Earlier this year I had the fun of submitting an entry in Crate and Barrel’s first Designer Challenge. The requirement was to design a chair to be manufactured and sold in stores across Canada. I am excited to announce that my entry was a winner I am please to introduce you to the ‘Judith Chair’. Limited editions have been manufactured and It can be ordered through Crate and Barrel’s website.

The Judith Chair

Here’s my inspiration statement that went along with my submission: “I designed this chair to be both timeless and on trend. It reflects my love of all things classic but with a bright touch of whimsy in the yellow piping and citrus pillow. At the same time, it speaks to the global trend with a subtle animal print in warm grey – one of my favorite neutrals.” I thought the warm weathered maple and cool graphite upholstery frames the fresh pattern and sunny yellow colours in this room-friendly design.


artist rendering of decorative chair, yellow pillow, alabaster arms, gray cushion

I always fall for an animal print. It gets a bit of edge from the lemongrass braid welt, with back up from a textural throw pillow in soft bamboo.


fabric swatches, fernando alabaster, tybee lemongrass, perth graphite

Despite it’s small size, I felt the braid sets off the warm tones in the animal print. These and other details give this piece its style.

Although it may be hard to see, the tight back is self-welted, and the exterior panels are outlined with small pewter nail-heads. I love how they outline the form.

A handsome profile if I do say so myself.

The best part? It is really really comfortable!  I can’t wait to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea to settle into mine. Earl grey I think.  Maybe some of mom’s flaky tea biscuits with homemade strawberry jam.

I just received an email from Crate and Barrel head office in Chicago. All the inventory of the ‘Judith Chair’ sold out – in just two short weeks – woohoo! The remaining floor models flew out the door right after them. The one-time ‘limited edition’ production had a very short life.

decorative armchair, gray with animal print cushion, yellow pillow. Seated inside room with wood grain shelving

All is not lost however, I am already dreaming of a new piece I am designing for a ‘downtown client’. I’m thinking wool cashmere and menswear – a look I love when it wins out over the girly and swirly things I am so often drawn to. I love being lead out of my happy place to live vicariously through my client’s taste.

Over to the menswear aisle I go.

Why do you think so many people are afraid of committing to an animal print?  Let me know, I’m curious.