The client wants it whimsical, yet elegant. They are travelers throughout the world. They would like to incorporate accents of animal motifs in their child's room, but not the average types of fabrics you see in most baby's rooms. Do you have any suggestions that would help me select something out of the ordinary, elegant yet whimsical for this room?
Answer: It does seem at times that fabrics for an infant's room seem ordinary. Often, they feature a wide selection of licensed animated characters that are so popular it seems you can't get away from them! However several companies have recently introduced some wonderful new fabrics that may be the perfect solution to your problem.
There is a new line of fabrics from Brunschwig & Fils. Illustrator Dennis Kyte launched a collection of printed fabrics and wallpapers in a special collaboration with the fabric supplier. Following his acclaimed botanical footwear print series, in which one-of-a-kind shoes were fashioned out of fruits, vegetables and flowers, Kyte lends his inventive sense of composition to the challenge of creating patterns for the medium of fabric. The resulting designs preserve the artist's meticulous watercolor style, but with a new emphasis on small-scale figures and intricately mapped repeats.
Central to the collection is a suite of patterns based on French Singerie designs. Originating in China, monkey motifs first were used in painting to show allegories of human behavior. The French renewed the genre in the 18th century, employing monkey scenarios to describe and satirize the activities of the King's court.
Kyte's collection updates the motif once again, balancing notes of wit with a playful sense of fantasy. Monkey Business glazed chintz depicts a jungle kingdom of costumed monkeys living in whimsical tent tree houses. Flavored with Aladdin-style exoticism, the fez-capped monkeys and their regatta-striped tents drape gaily across a wide 54-inch repeat of trees and foliage. Bright colors clarify the print's complex character, preserving a tone of innocent cheer. The companion wallpaper element, Monkey Business border, features the same monkeys rollicking amid a row of tents now flush along the treetops.
With their gentle humor, your client will appreciate this excellent design suited for children's rooms as well as other interiors geared toward whimsical patterns. Perfect for window treatments and light upholstery, the fabrics also may be used as padded wall coverings to create a major design statement. Additional fabrics made to coordinate with this print are Island taffeta stripe, Saint Martin check and Tobago check. All constructed out of sturdy 100 percent cotton taffeta cloth.
For an older child, you can introduce a little monkey business to a room with the jungle motif. Graber® wood blinds from Springs Window Fashions Division, Inc. provide the perfect nature-inspired backdrop for this bedroom that plays on the theme from Disney's "Lion King." Hand-painted characters on the wall combine with meticulously carved and painted wood animal figures to provide a playful kingdom for the master who reigns in this setting. New safety features on the blind's operating mechanism make it a good choice for a child's room allowing light to be controlled as needed.
I am convinced that by showing your clients these elegant, yet whimsical products, they will be pleased.
Editor's note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business.
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience as a professional interior designer in both commercial and residential design. She has taught at numerous colleges throughout California and currently is an educator at Moorpark college in southern California. She is a published author and frequent public speaker.