Flowers

Springtime Floral Tips

Warmer temps are just around the corner, and we’re totally enamored with all things floral in prep for Spring. To get us ready, we enlisted the help our favorite Ann Arbor florist, University Flower Shop, to fill our vases and vessels with springtime bounty and share their top tips for what’s hot in the world of flora and fauna.

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Florals: silver dollar eucalyptus, white agapanthus (aka Lily of the Nile), lisianthus, blue thistle, curly willow and lavender

Also pictured: wallpaper (left panel) bespoke CLOTH & KIND design with Paper Mills, wallpaper (right panel) Topo Hum by Paper Mills

 
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Florals: mauve Japanese ranunculus

Also pictured: wallpaper (left panel) Vales by Paper Mills, wallpaper (right panel) Topo Hum by Paper Mills

 
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Florals: seeded eucalyptus, white anemone, buttercream French tulips, mums

Also pictured: Orange Mu pillow by Madeline Weinrib, Beauty Everyday book by Rinne Allen, Kristen Bach and Rebecca Wood

 
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Florals: blueperium, pink French tulips, white agapanthus (aka Lily of the Nile), maidenhair fern, peach Japanese ranuncules, carnations

Another vase you’ll love: Naiad Sculpture by Honi Werner

 
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Florals: blueperium, silver dollar eucalyptus, spiral eucalyptus, Italian ruscus, baby's breath, white stock, white spray roses, white roses, curly willow, delphinium

Also pictured: Tiger and Magpie wallpaper by Krane Home

 

A huge thanks to University Flower Shop in Ann Arbor, MI for these luscious arrangements and tips.

 

Looking for more inspiration?

 
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Papillon

CLOTH & KIND Interiors // Papillon

Fabric: Dessin Fournir's Papillon Hand Painted Silk Panels in Turquoise & Pink // Chandelier // Cups // Rug // Pillow // Photo // Angie Hranowsky Interior

Here at CLOTH & KIND, we're all presently obsessing over this stunning handmade silk fabric from Dessin Fournir called Papillon. Since you need designer credentials to enter their site and not everyone reading this may be able to do so, we wanted to share a bit more about it... Jean Papillon I, woodblock engraver and master domino maker, was the founder of the Paris Papillon workshop and brainchild behind this 18th Century movement. Papillon combines pencil drawing with watercolor painting and silk screen printing. It is available in four colorways. Isn't it a stunner?!

Spring IV

Anatomy of Flora: Spring IV | CLOTH & KIND

Lady spring is soon to close her shades, and with that will bring to an end a particular, but short lived, soft clear light and warm bask. The bounty of lush flora that truly defines spring will give way to long, hot summer days and, at least in my neck of the woods, leave fauna wilting on the vine from the weight of the heat and humidity. As a gardener, the best part of spring is sharing the wealth of that lush bounty with other gardeners. The antique english roses and peonies above, snipped from the garden of friend, coupled with a trailing vine of wild honeysuckle, pretty much say everything you need to know about spring.

So, as we find ourselves on the heels of the summer solstice, let's soak up these last few days and bask in the soft clear light and warm sun of spring. Another season awaits.

 

IMAGE CREDITS | Floral arrangement & photography by Tami Ramsay of CLOTH & KIND

Weathered & Raw

Inspired: Weathered & Raw | CLOTH & KIND

Wild Allium | Feathers & Scissors | Tracks | Mock Orange | Rock & Shell | Sleep

While textiles serve as ongoing inspiration for our projects, the natural world beckons with its siren song and greatly informs our design aesthetic. The fine and exquisite certainly have a place in our interiors but are false idols until softened with the weathered and raw. The balance of high and low coupled with an eclectic patina, one that tells a story, is always what we are after and in the end truly defines our interiors. How do you tell your story?

Spring III

Anatomy of Flora: Spring III | CLOTH & KIND

It's a rainy day in New York City and while we are so happy to be here shopping & scouting, we're dreaming of sunny days & freshly cut flowers.

It's hard to ever go wrong with nodding blooms and glossy greens gathered in a vase, but we are gobsmacked over the beautiful pairing of this antique yellow English rose snipped from a friend's garden gate paired with the delicate yet bold and deeply veined fatsia japaonica leaf. As in life, sometimes simple is the most sophisticated. This is definitely the case here where flora and fauna gather to float in a pool of water, all nestled in a footed venetian glass vase.

Anatomy of Flora: Spring III | CLOTH & KIND

So while we trudge through the rain in the Big Apple, here's to brightening your Monday morning where ever you are.

 

IMAGE CREDITS | Floral arrangement & photography by Tami Ramsay of CLOTH & KIND

Timothy Corrigan

Proust on Design: Timothy Corrigan | CLOTH & KIND

what is your idea of perfect design happiness? A WELL-PROPORTIONED ROOM WITH PLENTY OF NATURAL LIGHT AND A CLIENT WITH A GOOD BUDGET WHO SAYS: “AMAZE ME!”

Proust on Design: Timothy Corrigan | CLOTH & KIND

what is your greatest fear in design? PLASTIC-COVERED FURNITURE… I SAW SOME IN A FRIEND’S HOME IN COLLEGE AND HAVE NEVER GOTTEN OVER IT!

which historical design figure do you most identify with? JEAN-CHARLES MOREUX DID IT ALL. HE WAS AN ARCHITECT, HE DESIGNED INTERIORS, HE CREATED FURNITURE AND HE DID LANDSCAPE DESIGN. A TRUE RENAISSANCE MAN.

Proust on Design: Timothy Corrigan | CLOTH & KIND

which living designer do you most admire? NEW YORK DESIGN ICON VICENTE WOLF HAS BEEN A GREAT INSPIRATION.

what profession other than design would you like to attempt? I WOULD LOVE TO BE A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT. WHAT A JOY IT MUST BE TO INTEGRATE SPACE, SHAPE AND FORM WITH THE MOST WONDERFUL OF ALL MATERIALS - TREES, SHRUBS, AND FLOWERS.

what is your greatest design extravagance? MY PORTRAIT COLLECTION. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED PORTRAIT PAINTINGS BECAUSE THEY HAVE THEIR OWN KIND OF ICONOGRAPHY THAT TELLS YOU ABOUT THE TIME AND PLACE THAT THE PERSON IN THE PORTRAIT LIVED.

Proust on Design: Timothy Corrigan | CLOTH & KIND

when and where were you happiest with your design? MY PLACE IN THE FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE, THE CHATEAU DU GRAND-LUCÉ. I PURCHASED THE CHATEAU IN 2004 THEN UNDERTOOK ITS MASSIVE RESTORATION AND DECORATION, BRINGING IT BACK TO ITS FULL GLORY. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT I AM DOING THERE - PULLING WEEDS, FEEDING THE SWANS, OR WALKING IN THE WOODS - THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE I FIND THE TRUE MEANING OF JOY.

Proust on Design: Timothy Corrigan | CLOTH & KIND

what do you consider your greatest achievement in design? I HAVE SO LOVED THE DEVELOPMENT OF MY NEW LINE OF FABRICS AND FURNITURE FOR SCHUMACHER AS WELL AS CARPETS FOR PATTERSON, FLYNN & MARTIN THAT ARE ALL COMING OUT NEXT SPRING.

if you died and came back as another designer or design object, who or what do you think it would be? EMILIO TERRY WAS AN INCREDIBLE TASTEMAKER WHO NEVER REALLY RECEIVED GREAT FAME. I WOULD LIKE TO COME BACK AS HIM TO INSURE HE ACHIEVES THE LEVEL OF NOTORIETY HE DESERVES.

what specific design related talent are you lacking that you would you most like to have? GOOD HANDWRITING AND THE ABILITY TO SKETCH WELL… WHEN IT COMES TO A PEN OR PENCIL, I AM SEVERELY CHALLENGED!

what is your most treasured design related possession? A SMALL SILVER AND VERMEIL BOX WITH ENAMEL AND PORCELAIN THAT WAS GIVEN BY EMPRESS ELIZABETH ("SISI”) OF AUSTRIA TO HER NIECE, MY GREAT, GREAT GRANDMOTHER. IT’S FILLED WITH AN ODD COLLECTION OF SMALL MEMENTOS FROM MY FAMILY AND CHILDHOOD, LIKE THE FIRST STARFISH I EVER FOUND AND SOME OLD KEYS TO THE STABLES AT MY GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE. IT HAS BEEN WITH ME THROUGH TODAY AND SERVES AS A KIND OF TOUCHSTONE.

Proust on Design: Timothy Corrigan | CLOTH & KIND

what do you regard as the lowest depths of misery in design? CLOSED MINDED PEOPLE WITH NO DESIRE TO GROW OR LEARN. IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO ALWAYS BE OPEN TO NEW IDEAS AND WAYS OF LOOKING AT THINGS… THAT’S WHEN MAGIC HAPPENS IN DESIGN, AS IN LIFE!

what curse word do you most frequently use? I AM EMBARRASSED TO SAY IT, BUT IT WOULD HAVE TO BE “WHAT THE FU-CK?...YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!”

what is your favorite design related word? ELEGANT

Proust on Design: Timothy Corrigan | CLOTH & KIND

what is your least favorite design related word? DELICIOUS OR FABULOUS… REALLY, WHAT SELF-RESPECTING PERSON WOULD UTTER SUCH SILLINESS?

what turns you on in design? HAVING NUMEROUS OPPORTUNITIES TO TRY NEW AND DIFFERENT THINGS. I ALSO LOVE THE CHALLENGE OF TAKING ARCHITECTURE FROM AN EARLIER TIME, IN WHICH PEOPLE LIVED VERY DIFFERENTLY AND THEN FIGURING OUT HOW TO APPROPRIATELY UPDATE THAT STRUCTURE FOR THE WAY WE LIVE AND WORK TODAY.

what turns you off in design? OH, WHERE DOES ONE BEGIN HERE? 1. I AM SO OVER IKAT THAT I COULD SCREAM. 2. I HATE ROOMS THAT LOOK LIKE THEY JUST CAME DELIVERED FROM A SHOW ROOM. 3. I DON’T UNDERSTAND MOST OF THE PLASTIC FURNITURE FROM THE 70’S… IT WAS CHEAP THEN AND HASN’T IMPROVED WITH AGE.

what is your motto in design? COMFORTABLE ELEGANCE. I TRY TO CREATE ENVIRONMENTS WHERE PEOPLE FEEL AT HOME AND WELCOME. COMFORT IS THE KEY INGREDIENT.

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IMAGE CREDITS | Images courtesy of Timothy Corrigan, Architectural Digest, Vulgare & OperaGloves.

ABOUT PROUST ON DESIGN | Answered by our design icons, these must-ask questions come from a 19th century parlor game made popular by Marcel Proust, the French novelist, essayist & critic. Proust believed the direct questions and honest responses that they elicited revealed the true nature of the individual. For this column, we have put a design related spin on the traditional questions. While this method has been used by many journalists throughout the years, we were primarily inspired by The Proust Questionnaire, which appears monthly on the back page of one of our all time favorite magazines, Vanity Fair (also Krista’s alma mater). Read all of the previous Proust on Design questionnaires here.

Toran

prov-e-nance \ˈpräv-nən(t)s, ˈprä-və-ˌnän(t)s\noun. the place of origin or earliest known history of something.

Provenance: Toran | Guest Edited by Jacqueline Wein | CLOTH & KIND

Guest edited by Jacqueline Wein, Tokyo Jinja IMAGE | Antique Toran via The Textile Museum of Canada

A number of years ago I spied a charming doorway textile at the home of a dear friend. Clearly Indian in origin, it was a rectangular banner with small fabric flaps hanging down and tiny mirrors embedded in the pattern. She told me it was a toran, a hand embroidered and embellished door hanging, traditionally made in Gujarat, on the coast of Northwestern India. My fascination with them grew and over the years I have continued to keep an eye out for them.

The word toran (or torana) itself originally referred to sacred gateways in Indian architecture, with roots in Buddhism and Hinduism, like this pair of 12th century sandstone ones in Vadnagar, Gujarat. It is easy to see the connection between the embroidery of the fabric hangings and the detailed stone carvings, as well as in their function to welcome both the gods and people. Decorative toran also play a role in holidays like Diwali and Holi or at weddings and celebrations as they are believed to be auspicious and lucky. The doorway blesses every person that walks under it, showering them with an abundance of love, prosperity, health and happiness. While the heavily embroidered ones tend to be regional to Gujarat, toran in other forms are popular throughout India. In the south, green mango tree leaves are threaded together and hung across the door. In Northern India, marigold flowers are strung together and used the same way. The small flaps that hang from the fabric versions are meant to represent dangling leaves and flowers.

Provenance: Toran | Guest Edited by Jacqueline Wein | CLOTH & KIND

IMAGES | Torana Arch via Vadnagar, An Ancient City & Marigold Garland via Mitai and Marigolds

Often times toran are used in spaces other than actual doors to represent a passageway. This welcoming example from Sibella Court's Nomad book beckons one to enter and cozy up for a restful nap.

Provenance: Toran | Guest Edited by Jacqueline Wein | CLOTH & KIND

IMAGE | via Nomad: A Global Approach to Interior Style by Sibella Court

The Kutch region of Gujarat is particularly well known for its embroidery techniques, with specific tribes and communities having their own particular style. Shisha, which is the Indian word for little glass or mirror, is the most distinctive technique in which small mirrors decorate the textile, being held in place by a framework of overlaid embroidery stitches.  No glue is used and the mirror is not threaded through or attached in any other way. It was believed that the mirrors had the power to ward off evil spirits by trapping or confusing the evil eye. While many of the other decorative stitches, such as the chain stitch, are universal, shisha work is unique to the Indian subcontinent. It comes as no surprise to me that women are solely responsible for these creations and that motif and patterns are not copied or written down, but instead passed along orally.

Provenance: Toran | Guest Edited by Jacqueline Wein | CLOTH & KIND

IMAGE | Antique Kutch Embroidery Toran from NovaHaat.com

Base fabrics and threadwork include cotton and silk and pieces over 50 years old may also have beadwork in addition to shisha work. Motifs are varied, from very naturalistic animals to very stylized patterns and geometrics. Mismatched patchwork is also part of their charm. Museum collections have toran from the late 19th century, but most of the older pieces available on today's market are mid-20th century. Invariably, the vintage pieces have some damage - in my mind, patina - and there are also many newly made toran available as well, although the details and quality of the silks doesn't match that of the older pieces. The decorative possibilities, in particular for children's rooms, are obvious. They make charming valances or would be perfect fronting a bed canopy.  Some toran are as long as 30 feet and I have seen them draping the edges of party tents as festive adornment.

Provenance: Toran | Guest Edited by Jacqueline Wein | CLOTH & KIND

IMAGE | Antique Kutch Rabari Banjara Toran via EthnicIndianArt

In modern-day interior decor, toran can be used in a quite literal context to embellish the threshold, as in this rituously joyful, over the top Indian themed space that was featured in Marie Claire Maison.

Provenance: Toran | Guest Edited by Jacqueline Wein | CLOTH & KIND

IMAGES | Bollywood Boudoir via Marie Claire Maison & Vintage Toran via IndianBeautifulArt.com

But they are also incredibly sweet when taken completely out of context and used in ways you might not expect like here, hanging over a kitchen nook in floral designer Nicolette Camille's Brooklyn apartment. This toran also defines and elevates what would normally be a rather simple kitchen.

Provenance: Toran | Guest Edited by Jacqueline Wein | CLOTH & KIND

IMAGE | Nicolette Camille's Brooklyn, NY home via Design*Sponge

Perhaps best of all is when toran are part of a truly global design aesthetic. In Maryam Montague's Marrakech master bedroom, featured in Elle Decor, this toran-like textile used as a window valence mixes happily with decorative items from many nations, including France, Mali, and Morocco.

Provenance: Toran | Guest Edited by Jacqueline Wein | CLOTH & KIND

IMAGE | Maryam Montague's Marrakech master bedroom via Elle Decor

Have you used a festive toran as decoration in your home, or do you have something else to share with us on this topic? If so, we'd love to hear all about it. Please leave a comment below or email us at info(at)clothandkind(dot)com.

ABOUT PROVENANCE | Provenance offers a scholarly nod to the history of iconic styles in textile & design and is guest edited by Jacqueline Wein of the blog Tokyo Jinja. Previous Provenance topics include: Kasuri & Kuba Cloth.

Spring I

Anatomy of Flora: Spring I  by Guest Editor Tami Ramsay | CLOTH & KIND

Guest edited by Tami Ramsay.

It’s Spring, well, technically. Marked by the Vernal Equinox on 20 March 2013, relative equal days and nights are upon those of us in the Northern hemisphere, whether your sidewalks are still covered in snow or your native azaleas are in full bloom. Invariably though, I liken Spring to a slow boil, the kind that takes forever when you are pot watching, and only bubbles when you finally walk away to visit the loo. Spring is a bit of a flirt too, teasing you with enough warm and sunny days to ensnare your loyalty, but then like a classic photo bomb, ruins a good thing of tank tops and flip flops with a cold snap that makes you regret that recent seasonal overhaul of your closet.

Alas, though, I am a willing mistress to Spring and hang on to all that it promises, even when I come up jilted and cold. Some of the first early Spring bloomers in my region, known as Zone VIII, are the tulip magnolia, the loropetalum chinense, and the common flowering dogwood. Each of these beauties appeals to me for different reasons but when combined and artfully arranged together, I am overwhelmed by their modern and graphic effect. Pair that with sun streaming through the window, casting its golden glow on buds in bloom, and it’s got to be Spring o’clock somewhere.

Anatomy of Flora: Spring I by Guest Editor Tami Ramsay | CLOTH & KIND

The tulip magnolia, also known as the Japanese magnolia, is actually a deciduous shrub, but presents rather as a small to mid-sized tree, that kicks off early Spring with a profusion of large pink to purple provocative flowers, all before shedding them and assuming its role as a common, less than showy and leafy specimen. But when that bloom erupts on that woody stem, its like Heaven and Hades meet, with a splash of love and heat.

Although the white variety of loropetalum has its place in the garden, the pink flowering variety featured above, often referred to as a Chinese fringe flower, is my favorite. When this deciduous shrub is left unattended, sans pruning to a tight hedge, a subsequent leggy-ness prevails which leaves the branches swaying at the mercy of the wind’s movement, and encourages the long eyelash-like petals to flit and float this way and that. The combination of those hot pink strappy petals, along with their lilt and lightness, totally slays me, every time.

Dogwood | Anatomy of Flora: Spring I by Guest Editor Tami Ramsay | CLOTH & KIND

Relatively synonymous with Spring and the Southern landscape is any variety of Cornus florida, or the flowering dogwood, and its characteristic petal bearing flowers--a total showstopper in all its glory. Nothing screams new beginnings and beckons warm days more than the budding of millions of tight little fists of dogwood flowers, just trembling with anticipation of busting out of their nubby incubators; but, it is folly to be fooled completely by these blooms. Commonly referred to in the Farmer's Almanac as a Dogwood Winter, a colloquial term used in the American Southeast, farmers knew it wasn’t safe to plant their crops without fear of frost until after these blooms had come and gone. Even still, those tightly packed pink and green tinged flowers make for a very textural and graphic accompaniment to the tulip magnolia and loropetalum below, nestled in a silver compote and finished with black shredded pine mulch.

Anatomy of Flora: Spring I by Guest Editor Tami Ramsay | CLOTH & KIND

Whether you are sipping hot cocoa by the fire or drinking ice cold sweet tea in the garden, Spring has sprung. Let the show begin!

 

IMAGES | Floral styling, arrangements and photography by Tami Ramsay