Today’s Crush : Pale and Delicate

Today’s a PALE day. Not pale as in bland but rather, pale as in fragile and soft. I just dropped off my eldest to college. The leaves are falling. The delicate beauty of fall foliage is not without a certain sadness, reminiscent of loss, letting go, all things that happen when one sends off their eldest to college. Pale colors stir me. They echo a certain fragility and sense of transparency. How fugitive our world can be, how harsh. I find comfort in pale colors and their evanescent nature. Somehow they offer solace and comfort.


This beautiful bird photograph exemplifies the PALE color scheme. Fragile, refined, nurturing.

Shell Hand Printed Wallpaper

Shell Art Deco inspired handprinted Wallpaper : delicate and perfect.

This beautiful set of nesting tables at Serena + Lily in pale aqua strikes my fancy today

Mughal quatrefoil mirror in pale lilac from Wisteria.

Beautiful Fern block printed fabric by Galbraith and Paul.

Pale and inviting grey armchair by Bernhardt.


Light turquoise turned wood candelabra by Dunes and Duchess.

Hand knotted contemporary rug via Dover Rug and Home.

I hope you enjoyed today’s selections!



Wallpaper in the Bathroom!

Is it a surprise I should be daydreaming of vibrant and colorful wallpaper prints and florals in bathrooms? Not really. You may all know my secret love for bathroom design by now…if not, refer to some of my past blog posts or my collected images on my Pinterest board.

And, it will come as no surprise that, in desperate need of SPRING weather and color (I keep on looking outside my window with sad dog eyes) I want flowers!!!

What happened to the weather this year, folks? Seriously, a coat in May???

I will not be stopped by grey skies and apathetic temperatures…

Working on a recent powder bathroom wallpaper project, I sifted through endless possibilities and wanted to share a few inspiration bathrooms I love :

Tilton Fenwick Downtown Loft Powder Room photo: Trevor Tondro

This fabulous and daring print from Osborne & Little used by the talented designer duo Tilton Fenwick created a snappy little powder room. And all the brass fixtures are so in right now!

Kate Simpson.

This powder bathroom designed by Kate Simpson is defined by the wallpaper and those elegant monogrammed towels. The wallpaper gives an immediate zesty and refreshing vibe to the room. Photo via

A Gracious Home by Suzanne Kasler

 I love this bathroom by fave interior “grande dame” Suzanne Kasler: Katie Ridder’s exquisite wallpaper designs always add so much to a room, don’t you think? Suzanne creates a seemingly effortless blend of elegance and comfort, striking the right balance between color, textures and styles. A bit of this and a bit of that always goes a long way in my view! Photo via Architectural Digest

Stark Wallpaper. Design by Rafael de Cardenas.

This art nouveau style Stark Wallpaper instantly defines the room, giving it distinctive and dark appeal. Sumptuous against a rasberry glass vase and two slender purple flowers. Design by Rafael de Cardenas. Photo via ELLE DECOR

Wallpapers In A Bathroom

This green and white floral wallpaper screams SPRING! via Shelterness 

For a recent powder bath project I designed, we decided to go moody and very bold. I also knew wallpaper would make the room.

The bathroom originally looked like this :

Ugly Bathroom-1A much improved bathroom looked like this:

Photo and Design Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAnd I want you to see how the final Cole & Son wallpaper selection will look (mirror is awesome but a little small, may be changed):

Photo and Design Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaIn progress design project by Elza B. Design, Inc | Photo Chez Elza

ColeandSonWallpaper-SummerLilyThis breathtaking Lily print Cole & Son is pretty cool, no? Stay tuned for AFTER pics of this project in the year to come. Photo via Lee Jofa

Life is short, have fun…wallpaper possibilities are endless:

Groundworks-KWearstler-WallpaperCrescent by Kelly Wearstler wallpaper via Lee Jofa


Wallpaper-C&SonNuvolette by Cole & Son via Lee Jofa

Wallpaper-CS-Geisha tealGeisha by Cole & Son via Lee Jofa

A bientot!




Crazy, Vibrant New York : ICFF Finds (Merci, BlogFest 2012)

I dragged my luggage through long corridors, up into the subway, down escalators and carried bulging bags filled with awesome magazines, incredible gifts from BlogFest2012, battled rain and ended walking barefoot in Brooklyn on a particularly pouring evening; I met design celebrity after design celebrity, spoke with amazing people, stuffed my pockets with business cards and toasted many champagne glasses; I met an amazing family owned business (the one and only Kravet), snapped picture after picture, took notes and went to bed at ridiculously late hours, learning about design day in and day out. I came home exhausted but over the moon.

Where in the world did I go????

Two words: Blogfest 2012.

The Kravet Group launched the Blogfest 2012 concept in 2011. It has since become an amazingly popular destination for interior designers and bloggers who blog about design. This year, registration for the event sold out in 4 hours!  Blofest 2012 defines itself in these words : Blogfest is a three day tour designed exclusively for interior design bloggers featuring the industry’s top shelter magazines, A-list design celebrities and breathtaking venues. 

Follow me as I take you along and share highlights of my trip.

When: Monday  May 21st, 2012

First Stop: ICFF -International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Before meeting our Blogfest hosts and friends, we were offered an optional ticket to the ICFF.  I took advantage of this time to take a few photos of interesting items.

Stone Source- screen printed Porcelain tiles in incredible colors and patterns.
Stone Source tiles.

More tiles by the same vendor:

I finally saw the famous Family Chairs by Design House Stockholm  :

Family Chairs

I loved these sculpted bowls from the same vendor:

Ceramic bowls by Design House Stockholm

I really had to stop and admire the lines by Manulation, a Serbian Designer, making  traditional wood carved furniture since 1927, and now also offering a modern line:

Wood furniture by Manulation.

I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the following work by Asher Israelow:

Spalted Beech Wood Chair by Asher Israelow. Incredibly comfortable and beautiful design. Desk in background is by same designer.
This chair also by Israelow was very comfortable as well and the leather offered a soft contrast next to the wood grain.

And this piece by Wewood, a Portuguese Joinery, made of French oak was superb:

Wewood French oak piece with beautifully crafted drawers would make a nice statement in a room or in an entry foyer. You could put all your keys, mail and small items in it!

Next I gravitated towards wall coverings and fabrics:

Textile Print Designer Julie Kouamo is based in London where she creates wall coverings and fabrics. She likes to create textural patterns mixing old and new dyeing and printing techniques.


Another creation by Julie Kouamo, in which she draws inspiration from printing techniques used in her native Cameroon and mixes them in with photographic elements drawn from nature.
Juju Papers Handmade wallpapers from Portland, Oregon were whimsical and could look fabulous inside a child’s bedroom for example.
Another design by Avery Thatcher of Juju Papers.
Double R Studio eco-friendly wallpapers. Artist Rosa Ruey is inspired by organic shapes and Chinese landscaping painting.

A few close-ups:

Shalimar Pattern.
Viceroy Palace Pattern.

In a very different style, these hand-painted wall coverings by Vahallan Papers were wonderfully textured and imitated metals to a T:

Destiny by Vanhallan Papers.
Urbana by Vanhallan Papers.

This sublime chandelier by Tracy Glover captivated my attention:

Handblown glass Silver lining Chandelier by Tracy Glover.

I am seeing more and more incredible outdoor furniture and fabrics. The following surprised me by their design, which I felt were very accomplished:

Barcelona foozball indoor and outdoor tables. Now, how cool was that?
Close-up view.
Massant outdoor chair.
Another lovely Massant outdoor chair.

Finally, back in the indoor furniture section, I was drawn to these unusual chairs by designer Cecilie Manz for Fritz Hansen:

Soft, curvy, sturdy and comfortable chairs by Cecilie Manz for Fritz Hansen. I love that they are so carefully crafted with soft felt like fabrics, available in dark or light grey for the exterior and warm to cool colors for the inner. A thin band of leather piping follows the edges.

What a way to start my Blogfest adventure! Thank you, Kravet and Blogfest, for this opportunity to visit the ICFF before the Blogfest kick-off!

Until next post…part 2 of Blogfest 2012 with fabulous more designs!

New Spring Fabric Collection at Galbraith & Paul!

New Spring Fabric Collection at Galbraith & Paul!

I’ve been a big fan of Galbraith & Paul fabrics and patterns for a while. Founded in Philadelphia by Liz Galbraith and Ephraim Paul in 1986,  the studio started as a handmade paper company specializing in lighting. They have since grown to include a gorgeous line of hand blocked textiles, handmade wallpapers and rugs available to the trade. We are lucky to have them now represented at the Boston Design Center via Studio 534. These simple, refreshing designs come in multiple colorways and are a great addition to one’s home. Room & Board also sells an exclusive line of pillows and lighting made by Galbraith & Paul.

Celebrating its 25th year,  Galbraith & Paul  introduces 4 new patterns to its collection of hand block printed fabrics:  Lotus, Pomegranate, Monarch, & Ribbon.    Designed by Liz Galbraith, this spring’s collection is printed on three different linens and offered in a rich and unusual palette of colorways and combinations.   Because all of Galbraith & Paul fabrics are printed to order, clients can substitute and customize colors and ground cloths to an extent not possible in most fabric lines. The company offers as many as 100 colors to choose from, 37 patterns and six grounds!

Lotus in Sprout by Galbraith & Paul

When designing, Galbraith says, “I touch on many design traditions, but I’m careful not to land on any.”   The resulting patterns are at once both familiar and original, yielding a look that is transitional and versatile.  Lotus and Pomegranate are drawn from Indian textile traditions, where floral elements are decorative, painterly, and abstract.   Monarch and Ribbon are inspired by English and French ticking and border patterns, using stripes as a playful vehicle for color combination and coordination.   “Color is my passion,” Galbraith says.  “Nature is my inspiration.”

Ephraim Paul, the other half of the Galbraith & Paul duo, runs the office and works with showrooms and vendors. He very kindly agreed to an interview with Chez Elza for this post!

Liz, Paul, what inspired you to move from paper making for the lighting industry to textiles and rugs?                                                                                                             Liz: In the mid 1990’s, I became interested in block printing as a different way to make patterns in the studio. I had always loved fabric, and block printing became a great way to make patterns that had a handmade, artisanal quality to them.

Liz,  where did you learn the art of block printing?
I read about it in a book and started with some small blocks. We printed table runners for Simon Pearce stores as one of our first orders.

Monarch In Denim by Galbraith & Paul
Pomegranate pattern in Currant by Galbraith & Paul

Where do you draw your inspiration for these beautiful patterns from?
Liz: First, from nature: gardens, plans and flowers. Second: From a wide variety of design traditions that inspire me-everything from Amish quilts, Mid-Century Modern, Wiener Werkstatte, Bloomsbury, William Morris, Fortuny, etc.
Block Printing process at Galbraith & Paul
How long does it take your company to produce a yard of fabric?
Liz: We hand block print everything to order. A printer can do between 12 and 18 yards of fabric a day.

What are your favorite patterns in the new line?                                                         Liz: The Lotus and the Monarch

Can you tell us more about your rug and wallpaper lines?                                Ephraim: The rugs have been in our line since 2005. We do both hand tufted and hand knotted. The rugs are made in Thailand and Nepal respectively. Our fabric patterns lend themselves beautifully to rugs, and we’ve tried to capture the artisanal look and fell of our our fabrics in the rugs. Everything is made to order, and lots of customization is possible. Size, construction, scale and color: all can be changed and tweaked to make a truly special rug.

Rug in Fern pattern in Denim colorRug in Fern pattern in Denim color by Galbraith & Paul

The wallpaper is new to our line and produced in our studio digitally, though nobody can really tell this! What you see are the same kind of handmade textures, shadings, color blendings, etc that you see in our fabrics. We do 11 patterns in a variety of colorways, all of which can be customized to meet the client’s needs.

  Wallpaper Rolls by Galbraith & Paul
Tile WallPaper in Kiwi with an upholstered sofa in Diamond Pattern.Tile Wall Paper in Kiwi with an upholstered sofa in Diamond Pattern

What advice would you give a wannabe textile designer?                                         Liz: Lear how to draw and paint. Do things by hand!

A selection of patterns from the New Spring Collection at Galbraith & Paul

This new Spring fabric collection comes in many beautiful colorways. I see you can custom any fabric and offer 100 colors! How does the customization process work? For the fabric and wallpaper, you can choose any color from our palette for any of the patterns. There is a minimum order of 5 yards for custom. There is no up-charge per yard, just a $50 strike off* fee. Clients love working with our palettes since they can customize the patterns and make them just right for any project!

Thank You, Liz & Ephraim!

*A strike off in designer jargon is a custom sample of the custom order for the designer to approve.

Note: All photos are from the Galbraith & Paul website.