The Knockout and the Knockoff

The Knockout and the Knockoff

Janel Laban
May 24, 2007

(Welcome to Sarah, one of the finalists for a contributor position here at AT:Chicago. This is her third her first one here and her second here. Comment away!)

Orla Kiely's bright, bold patterns are everywhere right now—check out her wallpaper at Anthropologie, luggage at Flight 001, and her amazing flagship store in London (shown in the photo on the left).

Kiely's designs make an impact, but unfortunately for me it's an impact my checkbook can't survive. Instead, I paid homage to the designer's trademark colors, dressing up a thrift-store chair and an Ikea bookshelf (shown in the photo on the right).

Here's how:

More photos from Orla Keily's flagship store.

Kiely plays with scale, combining small prints with large, high-color graphics. In the knockoff room , fabric from Urban Outfitters' Danish Dot Bedspread makes a bold statement while concealing clutter. A pattern from Paper Source becomes a wall hanging, and a homemade throw pillow punches up the color scheme with bright red.

Bookshelves How-To
1. Measure the area of the shelves you want to cover and cut the fabric 2 inches wider (for 1/2-inch side hems). Hem the edges.
2. Adhere sticky-backed Velcro strips to the top and bottom shelves, and attach the fabric to the bookshelf using Velcro.

Wall Hanging How-To
1. At a craft store, buy paper, foamboard and spray adhesive.
2. Make sure your paper is at least an inch larger than your foamboard.
3. When using spray adhesive, work outside or in a well-ventilated area. Spray the foamboard and adhere the paper, smoothing out any wrinkles.
4. Turn the foamboard over, spray the edges with adhesive, and fold the paper over the board as if you were wrapping a present.
5. Because foamboard is lightweight, you can hang it with sticky tack or masking tape, leaving walls unblemished.

Throw Pillow How-To
1. I made this reversible pillow sham by sewing three sides of two placemats together and securing the fourth edge with Velcro.
2. Take a scarf or scrap of fabric, measure around the circumference of the pillow, cut, and sew into a loop.
3. Slide the scarf over the pillow like a sleeve. To wash, remove the sleeve and the Velcro.


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