Sunday, November 23, 2014

Balancing masculine and feminine elements in home design

Hello everyone, I mean hello Miss Smith since you are the only person reading my blog.  Here are the chairs I was telling you about last night.

I have a very interesting home dec book out of the library at the moment called "Home Chic" by India Mahdavi. She has a whole chapter devoted to the idea that furnishings and fabrics have a masculine or feminine energy.  Squares, rectangles, solid shapes, greens and blues belong to the masculine aesthetic whereas reds, oranges, fabrics, circular shapes belong to the feminine. An interesting home, she contends, has a balance of masculine and feminine, ratioed at about 2:1 to either of the genders.

My design aesthetic is mainly masculine by her definition since I like clean lines in natural shades. By default these are usually neutrals and greys in basic rectangle or square shapes.

I came across the fabric to recover these chairs while looking for some fabric in which to make some new lampshades for our hallway. You might remember our conversation as I showed the website to you while you were on holiday in Auckland.

me: hey I've got to show you the coolest fabric (pass I-pad to you)
you: (audible gasp) you CANNOT use it in the hallway. Your poor guests! They won't know where to look!

And so I book marked the site until a suitable re upholstery job came my way. Almost on cue I found these wicker cane rimu chairs in Hospice in a hideous faux french tapestry and knew instantly I had my project.

The chairs are in pretty good condition, the foam less so, but replacing the sprung foam was more than I wanted to spend on this simple restoration project. Have you sewn home dec before? I know you did your curtains, but these kind of jobs are more fiddly than they look, especially with piping involved, everything has to be rather precise.

But anyway, here they are, all done. I liked your idea of balancing out the female energy with some cacti,  and found some gorgeous crocheted ones in an African craft collective shop today but they were over a hundred dollars so I didn't bring them home with me. I'll keep looking.

At the moment I've ramped up the feminine energy with your hand knitted flowers, perhaps I might be lucky and find another pair of torpedo lights on Tradme to balance it out with some masculine details. But I will have to work on the manservant first as he described these retro lights as "truly revolting" which did not encourage me to bid.

The upper cushion was much easier to construct than the bottom as it had little tucks in the corner allowing the machine to move gently round the corner. The bottom cushions had a gusset, which was tricky and required precision. 

  I am so proud of the matching for the zipper on the back of the cushion. The rest of my matching did not go so well but we have to celebrate our successes, don't we?


  1. Wow, it looks beautiful and you have made a *wonderful* job of it!!! As I was saying last night, it is very on-trend, since none other than Tim Gunn said on PR last week "this is nothing if not the season of the vag1na". We all wept with laughter. I do feel sorry that your manservant didn't like the lamps, they certainly cracked me up, but I think a cactus, or even a strategically positioned fruit bowl (cucumber and two oranges, or a carefully selected butternut) will balance things out nicely, as the author of the style book recommended. I am, as always, in awe of your skill and talent.

    1. Miss Smith, I found the most perfect cacti for our bedroom.

      The Trichocereus bridgesii mostruosa inermis cacti brings considerable masculine energy to the room.