Saturday, January 26, 2019

Decorating Modern Traditional Interiors With Chintz.........An Old Favorite Is Back!

We recently lost a decorating icon, the Prince of Chintz, Mario Buatto. I am sure he was pleased to know that right around the corner would be a return to the trend he was famous for when chintz was the darling of the decorating world in the 1980's. For those of us that love English interiors chintz never actually goes away. However, over exposure and poor DIY decisions turned people against this fabric in a big way.

Now, thanks to some industry leaders, chintz is making a comeback and this lovely floral fabric is being used alongside contemporary furniture and other fabrics that are traditional with a modern twist.

Chintz is related to a Sanskrit word meaning colored or spotted, but we know it as a light, glazed floral cotton or linen color fast fabric. Originally produced in India from 1600 to 1800, chintz was popular for both clothing and furnishings. The fabric became so trendy when imported to Europe that French and English mills struggled to keep up with the demand since they lacked the natural dyes used by the mills in India that produce the beautiful intense colors that do not fade. In fact, in 1686 the French declared a ban on all chintz imports. Of course since the Court of Versailles was above the law it's wealthy, upper class residents continued to wear clothing made from chintz.

Many of you still associate chintz with grandma's house. However, it has been seen on the runways for two seasons now and home decor in bold and modern style is fast becoming a trend. So hey, give it a chance. Just don't repeat the 80's and overdo......remember to use it in moderation and you will like the look, I promise.

Designer Hollie Wood

Whether you decide to go bold......

via Pinterest

or subtle, the key to decorating the modern home in chintz is restraint. Without it the look will end up overdone and will be ruined like it was in the 80's. Use this fabric sparingly so it enhances instead of overwhelms.

via Pinterest

Today's chintz interiors have a more edgy traditional look because chintz is now being partnered with contemporary furniture and interesting prints.

Richard Keith Langham Inc on instagram

Chintz will still evoke a sense of nostalgia even though it is being used in trendy fresh ways in exciting interiors.

Pretty floral chintz can instantly bring a feminine touch to the room. Make sure you add in some streamlined pieces though, just to keep it modern.  

In the modern interior you want the overall room decor to stand out so be sure to thoughtfully place your chintz pieces. This way the chintz won't be the focal point and your space will feel more sophisticated.

via Pinterest

Another way to make chintz look crisp and clean is to use it against white or pale cream walls. A vase of pretty flowers completes the fresh look.

If you like color on your walls just restrain from covering your windows as well as your furniture with chintz. A couple of pieces is all that is needed here. Any more would be too heavy.

Accent chairs are perfect to cover in chintz. They make a statement but don't overpower.

A bold colorful chintz upholstered chair or sofa will look fabulous in an all cream space. Or likewise in all white. They really pop this way.

A bit of colorful chintz can liven up a modern dark and moody interior.

Elizabeth Schmidt Interior Design

This space by Cathy Kincaid is feminine but not sickeningly sweet which too much chintz can bring about. Offset the florals with other interesting prints and throw in some needlepoint pillows. Just go easy on ruffled ones or you will end up with a "granny look".

Here the designer has covered the walls in a chintz pattern which works as long as you leave it at that. Some pillows are OK but that is all you need. The contemporary furniture helps to make the space seem modern because it creates contrast.

Photo by Lesley Unruh.

An eclectic modern/traditional interior that has just the right amount of chintz.

via pinterest

This contemporary interior is reminiscent of the Dorthy Draper look. It has element of her trademark motifs such as chintz upholstered furnishings, applied oversized plaster elements, and dark walls with white picture frame moldings. She popularized chintz in the 30's and Schumacher sold more than a million yards of her cabbage rose chintz.

Designer David Flint and India Hicks prove that chintz also works well in a modern tropical interior. Photo by Patrick Cline for Lonny.

This Lilly Bunn interior features a colorful modern glazed cotton chintz fabric juxtaposed with heavier textured velvet furniture and a deep pile retro shag rug. The light, airy glass and brass table balances the contrasting textures.

This Nicky Haslam interior proves that you can have a pretty, European “country-house” interior without the matching curtains, wall coverings, and upholstery. One or two chintz covered pieces is all you need for a modern traditional look.

nicky haslam  effortless

Another image of the same room that has the Nancy Lancaster Colefax and Fowler, Elsie de Wolfe, and Rose Cumming look of the early 1900's without being saturated in chintz and losing it's modern traditional feel.

Maybe you just want a bit of chintz so you can be part of the trend. Throw pillows are the perfect solution. Mix some pretty chintz patterns. They are lovely when used on a white sofa or chair. Colorful and interesting accessories keep the space feeling modern.

Again a white interior offers a fresh crisp background for chintz to shine in. I love the colorful modern artwork used alongside the traditional chintz furnishings.

Legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent understood this when he created these interiors in the last house he decorated before he died in 2008. These spaces still hold up today and look modern and trendy because of white walls and restraint when it comes to the use of chintz. 

Don't be afraid to mix different chintz patterns. If you aren't sure, get professional help. This look isn't always for the do-it- yourselfer.

I love the chic and bohemian home of Ian and Emilie Irving. Imagine this room with chintz window treatments. There would be and instant heaviness and grandmotherly feel. Keep today's chintz room lighter and more modern looking. Another thing that makes a traditional style space look modern is the effortless way it is decorated.

What better way to get ready for spring than to decorate with some pretty floral chintz. Even though there is quite a bit of it in the wallpaper and on the bed, the room still doesn't look old fashioned.

Be a part of the trend with a pretty chintz covered headboard.

Modern farmhouse interiors can certainly benefit with a chintz upholstered piece or two. Just make sure it stays light and airy.

via Pinterest

Even people with more contemporary taste like things that are pretty. Chintz is the answer as long as you keep it simple and clean.

Designed by Suellen Gregory

Here's hoping you will give this old classic a chance in the modern traditional interior.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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