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AZ ROC 287314

September 5, 2013

The Art of Zellige

I have recently falling love with Bohemian Chic and its Moroccan and Oriental roots. One of the most magical aspects of Moroccan interiors is the incredibly detailed ornament found in the tile and wood work. One of the most well known tile crafts within Moroccan design is the style Zellige. Zellige refers to a type of teracata tile that has a unique painting and assembly process. This use of Zellige was first established during the Hispano-Moresque period and appeared in Morocco in the 10th century. When it was first developed there was only a small color palette used of white and brown, but in the 17th century the palette wads bordered to all of the brilliant colors that you now associate with Moroccan design.

Zellige is not just an craft, it is an art form and continues to be an art form for many of the maâlems or master craftsmen of Morocco. The highly technique skill of cutting the stone to precise geometrical designs to be fit together, is taught from childhood. Many of these geometrical patterns were a necessary development as decoration for Mosques since the islamic religion prohibits human imagery. These beautiful designs can be seen in tradition oriental settings and within contemporary design. The glazing and enameling process that takes place after assembling the tiles has become a design all itself and now being applied to simple ceramic tiles. The uneven and varied color and surface that come from the glazing process is what makes this unique design so desirable. Zellige is often used as a flooring wall or ceiling treatment but you can also find the tile work inlayed in furnishings. If you don’t really want to put in some new flooring, this type of design has become pretty popular so try finding a small accessory piece that will show of that amazing craft and make a statement in your home.

March 9, 2011


Filed under: BERGAMO,drapery,FABRICS,materials and finishes,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — jherzlinger @ 3:17 pm


Ahh Damask! One of my all time favorite fabrics.  You know, there are some people that think that using damask means only to be working in a traditional style.

Not true anymore!

The scale of using a traditional pattern is what you want to consider when crossing a traditional fabric over into a modern application!

Boho chic is a great fan of high styled silk damasks in very muted tones of lavenders and interesting blues and sea foam greens! Think John Saladino and how stunning his approach to such a traditional fabric is! And his is certainly not your grandmother’s house!  But at the same time, call me forward, but i am in love with bright damasks for great shots of color.  Sometimes when you have a very definitive color pallette, say white moldings and grasscloth walls, you need a shot of color to control the emotion of the person looking and living with it, otherwise such a neutral palette can become exceedingly tiresome.

So, i am including examples that i love of a couple of projects as well as some ideas!

I love to use damask and have done so recently with wallpaper from Studio Printworks!

They have a black and white damask, so thinking traditional right? Nope! They so enlarged the scale of the pattern that it became very hip and chic!

Damask is named for the city of Damascus, which was a major textile center during the 12th century.   Damask originated in Asia, traders took the fabric to Europe where it began to become very popular.  Damasks were scarce after the ninth century outside of Islamic Spain, but were revived in some places in the thirteenth century. You  see, it was always then, made of gorgeous silk and incredibly expensive.  Now of course, damask comes in cotton and wools as well.

Most damask weaves are commonly produced today in a monochromatic weave in silk for instance where the long floats of satin-woven warp and weft threads cause soft highlights on the fabric which reflect light differently according to the position of the observer.

If you are looking for an eclectic look, a touch of damask in pillows or on a cross legged stool or a touch on a pull up chair will get you much further then a zebra rug these days! Damask is a hot commodity again so don’t be afraid to jump in!

Have a great day!


February 28, 2011

Falling for Fringe

Filed under: materials and finishes — Tags: , , , , , — jherzlinger @ 5:06 pm

Something that I just learned recently is that fringe has been used for centuries. It first made an appearance in the early civilization of Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Historians have found through recovered pottery, sculpture and writing that fringe was applied to the garments of both men and women. It is believed that in its early usage there was no class distinction and that everyone wore fringe on their skirts and their shawls. As the civilization began to advance in textile technology, artisans were able to dye the fringe to create different color combinations and layer the fringe with different knot designs. Fringe design became so elaborate that individuals and families claimed different fringe designs as their emblem. On formal documents instead of using their family signature, the men would sometimes imprint their unique fringe design into the clay tablet as a signature.

Ever since then fringe has been a very popular decorative detailing for fashion and interiors. Fringe possibly made its biggest debut during the time on the old west when it was used in cowboy costume in leather. Fringe was also used frequently during the Classical Victorian era when the modesty of showing leg was even applied to the furnishings. They used fringe to cover the legs of chairs because the idea of an exposed leg was too risque. Now fringe can be seem just about anywhere. Next time you are looking for a little decorative addition to your interior think about finding a fringe design that is individualized enough to be your signature. Happy Monday.

February 14, 2011

Toile de Jouy

Filed under: materials and finishes — Tags: , , , , , , , — jherzlinger @ 1:50 pm

How can anyone refuse the charming pastoral scenes of Toile de Jouy? During the 16th century, toile was the hottest textile around. After a 75 year ban on cotton (because of all of the importing of cotton from India and the far east, the silk and wool merchants demanded that no cotton products be sold) cotton reemerged in France as practically a new good. Toile de Jouy literally refers to “Jouy en Jonas” or cloth from the city of Jonas, where toile was originally manufactured in France.

I am sure all of you have seen toile, but in case this is your first encounter, toile is characterized by complex pastoral scenes being printed onto a white or off white fabric using one color for the print. The color range is fairly limited to blues, back, mauve, and sometimes red and green. The scenes often show landscape and usually contain people performing different activities like picnicking in the park, or guiding horses down a trail. The print design is definitely inspired by the chinoiserie textiles and good that were being imported by the East India Trading company. Many of the far east goods showed small scenes of Chinese houses and landscapes in the same fashion, and were recreated by the artists of Europe in the form of toile, among other goods.

Toile used to be used strictly on fabrics, but just like most things, toile has been reinvented in the current times to have many more functions. Not only can you find toile as a wall covering, but toile is even being brought into clothing and fashion, which is something you would have never seen in the 16th century. The monochromatic rule of toile has also been broken, and not only do the contemporary patterns feature many more colors, the scale and range of scenes being depicting has greatly expanded. Toile had a contemporary revival in about 2000, and I think it is here to stay. People cannot resist the nostalgic scenes and sense that toile brings to a space. Try thinking of unconventional ways to use toile in your home and it will always be a pleasant surprise.

February 7, 2011

Inspired by Fashion

Filed under: materials and finishes — Tags: , , , , — jherzlinger @ 4:12 pm

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two years, you might have noticed that one of the hottest trends in fashion is the stripe. I see it everywhere from the magazines to the runway shows to all of my favorite stores. Some say that the stripe has a nautical type association and others say that the strip is just a simple but bold print, either way the stripe trend has made its way into interiors as well. I have done a previous post on exterior spaces and the use of an awning stripe that is simple but can convey so many messages just in the way you decide to use the stripe. This also applies to the way you use a stripe on the interior, except there are so many more options. You can easily adapt the trends by adding stripe in form of art work, pillows, and inexpensive area rugs. But if you want to commit to some stripe, I think that it looks great on a wall depending on the color.

The most important thing to consider when using a stripe is the scale. How wide is each band of color? This can made the difference by creating a room and makes you dizzy and a room looks squat. A stripe size should show the nature of the space. Consider if a vertical or a horizontal stripe is the best option for you and think about just how many colors you want to bring into the pattern, or do you just want classic black and white. No matter where you decide to use a stripe, it is a bold pattern and can make a statement even if you only decide to change out your throw blanket. Think like the fashion designers this spring and go bold!

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