I have two different areas in the cottage I’m trying to get old furniture ready for (aka painting and upholstering). The main floor where people will visit is in cottage colors, rich pastels, blues and yellows with pink accents. This is so not my kind of color, but it’s going to be relaxing and cosy and most important, it’s going to fit the house. The ground floor where I’ll be working and doing most of my living (aka dogs, writing, and dropping things on the floor) is just a walk-out basement right now. The house is on a hill, so the back of the basement is underground, but two thirds of it is above ground with windows and the back is a walk-out with windows all around. So down there, where nobody but the dogs and I will ever go, I can make whatever color I want. And I want color. On the other hand, it’s easy to lose my grip and just splash the stuff everywhere, so I rely on a tried and true cheat: I find a fabric, a pillow, a quilt I love and I pull all the colors from that as my anchor fabric. For example . . .
Since I was going against all my color instincts with the pastels, I picked a rich cottage floral in blue (my fave) that had other colors in it, too. Then I pulled fabrics from my stash and stacked them around the floral:
It was clear to me that they all worked except for that blue and white floral on the right; the blue is wrong and the pattern is too deco and bold. So it goes and the rest are going on Popeye, Swee’Pea, Olive Oyl, Wimpy, and the rest of the upstairs makeover furniture.
But for the downstairs where I could go hogwild, I picked a Cynthia Rowley quilt that I found at T.J.Maxx and loved. Then I went to my stash and found a lot of colors that were dead on (no surprise, this stuff is what I gravitate to every time):
The anchor fabric can come in handy for a lot of decisions. I have two large pieces of furniture to cover: the couch for upstairs (Wimpy) and a chaise for downstairs (Aziraphale, soon to be joined by Crowley the ancient LaZBoy and Agnes Nutter the ottoman). I bought a boatload of a blue fabric I love (blue is the only thing that’s going to pull this house together) which I intended for the couch, but when I put it next to the half-finished Popeye, it wasn’t quite . . . right. So I put it next to both the floral cottage anchor fabric and the Rowley quilt to decide whether it was going to cover the upstairs cottage couch or the downstairs office chaise:
I think the choice is pretty obvious. Which way would you go?