From the BlogSubscribe Now

What’s Your Take? — Jacobean Fabric

I know I said I was going to bring you bathroom updates today. You were expecting that. You wrote it in your planner. You planned your day’s activities around it and now you’re going to have to shuffle and replan and try to fit this post into your life. I hope you can.


People definitely still use paper planners, right? Where they “write” addresses and phone numbers with “pens?” (I think I’ve forgotten how to write with grown-up handwriting now thanks to these newfangled computing devices. Every time I try, my hand gets all weird and confused, like “Wait — what is this activity? THIS IS NOT HOW YOU TYPE.” Bathroom post next week.

I had so much fun with you all evaluating whether juju hats were the bees knees, or whether (like Bonnie pointed out), they look like a very large bird flew very fast into a wall. (Brilliant comment. Brilliant.)


So I thought we’d tackle another decor trend – Jacobean florals – although I’m not sure you can call this a trend, because it dates back to the reign of King James I of England in first quarter of the 17th century — which is also the last time you could say a sentence like this without sounding like a pretentious arse. (Oops. I’m a few hundred years too late to the party. Story of my life!)

I’ve been noticing these fabrics, which are kinda floral-y and often feature birds (happy ones, not flattened-into-walls ones), being used more often recently and I wonder if you’ve noticed it too, or if I’m on the wrong end of this? Here are a fancy-schmancy designer patterns – some of which I’m totally digging but will never afford.

(I can just imagine my husband’s reaction if I told him I had forked over one hundred real American dollars to purchase a single yard of fabric: “$100 for WHAT? What is this… thread? I do not understand. It comes with more, right? It’s just part of what you bought for $100? Like maybe it also came with… a one-hundred dollar bill?!”   “But honey, it’s jacobean! It’s a design trend, see?”)

Tree of life crewel from here

Schumacher Hot House in Spark from here

Richloom Lucy Eden from here

Wilmington Multi image from Calico Corners

I think a few months ago, I would have gotten a chintzy vibe from these fabrics and shuttered, thinking of rooms like this:


…where people probably sat and wrote in their planners while watching first-air episodes of Flintstones. Know what I mean?

But look what happens when you pair an updated jacobean with a little graphic punch:Photo from this etsy shop

MAGIC happens. Isn’t it instantly chic? Do you fall over writhing in agonizing love and affection for it now? I totally do. I have a fun project planned for one of these fabrics that I’ll show you soon-ish. (Okay, it’ll be a while. Strike that from your planner for now.)

So let’s hear it – do you get that chintz vibe and want to run for the hills? Or maybe you’re a huge chintz fan? Totally cool with that. Or do you love it so much you’re now planning to stencil a jacobean pattern on your face? (Or something in between. If you don’t work in extremes, like me.) Leave me a comment and let’s hear your take!

P.S.: Check out the other “What’s Your Take” posts and weigh in on juju hats, kilim rugs, brass/bronze and faux flowers.)

Let's connect


  1. I love it, I’ve had my eye on some with a black background to recover a sofa cushion in. Apparently, on occasion it rains in Oklahoma. And rain plus dogs equals mud… EVERYWHERE. So bye bye white sofa with little paw prints. However, I would NEVER pay $100 for a yard, I would much rather buy… candy, or plenty of trapper keepers.

  2. I like your throw pillow example, but I still shudder when I see this fabric. My grandmother’s bedroom is done entirely in jacobean fabric, and I mean ENTIRELY – bedding, valences, drapes, throw pillows. So it’s always going to seem old ladyish to me, although I see your point 🙂

  3. Damn, I wrote about the bathroom update in my planner in PEN!! BTW, I actually do have a paper planner. This fabric is great in small doses. It totally reminds me of my childhood when our entire house was wallpapered in a very similar pattern in blue and pink…shudder!
    You made me lol at your comment on my post:) I will work very hard at a solution to your mortgage, my mortgage and maybe even throw a car repayment into the mix.

  4. My settee heard you talking. It said to tell you Jacobean is the new black.

  5. Wow I guess my grandparents were never in style, I didn’t really see these type of fabrics until just recently when they became more popular. But I agree that they should always be combined with more modern fabrics… but I love them!! Especially that chair in the Wilmington fabric, wow!

    Husband did resist the Wilmington fabric at first when I took a sample home to show it to him. But when he saw the whole length of fabric, he liked it more, and now it’s up as curtains, he loves it. I guess it grows on you? Speaking of husband, he has a planner and uses it everyday and loves it. 🙂

  6. I love the chair! And yes, I still use a paper calender thingy. It lays open on my desk so I can see it at a moments notice. It’s a habit I can’t break. Besides, I tend to remember better when I actually put pen to paper. But, I also still have an old-school cell phone. Maybe when and if I graduate to a smart phone that will change!

  7. small doses = yes. wallpaper and bed spread = NO!!!

  8. Anything at $100/yard is a no-go for me, no matter how pretty it may be. Except maybe expensive chocolates. Wait, not even those.

    I like the patterns, but I think I’d only like them in small doses, like on a pillow. Or a napkin. Not that you’d make napkins out of $100 fabric. (Or maybe you would if you are one of those pompous arses you spoke of? Beats me.) That chair looks totally snazzy to me right now, and I would probably like it for a few months, but then I know I would get tired of its snazziness and wish it was more subtle…more subtle, unlike that tattoo of the juju hat I got on my face after your post last week. NOW you tell me that it was an extreme move…

    P.S. I’m totally guilty of making claims on my blog about “things that will be done soon” and then not doing them anywhere close to “soon.” You are not alone, my friend. 🙂

  9. If it’s in the right colors — in small doses — I could like it. The pillow is a great example. A whole bedspread or room? Too much for me. I think a bold pattern like that should just be used as an accent. But I would definitely find a cheaper version…

  10. That pillow and chair are amazing!! But definitely would NOT spend $100 on a yard…I’m more of the $2.99 per yard that’s 50% off kinda girl. 🙂

  11. I am totally writhing in agonising love and affection for it 🙂 I can’t say exactly what it is about it that makes me love it because I usually don’t go for anything floral or chintzy EVER. I just love the vibrant colours and intricate designs – I agree with Carrie though, small doses and in the right setting works best for me.

  12. Yes, yes, and YES! I’m planning on using a dose of Hot House Flowers when decorating our family room. I know it is a splurge, but sometimes you just have to give in and not buy groceries that week 🙂

  13. Ah, thanks for giving me the name for this trend! Until now I’ve only known Jacobean as the name of my wood floor’s stain color. And I totally support the pillow approach. I’ve been looking for just the right fabric to serve as inspiration for my bedroom. Thanks for gathering these contenders.

  14. I love the pillow and the chair – my tastes have changed so much in the past few years and now I am loving this style!

  15. I have some of that Wilmington fabric and I LOVE it! I was in a fabric store a little over a year ago and saw a chair covered in it and decided I really needed some.

    Fortunately, they had a large piece of scrap fabric and made some valances out of it. Now that I’ve moved and the valances don’t fit anymore, so they now sit folded in my linen closet, and every now and then I open the door just to look at them and smile. 🙂

  16. I know I’m way late to the game, but I was reading/showing this post to my husband. He immediately turned to our 20-year-old apartment walls and exclaimed, “That looks just like our wallpaper!” Which we both despise. It could be worse, though. The wallpaper is basically a Jacobean style with coral flowers against a dark navy background. I think the fabric is pretty, but in very small doses.

    • When a fabric is dominate and large in scale and pricey well….I’ve used these florals before and probably would use them again in a pillow or in a bedroom. Never again would I use them to upholster a chair as the chairs became the dominate force in the room. Artwork, rugs and accessories had to take a back seat to the pair of chairs that was upholstered in a Jacobean floral. Learned my lesson….would invest in artwork* & accessories* & use trendy fabrics that update the room in small doses : )


  1. […] My inspiration is this fabric – the one that we all loved or hated from this post: […]

  2. […] Check out the other “What’s Your Take” posts and weigh in on juju hats, jacobean fabrics, brass/bronze and faux […]

  3. […] Check out the other “What’s Your Take” posts and weigh in on jacobean fabrics, kilim rugs, brass/bronze and faux […]

  4. […] duties, but they actually live in the breakfast nook.) Then I added new pillows in the Jacobean fabric, and pulled out the reds, greens and blues in other throw pillows. (Then I just kept adding throw […]

  5. […] a controversial decorating topic! Check out past posts on faux flowers, brass/bronze, kilim rugs, Jacobean floral fabrics, and Juju […]

Speak Your Mind


Back to top          Privacy Policy          Copyright © 2013 View Along the Way. All rights reserved.          Contact Me