Since fabrics are so often the inspiration for wall finishes, I have always been enamored with how paint melts into linen, wool and velvet, producing faded variations of intricate designs. Through my recent collaboration with an emerging textile company, I had the rare opportunity to experience the process of creating hand-painted fabrics firsthand.
Nestled in charming Montgomery, Alabama, Coleman Taylor Textiles was founded by three designers who recognize the importance not only of using high-quality, durable materials but also of offering completely customizable looks. I met Jan Hale one of the founders at a job in Houston we were collaborating on together!! Jan has a degree in interior design from the Art Institute Atlanta, and a BFA from Auburn University of Montgomery, and she like me, has been a finisher, working throughout the United States and abroad!!
Although we have tweaked this finish to make it our own, Jan showed me the basics on how to make this new wood(from Home Depot no less) look reclaimed!!! She is an amazing talent and full of that southern charm!! Of course we connected and stayed in touch!!!
Working for years to develop their fabric line, I was so thrilled to see when they were ready to go to market!!!!! I adored the subtle hand in which they are made with the iridescent paints receding into the fabrics lush grounds. The above room was designed by famed Susan Ferrier of McAlpine, Booth and Ferrier, where she used Coleman Taylor pattern No. 500 Weave marble linen with ingolite paint for drapery through out the living room, dining room and master bedroom. Stunning!!!
Look at this esqusite hand-painted border on a velvet ground that Designer Tammy Connor used in the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Christmas Show-house. Wonderful!!!
Sooooooo………..you can imagine my excitement when………..
I got a call from Jan asking if I would consider designing a line for Coleman Taylor!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES I said, trying to be calm about the whole thing!
I was challenged to come up with 4 designs that could work well together and could weave a story when combined in a room. So scared they wouldn’t like any of the designs, I came up with 4 story boards of 4-5 patterns each, and we chose one to start!!!
Then all the designs were put on the computer so stencils could be made, so the hand-painting of the fabrics would be consistent!! Goodness I was asked to use math to explain what proportions I felt were off! Yikes!!!–where was I in that algebra and geometry class?!!!
The next step was to pick the grounds and the paint colors used to create the designs. Since being able to customize colors and grounds is crucial to perfecting the palette of any room, I was thrilled and stressed by the nearly limitless choices available, allowing me to form intriguing tonal combinations. We took a field trip to the Ken Kehoe showroom in Houston where Coleman Taylor is represented!!!
Having to select only 8 grounds and 4 paints colors to create cohesive story boards was challenging. We laid all out on the table with the patterns and sweet Albert helped us to understand how their showroom displayed the fabrics. Seeing Coleman Taylor’s existing 16 designs on various grounds really helped!! Thanks Albert!!!
Now back to our office to choose!! I brought in my trusted Segreto design assistants to help!
After hours of pinning and repining combinations, I think Lexi and Andrea are hopeful we got it!!! We sent off our selections and were waiting with anticipation.
Our next step was to approve our actual designs on a few grounds. Above is a velvet, linen, and wo0l.
Throughout the process, I constantly discovered new connections between finishing walls and painting fabrics. I loved how the paint recedes into the fabric grounds just as it does on my plastered walls. After approval they sent us long drops that will eventually go into the showrooms carrying the fabric line. Now our task was to creatively photograph these for promotional pieces!!! How fun but where?
Well my house was available. I hired the talented interior photographer Julie Soefer to help me out. We decided to shoot first in my dining room. Like the grip clamps used to attach the fabric to the architectural pieces?
With the right angle and Photoshop it turned out great!!! Thanks Julie!!!
Here is how it looks on a post card!
The last shot we took was outside with fabrics hung on some old molds that were used to make park benches. I like the fabrics next to the lime-washed brick. I hope you are all as excited about this new line as I am!!!
You, my blog friends are all invited to my launch of the new fabric room at The Ken Kehoe showroom at the Houston Design Center. It should be fun!!! If any of you are going to Round Top this week, I would love to see you at Marburger Farms this Wednesday! I’ll be right across from the food court!