Known for her colorful and comfortable rooms with an artistic splash, Ruthie Sommers (ruthiesommers.com) shares her best tips for decorating with chintz.
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
I adore chintz because... it combines my two favorite subjects: color and nature. And it's such a happy fabric.
My approach is... to try it all over. I would have tablecloths, curtains, slipcovers, and even a dress made out of chintz! Anything but a lampshade—that gets too granny for my personal taste.
In this room... I used a cheery chintz to make a library less serious. I covered two club chairs and an ottoman in vintage chintz fabric and then overdosed the room on colors pulled from the pattern. The bamboo-edged, red-upholstered walls and yellow-lacquered ceiling are right in keeping with chintz's lighthearted personality.
Make it modern by... using it in unexpected, off-the-radar places. It's so chic to line the walls of a closet in a faded rose-patterned chintz.
An old idea that feels new again... is the way the legendary designer Sister Parish mixed patterns unapologetically to create comfortable, happy, and sunny rooms.