Monday, August 27, 2007

Too Much of a Good Thing?




Some designers feel that one of the best ways to create a cohesive look in a small space is to repeat the same print throughout. I recently found these photographs of the late designer Greg Jordan's apartment, and I think he certainly adhered to this tenet.

Jordan's apartment had a living room that was 13' X 16' and a bedroom which was 10' X 15'- rather small. Jordan's solution to making the space seem larger was to use the same fabric on everything- walls, windows, upholstery, bed. By employing this scheme, the boundaries of the room seem to disappear. The fabric he chose was of his own design: a chain-link fence print. Obviously done tongue-in-cheek, Jordan wanted to create an "urban version of those eighteenth-century English trellis patterns."

To me, the effect is not necessarily overwhelming. I think that the other objects in the room- books, antique furniture, and other bibelots- soften the severity of the chain-link pattern. They also seem to take center stage against this unified background. I actually find the whole look rather charming.

That said, I don't think this look is for everyone. You would have to make sure that the print you choose is one that you love (and one that you will love for a long time!). Also, might one feel claustrophobic being surrounded by one print everywhere? In a quest to "eliminate" borders might you feel a bit caged in?



Jordan's living room


Another view of the living room


The bedroom with more of the chain-link print

(All images and quotations taken from "House Beautiful- Decorating for Small Spaces")

29 comments:

  1. Ene thought its all the same pattern, I think its beautiful, not overwelming at all.

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  2. I didn't even realize it was a chain link print until I saw the close up of the curtain. I'm not sure how I feel about it but it certainly is interesting and creative.

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  3. I actually love it! But I personally might have changed it up in the bedrom to something different just for a little variety. The all over in the Living Room is funtastic!

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  4. I am loving that pattern repetition is coming back in style. I usually associate it with chintzier fabrics, so the white and black chain-link looks fresh and not overwhelming.

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  5. Wes, I think I'm with you. I do think it's beautiful. I am curious though about what it would be like to live with the same print everywhere!

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  6. Habitually Chic- From the distance it does look like a typical trellis, but then up close you realize it's something very different!

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  7. Katie- Designers tend to use their own homes as laboratories, and I think Jordan did that here- with success I might add!

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  8. Brilliant- Good point. It is something you usually see with a floral chintz, for example. Thanks!

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  9. I love this look in a room and Greg Jordan's apartment was just divine.

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  10. Ronda- He was such a talent!

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  11. Peak - I remember this layout so clearly - 5 years ago I was trying to describe it to a decorator friend. I couldn't do it justice - in fact, even to my own ears it sounded horrid. I think it's a great solution for a small space. As you say, though, could have been a bit of an experiment for him - and being "in the trade" he might not have felt he was making such a long term commitment.

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  12. Mrs. Blandings- Great minds think alike ;)

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  13. Though a beautiful choice, I fear I would tire of the same pattern repeated so frequently in a small space,after awhile.

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  14. Tea or Wine- I like the idea of this, but I can see where one might run the risk of getting sick of everything in the space!

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  15. Anonymous2:32 PM

    In France, such full-pattern rooms are called "en suite," ie everything is covered in the same pattern, usually a toile de Jouy. I think it's high time for "en suite" fabric usage to come back into style. It's old-fashioned enough to be fresh again.

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  16. Anonymous- I agree- perhaps we should make a push for a comeback. It's certainly a luxurious look.

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  17. Personally I could never commit to one print :)

    But I agree with everyone that Jordan's apartment is extremely chic, serene and actually fresh -- the chain link is unexpected!

    Great choice Jennifer!

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  18. Courtney- I understand! How could you narrow it down to one print? It would def. be difficult.

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  19. Just lovely, and not at all overwhelming! I think it helps since the print has a strong neutral background too. Great images, I will have to save these in my inspiration folder.

    ~Kate

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  20. Has it really been five years since this was published? I remember it like yesterday! God, time passes fast. I love using toile all over. And I remember I loved the way this looked, but I thought I would have chosen a different fabric. What? I don't know, I probably didn't know then either!!

    thanks for the memories (again - see Biblio style comment!)
    Joni

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  21. Oh wow these images are amazing - I wouldn't usually like a repetitive design like this being used everywhere but I just love the way it looks here! Thanks for posting these images Jennifer!
    X
    Anna

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  22. I really like the design, although I'm not sure I could live with it EVERYWHERE! I must say, I've never seen one pattern used in more than one room, usually just a bedroom. Clever man though - I guess its no different to painting everything white!

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  23. I loke the motif and I think it looks great but for it is too much and above all I love so much fabrics that I have to use it a lot and different

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  24. I love the idea of using the same fabric between the two rooms and in many locations in the same room -but for me thats too much -it's a little bit of sensory overload! Maybe the walls and roman shades and throw pillows -but NOT the chairs and couch too! I think you need a place for the eye to rest. However, I can't argue that it isn't totally chic!

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  25. Be the Change- I agree- definitely chic. I just wonder what it would be like to live with that much of the same pattern.

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  26. What I htink you're all missing is that by using the same pattern everywhere Greg was turning it into a neutral. Don't be scared of patterns!

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  27. Mister- You really have an excellent point. I think that is why, to me, the objects (and the non-chain link furniture) seems to pop out against the use of this pattern. You're a sharpie Mister!

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  28. Where does one find Grag Jordan's "chain link fence" fabric and wallpaper? I know Mr. Jordan passed away and heard his firm was broken up. Who carries this line? If anyone knows, please let me know at wwadeiii@gmail.com.
    Thanks.

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  29. Rawrecruit- Good question. I wonder if they still make this print? If I find out anything I'll let you know.

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