My favorite linen blouse was wavier than I wanted for this first meeting with a new client. Going for a polished appearance, I reached for a familiar solution.
Waiting for the iron to heat up, found myself asking why. It’s summer, we all know what ironed linen looks like once its being worn.
Linen comes from the the flax plant. It’s absorbent; the fibers are smooth, strong and straight, but don’t have a lot of give. Heat and chemicals break the fibers, sharp creases look messy at the first bend of the elbow. Its nature made ironing linen a useless exercise for me.
One of the oldest textiles known to man, linen was a form of currency in ancient Egypt. Actual money was printed on it, briefly in 1920s Germany. It’s not a bad fiber :), just wrong for what I wanted to accomplish. I would have been better off steaming (adding moisture without pressure), so wrinkles could naturally relax, or just choosing another blouse.
Gravitating toward familiar ideas to solve problems is natural, but not considering intent and circumstances is the root of many DIY fails.
Clients looking for a LR update often will fall hard for an idea they saw, a trend they heard about. Or, the friend or contractor has a favorite latest ‘thing’. Let’s say it’s #861 Shale on the walls and black Barcelona chairs. A good starting point, but-
- I’d advise SELLER clients wanting top dollar for their Westchester County Cape Cod house to choose #858 Athena for the walls, with more fully upholstered pieces in complementary neutrals. Color palette still polished and on-trend, but softer. Solids read as calmer and more expansive in photos. Fully upholstered pieces denote more comfort and function>>all key to show value, as Capes have notoriously smaller rooms with lots of openings to work around.
- My DESIGN clients could find them both to be perfect elements in their large contemporary LR…but not as main players. In a space that’s typically all about the light, #861 would be a lot of darker gray. As color for sofa, some pillows, a rug or painted cabinetry it could be perfect. Underwhelming in a large room, Barcelona chairs could be an adjunct to larger pieces, or be a secondary seating area off the the side.
No matter the arena, unless it’s a 100% gut, consider actions that honor, flatter or otherwise enhance the nature of what you’re working with.