We Are a Part of the Patchwork Nation

Patchhhhhhhhwwwwworrrrrrk! Say it for the people! Say it for the children! Do you think Obama's entire inaugural address could be set to the tune of Rhythm Nation? It's undoubtedly best not to find out, but what a speech! It was especially nice to have a president acknowledge what every American already knows: hey, we're all different, and that's a good thing. So put away the one size fits all rhetoric of the past, and enjoy the pretty fruits of our collective, cobbled together heritage, design style.

tom mannion

Photo via Innumerable Goods

Patchwork quilts and pillows have long held the symbolic weight of history -- a scrap of grandpa's shirt here, a square of baby's first blanket there, and in time a singular piece of fabric weaves together the stories of generations. Perhaps the zeitgeist of changing history is sweeping through the land, because patchwork is EVERYWHERE, but this ain't your grandma's country quilt.

patchwork egg chairs tal r

Nosireeebob, patchwork can be modern, even mod. Arne Jacobsen's seminal Egg Chair, reconfigured by artist Tal R, is bright, bold, and one of kind -- awww, just like us. Look! There's even a stars and stripes model. And that actually makes me... proud.

patchwork couch

Patchwork goes haute in this gorgeous living room featured on Desire to Inspire. I will take the entire room, please, but the space would be bland city without the sofa, which looks like it was produced by Squint Limited, makers and purveyors of all things bright and patchy:

squint patchwork couch

squint kissing bench

squint patchwork bed

Can you even imagine all the labor that must have gone into the tufting on that headboard?! And I enjoy peeking into their studio in the background... I would love to rifle through their stacks and stacks of fabric scraps. But for me, the real prize is that kissing bench. Momma like.

patchwork headboard

This headboard featured in Living Etc is a little more DIY friendly, but still patchylicious. I love the tiny red buttons hidden in the tufts, like secret surprises only sleepers can see.

batchwork bokja

For some global flava, these patchwork couches made of treasured Turkish tapestries by Bojka are singularly spicy and delicious. Found on super blog, Double Takes.

bertjan pot patchwork

Ok, this patchwork beanbag couch by Bertjan Pot is kind of like something my grandma used to have, but it's so much more squishy and inviting than grandma's hard, lumpy, bumpy seating. I envision a sleepover party with pillow fights and popcorn, but don't eff up my rad duct tape rug, you messy beasts.

boca do lobo patchwork

We can't let fabric have all the fun. Welcome to the patchwork party, crazy case goods by Boca do Lobo (designers with a cute wolf logo). This inspires me to paint all the drawers in my buffet table different colors, although I think I might fail to capture the full range of awesomeness without some mad carpentry skillz.

patchwork boca do lobo

Speaking of mad carpentry skillz:

patchwork amy hunting

I'm sure fitting all those tiny pieces of wood waste and off-cuts together into something -- anything -- was challenging. Making an actual load bearing chair out of scrap is pretty damn impressive. Good job, Amy Hunting!

Meanwhile, I have a minor obsession with vintage patchwork goodies, but not quilts...

paul evans sofa

paul evans cityscape

I'm a woozy floozy for pretty much anything in Paul Evan's Cityscape series. Super shiny patchwork metal casing + ultra square lines = unmitigated lust on my part. Meow. Both pieces available at 1st Dibs if you got the money, honey.

cibone patchwork tea service

Yes, the times they are a changing. So why don't we all sit down over some tea to talk about it? This Tea For Two set by Vika Mitrichenka is sure to get the conversation flowing. How about, you say "Toe May Toe" and I say "If you break my fancy tea set, this happy fun time tea party is over, pronto." Oh, alright. I say "Toe Mah Toe." Because, thanks to Obama I'm feeling warm and fuzzy like that.

Final Countdown!

Dear Readers, there's a light at the end of the tunnel (clap your hands and sing along). Instead of cooling his heels in Chicago, Barack Obama just arrived in Washington weeks ahead of the inauguration so that cutie pies Sasha and Malia could start school at Sidwell Friends. Before inauguration the President Elect normally moves into Blair House, the President's guest house, but the Bushes told the Obamas that Blair House is just plum full up and there's no room at the inn for them. Golly jeez, what's a concerned parent preparing to birth a presidency to do? Why, move into the historic Hay-Adams Manger Hotel within striking distance of the White House, that's what.

hay adams hotel

Is it just me, or is the White House looking rather, er, excited at the prospect of a change in executive power? While waiting to take the reins, Obama can lunch at the lookout and make sure no one tries any funny business. You gotta keep your eye on those beezies -- there's still time to steal this election, too.

So, besides spying, what's this Hay-Adams Hotel all about, anyway? Is it good enough for our future President?

hay adams hotel

Well, if Obama has time to eat in between all that exercising and smoking, the Hay-Adams has got him covered. This dining area seems suspiciously reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy's redesigned Diplomatic Room in The White House. Or maybe Washington is just crazy for murals... all the better to hide those peeping eye holes.

hay adams hotel

Then there's the Off the Record bar at the hotel. I must say that I love the hot red tufted banquettes and swank plaster ceiling, but this place certainly looks like a down and dirty lobbyists' lair. All it lacks is a stripper pole. Maybe Obama better stay out of here.

hay adams hotel

Not sure what this restaurant is called, but it looks like a dark wood paneled nightmare out of The Shining. Verdict: too dark, not enough security, possibility of Redrum. Avoid.

hay adams hotel

Next stop: retire to the suite to draft an emergency economic stimulus package. Dear President Elect Obama, please make out the check to Erin Williamson -- I'm sure you already know my address and social security number. Please do not send those curtains, the truly bilious pea green office chairs, or that bizarre table setting, in lieu of cash.

hay adams hotel

Sweet dreams, Prezzy. Avoid entangling yourself in the copious amounts of fabric tied at the sides of the bed. Actually, it might be safest if you removed all the covers and pillows, to diminish the possibility of accidental asphyxiation. And that fireplace does not look safe to operate, at all. Dude, you have to make it until the 20th. Have to.

Would he be any better off in the Blair House, where Bush's frenemies are currently in residence?

blair house

Yes, the Blair House is miniature, obviously used as a stage for puppet theater presidencies, and it seems to be covered in a square pox. Just kidding -- I did manage to wrangle up a few life sized pictures.

Apparently the Blair House used to suffer from a bad case of structural instability -- something about a chandelier almost falling on a guest. Ooops. Inquiring minds will be verrrry interested to learn that the Prince of Chintz Mario Buatta (and Mark Hampton) did the renovations in the 80's. You may remember Buatta from hits such as:

mario buatta

(not the Blair House)

blair house

Ok, this is the Blair House, and it looks like Hampton put the whammy on Buatta and got him to cool it on the chintz. This rooms looks perfectly... federal, yet chill enough for the Obamas to hang out and fist bump their way to the White House. Yizzow!

blair house

Seems like everyone pitched in on renovations. During the Kennedy administration, some of the rooms were updated, including this dining room which was outfitted with new chairs. The wives of the cabinet secretaries did the needlepoint for the chair covers, and even Lady Bird Johnson pitched in. My, how times have changed... could you imagine Hilary Clinton sitting around and embroidering? Oh wait -- she will be a cabinet secretary herself! Maybe Bill could handle the petit point?

blair house

Now we know that Kelly Wearstler has been taking style cues from 80's Mario Buatta. Fascinating.

blair house

Note to Obama: don't walk under the chandeliers! You heard about what almost happened to that poor bloke a few years back...

blair house

This is not my personal taste, but my gag reflex isn't kicking up any sand over it. I think that's about the best you can hope for in stodgy Washington.

blair house

Gratuitous ship picture, because I like ships. Who doesn't?

blair house

Finally, the real reason the Obamas can't stay at the Blair House: Mother, Daddy and Jeb-Jeb are most likely holed up together, plotting the rise of the Bush Dynasty once again, like a phoenix from the ashes -- lots, and lots, and LOTS of ashes. Did you hear that Daddy Bush wants Jebby to run for president? Did you? Did you?

Watch your back, President Elect Obama. Stay at the Hay-Adams Hotel, far away from the faint waft of brimstone. You're gonna need a mighty powerful cleaning crew to take care of that for you.