Chintz can be such a controversial subject. What? You didn't know that? Oh yes, the fur can and oftentimes does fly when discussion turns towards chintz. And why? It's nothing more than glazed cotton. How can you disparage good old cotton? And I for one love glazing (especially on doughnuts). I think chintz has unfortunately gotten a bum rap, much like linoleum and shoulder pads.
We had a mini chintz revival recently, although the chintz that seemed to garner the most publicity was of the floral variety. Florals are all well and good, but the chintz that strikes my fancy are solids. I love the sheen of solid chintz fabrics, but this is where the quality factor comes into play. Cheap chintz looks, well, cheap. It's all about the luster, and well-made solid chintz fabrics have got that in spades. It's a humble, toned down kind of glamour.
I found this early 1980s ad above for Zumsteg fabrics. Look at the yummy colors, the shiny finish, and the subtle, tonal print. Can't you see fabric like this used for some glam curtains in one's bedroom? Or what about seat cushions? If I owned a Frances Elkins' Loop chair, I'd use a chintz like this.
Of course, who doesn't associate floral chintz with Mario Buatta. But another prince of chintz- albeit solid chintz- was David Hicks. He used glazed cotton fabric for pillows, bedspreads, curtains, and all kinds of upholstery. And you know, it looked really great. My only advice would be to use solid chintz sparingly. Otherwise, your rooms might end up looking slippery!
(PS- Does anyone know anything about Ashley Hicks' forthcoming book David Hicks: A Life of Design? It's due to be released this Fall. Just added that to my wishlist.)
David Hicks designed all of the rooms above. His use of gutsy, colorful glazed cotton made chintz hip and sexy.
(Images of David Hicks' work from David Hicks: Designer and David Hicks on Decoration - With Fabrics)