Some posts come easily, others need time to ruminate. An idea is only an idea until inspiration comes knocking. Inspiration drives the creative process. Without it I falter, with it I flow. Long a lover of gingham, I wanted to write about fresh ways to use the motif in the home. When I saw the watercolor painting of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, I knew my muse arrived. The painting is actually of Georgia O’Keeffe when she was an art student. The painter is Hilda Belcher, a fellow student. Hilda wanted to break into the male-dominated New York Water Color Club and submitted this watercolor and gouache for their consideration. Belcher’s painting secured her membership into the club. To precisely render the checks and folds of the dress is extremely difficult in a medium as touchy as watercolor. Belcher’s mastery of her medium is astounding.
From the Gingham Altar on The Great British Bake Off to my husband’s summer wardrobe of gingham shirts (when I say summer for us in Dallas it’s actually eight months long so they get plenty of use). Gingham is a versatile motif and quite popular right now in clothing especially for men. Gingham is classic, graphic, and depending on the size, bold or sweet. It mixes with florals, striped, solids, and graphic prints incredibly well. To ensure harmony, vary the scales of your prints and stripes.
I’ve complied a few gingham examples to show their versatility in the home and beyond.
In Bedding – the gingham in this traditional, Swedish built-in bed balances the sweetness of the delicate floral painted panels. Historically, these cozy beds would not be near a window as they were built to keep the cold out.
A casual take in this modern, rustic space paired with striped pillows.
Slipcovers & Upholstery
Love the simplicity of this dining space.
Chair backs mimic the seat cushion upholstery below. Thoughtful design details always enhance a space. They reveal themselves slowly and add depth to the overall design.
Put it on the walls!
The hard surfaces of this kitchen are softened with a bit of fabric at the window and under the sink.
I am wild for these cement tiles from Cle which are also featured in a previous post on Encaustic Tile. These tiles are welcome in a minimalist modern, minimalist country, traditional, or transitional kitchen.
Here are two completely different window treatments designed by Colefax & Fowler’s legendary Roger Banks-Pye. One lavishly traditional, the other simply casual.
I love the window treatment Roger Banks-Pye designed of simple panels finished on all sides, perfectly measured for the space and studded with eyelets and attached by hooks. You could also put eyelets at mid point and at the bottom to fold up for a valance.
Valances are a tricky beast. The dimensions must be precise or the proportion of the window and the light distribution will be negatively effected.
From 2016’s touring exhibit “Killer Heels: The Art of the High Heeled Shoe”, which I did not get to see, but would have enjoyed very much… come these marvels of shoe engineering. Clomp clomp.
For something closer to the ground… the classic Converse high top. Converse may be worn by all ages as long as they’re paired with the appropriate outfit, otherwise you’ll look like a twit.
Back to Georgia O’Keeffe. The exhibit, Georgia O’Keeffe Living Modern, is currently at the Reynolda House Museum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina until November 19th. It will move to the Peabody in Massachusetts next. Featured here are three of O’Keeffe’s blouses worn by her. The gingham check was a favorite. The exhibit encompasses art, clothing, shoes, videos, and photographs taken by her husband Alfred Stieglitz as well as other photographers of note.
Could not resist this photo…
or this one…
The Gingham Goodness doesn’t end there – I collected TG Green’s Patio Gingham tableware from the 1950’s for awhile until I gave up as it’s hard to source. I’ve seen melamine plates available that are adorable. Amazon carries these.