7 Chairs need Repair and Upholstery

These chairs are our dining chairs. We have three pairs - plus one. Two of them cannot be used at the moments since one is totally unstable, and one just got its backrest broken. The others are in a not much better condition.

In fact, since we got them, they were supposed to get a makeover, repair where needed and new upholstery. But so far we had no time. Since we could sit on them, we used them last summer and this spring. It had its charm. But now, it is really time to focus on them, before more brakes apart or people land on the floor.

Angelo will take care of the repair. Not sure, if he can do it by himself or if he is going to give them away. And my job is to look for suitable fabric.

Now, that sounds like another fun project. Since the chairs are all different, we were first thinking of different fabrics for each chair, or maybe for each pair. We could go with blues and yellows, or with purple as a contrast to the yellow wall. We could choose one pattern in different hues. Or one color in different pattern. - But don't we have enough "noise" in the dining and living area? I remember, I counted once six different colors on walls alone. And then my crazy, stunning, tile mix in the kitchen.

But why musing, when I can find out what fabrics are available at the biggest Jim Thomson outlet in only 10 minutes! (While Thailand and myself are suffering from the heat and I cannot enjoy Italy's spring right now, why not check out the cool air conditioned JT outlet with its friendly and well English speaking young salesmen? But the 10 minutes drive are generously calculated when there is no traffic in Bangkok. )

Fabric paradise, pattern delight, silk, cotton, linen mix, stripes, prints, pattern in all colors...

My choice were the more simple and durable fabrics - here some of my swatches of "beach sea sky" colors, some cotton, cotton/rayon, cotton/polyester and silk/linen:

Or we could go more colorful with only one pattern:

But that means no more table clothes - so far we use colorful table clothes from the local markets (I took it off for the picture above).

After all, maybe better to choose a light blue fabric that caught my eye first. It is a linen/silk mix, not ideal for dining table chairs though, a bit delicate as the salesman said. The texture has a bit of a rough, natural touch from the Thai silk, and the calm light blue would match our interior.

If we wanted to add more diversion, this fabric is available in different shades.

Or how about this waterproofed blue/golden cotton/polyester mix? It is impregnated by a special coat on the back and it's on sale. 290 Baht/m (about 7 Euro/meter), with a width of 140cm it gives upholstery for two chairs per meter. Ah, too much choice!

Prices are not bad at the outlet, and Jim Thomson stands for quality. I have a sofa upholstered with a creme white cotton fabric by JT. It is over 12 years old and survived many guests and kids. After each machine washing it looks like new! So, I might carry some fabric from Thailand to Pizzo in my travel bag this summer.

But now, I wait for CC to return from a business trip. Let's see what he thinks... he might not like any of the swatches. Or his mother will skype and say she just found some cheap and beautiful fabric in the market, and that's why she bought it already for us...

competent JT staff cutting and labeling a fabric swatch

Jim Thomson - Outlet Store
Sukhumvit Road Soi 93
Bangkok - Thailand
open daily from 9am - 6pm

Sicilian traditional tiles as main design theme for new contemporary resort: Verdura Golf & Spa Resort

Southern Italy, especially Capri and Sicily, is famous for its beautiful ornamented tiles with bright mediterranean colours. Handpainted maioliche have their origin in Mallorca (Spain) and have inspired Italian crafters from Vietri near Naples to Caltagirone in Sicily.

It is kind of obvious to use mediterranean tiles (piastrelle) when renovating or remodelling a house in the South of Italy. Even when building a contemporary house or hotel, one should consider to catch the atmosphere of the location by using local traditional material and patterns in some way.

In a rough Southeastern Sicilian landscape the new Verdura Golf & Spa resort combines contemporary architecture and design with local Sicilian culture and tradition. Interior designer Olga Polizzi found a simple way to retain old customs by interpretating patterns of Sicilian maioliche (tiles) in a modern way throughout the resort :

patterns of piastrelle are remixed in the casual dining area (above and below):

The giant tiles are handmade by a workshop in Caltagirone.
They pick up a local motif of the 18th century that became the decorative theme of the entire resort.

In the lobby, cushion covers and lamp shades pick up parts of the tile's pattern.
Even the webside of the resort is using the theme on its pictures (see above pic left side) like a watermarking.

In the rooms the theme is on bed covers, cushions and lampshades.

On some walls the design of the tiles is stenciled. However, with very restraint colours, like a watermark, to not be too much for the visitors eyes.

I think it is a very clever idea. I might 'copy' this method for some wall decoration in our house. I could re-use some pattern of the few old tiles we inherited with the house. Although they have more a Greek influenced geometrical design than a floral elaboration. Or I am just painting the above red giant extract of a maiolica with acrylic coulour on a wooden board for one of the rooms.

Source: all photos via Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sciacca, Sicily
owned by Rocco Forte Collection
featured in AD Edizione Italia, March 2010

Project by Flavio Albanese
Interior Design by Olga Polizzi

Black Magnetic Chalkboard

I love this big black magnetic chalkboard sliding door by Christine Lane!

My sister has a big black magnetic board till the ceiling in her kitchen.

And I want one as sliding door for my son's playroom.

It will be fun to stick his drawings on it instead of just filing them somewhere. It will be fun for him and his friends to draw on it. It will be fun to play teacher and student. It will be fun to write poems on it. Maybe in Chinese characters. It will support our creativity and be decorative at the same time.

I researched chalkboards on google images and found so many nice ideas. Sfgirlbybay did a peak worthy chalkboard round-up.

Get inspired and DIY !
Get magnetic primer and chalk paint in green or black.
Make a bold statement on a wall in your home office, entrance, kitchen or kids room or loo. Let guests leave a comment.

Entrance of Front Hotel, Copenhagen via hyggehouse

No Special China

I did not do it.
Palazzo Pizzo will not have special china ware.

However, you asked me once to keep you posted what design I would choose.
So here (above) are my two favorites. I would have done 12 dinner plates for each version.

But as usual, I am doing things last second. The shop confirmed, they could do it in a few days and deliver tomorrow, so it could be packed in the container. But when I saw the draft that they send me via email... I thought, it is not the way we like it. It is too accurate. Hand painted though. Of course I could have gone back and explain again - or even go to the other store that develops a chop and print it for 1 kuai per plate. But I am running out of time now.

And maybe it is for the good. I was not really convinced to have special china ware for the house. Maybe I am also a bit tired of the house renovation at the moment. My head is not there right now. - But of course, I will be back soon in best form to blog again more. Especially when we start our summer holiday - close to the project (it is still not livable). I hope I will not be too disappointed about the slow progress. They are still working on the facade. Oh, I hope the architect will not feel offended... it is of course also due to our financial situation that things are slow... no money, no ho(use)ney...

Inspiring Dining

Picture from The Beach Studios via ABT

Sneak peek of Dolce & Gabbana's home scanned from AD magazine.

If we would have in the dining room a mirror wall - or at least a huge standing mirror like in the first pic - you could enjoy the view in the mirror, even when you sit with the back to the window.

Here I like the open space between living and dining. For the dining area I would like to have a long wooden table. And maybe modern chairs that are comfortable and easy with 'sandy beachwear.' I lost the source of the photo (jdesignsalon?)

And this is the view from the living area through the dining area and the kitchen at the end. We think about taking out these walls to combine all three, an open kitchen, dining and living area.