Lessons from Wisteria

By Kate Riley August 16, 2010

Most catalogs pile up around my house, and quickly make their way to the recycling bin, but I was glancing at the latest Wisteria catalog over the weekend, and was completely inspired by several of their pieces.  What I love about the style on the pages of Wisteria is the mix of old and new, whimsy with tradition, and rustic with modern chic. 

This reproduction trumeau was the first to catch my eye.   


trumeau duo  

I spied several expensive reproduction trumeaus on our recent trip to Jan de Luz in Carmel, and am determined someday to have a reasonably priced one in our foyer.  I’m so crazy about trumeaus, I may follow Susie’s brilliant DIY tutorial to reproduce one of my own. 

I am also loving this look  ~ ottomans upholstered with wool rugs.  Here is Wisteria’s Dhurrie ottoman ~ one you could mimic at home with a basic ottoman like this and a suzani like this

wisteria dhurrie ottoman


Speaking of ‘rugs’ used in upholstery, how stunning is this Bridal Rug Sofa ?  What a striking focal point in any room.  bridal rug settee wisteria

What I really noticed this season was the inspiration from Wisteria’s painted furniture. 

This Dutch chest has just the right layers of patina to give it the look of a family heirloom.  For us DIYers, this distressed look is achieved with a base layer of brown topped with a second layer of paint or glaze in gray applied with a dry brush technique.  Gorgeous !

wisteria chest



This little French Country Chest gets its pretty look from the two complementary paint colors, and simple trim around the drawer fronts.  You could mimic this and upgrade a simple chest with molding cut with a miter box or saw and attached with wood glue.    

french chest of drawers wisteria


It’s all in the details . . here’s another example of simple molding attached to the edges of the drawers, under the top, and along the sides adding even more dimension and interest to this piece.     

wisteria chest duo


Bring on the distressed white paint with gray painted drawer trim.  I heart this chest !

wisteria french painted chest

I don’t think I could love this cheerful seafoam Stacked Sideboard any more. 

wisteria console 2


It’s for sale at Wisteria for $399, and looks shockingly similar to the Somerset Bay Santa Rosa server below, sold for $2,200. 

  sommerset bay santa rosa server


This upholstered grain sack look is très chic ~  it works so perfectly on this six leg bench

six leg bench wisteria

Want to see a great grain sack bench tutorial?  Check out Miss Mustard Seed’s DIY upholstered bench, love it !

What’s inspiring you in catalogs or design these days? 





  1. many catalogs don’t even make it past the recycling bin in the garage, on the way into the house from the mail box! But not Wisteria, they are torturing me these days with all their fabulousness…Janell

  2. I found this place online one day, when searching for a bench and fell in love with everything… I just wish I had the room and money for new furniture. I just have to make do with changing the accessories around this tiny place! Lx

  3. There are only a handful of catalogs that survive the burn pile….Anthro, Restoration, Pottery and of course Wisteria. I get into “want” mode everytime their catalog comes out.
    That stacked sideboard has been in my Wisteria wish list, along with 14 other items! I got the 7-day chalkboard last month, so my fix is good for awhile (or so my hubby thinks!)
    Thanks for the Wisteria fix!! :)

  4. Wow! Today really is my day. :) Thanks so much for the mention. We have the same taste in furniture and I love all of the pieces you featured. If I had millions, would I rather just order from a store or would I still want to paint something myself. Mmmm…not sure.

  5. I love it all with one exception…can’t do that sofa! It would make me dizzy to look at it! Sorry.

  6. I clicked over to your site from Yellow Brick Home and this post caught my eye. I just moved into a new apartment in December ’09 and am decorating each room with a different African style.

    In my front room I bought a beautiful dark stained wicker and mahoghany wood trimmed chair. The cushions they offered were not at all to my taste so I went to a fabric store and found this *fabulous* upholstory fabric printed with the design of a Turkish rug. I intend to make a cushion for the chair from this and cover an ottoman with the same fabric. You don’t need a treasured rug just a sharp eye!

    Hope everyone tries this at some time or other. I’m also using mudcloth and kuba cloth for pillows and such.

  7. I picked out some of those same items from the Wisteria catalog the other day. I just finished painting an old chest in robins egg blue and then did a little distressing on it. And how easy would that stacked sideboard be? It appears to me that some of the catalogs have actually been reading blogs and are adding furniture that looks like the things DIYers such as yourself have been doing.

  8. I love every single picture you shared! I would love to try the brown/gray paint treatment on a piece of furniture in the future. I love that look right now. Thanks for all the inspirational pictures. :)

  9. Can you believe I had not heard of Wisteria? Going to check it out – I like the pieces they have. Some inspiration for upcoming projects!

    I love looking through Pierre Deux Catalogs.

  10. I am in LOVE love love with everything you showed! I can’t get over the price difference on that stacked server!

  11. Thanks for the DIY inspiration on adding simple molding for a pop on those drawers! I may indeed try it with an old dresser that I’d like to beautify. And I’m definitely going to try the side molding to spice up some IKEA bookcases. I’m adding the pictures to my inspiration file right away!!

  12. Oh goodness, that ottoman has really got me thinkin’. I have an ottoman with a detachable cushion on the top (which is perfectly fine) which I can so upholster and have the look change easily every few years, can’t I? …..oh dear, I don’t know how to stop following your website!

  13. Don’t give up looking for that mirror; I scored a beautiful Trumeau mirror on Craigslist last year. A young couple was moving so the wife decided to sell the mirror rather than risk breaking it in the move. She told me she bought it several years ago in a thrift store in Chicago. I have a picture of it on my blog. And get this….I only had to pay her $25 for it!! I couldn’t believe it. I plan to paint it a beautiful color one day.

  14. haha! I was just going to do a post about the Wisteria catalog and ALLLLL of their inspirations for me this time around. I just adore all things Wisteria.

    I have that seafoam sideboard and use it as our TV stand in our living room … it is fabulous. Great quality – and it *might* kill me a little that it is now on sale……But I’ve been enjoying it for ages, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

    Love your blog ~ Tracy.

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