Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fabric Frenzy

A few days ago I received 4 boxes of Wesco Fabrics filled with 58 fabric books. Opening each one and removing the collections books reminded me of my own childhood of opening presents at Christmas time, but much better. The thought of endless fabric combinations for my clients is thrilling. I love the range of textures, weaves, color variations, and patterns. All of this can be confusing and overwhelming, let me help.

While working on a design concept for a specific room, it is important to pick fabrics that match the room. Begin with the style of the room?

Traditional - Eclectic European taste of damask, tapestries, silk, brocades and linen.
Country - French flair of pictorial toile, gingham's, small prints and twill or the English charm of chintz, plaid, tweeds and large floral.
Contemporary - Modern sophistication of bold colors with high contrast, abstract floral and geometric prints.
Coastal - Tropical paradise of raw linen, subtle cotton prints and simple stripes.

Fabric textures and patterns represent different styles, many are the same or “transitional”. Itʼs been said, that we never order banana splits with just one topping, nor would we throw a dinner party only to invite one guest. When working on designs, just one fabric wont do, we have to mix it up. Last time we talked about how color can add energy to any room, fabrics accomplish the same thing. Mixing textures gives more dimension to your design concept. The more textures, patterns and colors mixed together, more fabrics can be incorporated.

When I am choosing fabrics for a client I always look for at least a minimum of three patterns and two solid fabrics. I consider a textured weave with multiple colors a solid, this gives additional depth to the combination. Many textures and patterns can present a casual look to a space. In this case it is easy to blend lustrous silks with cotton/linen blends. I enjoy mixing floral or paisleys with stripes or plaids. Then mixing in solids and small prints to pull the fabric combination together.

Combining the same pattern in different fabrics and colors can be out of the ordinary. For example: the print on the throw pillows is a repeat of the same print on the love seat. A damask fabric covers the love seat and the pillows repeat that pattern in a linen cotton blend with
coordinating tones and a pop of color too.

While contemplating what fabrics to choose for your room, think about it as decorating a Christmas tree. You never want to put one style of bulb in the same color on the tree, you want to provide texture with garland, unique ornaments and a tree topper. This fabric frenzy can be fun while creating a custom designer look of your own.

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