Thursday, November 22, 2012


I received an email today that inspired me to write a blog.  The request was for an expandable dining room table to go with the bamboo chairs she was having made.  But she hadn't made a decision what color to make the table - or if the chairs should be black or white. 

So I went on line and sourced - then I think about the averages and what has longevity.  I also have to consider what my factories are able to interpret correctly.  Remember - these are more 3rd world techniques and not high end production complexes.  They haven't seen the internet and all it's glory. 

These are the chairs.....

So here are some of the photos I found.....

White rattan with dark leatherette seating (smart and inexpensive) with a white washed - actually what we call a lime wash  - dining table. 
I also love mixing up the table.  These slip-covered wingback chairs are a statement.  I have done this for a client. 

The two photos above are the same table setting.  Go with off white - it's easier on the eyes and same color table. First impression - not liking it. 

OK - these are not wicker - I just like the honey stain on this table and wanted to show it - contrasting with the off white chairs. 

Black wicker with a dark brown stain. 

In the background the chairs are white with black seats - and maybe a black table.  Or maybe a very dark brown stain. 

rattan with a dark brown simple table. 

Natural rattan under slipcovers with a honey brown stain rustic table - note the oriental rug!

White wicker with a brown rustic trestle table. 

White  washed table and colored chairs.  That's the great thing about wicker and rattan.  One can of spray paint will cover a chair.  And voila - you have new in an instant.  I've done it several times. 

What a dramatic difference with all the traditional furniture and chandelier and mixing it with the white rattan. Then notice the simple sisal rug underneath.  

I love the black with this raw wood that has a light off white glaze.  I would actually have to hand carry this glaze to China and teach them. Would this still look as dramatic with cream colored walls?  I also like the use of multiple designed mirrors - with the same color on the frames - on the wall.  I did this years and years ago. It makes a small place seem larger.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Did you know in good design - you should have 1 item that is BLACK in your room. Large or small.  It's a little designer secret.  But image having a large black piece anchoring a corner or an empty wall.  
WOW! factor.......

The simplicity of this room is just astonishing.  The simple green distressed trunk - sisal rugs and white slipcovers against a white wall.  The airy grouping of birdcages just pop and fill the space to the ceiling.  Then the unexpected violet chair (green and violet are secondary colors on the color wheel). 

This is great - the insert of lights and mirrors. The doors are of accordion design so they fold back to reveal the beautiful bar inside. 

These dark green jugs can be found at the market place or at one of the factories. Note the opium style coffee table. 
Come on one of my Zhuhai factory tours to find your treasures. 

Looks like there is a red stain under the black paint.  When the piece is sanded and distressed on the corners - the color shows up. 

Why have one when you can have a pair? 

I'm currently reproducing the large black wedding cabinet on the left with the ornate antique silver hardware. The one in the middle and at the end are available now in the factories.  Note the one in the middle is similar to one up the page - it's contemporary with the use of round, rectangle and square shapes.  The chinoisorie hand painting is just the icing on the cake. 

Looking for something in Hong Kong - let me help you search for it.