My project to transform my 15′ x 45′ living room/dining room into a Polynesian pop paradise is now solidly under way — made possible by the fact that I found a fabric for the 20+ linear feet of pinch-pleat curtains required by the space. The beautiful fabric that I discovered and which is now at the drapery workroom: Fabric’sTrendtex / Barkcloth Hawaii’s Kamuela Green Kahala Cloth. I am MADLY in love with this fabric. It is JUST what I was looking for! And now that I have it, it is setting the scene for other key elements of my Mahalo Lounge.
Disclosure: I paid Diamondhead full-price for this fabric, although I did offer to barter some ad space for part of the purchase, which they agreed to try. That covered about 1/4 of my cost. But, it was not a determining factor — I would still have bought the fabric: As I said, it was exactly — no, it was better — than what I had in my mind’s eye.
I will be writing lots lots more about this big decorating project in the days, weeks and months to come. But in the spirit of not making every post epic, I’ll just start by saying:
- Since the 20+ linear feet of windows in the space is so dominant, I knew I needed to find the right fabric for new pinch pleats, because these coverings would be so… dominant, to repeat that phrase.
- Home tiki bars are ideally meant to be complete escapes from everyday realities. Often, they are basements with few or very small windows. But since my Mahalo Lounge is upstairs, it will serve as a daily living space, too. As such, I wanted a fabric that also communicated the idea, during the day when the drapes are open, of being a breezy open-to-the-elements lanai.
- I also was very keen on the colors of this pattern vs. others I had seen. Have the right green / greens was super important to me for two reasons: (1) I love the pea green in old Trader Vic’s decor and (2) I have two vintage Orchids of Hawaii pendant lights, originally installed in the (still operating) bar in Lenox (my home town’s) Luau Hale restaurant, that I am super excited to use in the space. I also adore the corally-orange in the pattern, the slightly off white flowers, the straw colored flowers, and the hints of baby blue. I like the opportunity to weave these other colors into my space. And, it’s perfect that the field is black. When I close the drapes and turn down the lights to hold a party, that darkness will bring us all closer to the ideal of being shut off from the world, transported to a totally different place. And black is a great “outline” color to play with elsewhere in the room.
- The fabric is available at what I consider a very fair price — $20/yard. And, it’s actively being printed, so you can get lots of yardage for big projects. I needed — hang onto your hats: 70 yards.
- Finally, I love the cartoon-like nature of this fabric. It’s whimsical. I’m whimsical. It’s just PERFECT. I need to ask Diamondhead Fabrics if I can interview the designer — she did a fantastic job!!!!
I’m told the drapes may be ready before Christmas! This project is happening!
Start your decorating color scheme with a pattern
When starting a new decorating project, professionals often start with the patterned piece first. I love that Kate taught me to use the phrase, “Where does your pattern lie?”, when starting the journey to choose room colors.
Why start with a pattern? Draperies, rugs, and wallpaper all are typically carefully designed by professionals to combine colors that play well together — the designers work all angles of the color wheel to come up with pleasing designs that may include complementary colors, opposite colors, analogous colors, accents, etc. There are many ways to go about combining colors so that everything’s not a hot mess. And conversely, for those less practiced, it’s easy to combine colors to make for a hot mess! If you find a pattern that you’re crazy about, these pros have done all the hard work for you, if you then follow their lead in choosing the other colors for your room.
Once you have your beloved pattern, it makes choosing other elements of the room much easier. You just use the colors in the pattern — “exactly the same” is easiest and most fool-proof — or you can add white to tint a color lighter, black to shade it darker, or both black and white to tone it somewhere in between. I am getting a new sectional for the room — fun fun fun and a story soon to come! — and one of the colors in the drapery fabric will drive the choice. So will my choice for a rug, bar seats, other pendant lights, etc.
The Mahalo Lounge
“Mahalo” = Hawaiian for “thank you”. I’m super excited about creating an inviting Mahalo Lounge to welcome even more friends and family into my home as a way of showing gratitude for their friendship and for the abundance of my life. Working from home, and now being an empty nester, and now sans Kate to boot (!), I’ve been feeling … lonely. I’m doing other things to solve for that, for sure. But my Mahalo Lounge is part of my long-term plan as well.