One of the biggest forms of flattery is gaining the trust of a client, to the point that they hand me over a piece of furniture, and say "Do what you want, I trust you, I want to be surprised!". In this case the trust was gained from a lovely client, who is now a repeat. After coming into the shop and seeing a previous couch we had done and sold, she got to re thinking her own pieces, and how we could transform them! She dug into her own collection and pulled together textiles that had meaning to her in many ways...batiks from her travels to Africa while working as a nurse for HIV treatment. I don't take this task lightly, and quite honestly feel both a huge rush of excitement to have the freedom to play with colors, but also feel loads of lovely responsibility to execute to the fullest.
We started with a wingback chair she found on craigslist:
What can I say? Yes, hideous...but great bones to be transformed, and what more is that this is a way to keep the overall cost down in customizing a piece with us at Mignonne, don't invest too much on the piece to begin with! I was able to take this chair to a new level of pop! We pulled out a lovely rich blue batik, and honestly I had to know more about these textiles after seeing my clients collection. African Batiks are so earthy and beautiful in my opinion, and after reading a bit more about them I learned that the colors are made from a paste that is most often made from cassava (a root plant) flour, rice, alum or copper sulphate that is then boiled together to make a smooth thick paste. The paste is applied in two different ways. A lot of these batiks are made by using freehand drawing of traditional designs using a feather, thin stick, piece of fine bone or a metal or wooden comb-like tool, done by women which is then forced through a thin metal stencil with a flexible metal or wooden tool, enabling accurate repeat patterns...this is done by men.
And below is the transformation...
Next on our agenda was our clients couch, this piece was an absolute treasure to work on, and it was here that I was given more freedom to shine! Having completed her wingback, I was able to feel assured that my client truly wanted me to deliver a one of a kind piece. Check out the before shot of her couch...
Totally drab, and on it's last limbs, this piece was screaming for a makeover. We opted to change the design of the back cushions...yes, this is something we can easily do! Now the couch would have a more polished, and crisp feel.
I pulled complimentary earthy marigolds, soft black brown fabrics mixing petite corduroys, velvets, and the lovely pop orange piping.
The back of the couch, and pillow bands are patched together with batik, and all together this piece is truly something. It tells a story like no other for this client. Forget keeping her keepsake fabrics in a drawer...she now can enjoy them every day!
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about revamping a piece of your own! xoox