What the Pros Know chintz on capella kincheloe interior design phoenix 1. Tree Poppy Union by Colefax and Fowler 2. Chintz Indian Textiles for the West 3. Christies  4. Meredith's Mercantile 5. Design for Chintz by William Kilburn 6. Elizabeth by Schumacher


WHAT: Glazed fabric usually with a floral or bold pattern.

HISTORY: Chintz originated in India, strictly speaking it is a glazed fabric, but modernly it is known more for the grandmotherly floral patterns rather than the glaze.  The Indian woodblock was printed on the calico (muslin) fabric and put through a process called calendaring to get the shiny glaze.  During calendaring the fabric is put through rollers that put pressure and heat on the fabric resulting in a glaze.  The glaze is not permanent and fades with time & use.  Chintz was being imported from India into Europe at an alarming rate for the government, who banned chintz imports in France and England.

USES: Not to worry, chintz is no longer contraband and has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the past few years.  Now, you can do a lot of chintz or just a little with a pillow or lampshade.  Keep it modern by mixing it with animal prints or ikat.  Also works great with fun, bright colors and geometrics.  Can add a wonderful amount of history to a room, like a chair passed down from your chic English grandmother, because who's to know your Grams was born in New Jersey?

Michael Smith Bel Air in Elle Decor
*This post originally appeared on La Dolce Vita Blog, I am continuing my contributor series there today by delving into the glamorous world of passementerie.


Here is the truth.  I don't like sharing unfinished projects.  And because of that you so rarely get a glimpse into what I am actually working on right now.  Projects take a long time and I've been finding that my clients like the process, they enjoying taking their time in selections and decisions.  That just as we are finishing up they want to increase the scope.  So photoshoots end up getting delayed and I am realizing that I need to be better at creating a end date for projects. Another reason for my project shyness is that most publications won't publish work that has already been seen. Anywhere.  So I hold my projects and my clients privacy close to my heart (and iphone).

I'm working at opening up.

STE selections

So though nothing has been delivered yet, here are the selections from a current client in Northern Arizona.  The clients want flexibility since their living room windows completely fold back unifying indoor & outdoor space.  We've used indoor/outdoor fabric on all of the upholstery inside so if necessary they can pull the indoor furniture out for the day without worry.  We've used small rugs to minimize the divide between seating areas and flexbility to move furniture with the view.

Those two sofas can be configured several different ways to allow for tv watching, company or nature viewing.

Did you notice there is no coffee table?  Instead several smaller side tables will allow for a book & a drink without the permanency that a large coffee table provides.

We purchased two of the square dining tables, that will mirror each other, one in the dining room and one directly on the other side of the folding windows on the patio.  The dining chairs are great indoors or out.

STE Living Room View

The view from the kitchen into the living room and beyond.  On the left side of this image is where the dining table will go and to the left (out of frame) is the television and fireplace.  You can see we are dealing with a lot of focal points!

So, what do you think?  Would you like to see more of the process?



Everyone loves a good before and after.  I completed this project and had it published in Jezebel Magazine in February.

This is right after we brought the table and the pillows back from Scotts - so imagine without the table or pillows for true "before".
Jeff Wolk took all the after photos.


I've finally got around to photographing a few rooms in my home.  By showing these to you I am also exposing my neuroses surrounding my inability to design my own space.  For clients, I make decisions quickly and determinedly - but in my own home I can't hang art on the walls.  For my clients I have a clear design vision from the start but my own home is a mix-mash of styles and items I love but simply don't go very "designerly" together.  I fear a completed and cohesive space because I know I'll redesign the room the minute it was finished.  I am afraid I disappoint people when they visit "a designer's house".  I have heard that I am not the only interior designer with this issue, but seeing other beautiful homes of designers I think I actually may be. My house is always "in progress" but here are a few shots of what it looks like at this moment of time.

the living room:

See the fireplace surround before
the bedroom:
He is not normally allowed on the bed, does he look guilty?
A designer nightmare: a single offset window.
Right nightstand tutorial: Here
Fabric covered lampshade tutorial: Here
the dining room:

kilim pillows are for sale in my shop

Sacramento Bedroom IDESIGN

This is an IDESIGN project that I completed for a Sacramento couple who wanted a complete redo with items that would last.  We choose timeless pieces that were gender neutral (their old design had too much floral for the husband).  The ticking stripe on the chair provides interest without being too overwhelming and the rug adds the right amount of color that they can easily add more accessories without clashing.  The vintage Murano lamps are grown-up, but the canary yellow is fun and fresh. I am dreaming with the Cy Twombly painting, but the colors are right and its a good inspiration piece for the couple to find an abstract piece of their own.  Since the bed has thin posts, I added substantial bedside chests to add weight and purpose.

Also, not shown, we are using a simple check quilt for the bed and white percale sheets with crap apple embroidery from Garnet Hill.  As a designer, I order mattresses for my projects and always recommend an Aireloom mattress if the clients don't have a preference.  They are not cheap, but consider how much time you spend in bed, it is money well-spent.

 The wall color is a sophisticated grey, that has the slightest hint of lavender to maintain interest.  Absolutely everything goes with it.  It reminds me of the light in the English countryside.