Fabric is a wonderful little secret in the decorating and design world.
It’s both inspirational and a great place to start when designing any room. Beautiful lush velvets, richly woven silks, and the bold texture of linens will not only inspire but, when combined with the abundance of wonderful patterns and amazing colours we have been seeing this past year, will create a tailor-made living space.
Fabrics have the extraordinary capability of adding personality to your space and transforming it with colour, texture and patterns. They add warmth and softness to your designs, they can highlight architectural features and create interest. A bold statement can be made with the introduction of powerful patterns and rich colours, or a subtle relaxed aesthetic can be created in that same space with soft calming neutrals which are more about texture than pattern. When working with clients I try to educate them in all aspects associated with the fabrics we are suggesting for their home, such as durability, care, pattern intricacy, the hang of a fabric and, of course, colour.
The durability of a particular fabric is determined by the “double-rub count.” Fabrics are tested for the number of times a machine can pass back and forth over the fabric before it wears down. I tend to stay away from the lower rub counts for residential use and will not to do any upholstery in a fabric less than 12,000 double-rubs to be safe. I would suggest using these fabrics on a low-usage piece of furniture such as an occasional chair.
There are many fabrics available today that are high performing with stain and moisture resistant features. These are beyond “forgiving” and are fantastic for high-traffic homes, especially those with kids and pets. One of my go-to fabric suppliers that never disappoints is Alendel Fabrics. They are always introducing new decadent fabric designs saturated with colour and inspiring yet classic patterns that can blend beautifully into any space.
As important as durability is in your fabric selection, equally important is pattern intricacy and colour. As a designer I love playing with colours and patterns. However, when attempting to blend several different patterns attention must be paid to the scale of the patterns you are selecting. Generally, you can start by blending together a minimum of three fabric patterns. Combine large, medium and small scaled patterns together, varying between floral, stripes, geometrics and solids, and remember to balance your textures as well.
With so many options available be bold in what you choose. Furniture and custom drapery for your home can be a sizeable purchase, so when scanning over the endless fabric possibilities be sure to select wisely. I like to recommend patterns that are timeless to enhance the longevity of your investment in that they are easily able to be punched up with trending colours or other patterns for a bit of fun.
Since autumn is here, it’s a great time to refresh your decor by introducing more colour and texture. Use fabric, with all its great attributes, to add new life to your home. Toss cushions, or maybe layering your light airy sheers with some gorgeous fabric side panels in a robustly textured velvet or linen, will add some warmth to your room. Take advantage of the new season and let your “inner designer” shine through. Whether you love stripes, florals, or toiles there are hundreds of possibilities to make your home come alive.
LINDA MAZUR is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group. With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.