By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News
Hermes is known for its sporty scarf designs, with designs of horses, carriages, harnesses and links of chain, but also florals and so many other motifs. As anyone who follows high-end auctions may know, vintage scarves by the French fashion house are highly collectable. They can be found in the catalogs of auction houses such as Sotheby's and Christie's and sell at prices that were hard to imagine a few years back.
And while they will always be classic fashion accessories, scarves can also find a place in home décor. You might see, for instance, an Hermes scarf framed and hung over a family room sofa. I recall that for one of my design projects, I dressed the walls of a staircase with a series of scarves, all framed alike.
I sometimes discover vintage Hermes scarves in consignment shops in Palm Beach and vicinity. One such boutique is the Fashion Exchange of Lake Worth, which is operated by a woman of style, Judy King. Judy has on occasion featured scarves of note in her shop window, and I am often their buyer.
Scarves can make a fashion statement on sofa pillows, as well. At Patricia's Gallery on South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, I discovered some vintage Hermes scarves with polo designs that were destined for use on pillow upholstery. Visualize a Palm Beach or Wellington library, with those pillows sitting on a dark green upholstered sofa in a room with bright red carpeting.
One of my clients in San Antonio even used an Hermes scarf with a floral pattern to upholster her bedroom's dressing table stool.
You can even take two scarves of the same pattern, line them with white cotton fabric and hang them as café-style curtains on a brass rod from brass rings. They would look right at home in a library or family room. I'm quite partial to Hermes flower designs for this use.
Now, I don't want to say other fashion designers are not part of fashion-forward home décor. You could certainly use Gucci, Valentino or St. Laurent scarves as well. Simply find a pattern or design that works for your individual home decorating style.
You might also consider using a scarf to cover a lampshade. A good lamp shop can easily execute that for you.
In fact, if you are planning a color scheme for your home- or even one room in your home- why not take the inspiration from a favorite scarf? Sometimes color scheme inspirations can come from a china pattern or a painting, So why not a scarf?
Say the scarf pattern combines soft blue, butter yellow and café au lait, with dashes of pink and white. Here's my idea for a room setting that would do the scarf proud. Paint the walls in café au lait with white trim. Upholster your sofa in a butter yellow woven fabric, and for your club chairs, choose a fabric with stripes of soft blue, yellow and white. Pillows can be a combination of yellows, pinks and white. And for sure, use your inspiration scarf as the covering on a big throw pillow placed the middle of your sofa cushions.
Scarves can make a fashion statement in so many ways. It's easy to find one or two that would work in your own home.