Décor Dictionary: Selvedge

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Selvedge: or “selvage” (US English) is a narrow border or self-finished edge on either side of a woven fabric. This prevents the fabric from unravelling or fraying. The term is a corruption of “self-edge”. The selvedge often contains the manufacturer’s mark, designer name, and other relevant information like pattern repeat and colour scheme. Fabric near the selvage is frequently discarded as it may have a different weave pattern or thickness.

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Décor Dictionary: Toile de Jouy  Décor Dictionary: Wingback Chair  Décor Dictionary: Faux

Décor Dictionary: Faux

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Faux: (French for “false”) a term used to describe objects, materials or finishes which are made to imitate or resemble the genuine article. Faux products can include embossed vinyl made to look like leather, synthetic fur, man-made stone, vinyl or printed wood flooring and decorative paint techniques that replicate the appearance of materials such as marble, wood or stone.

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Décor Dictionary: Toile de Jouy

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Toile de Jouy: (often simply referred to as “toile”) is a repeated single-coloured pattern depicting intricate scenes, usually of a pastoral theme (such as a couple having a picnic by a lake). Other Toile imagery include arrangements of flowers and fruit, country or farming landscapes and mythological and period-specific figures. The term derives from French – “Toile” meaning cloth, while “Jouy” refers to the French town Jouy-en-Josas, near Versailles. 

Pssst, wanna know more about Toile? Read this very interesting and informative article: James Russell on the History of Toile de Jouy

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Skinny laMinx DIY Fabric Squares

By Marica

A couple of weeks ago Heather of Skinny laMinx introduced a brand new, quirky item to her gorgeous product range –  DIY Fabric Squares! Upon seeing this, Rose and I immediately starting making groot planne (that’s “big plans” for those who are Afrikaans-challenged). I absolutely adore the pink & red colour mix and Rose lost her heart on the green & blue number – in fact she has two easy chairs in her living room earmarked for a “patchy” re-upholstery.

The DIY squares consist of various Skinny fabric offcuts sorted into colour groups like Reds & Pinks, Yellows, Black & White, etc. Each pack contains fifty 15 x 15cm (6″ x 6″) squares and if stitched together, you’ll get a panel approximately 1m  (3’3”) square.

Just think of the beautiful patchwork quilt you can make of this!!

You can find the Skinny laMinx DIY Fabric Square pack in her shop on Bree street, or purchase it online through her website or Etsy.

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{Images via Skinny laMinx}

My Favourite Colour’s Proudly Local Lovelies

We had a chat with surface designer Frances White of Joburg-based company My Favourite Colour. We first spotted Frances at Design Indaba 2 years ago and were immediately drawn to her quirky and beautifully unique designs – all featuring gorgeous, proudly South African fauna and flora.

Q:  Tell us a bit about yourself and My Favourite Colour…

Frances White of My Favourite Colour

I was born in KwaZulu Natal, grew up in Johannesburg and studied Fine Art at Michaelis at the University of Cape Town. I majored in painting, history of art and English. In my late twenties I started dreaming of printing patterns on fabric. I love mixing colours and painting, but the advantage of printing is that the same beautiful patterns can reproduced over and over, and the textiles can be used to make a wide range of functional products. In 2012 I launched my surface design company, My Favourite Colour, at the Design Indaba in Cape Town. The first range of textiles is a collection of fresh and contemporary South African floral patterns, inspired by Swedish design and the South African floral kingdom. Each pattern drew its inspiration from the flowers of a specific floral region, and is made up of drawings and paintings which have been scanned, collaged and digitally printed.

Q:  I can remember being quite taken with your range of cushions at Design Indaba 2012 – especially the quirky “Picturebook” designs. How did you come up with that particular concept?

I enjoy the simplicity of colouring-in book images – they’re striking in a stark way. There’s also something magical about the feeling of nostalgia and innocence that coloured in pictures can evoke. I wanted to create a pattern in a style similar to children’s colouring in pictures, with the idea of colouring some pictures in, and leaving some blank or partly coloured in. I decided that the succulent imagery would best suit the strong, simple, graphic line style and made a series of drawings for the pattern. I made photocopies and coloured them in in a variety of styles, and though they looked fresh and bright, I wasn’t happy with the finished result. It was only after having dreamt about children colouring them in that I knew in my heart that they were going to work. I made a few colouring in books and handed them out to my friends children. I scanned in the drawings, made a digital collage which was one of the first test prints, and people’s response to the originality and fun of them was inspiring. I decided to pair the West Coast Succulents pattern with a Johannesburg Garden Birds version, and I they were by far the favourites at our launch at the 2012 Design Indaba. People who stopped to look at the cushions we had on display ended up either stroking them and smiling, or picking them up in exclamation!

Q:  What was your experience of Design Indaba as an exhibitor? How do you rate it?

I *loved* exhibiting at the Design Indaba. I met such wonderful people, got amazing feedback on my fabric range, made great sales, met buyers from Weylandts, Mr Price Home, Trevyn Mcgowan from Source, Thessa from The Fringe Arts (now known as Kin), journalists, magazine writers and bloggers. I loved seeing the beautiful design on display and meeting the designers, and made lots of new friends. My cheeks ached from smiling so much and I may have shed a tear or two when it was time to pack down on the Sunday evening!

Q:  Where do you draw inspiration from when designing?

I love all things bright and beautiful. My work is inspired by nature, landscapes, the South African floral kingdom, the animal and insect world, vintage Scandinavian textile design, folk art patterns, colour and light.

One of my favourite quotes is Goethe’s ‘We are shaped and fashioned by what we love’ which I believe wholeheartedly. I love and am inspired by mountains, art, swimming, painting, poetry, flower-filled meadows, collecting pictures and postcards, photographing snippets of life, day-dreaming, watering the garden, looking for treasure at second hand shops, romance and pretty much everything that shines or glitters.

Q:  Is there a certain style you admire or aspire to?

I love the clean, classic and colourful style of the Danish furniture design company HAY, and also the Dutch design duo Scholten & Baijings.

I aspire to make things that are timelessly beautiful yet still modern and fun. It’s also important to me make things that have or tell a story. I want to make meaningful contact with people. I want to make them stop and admire nature or bring some loud colour into their lives. I want to decorate the world.

Q:  Do you have a colour that you favour most?

I’ve always had a love affair with hot pink, but if I had to choose my absolute favourite colour, it would be sunshine yellow.

Q:  Could you share your Secret Indulgence with us?

I’m in love with mini Liquorice Allsorts at the moment.

Q:  What is your favourite current décor trend?

I quite like the tropical jungle theme, hot colours and big leaf patterns that seem to be trending in décor at the moment.

Q:  Tell us five things on your Bucket List…

  1. To see my 100 year old grandmother in Holland again. I love her.
  2. To go swimming in waterfalls, rock pools and lakes in France and Corsica with my husband.
  3. To be a mom.
  4. To teach children art.
  5. To own and learn how to use a good manual camera.

Q:  We understand you have recently designed some products for Mr Price Home – can you tell us more?

Mr Price Home approached me to design a range to be part of their South African-inspired Colab range. I had a lot of free reign creatively and was inspired by flower-filled spring landscapes, the West Coast, Silvertrees, succulents, vygies, Cape foxes and small South African mammals. The range includes a reversible duvet set in all sizes, a woven throw, assorted cushions, embroidered bath towels and a woven rug, and is available in stores now, or online: here

Q:  Future plans – what can we expect from My Favourite Colour this year?

I’m starting a screenprinting course next week… I’m SO excited to learn how to print myself. I hope this means that I’ll spend more time creating this year and playing with colour, pattern and a brand new screenprinted range!

I’m also designing my existing patterns and ideas into matching fabric collections.

We’ve also started making melamine and paper products, and I look forward to marketing those and making more. I love stationery and themed kids colouring in posters.

I’d also really love to learn how to sew.

Watch this space!

Be sure to check out the My Favourite Colour website & shop for more gorgeous product or pop into your nearest Mr Price Home.

Studio Tour: Zana, Woodstock

Earlier this week while I was sniffing around the web for some awesome local product to include into my Scatter Cushion Addiction post I spotted these lovely shots on Zana‘s blog of their gorgeous studio in Woodstock, Cape Town.

Zana is a talented design brand with a fabulous boutique range of fabrics and products including some deliciously quirky scatter cushions. I simply adore the bright loft-like space that now form their main base of operations. The studio is a complete creative station – from here they design, screen print, sew, and package their stunning products to be shipped right across the globe. They have even recently incorporated some retail space into the studio, so if you are in the Woodstock are be sure to check it out.

The studio space, like their product, features a fresh white minimalist backdrop with pops of bold colour and fun pattern. Interior designer, Melissa Louise, who assisted with the overall look of the space has since joined the Zana ranks! The gorgeous snaps below were taken by photographer, Lindie Meyer. Be sure to pop onto Zana’s website to view some more images of their beautiful studio and to check out their awesome product. Oh, and their blog features some fun and easy DIY ideas too…

Images via the Zana Products website: here