Category Archives: TEXTILES

Stockholm Syndrome: Laura Bohn’s Favorite New Products from the 2014 IKEA Catalog

The recently released 2014 IKEA Catalog is full of terrific new products. Here are some that caught my eye–I’ll be checking them out when I make my fall visit to the local store.

Bjornloka duvet cover and pillowcases by IKEA

I love the all-cotton BJÖRNLOKA duvet cover and pillowcases with their bold black-and-white stripes.

Hektar pendant lamp by IKEA

The totally industrial look of the HEKTAR pendant lamp is amazing, absolutely perfect for hanging over a kitchen island.

Stockholm swivel easy chair by IKEA, yellow

 I have to have the STOCKHOLM Swivel Easy Chair–not only does it rotate, it also comes in green and brown.

Knapper floor mirror by IKEA
Knapper floor mirror back by IKEA

The KNAPPER Floor Mirror is the greatest–neatly tucked behind it are hooks and a rail for hangers, so you can have your work clothes out of sight but ready and waiting for you in the morning.

Söderhamn sofa by IKEA

The SÖDERHAMN Sofa is part of a marvelous sectional seating system that includes armchairs, chaises, ottomans, and corner units that can be endlessly reconfigured.

Grundtal laundry bin by IKEA

The GRUNDTAL Laundry Bin hangs from the wall on a stainless steel bracket. Who knew a laundry basket could be so chic and practical?

Stockholm fabric by IKEA

Designed by Maria Vinka, the all-cotton STOCKHOLM  fabric is big and graphic and would look great as a wall covering.

Stockholm bed frame with slatted bed baseby IKEA

The STOCKHOLM Slatted Bed Frame and Base is made of stained ash and has leather headboard cushions. I love this combination of materials, which make it look like a much more expensive brand.

Locksta easy chair by IKEA, orange

The LOCKSTA Easy Chair has a steel frame and a removable and washable fabric cover. It’s proportions are great–I can see it as a useful bedroom chair.

Krokig wall hook by IKEA

I love the fun and boldness of these KROKIG Wall Hooks–they’d be ideal for a kid’s room.


By the Yard: Ron Bricke Shares Some Thoughts on the State of the Fabric Industry

This is a plea from a designer to the fabric companies to stay unique and special. Fabric production is tending toward the mass market and away from the singular and distinctive. Once, each textile house was individualistic; today, they increasingly share a set of common denominators.

Leopard: Rogers & Goffigon Yellow satin: Rose Cummings Silver satin: ScalamandreCurrent fabrics Ron Bricke is pleased are in production: leopard, Rogers & Goffigon; yellow satin, Rose Cumming; silver satin, Scalamandre

Shopping has changed, and I’m grateful to have so many fabric houses, but, like fashion houses, I would like to see them thrive and maintain their individuality. I know they need to survive in these tough times, but I urge them to stay different, look different. With fashion, where there is a silhouette of the season, certain houses always stand out; fabric houses need to do the same, as they did in the past: Stand out.

Here are a few problems I encounter when shopping for fabrics in today’s market:

Discontinued Fabrics In some showrooms, samples remain available on the racks even though they have been discontinued—sometimes for many months. Often I will request a sample, show it to a client, and only learn after placing an order that it’s no longer produced. This frequently requires doing the color scheme again, which annoys the client and makes business difficult.

Brilliant purple worsted wool, Andrew Martin; Black/white stripe with purple line velvet, Elitis (Donghia)More fabrics Ron Bricke is happy are in production: brilliant purple woosted wool, Andrew Martin; black/white stripe with purple line velvet, Elitis (Donghia)

Inconsistent Pricing Typically, 75 percent of showroom fabrics are priced, but 25 percent are not. It’s a real challenge selecting textiles in a pricing vacuum. For example, speccing fabric for a child’s room is completely different from doing it for a living room. If everything is properly marked, it makes the designer’s job so much easier.

Limited Choices A client recently asked for crewels: One source had three choices, another had five; all in all, not much selection. It used to be that a range of fabrics was always available, regardless of whether they were in vogue or not. Today, what is mostly available is a limited range. And they all tend to be grayed down, muddy or lack a spark of vitality.

Pale blue velvet stripe, Scalamandre; Pale two-directional stripe, Donghia; Pale mauve-like woven tiger design, Cowtan & ToutFurther current fabrics Ron Bricke likes: pale blue velvet stripe, Scalamandre; pale two-directional stripe, Donghia; pale mauve-like woven tiger design, Cowtan & Tout

Residential vs. Commercial When I did EF Hutton’s corporate interiors years ago, I shopped for commercial fabrics, but everything was gray, gray/green or beige—colors that hid soil. So I ordered fabrics from the residential side in colors not available in the commercial realm at that time. Now, both are sporting similar grayed colors.

Fabric Economics Today, an 18 week delivery time, 100 percent payment in advance, no credit, and no color approval are common practice. Some houses still provide samples and work with the designers on timing and payment, but that’s not the norm. The 18 week lead time can turn into 26 weeks. Without color approval (and a swatch), one cannot be assured of a color match. And since the fabric ships directly to the upholstery shop and then is applied directly to the piece of furniture, how do we protect our client? With a 100 percent payment, the fabric houses have less of an incentive to fulfill the order in a timely manner.

Red and purple dramatic design: Lee Jofa Purple woosted wool: Holly HuntMore of Ron Bricke’s current favorite fabrics: red and purple dramatic design, Lee Jofa; purple woosted wool, Holly Hunt

A Positive Note I’ve noticed the color purple appearing more than before—it used to be very difficult to find. And some fabric houses are refreshing; they maintain their individuality, simplicity, chicness, and choices. So it’s not hopeless, just not as inspiring as it once was and, hopefully, will be again.

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Kidz Rule: Laura Bohn at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House

Kips Bay 2012

At this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House—the 40th!—we’ve designed a playful, stimulating child’s room, focusing on two senses: sight and touch. Animated images are projected onto walls and ceiling, courtesy the digital wizardry of Insight Onsite; many surfaces are painted high-gloss Benjamin Moore chartreuse (our signature color). For a tactile experience, we’ve lined one wall with fuzzy brush tiles from Robin Reigi, and installed 3-D tiles above. A round shag carpet from Edward Fields adds texture on the floor. A space-saving unit by Resource Furniture that converts from a desk to a twin bed frees up precious square-footage for play—a must in any city apartment.

Child's room by Laura Bohn at 2012 Kips Bay Decorator Show House

A child’s room by Laura Bohn Design Associates, painted Benjamin Moore chartreuse, at the 40th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House, in The Aldyn, 60 Riverside Boulevard, May 16th-June 14th.

Child's room by Laura Bohn at 2012 Kips Bay Decorator Show House

Laura used a space-saving unit that converts from a desk to a twin bed from Resource Furniture, and lined some walls with fuzzy brush tiles and 3-D tiles from Robin Reigi.

Child's room by Laura Bohn at 2012 Kips Bay Decorator Show House

In one corner she installed a blackboard and a dramatic foil curtain
from ElasticCo. The fabric is embedded with magnets that allow the
curtain to fold on to itself.