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Bagsnob, Chanel, Designer Dictionary, fabric, French, hand-stitched, jacquard, Martha Stewart, matelasse, Oscar de la Renta, padded, Paris, textile, Uncategorized

Fancy Word Friday: Matelassé

Today’s “Fancy Word Friday” is matelassé.   Matelassé is a French word meaning quilted or padded.  It’s a thick textile that appears to be padded, but actually has no padding within the fabric.  It can be hand-stitched or woven on a jacquard loom.  This quilted fabric is most commonly used in bedding but can also often be found on upholstery.  You will also see it in the world of fashion on handbags & clothing.   Oscar de la Renta even used matelassé in a collection of suits & dresses in the 1960’s and still continues to do so today.

Most matelassé fabrics are done in a single solid color.  The hand stitching is often used to create a decorative pattern to add dimension to to the fabric.  If you love a French flair or a Shabby Chic approach to design, this type of fabric would fit well into your design plan.  Matelassé fabrics are often used in soft neutral colors, but as you can see from the photo to the left from Martha Stewart, the fabric is also stunning in bright bold colors.  The tangerine matelassé coverlet layered on top of crisp white linens is so refreshing.

Here are a few of my favorite matelassé fabrics & different ways they have been used in both interior design & the fashion world.

Beautiful diamond pattern matelassé in amethyst by Barbara Barry for Kravet Couture.  I LOVE lavendar!  It’s such a soft, soothing & girly color.

This gorgeous light blue matelassé by Kravet has an elegant pattern to it.  It’s made fro 100% cotton so you can just imagine how soft & fabulous it is.

The matelassé coverlet at the end of this bed features a very common scalloped edge.  This shabby chic look would be fun in a guest bedroom or kid’s room.  Image from Country Living.

This rich chocolate brown matelassé coverlet adds a plush texture to this upholstered linen bed at IBB Design Furniture Showroom.  The Euro in the center  & kidney pillow are also out of matelassé fabrics.

Black & Navy floral matelassé dress by Oscar de la Renta

My friend Tina from Bagsnob snagged this stunning Chanel matelassé bowler bag on a trip to Paris.  Read more about this sexy bag in her post about it on Bagsnob here.

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It’s Nate Day!

Did you know that today is Nate Day?  And, yes I am referring to the uber-fabulous  Nate Berkus, celebrity interior decorator extraordinare.  If you’re active on Twitter, then you may have been alerted to the trending topic #nateday that has all of the design & blogging community in a frenzy.  “How’d he get his own day?”, you may be asking yourself.  No, Oprah didn’t declare it Nate Day.  The Moggit Girls did.  Why?  Is it his infectious smile & energy?  His drool worthy colorful designs?  Well, of course, but it all started with a recent announcement.  The Moggit Girls created such a buzz when they first tweeted about the debut of Nate’s new show premiering in September that they asked fellow design bloggers & tweeters to unite for a day full of Nate Berkus inspired content.  Being a fan of Nate’s, I am, of course, happy to participate.

So, in honor of #nateday, I thought I would share with you the top 5 reasons I can identify with & why I swoon over Nate’s designs.

#1 Contrast:  I absolutely adore the upholstery against the dark painted walls (covered in eco friendly paint company Farrow & Ball’s Off Black) in this room Nate designed alongside Ann Coyle for Elle Rakieten, a producer for the Oprah Winfrey show.

#2 Layering:  I’m a huge fan of layering!  I love to add a powerful punch to a plain sisal rug with a zebra skin rug as shown in the photo above.  Berkus hit the high notes with this one.  Each piece in the room is fabulous in it’s own right, but when joined together they create a beautiful design harmony.  I showed you a similar look  with a pair of green chairs & a fun zebra hair on hide rug on GMT back in March.

#3 Adding Ottomans:  The addition of ottomans or small benches not only allows for extra seating for your guests in a room but also gives you the opportunity to have some design fun!  I love the legs on the ottomans Nate used in this design.  The pop of color on the seat is a deep contrast with the dark rich sofa across from it.

#4 Sexy Sectionals:  Whether it’s floating in a room (like the one I recently showed you that I designed for a client in California) or hugging a wall, a sectional does not have to be boring or plain.  Even though this sectional is neutral in color, the squared tufted sections make it say “va va va voom”!  This swanky pad in Milan is one of my all time favorite Berkus designs.

#5 Any shade of blue:  I’m always feeling blue!  I’m drawn to pretty much every shade of blue from teal or turquoise to mineral or baby blue.  It’s one of my favorite colors to work with.  Nate livened up his sister’s nearly neutral color palette with the addition of a painted blue chest.  The shade is pure perfection & adds drama & intensity to her home.


images from, Elle Decor, Glamour, Google