KATIE CHARLESON

Screen Printed Homewares & Bespoke Textile Design

Bespoke

An Upholstery Project: How to use Fabric to Transform your Furniture

Bespoke, Inspiration, Interiors & Homewares, Colour, Creative Fulfilment, Homewares, How toKatie CharlesonComment

Upholstering a well- loved armchair, adding your own cushions to a muted couch, or changing the seat of a kitchen chair is a great way to add your own taste and define a style within your home. Here's a closer look at a recent upholstery fabric commission I have been working on.

 The midcentury modern armchair, before (featuring a  Sunny Todd  cushion and a visualisation of the upholstery fabric after.

The midcentury modern armchair, before (featuring a Sunny Todd cushion and a visualisation of the upholstery fabric after.

Those of us who rent and might not be able to paint or wallpaper walls might feel restricted as to the style statements we can make in our homes. But fear not; fabric and textiles are a wonderful way of expressing your style "handwriting". A chair upholstered in your own fabric, whether you design the pattern yourself or you work with a designer to translate your ideas onto fabric for you, can be taken wherever your home is as 

an instant expression of your personality and style in a space.

I've recently been working on designing some upholstery fabric for a client, and I wanted to share how we have used colour, shape and print to come up with a design that will enhance the original chair frame and the space it occupies.


 Midcentury modern chair, before being re-upholstered

Midcentury modern chair, before being re-upholstered

The armchair itself is a midcentury modern occasional chair with a wooden frame, which used to belong to the clients grandmother. The client enjoys considered, graphic patterns and was keen to use expressionistic colours and shapes, and complimentary tones from all over the colour wheel.

The room in which the chair will live  has high ceilings and large bay windows so a large scale design will sit very happily in this space. A small, ditzy pattern might get lost and wouldn't make as much impact. The light and situation of a room is always important to remember when decorating, but bear in mind this also applies to the fabrics and textiles you choose. Bold, expressive shapes can really make a dynamic statement in a room, but if you are looking for a more soothing, cosy vibe in a room you might choose small, repetitive patterns or "ditzies". I will write more on how to choose textiles for different interior designs in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more!

 Close ups of some of the original bespoke print designs for upholstery

Close ups of some of the original bespoke print designs for upholstery

 Bright, cheery colour samples in progress

Bright, cheery colour samples in progress

My first steps when working on a new commission is always to start with painting or drawing based on the clients ideas. I tried some different fluid, expressive brush marks and shapes collaged and juxtaposed into compositions that sat well together. We originally thought to use a navy base with some spicier pink/ red/ orange tones to provide a complimentary colour clash to the living room's current scheme of creams, chalky yellows and accents of green and blue. We also tried a cheery, zingy turquoise so the overall feeling would be sunny mediterranean rather than Northern European. More on how to choose colours from opposite ends of the colour wheel and still make them work and enhance your home in the coming weeks!

Taking these ideas to the print table for sampling means that you can really test out and visualise what your final design will look like- so important for understanding how the colours, textures and shapes will work together and how they might sit overall.

 Sample prints and colours in progress

Sample prints and colours in progress

And as if to prove to prove the above statement- the samples made us see that actually what the client wanted was cooler tones of duck egg blue, creams and whites with khaki to really ground all the brighter colours and bring an earthy quality.

I think while the really bright colours could have been fun and zingy, the pattern still sits well in this new colour palette, making the large, expressive marks and shapes look more natural and will sit very happily in the clients existing living room, while still being a real statement piece. 

Stay tuned for more pictures of the final design being printed, and the chair finally restored to its original beauty with a bold expressive print on it in the coming weeks!

 A visualisation of the new colours, which will sit well with the clients existing colour scheme while still being a real statement piece.

A visualisation of the new colours, which will sit well with the clients existing colour scheme while still being a real statement piece.

What do you think? Would you try designing your own print or choose clashing colours to make a statement in your living room? Would you go XL with your homewares or strip back and keep it simple? Anything I've missed out about or that you would like to ask me? Let me know in the comments below!

Bespoke Prints // Culinary

Print, Tea Towels, Inspiration, Homewares, Collaborations, BespokeKatie CharlesonComment

Things have been busy of late at Katie Charleson; there was the fantastic Princes Trust pop up shop in May and with lots of workshops, bespoke pieces and commissions in development I've been printing like crazy.

With the run up to summer over (although not reflected by the weather) and a lovely break coming up, I thought you'd like to see some of the bespoke prints I've been working on in the first half of 2016.

 Bespoke culinary print developed as an extra special gift, made into kitchenware

Bespoke culinary print developed as an extra special gift, made into kitchenware

This project was a print developed by a dear friend and myself for an equally dear fiery Scottish redhead with a love of all things charcuterie. For an extra special birthday gift, we wanted a fun, hand drawn feel to the illustration, in sharp colours to reflect her excellent sense of humour and her flame coloured hair. Needless to say, Frances Bacon was an inspiration.

 Screen print in progress

Screen print in progress

 Second colour layer being printed

Second colour layer being printed

 2/3 colours complete

2/3 colours complete

The resulting three colour print was wonderfully wild, lively and expressive and just a little bit abstract. The final design was printed as a repeat onto 2 metres of crisp white cotton, which was then developed into an apron and tea towel for her culinary exploits.

 The final three layer print

The final three layer print

You can take a look at the inspiration for the bespoke print on Pinterest here, and see some other Katie Charleson inspiration and ideas too. If you have an idea for a print that you'd like to develop, as a personal project or a special gift for a loved one, you can get in touch with me here, I'd love to help you develop something personal and exciting!

Stay tuned for more posts about bespoke prints and collaborations over the next few weeks!