Kitchen Sink Styling

Not long ago on Instagram, I posted a broad view picture of our kitchen, soon after a follower kindly requested I post a “close-up” of the tray sitting next to our sink. Of course! I did so and thought I’d follow up with a blog post too. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just handy and vintage-style.

What’s Handy

There’s a few items key items I love to have readily available at the kitchen sink. Lets face it, if you spend a lot of time there like I do, why not look at something that makes you happy, while keeping your sink favorites handy as well as organized. Dishwashing soap, hand soap, paper towels and my pot scrubber seem to “make the cut” lately. I bought both types of soap dispensers at Target with scented basil & verbena scent, if you like the smell of basil, I suggest you try it!

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The stainless scrubber and fern moss sit in antique English ironstone meat and marmalade pots, all resting on an old weathered chopping block (flea market find). Can you believe meat used to be sold in ironstone pots? I can’t even imagine how charming a shelf of full of little meat pots looked in the market!

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At any given time, you will find a kitchen towel draped over the front of our sink, in soft, worn french hand-spun linen. I have used, loved and collected these beauties for decades. They are a DHLifestyle favorite, if you would like to have one of your own, you can find them here.  Just below the sink and that lovely towel, is a drawer (yes , I said drawer) with all kinds of not-so-attractive necessities, nothing I want to look at but need such as Bar Keepers Friend (a staple), a sink sponge, dish drainer and more. When I designed the kitchen and it’s cabinets, knowing I wanted drawers under the farm sink instead of cupboard doors.  Smart decision, much easier to keep organized and clean, they’re great.

I love the interesting mix of old with new, it’s never boring. What’s next to your kitchen sink?


It’s All About Ticking Stripes

Do you like ticking stripes? I do. In fact, I love ticking stripes! They have been around forever, and I think I know why.

A Little History

Ticking–it’s name deriving from the Greek word theka, meaning case or covering–has been synonymous with mattresses since fabric was first paired with straw.If you wanted a decent night’s sleep, it was imperative that the straw, or feathers (if you were lucky), be kept within the confines of a thick, tightly woven fabric to prevent quills and bits of straw from poking through. Thus a denim-like twill was woven and then coated in starch, wax, or soap to seal the weave even more tightly. The stripes were uniformly indigo or black, and the stiff fabric was meant to do its work beneath, never to be exposed to the respectable eye. It wasn’t until quite recently in ticking’s 1,000-year history that it has seen the light of day. Sister Parish, the influential American interior decorator, is credited with this act of liberation when she mixed chintz with ticking fabric in upscale 1940s sitting rooms. After the raised eyebrows settled, ticking soon gained popularity.

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Above: French Blue Ticking Stripe Pillow/early1900s textile

Why Vintage

Today you can buy new ticking fabrics in many colors and weights, but lets not overlook vintage? I love fabric with history, or that tells the story of time such as my “lucky find” source of unused ticking stock, recovered from a 1920s East Coast mill. A few of my personal ticking favorites are from three different continents! Made of 100% machine washable cotton, these are three durable go-to’s; French duvet & mattress ticking, classic New England mattress ticking, and African ticking striped mud cloth . Each is so unique in look, weight and texture, all withstanding the test of time.

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Above: New England Classic Ticking Pillow/1920s textile

Where To Find Ticking

Vintage ticking can be found at flea markets, such as Brimfield Massachusetts, and antiques stores and online design shops such as my own  website.

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Above: African Mud Cloth Indigo & White Ticking Stripe 22″ pillow/1950’s textile

I relish in the hunt for vintage textiles and delight in the making of them into something beautiful to be enjoyed. I love ticking pillows, and do you find beauty in them too?



Indigo Summer

Indigo blue textiles are great for summer. If you live near the California coast like I do, you’ll see indigo accents dotted throughout homes and shops creating that fresh, relaxed summer vibe.

Indigo is a color we can all relate to, after all, “denim” is an American favorite and a staple in my world!

Whats Popular

The indigo fabrics I’m loving right now, are global inspired textiles. Some of my personal hand-made hand-spun favorites are crisp cotton indigo batiks made by the Dong Hill Tribe in Thailand, French antique indigo ticking-stripe, Hmong tribe indigo-striped linen and soft Mali African mud cloths made of channeled cotton in amazing stripes and patterns. These beautiful indigo & one-of-a kind textiles come in a variety of patterns, weights and textures, making them wonderful to mix and match.

Let’s not forget to mention the indigo fringed throws! These are great to add as an accent or light-weight summer blanket. Or, if you have white slipcovered sofas like me, they make a great wrap for the bottom cushions as an extra layer of protection for spills or your furry friends! They’re easy to pull off and launder.

If you haven’t already, you may want to consider adding some indigo to your summer home decor. It might be just the coastal touch you were looking for!

Where To Find Them

You can find them at Debra Hall Lifestyle my online marketplace and also my One Kings Lane online store .