowtan & Tout

D6BBC0E8-E5D3-4681-9B5B-827AC66A266DMarine Toile in indigo by Schumacher

B417BB4C-DCD4-4BD1-9305-3B2E57EF4475Wren in ochre by Mark Hearld for St. Jude

Friday mood board 5.3.19


With this mood board, I’m dreaming up a guest bedroom or a girl’s bedroom in need of some redecorating (for a young lady who has outgrown the child’s room look).


I started with the wallpaper from Shumacher because I like the timeless and traditional sense it brings to the room, and it feels fresh but sophisticated. I’m using it as the anchor here to set the tone.


I’ll do curtains in Wild Iris by Robert Kime, trimmed and lined in the blush check by Scalamandre. The check would also look nice on a cushion for the vintage wicker chaise. As a compliment fabric, the headboard and bedskirt would be done in this gorgeous oyster linen from Bennison.

'Great Kasumi' on oyster linen by Bennison Fabrics
‘Great Kasumi’ on oyster linen by Bennison Fabrics

I’d furnish the room with an antique secretary like this one from Tone on Tone Antiques in a light green patina finish and a vintage wicker chaise, and accessorize with vintage wicker trunks, an antique tulipiere, and crepe myrtle topiaries.

Last but certainly not least, because I believe that original art greatly enhances the atmosphere of a room and of a home in general, I’ve selected a contemporary landscape by artist Christen Yates, which I found through art dealer Liza Pruitt (who is especially fond of connecting art with people and making it fun and interesting).


Of course, feel free to use this mood board as inspiration for any project you have in mind. We’ll be posting a Friday Mood Board each week, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas (because they inspire us!).

Cheers! Holly and Brooke

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!




ruffles (are they making a comeback or just ruffling feathers?)

C1789D38-D891-4B82-A761-95EFAC5A99A1Ruffles, I must admit, are not exactly one of my favorite things. They conjure up images of the country decorating style that was popular in the early 80s—lots of ruffles and check and wooden ducks and pot pourri. None of these things are offensive alone, but the combination feels rather dated now. My mother went for this look (one of her phases), and I do believe there were ruffles involved.

And yet, not long ago I took my family by surprise by plopping down an ottoman with a linen slipcover with pleats (my word) that are very close to a ruffles (their word). True I lean toward tailored rather than romantic most of the time, but as a detail, ruffles do have the allure of being quite charming and even chic, if done well.

I’m definitely charmed by the sofa above covered in Soane Britian’s Dianthus Chintz, and the long, lazy ruffles are the perfect unexpected, elegant touch.


Style icon Bunny Mellon used the ruffle sparingly. She added it (short and long) to a chair here and there in rooms with otherwise straight lines.



Antique dealer and textile designer Robert Kime seems perfectly at ease with his armchair skirted in a traditional ruffle.


Next to the fireplace, designer Cameron Kimber has covered a chair in floral chintz, ruffled the skirt, and added fringe.

41152E4F-A55D-4446-8AE5-D569C08A9839This sofa’s short ruffles are in Bowood Chintz by Colefax and Fowler. ( Fashion designer Tory Burch has used the same fabrics on a pair of sofas with a longer ruffled skirt that touches the floor.)

477603DB-A360-491C-BB1C-81AED441EC2ESweeping the floor is whole other look, which adds even more drama, like a woman in a long skirt (especially when everyone else is wearing short skirts).

5826FF69-8873-47EF-9E0D-D27FDA11B9E3Here, artist Frank Faulkner updates the classic ruffled skirt by using crisp white cotton, something like the crisp ruffled white shirt below, which has been seen on fashion magazine pages lately (fashion and interior design are always in conversation aren’t they?).


So what do you think? Are ruffles making a comeback or just ruffling feathers?

Perhaps the lesson is this: stay true to who you are. As we know, trends come and go. But style is timeless. Bunny Mellon’s skirted dust ruffle below looks, well, like Bunny Mellon. Very stylish.