The technique of Ikat weaving is centuries old.  It is not certain exactly where it originated, but it has roots in India and South East Asia and is still produced today in countries all over the world.  Ikat weaving is a process of  resist dyeing the threads used in order to create a pattern once the threads are woven together.  Different cultures are known for their different techniques and the intricate patterns are passed down through the families of the weavers. Today I am going to show you how some designers in NYC and all over the country are using the amazing fabrics and where you can get them for a fraction of what those designer’s would charge you (Ebay!)

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I love furniture upholstered in Ikat fabrics like this French Louis chair by Jen West that I found on flickr! It is a very simple DIY project!

Madeline Weinrib started this trend and carries an entire collection of French furniture upholstered in Ikat fabrics  available at ABC Carpet and Home in NYC shown here…

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I pretty much adore all of these chairs and am thinking about doing something similar as the head chairs in my dining room, but I am going to do it the budget-friendly way…Ebay (with some help from my other pal, Craigslist)!

So here is what you do…

Go onto craigslist and put in “french furniture” or “french chair” and this is an example of what you’ll find…

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$250 for the pair!   I found an UNBELIEVABLE upholstered French wing back armchair for $100 two weeks ago on craigslist and didn’t end up getting it and am now kicking myself, but my husband would have killed me if I brought home another chair with nowhere to put it!

Anyway… this style is very good for this project because it is easily reupholstered. I did a pair myself and they came out amazing! I am not so good at sewing and these chairs require NO SEWING which is perfect. All you need is a staple gun ($15 at Home Depot) and some nailheads which you can order online or buy at an upholstery shop, and a can or two of spray paint. (FYI,  the primer is the MOST important thing when refinishing furniture and I only use B.I.N’s Shellac based primer because it will stick to anything previously applied to the chair and your new paint job won’t chip off afterwards!)

I love the gold painted frames that Weinrib does on the chairs and you can get that look with a can of gold metallic spray paint also available at HD! Only use the metallic paint with the can tops that look like gold foil (super shiny gold…can’t think of the brand, but you’ll see it)- don’t use a matte gold, it doesn’t turn out so great looking!

Next Step: Take a little virtual trip to Ebay! Type in “Ikat fabric” and you will have a plethora of options to choose from. Make sure that the width of the Ikat will work with the furniture you choose because Ikats are made in shorter widths 16″-24″, but sometimes come larger. You MAY have to sew two pieces together which is what Madeline Weinrib does on hers, so I apologize for saying NO SEWING was involved!

Here are some of the fabrics you will find…

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You can purchase these for around $8-$18/yd. Another great budget-friendly place to find Ikats is at this online store Uzbeck Craft where they also have pre-made pillows in all of their gorgeous Ikat and Suzani fabrics…

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Here are how some of the big wigs are using Ikats in today’s interiors…

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Jeffrey Bilhuber, a designer in New York City, used a beautiful ikat pillow on the sofa in this room to pull together the color palette in this understated space.  The ethnic pattern adds an eclectic aesthetic to the room.

house beautiful, 2009 march

In the March 2009 issue House Beautiful featured this room with the Ikat fabric roman shades and accent pillows.

ny apt of robert burke, by todd romano

This would have been a great room for my Masculine Decor blog! Todd Romano designed this apartment in NYC for client Robert Burke. Ikats are totally Man-Chic!

-Hilary White Interior Design





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Since my post a couple of months ago on masculine decor got such a great response, I have decided to write a ”Part Deux” on the subject, and also feature a great store in New York City called “Mantiques”. Ingenious name!

Here is some of the macho-classic decor they sell…

19th century lions head

19th Century bronze lion’s head

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Animal motifs are very man-chic.  It’s a way for them to say that if they lived in the early 19th century, they could have been an adventurer back when Hemingway epitomized the classic macho man.

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This vignette puts the theory into context. This room by Robert Passal is very masculine-sexy with the animal motifs used in contrast with the romaticized nudes on the wall. It definitely gives you the sense that this man has interests beyond football and beer, and that is a beautiful thing!

English telescope

Another Mantiques treasure and archetypal “manccesory” is the telescope.  It again goes back to wanting to be that free spirited adventurer, rather than just “Bob in accounting”.

Revolver Trade sign

Ah, the gun.  A perfect expression to the world that there is nothing emasculate about its owner, and I so prefer it as a mounted piece of art rather than tucked inside your nightstand.

STEEL AND STUDS:

Giant hobnail safe

Antique steel studded safe. SO SEXY!

Michelle Boyer Table

Steel Michelle Boyer table, also sexy!

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Thinking YOU are a stud, NOT SEXY!

Sexy Masculine Interiors:

eric piasecki

Comfortable, sophisticated, and clean strong lines. A perfect specimen.

David Hicks House beautiful, coca cola brown walls

David Hick’s apartment. Sexy! The neutrals make a masculine interior timeless!

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This interior has some feminine touches like the French Baroque chair, but the neutrals and the black and white detailing on the walls accentuating the architecture is definitely a masculine aesthetic.

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A sexy man loves to read and books make a great accessory! Miles Redd exemplified this here in his master bedroom. I like how they are just sort of unkempt, like he was browsing through them and didn’t put them back yet.  It shows he actually does read them!

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The very Man-Chic library at the Hudson Hotel in NYC.

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Notice the HUGE metal light fixture (another example of their love affair with steel).  This is what I wish most men defined as a “mancave”. However, their definition looks more like this…

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All hail the flatscreen! The funny thing is, that if you show these guys what a masculine, sexy room could look like, they DO like it!  They just can’t do it themselves.

(Thank god we are here to help! )

Getting them to read something other than Sports Illustrated, or to wear something that actually fits like it’s suppose to, or even to take the trash out without being asked…well, that’s another story, just try to remember, it’s not going to happen overnight. It takes YEARS!  My husband still has about five years left on his (my) plan, but we are making GREAT progress! Ten years in and he can now pick up after himself (no heavy cleaning though), he puts the toilet seat down about 80% of the time now, and he can even put his clothes away by himself  (even if it takes a few days), but the point is, we ARE making progress!

Baby steps, baby steps!  Good luck ladies! ;)





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In case you weren’t aware, Kelly Wearstler is the Queen of Interiors! I happen to worship her, and I’m talking full fledged alter with candles and everything! It’s a little sick really, but anyway, her newest book HUE is coming out in November and I am SO freakin’ excited! Here is a sneak peak!

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She is always on the cover, which is fine, she is a perfect cover girl…beautiful, talented, skinny!  If I didn’t love her so much I’d totally hate her!

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I pretty much LOVE everything in this room! The color palette is amazing, which in my opinion, is her specialty. (Hmmm, maybe that’s why the book is called “Hue”???) I really do love this particular one though. The oranges, purples, reds, and of course black and white and a large dose of GLAM making its presence known in the gold accents. Actually, “accents” is not the right word.  She always uses her metallics in a much more dynamic way than just in accents which I think gives her interiors such an enchanted appeal.  Another thing she is very good at is using ALL of the different “hues” in a color. If she is using orange in her color palette for a space (like here) she uses peach, burnt orange, bright orange-orange, and everything in between…and the same with the purples and reds in this room. It really gives the space depth and character. So many times my clients will say “that’s not the right shade of red, it won’t match”. I want to scream- but instead I try to explain how diversifying the shades make a palette so much more sophisticated and not everthing has to “match”. I much prefer the term “coordinate”.

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Kelly is also a huge fan of her geometric patterns which she uses liberally throughout her interiors.  I love how she uses them in unconventional ways too, like on the back of the sofa and on the paneled walls down the hallway. Too many of us are content to just throw some cool wallpaper on the wall and call it a day (of course that’s also a LOT less expensive I’m sure), but Kelly’s clients never seem to have a budget issue so they get custom Kelly wall panels! Fabulous! And the accent color is gorgeous! Jamie Drake uses that vibrant deep cerise color all the time in his interiors as well. (I was trying to sound fancy with “cerise”, but actually I just looked the name of that color up.  I was going to say “fuschia-purple”. Did you know every single color has an official name? Not just the silly names Benjamin Moore gives them either. You can see the list on Wikpedia.)

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She’s been into a 70′s – 80′s aesthetic lately, which she somehow makes it look AMAZING! I really love pink and yellow together. It reminds me of Betsey Johnson’s apartment…but less pink and more yellow, which I kind of prefer. It makes it more sophisticated.  However, I do love Betsey’s place (see bel0w)

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Ok, back to KELLY!

Here are some more pics you’ll likely see in her new book…

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She does quite a few hotels, like this one here. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that her husband is an uber-successful, zillionaire hotelier. Like I said, if I didn’t love her, I’d hate her!

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I am literally drooling over that pink patent leather chair! Again she goes with the pinks, yellows, and oranges, which she has the ability to make so sexy with the touch of black in the shade and rug,  and so glam with the gold, but yet it still feels laid back.  Very Miami! Notice the geometric paneled wall divider (told you she loves those!)

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She likes to throw in natural elements into her ultra chic interiors which helps to keep the carefree air about it. Notice the tree branch sculpture and the plants in the background. Without them in the scene, the ambiance is too stiff. They break up the monotony of perfection just, well….perfectly! It also adds a surprise element- something “unexpected”, which is always key to creating a truly dynamic space.

So, if you are now as excited as I am for her new book, you won’t have to wait to much longer! It comes out next month and I am going to get a signed edition to go along with her first two books in my collection, because like I said, I’m madly obsessed with the woman!





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I have been a little obsessed with Home Goods lately.  In case you don’t know, they are owned by TJ Maxx and Marshalls so it’s the same concept, designer pieces at insanely discounted prices! I think I have been going there at least two times a week to shop for clients, shop for myself, and just to look around when I have nowhere else to put all of their beautiful “Home Goods”.  My favorite part of shopping there:

THE PRICES ARE UN-FREAKIN’-BELIEVABLE!

Here are some of the many treasures I found…

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I love this turquoise color in this ceramic piece. This was $29!

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I ended up taking home this very large green ceramic pot and am going to put it next to my fireplace and fill it with logs for the winter! I love to use a piece out of context.  It makes it so much more interesting! It only cost me $59!

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I really liked this black urn. Every time I go in there I try to think of which one of my clients could use it. Eventually I’ll buy it for myself out of desperation and then have nowhere to put it!

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And the same thing is going to happen with all of these glam geometric patterned wooden boxes. They are around $16.99 ea! I may end up filling my office with them.

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Speaking of offices, I ended up buying this huge silver mirror for a client’s office and am going to hang it above his desk.  I prefer big statement pieces when accessorizing rather than zillions of little picture frames that clutter up a space. This mirror is 40″ round and only cost $79.00!

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This large dresser is in perfect condition except that it is missing some knobs (easy to replace, and I like replacing them with clear glass knobs anyway, but I’ll try to talk them down on the price regardless!). It is $599 and I want to get it for a client’s bedroom.  So pretty!

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I wish I had taken a better picture of these! They are faux crocodile leather ottomans in a perfect color orange. $79 ea! I bought one in chartreuse for my living room….

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My living room :) The starburst mirror on the mantel is also from Home Goods. I had bought it for a client and am procrastinating on dropping it off at her house because I love how it looks there on my mantel and I can’t find another one that I like! It was $29! Seriously, $29!

PS: Isn’t my little yellow table so cute! I bought it at a garage sale and spray painted it and then distressed it. It was a stained dark finish before and now it is so sunny and bright! I want to get a cowhide rug to go under this little vignette. I think it will finish it off nicely! I’m trying to talk myself out of a zebra print one because they are SO trendy, but I LOVE THEM! I can’t help it!

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The other side of my living room (you don’t get much space in NY for your $…I mean your $$$$$$$$$$$$) But I did what I could with it! The lamps are from Home Goods too, of course. They have the BEST lamps for the prices. These were $59 ea! You can see the interior of the shade is lined in metallic silver to match the bases. They are really beautiful and very well made! Unfortunately, they are also going out to a client’s house soon! :(   I always find the best things for my clients and never for myself!  So frustrating! I’ve decided that I am going to search every Home Goods within 50 miles to find this exact pair! I don’t want to give them up!

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Another Home Goods find. $299.  You can’t really beat that and the lines on this are complemented beautifully with the neutral fabric and natural wood finish.

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This little side table would be perfect in my Masculine Decor blog I wrote last month. So “Man-Chic”!

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You can’t really beat this chair for $99. It would be cute in a bedroom in a corner, something to throw all your clothes on!

I feel like I didn’t even do a good job of showing all that they have to offer, looking back.  Their linens are great, mirrors are spectacular, accessories are AMAZING and like I said earlier, the best part is that it is all so ridiculously affordable!  They also have the best holiday decor.  I see things there that I recognize from Z-Gallerie all the time! If you’ve never been, do your self a favor and GO! You’ll end up obsessed, just like I am, frantically re-doing your home every two weeks, just like I do!

Happy Shopping!

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