Calico designs sleek changes

All images courtesy Calico.


For 67 years, Calico Corners has been helping homeowners and interior design fans in WAG country express themselves with brilliantly colored and richly textured and patterned fabrics, window treatments, pillows, cushions and furnishings.

Now the company that has helped so many bring out their inner decorator is getting a makeover of its own.

“Our motto is ‘We’re redecorating,’” says Alyssa DeVore, director of marketing for the Pennsylvania-based company. “Right now we’re in a refreshing process. …We’ve refreshed our name. It’s just Calico. And we have new signage. …It’s an exciting time for us.”

As part of the sleek overhaul, Calico is relocating eight of its 83 stores, which are found in 28 states. Those in Westchester and Fairfield counties — Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, Westport and Wilton — remain in place.

But that’s just for starters. There are new collections and new fabrics among the more than 10,000 fabrics in-stock and roughly 5,000 available online. (Calico sells more than 1.9 million yards of fabric in a year.) The new collections include the Jeffrey Alan Marks for Kravet Collections — which capture his passion for a Floridian palette — and The Pure Luxe Collection of pastels, grays and neutrals.

“This is very fine linen, very fine embroidery,” DeVore says of Pure Luxe.

Also new is the collection of piquant florals and bold geometrics by Vern Yip (of TLC’s “Trading Spaces” and HGTV’s “Deserving Design”) that reflects the Hong Kong-born designer’s love of Chinoiserie, accessibility and heartfelt eclecticism. Yip joins a stable of stars that includes Robert Allen, Nate Berkus and Thom Filicia, along with Ralph Lauren, whose diverse offerings — everything from vibrant paisleys to warm equestrian scenes — are being refreshed with 30 new fabrics.

Elsewhere Sunbrella is coming in from, well, not the cold certainly but at least the porch. The brand that is most often associated with outdoor fabrics now offers indoor ones as well.

Along with new fabrics, there are new furniture frames on which to display them among the more than 100 styles for sofas, chairs, benches, headboards and ottomans. This year, Calico will create almost 10,000 pieces of custom upholstered furniture.

And more than 100,000 window treatments, which are the company’s signature, everything from hard window treatments (shades, blinds, wood-slat blinds, shutters) to draperies, curtains and valances of the most shimmering, arresting materials.

A lot has changed since Calico Corners began in 1948 in a cozy white clapboard house with French windows in Bedford Hills. Back then the store sold seconds of designer fabrics at a time when you had to go to an interior decorator for the good stuff. What hasn’t changed is the Calico commitment — through its in-store consultants, who also make free house calls — to freeing you from the fear of fabric. As extolled by Vern Yip and even fashion experts like Neiman Marcus’ Ken Downing (see Page 60), you needn’t be matchy-matchy. Rather you can play with color, texture and fabric, pairing rough and delicate materials, stripes with florals, figures with abstractions, masculine energies with feminine ones. By grouping its fabrics — which you can always sample — in a certain way, Calico makes this easier for you.

Whether you’re an unsure novice or a seasoned tastemaker, it doesn’t matter, DeVore says.

“Everyone can come into Calico and find anything that fits your lifestyle.”

March is a great time to drop into a Calico store near you as it’s sales season. For more, call 800-213-6366 or visit

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