Right now I am running in high gear to get pieces ready for the vendor sale on March 24th. The problem with this is that my best design ideas involve patterns, which take 90 years to translate to furniture. If you recall Rob’s bookcase, there was only a hint of pattern on the sides and that took 4 collective days to pull off. Regardless, I’m sticking to my guns! I intended to create furniture that I would want in my house and I won’t accept anything less.
Just to get the synapses fired up in my sleepy noggin, I’ve narrowed down a few pattern styles that have their pros and (of course) cons that I just have to explore in writing. And what better way to brainstorm and be completely free than to publish my meanderings for all to see? Well, NOT publishing them would make me seem less like an ambivalent babbler, but that’s no fun for anyone.
I’m a little in love with Hollywood Regency inspired patterns. They’re made of simple geometric shapes and usually use only 2 colors. The pattern shows up in rugs and fabric, but it’s mainly built into the structure of furniture (because it uses such simple shapes) and not typically painted on. BUT I am a rule breaker, and I’ve already started painting this style on a tea cart. What?!? A 30’s style design on an item from the 60’s?! It’s pure mayhem!
Even though these patterns typically use shapes, it varies greatly from Hollywood Regency. Mod patterns typically are more complex shapes with several contrasting colors. Not only are these patterns too complex to build into furniture, but one of their most obvious characteristics is their color, which can’t exactly be built into furniture either. Typically Mod patterns are found on fabrics, wallpaper or any item that can be screen printed.
I love love love Damask. It consists of huge complex shapes (usually floralesque ::made that word up::) with only 2 (but occasionally 3) colors. It’s super bold and too intricate to freehand onto an item. If I were to put this pattern on a piece, my best bet would be to buy fabric with this pattern and adhere it to the item. It is of course possible to use a stencil, which is what would be necessary if I was super insistent on painting it directly on the item…and I can get pretty insistent.
This usually consists of intertwined flowers and weaving vines (also called arabesque). It usually has a few colors that are fairly muted. I love this style because it’s like “classic hippie.” It’s not overtly “nature lover,” but it gives a nod in that direction. Many times you will see Nouveau style as a frame around a picture of a woman. In any case, this is a stylized version of natural elements like flowers, leaves, vines and even animals. Also, a great feature to this design is that is has no obvious pattern repeat, so if you were to try to freehand this (God help me) then any little error would go basically unnoticed because it isn’t suppose to be perfectly symmetrical.