Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Meet Crypton fabric, this boho kitty mama’s home decorating BFF

But first meet Maisie the Cat—MY cat—who’s the most boho member of our household, given that she does precisely as she pleases and gets away with it!

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BoHo Home

I would do just about anything for that face, wouldn’t you? It’s a sweet face, but it hides a mischievous and destructive mindset. I said I’d DO anything for her, but the truth is I’d put up with just about anything for her as well.

Take these chairs, for instance. The one she’s marking in this photo is a set of four upholstered dining chairs we bought a few years back from Pier 1. How I longed to trade in our plain wood slat chairs for something padded and sumptuous.


But my joy was short-lived.


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BoHo Home

Maisie, you see, LOVES these chairs. With a vengeance

At first I tried to snip off the snags and redirect her behavior. She has two large, more-than-adequate scratching centers, which she does use. But alas, they are not enough, and her youth and vigor won out over my age and lack-of-vigor, until, over time, I gave up and in.


But by the time I let her have at them, I also had a plan.


Not an inexpensive plan, mind you, but a workable one nonetheless, because I discovered Crypton upholstery fabric.


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BoHo Home

These are the “after” shots of three chairs I had reupholstered in the fall of 2013, a little over a year after Miss Maisie came to live with us. I wasn’t blogging then, so I didn’t take “before” photos, but Maisie had completely shredded the back of the wing chair. The office chair upholstery was just old and stained and needed replacing. And though Maisie hadn’t done much damage to the Martha Washington chair at right, I wanted to update it with a more modern print.

So off to the upholsterer’s we went, where we learned about Crypton from Ted the upholsterer. He said it was pretty much indestructible, impermeable stuff. (A lot like crusty ol' Ted, come to think of it!) Crypton is often specified in commercial applications, he explained, because of its exceptional stain and microbial resistance. 

He didn’t guarantee it would stand up to kitty claws, but the good news is, it did! And how! The weave is so tight on Crypton fabrics that kitty claws have no better luck permeating its surface than spills. After a few weeks of watching Maisie try to mark these redone chairs, I knew every upholstered piece in the house must eventually be covered in Crypton.


So that's why I gave up the fight to preserve the dining chairs.


And so Maisie did what every good cat knows to do: She scratched the hell out of them! 

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BoHo Home

And wild cat that she is, she loved every minute of destroying them. I mean, REALLY loved it, as you can see here. 

Our vet told me once that the best scratching “post” out there would be an old sofa arm simply laid in the center of the living room, that cats have a natural urge to destroy something with their claws in the vicinity of their owners. It relieves their anxieties, particularly when they're cooped up inside. Call it mental health for kitties. (Sort of like your kids acting out? I wonder...)


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BoHo Home

And Maisie is no different, particularly when it comes to these chairs. They have been, after all, where the two people she loves most sit to eat.

She, in fact, loved destroying them so much that by the time we saved enough to finally pack them off to the upholsterer’s and I thought to take “before” photos (since now I AM blogging, obviously), she didn't want me and my camera paying attention to them without her focusing HER attention on them, too. 

Yes, she put on quite a show of scratching, climbing, dancing, and head-butting before I got those photos taken.


Thank you, Maisie. You are a credit to your species.


We took the chairs into the upholsterer's two at a time so we’d still have something to sit on to eat. And I gotta tell you, Miss Maisie was a tad confused and crazy when the last two left for the upholsterer’s and in their place were two chairs completely restored in Crypton-treated fabric.


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BoHo Home

When we once again had a set of four, her confusion doubled.


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BoHo Home

Though I didn’t take any photos of her trying to mark the new chairs (didn’t want to embarrass her, I s’pose, what with all that effort and no results), I did take these.


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BoHo Home

Thankfully, Maisie paid me no mind the whole while I set up the table for the shoot and snapped these shots.


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BoHo Home

Regardless, I knew there’d be no more snags and pulls to these chairs, no more cloth worn threadbare by the vigorous scratching behaviors of an indulged kitty cat. (Notice I did NOT say OVERLY-indulged!)


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BoHo Home

Which brings me to why we didn’t simply declaw Maisie.


And that’s a good question. All my previous cats were declawed. But a lot has been published about how declawing deforms a cat’s foot and forces them to walk incorrectly, causing other problems down the line. You can find out more about that HERE.


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BoHo Home

Some countries have outlawed declawing, and some vets no longer do it. To make a long story short, Chris and I decided we’d no longer have our cats declawed, that it was inhumane.


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BoHo Home

Maybe you’d never stand for such destruction. If you've been a cat parent, you know you can’t make cats do or not do much of anything, least of all something like scratching that’s part of their healthy, instinctual behavior. You can only provide alternatives and hope for the best. 


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BoHo Home

The only other alternative I can think of is not to have a cat. And that may be all right for YOU, but I couldn’t live without a kitty in the house. And this one, in particular, has stolen our hearts. 


Now we don’t have to live without her or any future kitties in our life.


Because Crypton saved us!

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Mayer Fabrics

The fabric we chose for our chairs was Mayer Fabrics' Frolic in Fiesta, one of five colorways.


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Mayer Fabrics

Our wing chair wears Mayer Jitterbug in Pansy, one of nine colors available. The office chair is clad in Frequency Hollyhock, one of six colors available. And the Martha Washington chair sports Escapade in Aegean, one of seven colorways.


BTW, Maisie IS redirecting her scratching behavior.


She’s discovered the sofa, unfortunately. Which makes me thankful Crypton comes in a startling array of prints, solids, tweeds, chenilles, and velvets.


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BoHo Home

For now, our sofa has beat it to the boho byway, draped in kantha quilts across the arms and bottom front where Maisie is most prone to attack.

Yes, I know. It looks a little hippie-dippie for two sexagenarians. But for some reason Maisie doesn’t scratch where the quilts are.

And that will have to be enough until our budget allows for a sofa redo. Crypton doesn’t come cheap. Prices run from around $35 a yard to $200 (includes upholsterer's markup). The dining chairs were on the low end of that scale, while the other fabrics were in the $80-$125 range.


I’ve already picked out the sofa fabric:


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Mayer Fabrics

Nostalgia in Fog runs about $85 a yard and looks pretty much like what’s on the sofa now, minus the snags and pulls I’ve managed (so far) to trim away with napping scissors without creating holes.


So we’ll be living with the kantha covers for a while.


Because reupholstery costs about the same as a new sofa—a new sofa without Crypton, which hardly seems worth the investment. And, well, I don’t know…I kind of like those extra pops of color the kanthas bring. It reminds me of my misspent youth in the 1970s, you know?


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BoHo Home

And that face. I definitely love that face. Who wouldn't?


Want more?


  • Follow the link to learn more about Crypton treated fabrics, which appear in many designer and other brand collections sold to the trade for both commercial and residential use. 
  • The items used to make a centerpiece on my table are by Cara Jean Clay. Read more about her HERE and get some of her porcelain beauty for yourself HERE
  • Table linens and decorative plates and mugs are all from Cost Plus World Market.
  • Follow my blog with Bloglovin or one of the to-your-inbox subscription services listed below this post. Because you don't want to miss a bit of BoHo Home inspiration and fun!

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