Suddenly, after 24 years of marriage, my husband John decided that he wants to be involved in every design decision!! This unexpected change of heart must have some reason behind it: I think the real motivation rests in the fact that the couch I had custom made 15 years ago was apparently never very comfortable to him. While a seasoned upholsterer would be able make our existing couch more comfortable and stylish with a few changes, John wouldn’t hear of it!! This time around, he wants to buy a couch that he has sat in and approved. Sacrificing a Saturday of tennis or golf, John and I headed off to the stores!!! Our first stop - Meredith O’Donnell, located at 1751 Post Oak Blvd.
We were immediately greeted by designer Tim Weaver who did a wonderful job walking us through the store and listening to John talk about what his desires are in a cozy man’s couch. This comfortable sofa was covered in a new fabric that felt like cashmere. Although extremely soft, it was a bit more than we were aiming to spend, and I was concerned that it wouldn’t hold up to our pets that always seem to find their way onto the furniture!!!
Here was another beautiful option!! I loved the lines of this couch. Though I was hoping to find more taupes or grays, I could see how this creamy color would work beautifully with blue grays.
The braid design on the back of this model has a wonderful flair. I considered replacing my two chairs by the window with this couch and also buying the couch above.
Always remember to bring either paint decks or fabrics with you that have the colors that the room will be - it's the best way to ensure that you pick up on all the color tones of the room! Since stores are typically lit with florescent lights, your perception of what you remember the colors in your home being may change while you're at the store. Sherwin Williams has a great new color deck that's small, compact and filled with lots of beautiful colors that suit today's interiors.
After checking out the cushions to see how they would look at home, I was ready for the next store. John, of course, grumbled, "What another store! We're not done yet?" Thanks, Tim, for putting up with us - you were very helpful and had a great selection.
Our next stop - Hien Lam Home, located at 2032 West Alabama, www.hienlamupolstery.com. While researching the sources for my upcoming book, Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors, available in September, I had learned that Hien Lam upholsterers built and covered much of the furniture for my designer's clients. They recently opened a big, spacious showroom that has a large selection of linen-covered, upholstered pieces in the neutral tones I was searching for.
Hien Lam was established over 20 years ago and has always been a family effort - here is Patrick who joined his parents' business. Opening the showroom and growing up in the business, he was very knowledgeable and helpful when it came to discussing all the various styles, fabric choices and durability factors. His cute wife Cathy helps in the showroom as well!! Congratulations to them on their new baby!! Brother Henry also works at Hien Lam, on the upholstery side.
I just love that ottoman but had to remind myself that I already have a coffee table!!! Hien Lam carries basic fabric, mostly linen, canvas, velvet, microfiber, mohair and silk, as well as an amazing selection of pillows and accessories. In October 2011, they will open a 5,000 square foot design center on the second floor that will feature fabric from Kravet, Pindler and Pindler, Brunschwig and Fils, Schumacher and Donghia. How wonderful!!!
This is the one that we settled on! The upholstery comes with a two year protection provided by Paulette of Fiber Protech. If there is a problem, Paulette will come out and service the furniture. This is a must in our family with kids and pets. We left our fun shopping day with fabric in hand and ran by Boxwood Interiors to check out their pillows, then off to Glicks Textiles and High Fashion Home to look at different fabric choices. Sorry, John, no sports today!
High Fashion Fabrics, located at 3101 Louisiana Street www.highfashionfabrics.com, is a great place to look for fabrics. Although there are so many choices that it can get confusing, it's very nice being able to buy the fabrics right off the bolts. Even if you are not working with a designer, you can still purchase the fabrics there as well. I found a gorgeous Sumbrella fabric there that looks and feels like velvet. For $65 dollars a yard, this fabric has an 8-year outdoor wear rating!!! So that I would have two different looks, I decided to buy this fabric for a slipcover for the new couch. Unfortunately though, I needed 20 yards so it's going to take a couple months before I receive that large of a quantity.
For my drapes, I wanted a simple linen with a braid going down the side so we visited Glicks Textiles located at 2327 Southwest Freeway, www.glicktextiles.com. Needing 60 yards of linen for drapes and a table skirt, I was very excited to find it at Glicks for $26 per yard!! Other great places to find fabric in stock at reasonable prices include Interior Fabrics on Fondren (the best prices in town if you can find something you like!!) and Best Fabrics at the corner of Westheimer and Fondren.
Ok this is what I chose!! I love the new pillows from Boxwood--they're so soft!!! You can see the Sumbrella velvet. The linen to the left is the drapery fabric. Because I saved on this material, I wanted to dress it up with some custom trim from Samuel and Sons. The braid on the left is for the kitchen window and the one to the right is for the den. I splurged on the thick blue-gray linen on the right from Rogers & Goffigon. All of these designer fabrics and trims can be found through your designer at George Cameron Nash. The colors are perfect with my new cabinets!
I'm also looking for a bench fabric for the piece in front of the TV. To update the look, I'm going to skirt it.
I think a cow skin for the bench by the window to throw in a bit of fun would be great!! A good place to find these at reasonable prices is from Mary O’Neal at Mustang Alley Antiques in Cat Springs (not too far from Round Top) www.mustangalleyantiques.com.
This rug at Oriental Rug Gallery of Texas, located at 5620 Westheimer at Chimney Rock http://www.rugstudio.com/houston-showroom.aspx has wonderfully muted tones that will be a perfect complement with the new decor. I wanted a 10x14 this time so it would be able to go underneath all the furniture. I considered a Jute rug because the great look is so much less expensive, but I don't like the feel and was worried about how hard it would be to clean up their pet hair and food. Since I saved money on the drapery fabric, I justified this splurge! To make sure it's perfect, I'm going to check out the rug in a smaller size once I get the other fabrics in place. Howard and Joseph are so nice there - and Howard knows all the wear and tear this rooms gets. He suggested, since the rug is lighter in color, that we clean and protect it yearly. Good suggestion!!!!
I'm so excited to show you the finished product once it all comes together! I really did enjoy having my hubby with me in the hunt!! Great job, John--xoxo. Have a great week and stay cool -- Houston heat is back!!!