Posts Tagged ‘Interior Fabrics’

Practical Interior Decorating Guide: Understanding the Language of Color

Most of us aren’t interior decorators by trade, which means it can be a challenge to understand the industry lingo–especially when it’s referring to color. Honestly, it’s so easy to walk into a store and pinpoint the colors we love simply by looking at them. Unfortunately, when it comes to decorating the home, this superficial process doesn’t cut it. Why? Because the subject of color goes much deeper that.
What can we do? Well, two things. The first is to continue picking colors on a whim. The second is to learn more about how colors work. Both will bring color to your home, but only one will provide stellar results.
To help, we’ve put together a little guide about color. Hopefully, after reading through it, you will feel more confident the next time you’re faced with paint chips and fabric swatches.
Color-Guide-for-Interior-Decorating

The Color Wheel

col·or (noun): the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light.
You probably remember learning about the color wheel as a school-aged child. If it’s been awhile since you’ve given it much thought, now’s a great time to refresh your memory.
Simply put, the color wheel gives us a visual of which colors blend well together. The average wheel model covers 12 colors, which can be broken down into 3 broad categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.
  • Primary colors include red, blue, and yellow. They are stand-alone colors, meaning they cannot be made from mixing other colors.
  • Secondary colors include orange, purple, and green. These colors are created when mixed with the two primary colors that flank them. For example, red and yellow make orange, blue and yellow make green, and red and blue makes purple.
  • Tertiary colors are the six shades that can be made by mixing primary and secondary colors. They are a blend of a secondary color and the primary color closest to it on the color wheel. They are not half and half blends, but rather a blend containing more of one color than another. Mixing the primary color yellow, with the secondary color orange, will give you the tertiary color yellow-orange. Another example would be red (primary) mixed with orange (secondary), which would make red-orange. Other tertiary colors are blue-green, yellow-green, blue-violet and red-violet.
Tip: To get a colorful interior started, pick your favorite color from the 12 and use it as a guide to narrow down your selections until you settle on the exact shade you want.

The Relationship Between Colors and Neutrals

When it comes to interior decorating, there is so much information regarding color and neutrals. And naturally, everyone has their own opinion about it. Some people thrive on color and have no hesitation whatsoever about bringing it into their home. Others are more reserved, opting for a neutral interior with pops or hints of color scattered throughout. Neither is wrong, just different.
What some people don’t realize, however, is that colors and neutrals have a much more intimate relationship than the obvious contrast we see within a color scheme. Colors and neutrals are such a tight unit, they actually influence each other to create many different versions within a specific color family. Simply put, combining a color with a neutral will make a basic color lighter or darker. This is what we call tint, tone, and shade.
  • Tint is the mixture of a saturated color with white, which increases lightness. All pastels would be considered a tint.
  • Tone is the mixture of a saturated color with gray, making it slightly darker.
  • Shade is the mixture of a saturated color with black, which reduces lightness. All muted colors would be considered shades.
If you don’t have art supplies available to play with color, you can get an idea of tinting and shading by visiting your local home improvement store for samples.
Tip: To make sure the colors you choose work together in the best way possible, make sure they have the same value. Value refers to the relative lightness or darkness of a certain area.

Understanding Color Temperature

You may have heard colors described as being warm or cool. These temperatures describe where the color falls on the color wheel.
Colors described as warm colors are typically more vibrant and seem to liven up or add intimacy to a space. Warms colors include reds, oranges, and yellows. Colors described as cool bring a calm and relaxing feel to a space. These cool colors include blues, purples, and most greens.
When choosing a color temperature, take the size of the room into account. For example, a small room in warm colors could make the room feel cramped, while cool colors could make a spacious room appear stark.

Color Schemes

Color schemes can be broken down in a variety of ways, but we’re only going to focus on a small handful: complementary, split-complementary, analogous, and monochromatic.
Complementary color schemes are the simplest. Complementary colors are colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel (i.e. green and red, purple and yellow, orange and blue). Typically, one color acts as the dominant shade and the other as an accent.
The high contrast of complementary colors creates a vibrant look especially when used at full saturation and is best used in small doses when you want to draw attention to a particular design element. To keep the eye from becoming overwhelmed, embrace neutrals.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to stick with the literal colors on the color wheel in order to get complementary colors. Today, there are updated schemes that can be executed brilliantly with wall color, accents, and fabric on chair cushions and pillows.
Split-Complementary color schemes are a bit safer in that they aren’t as bold as many complementary color schemes. Instead of choosing the color directly opposite of your base color, you would choose the two shades on either side of the opposite (complementary) color. These two shades will bring both balance and a calming effect to the space, allowing you to rely less on neutrals.
Analogous refers to using three colors in a row on the color wheel. In most cases, two colors will be primary, while the third will be a mix of those two and a secondary color. Some examples would be red, orange, and yellow; red, purple, and blue; green, yellow-green and yellow; or red, red-violet and violet. For optimal results, stick with the 60-30-10 rule, which means there will be one dominant color, one supportive color, and one accent color.
Monochromatic color schemes, or palettes, start with a single hue. Any additional colors used are variations of that specific hue (i.e. its tints, tones, and shades). A well-executed monochromatic scheme is anything but boring. In fact, it can be exciting and attention-grabbing.
To explain it a little better, here’s an example: A monochromatic room in blue might start with a single shade of blue paired with white. It might also include pale blue walls, medium blue window treatments, and dark blue upholstery. To tie the scheme together, the rug or accents might be a combination of blue and white. See how it works?
Now that you know more about color, we hope your decorating process becomes easier. If you still have questions, we will be happy to help you sort through our fabulous assortment of designer fabrics at Cutting Corners in Dallas, TX. Feel free to stop in and we will assist you with all of your fabrics questions!

Essential Tips on How to Properly Care for Your Upholstery Fabrics.

The furnishings we choose are an (yes, expensive) investment that turn our house into a comfortable home. If we wish to retain the beauty and value, however, it’s important that the fabrics receive continuous care. In all honesty, regular maintenance on furniture doesn’t require much effort–yet many people forget to go through even the basic motions.

Looking after the upholstered fabrics in your home will not only keep them looking great today but also through the years ahead. To help make your furniture maintenance easier, here are some guidelines on how to enjoy your fine furnishing without a worry for years to come. Who knows, with some regular TLC, your piece might just become heirlooms someday!

Caring-for-upholstery

Preventative Measures

Preventative measures go a long way in helping your furniture last a long time. Some steps you can take to prevent unnecessary wear include:
  • Picking the right fabric from the beginning. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is buying the wrong fabric for the intended use. For example, you won’t necessarily want a white, linen sofa if you have children or pets. Be sure to assess the space and choose fabric accordingly.
  • Having your fabric treated prior to use. Ask the retailer if your upholstery fabric comes pretreated with stain repellent. If they are unable to treat it for you, shop around for someone who can. Some fabrics should not be treated so read labels carefully.
  • Vacuuming. Dust will always be a constant battle, but vacuuming regularly will keep it from settling deep into the fabric. Use the upholstery attachment to vacuum soft furnishings on a weekly basis. This can help remove evidence of daily use, such as dirt and oils. Pay attention to sneaky areas like creases, folds, and tufted areas. If dirt does settle down deep, read labels to ensure safe cleaning. Not all fabrics must be dry-cleaned. Some can be cleaned with mild soap and water.
  • Beating seat cushions by hand. Taking your cushions outside to give them a good whack can really help prevent dust from settling deep into the fibers. While you’re at it, rotate the cushions to ensure even wear.
  • Setting food and drink guidelines. If you can enforce a no food, drink, or pet rule on your furniture, go for it. This is often much more attainable in formal rooms of the home than it is in areas designated for busy family life.

Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance can be done weekly, monthly, or yearly depending on what works best with your schedule or what’s necessary for your furniture. Some routine procedures to focus on may include:
  • Rotating seat cushions frequently. Flipping and rotating sofa and chair cushions will help you achieve consistent wear. For best results, rotate them weekly.
  • Protecting upholstered pieces from the elements. Excessive heat, light, cold and moisture aren’t ideal for upholstered furnishings. Ultraviolet rays can contribute to fading and discoloration of your fabrics and humidity can invite mildew. For more uniform fading, try rearranging your furniture when possible or keep really special pieces away from windows altogether. Avoid placing furniture too close to heating or air conditioning vents. Doing these things, along with keeping the humidity low in the house, will keep your pieces looking fresh.
  • Treating it kindly. Furniture is not indestructible. Avoid standing or jumping on furniture. Keep sharp objects away so the fabric isn’t scratched or torn. Use arm caps to absorb natural body oils. These are just a few things you can do to prolong your furniture’s good condition.
  • Giving it a deep cleaning. Once a year, make sure your soft furnishings get a deep cleaning treatment. Many homeowners have an upholstery cleaning machine of some kind at home. If you don’t, however, there are several professional cleaning services that can do the work for you.
  • Washing what you can. If your cushions have removable covers that are machine washable, add them to your to-do list. Before you do, however, always double check the label to verify care instructions. A good rule of thumb is to turn covers inside out, wash in cold water to prevent fading, and air dry to prevent shrinkage. Additionally, you should consider having the rest of the piece cleaned at the same time to avoid a mismatch in color.
Overall, leather can be treated in the same manner–however, there are some differences. In most cases, leather can be treated with non-acidic soap and water. For best results blot, rather than rub, and then let air-dry. For more stubborn stains, use an absorbent cloth or sponge. Be sure to rub side to side, rather than in a circle.

Making Sense of Labels

Some fabric manufacturers follow a cleaning standard, so to speak, marking labels with specific codes in order to make maintenance easier. Here is the list of codes you may see and what they mean.
  • Code “W” means to use a water-based cleaner. Spot clean with detergent and then vacuum when dry. Avoid over-wetting the area.
  • Code “S” means to use a solvent cleaner. Spot clean with a water-free solvent or dry cleaning agent. Always pretest a small section beforehand to ensure it doesn’t spot or shrink. Use in a well-ventilated room.
  • Code “S/W” means a water-based or solvent cleaner can be used. Follow the guidelines above regarding W and S depending on which form of cleaner you decided to use.
  • Code “X” means vacuum only. These fabrics cannot be cleaned with any cleaning agents. In extreme cases contact a professional furniture cleaning service.
Again, no fabric is 100% damage proof and it’s up to the owner to treat it well. Using the above guidelines can help keep your furniture looking its best.
When you come in to see us at our Cutting Corners location in Dallas, Tx, please ask an associate if you have any additional questions on this!

Five Practical Tips for Parents about Decorating a Fun and Functional Playroom.

Children love to play and it’s important that they have a special place of their own to do so. Many homes (like mine), however, aren’t equipped with an extra room that can be dedicated to play. In cases such as this, the child’s play area often defaults to their bedroom, the basement, or a small corner in the living room. And that’s totally okay! Even the smallest of spaces dedicated to playing can be a wonderful asset to your child(ren). If you do have the extra square footage, however, a designated playroom is a great way to provide a safe place to play while keeping toys out of the main areas of your home. 

Fun-Playroom-Decorating-Ideas

Speaking of toys…

As you design the playroom, it’s important to remember that toys are only a small part of making it fun. The bigger issue actually revolves around the decor. Decor can really make a difference in how well the space works and how much your child enjoys using it. Color, textiles, light, storage, and other basic design elements are all key players in creating a space your child really loves to spend time in.

To get you started, here are some various ideas that will hopefully inspire you to design the perfect space for your little one to have some fun.

Design for the Child, Not for You

As a parent, you are probably full of ideas for a playroom–but what you have in mind might not actually be things your child likes, or wants, for that matter. Since your child is the one who will spend the most time in that area, it’s really important to design it with their interests in mind. Each child is unique and so is their imagination. While one child may be big into trains, Legos, or sports, the other could favor books, art, or dress-up.

To simplify the design process, keep all types of play in mind. Tables, easels, rugs, and cushy chairs are basic playroom staples you can’t go wrong with. Items such as these can help promote their interests for a number of years. Tight on space? Opt for chalkboard paint on the wall. It makes for a fun feature wall and works just as well as an easel.

Another thing to consider is designing dedicated sections for specific types of play. Reading nooks, cooking corners, and art (or music) stations are just a few zones that can be created for your kids. Not only do they make the purpose of the space clear, it allows a variety of ages to make use of the area without tripping over one another.  

Splash it With Color

There are lots of fun colors out there to choose from that can make a playroom a desirable place for your little ones. And color doesn’t have to stay on the walls or doors. Color can actually be incorporated in a variety of ways, including artwork and textiles.

There’s no need to spend a lot of money on wall art for a playroom. Some of the best artwork you can use to decorate are the masterpieces created by your own little one(s)! Surprise them by creating a gallery wall complete with framed art they’ve drawn or painted all by themselves. Their face is sure to light up seeing their work displayed so proudly!

When it comes to textiles, focus on rugs, window treatments, and upholstery. Rugs serve a dual purpose in a home. Not only do they bring in a pop of color for visual interest, they protect the floor beneath them (and in a playroom, the knees atop them). Since it is a playroom you’re designing, opt for a rug that’s plush. It’ll be a much more comfortable play area for your little one(s).

In regards to textiles for window treatments and upholstery, you can find a ton of great kid-friendly fabrics that will accommodate your children’s interests by visiting your local fabric store. If you don’t have a fabric store nearby, look for some great fabrics online, many at discount prices. Since this will be a playroom, you want a durable fabric that cleans easily, but you don’t want to pay a fortune. Often times, you can find discount fabric easily enough that will work well. As a general rule, pick your fabrics before you pick the paint color. It’s much easier to match paint to fabric than it is to match fabric to paint. Also keep in mind that themes come and go quickly, so if possible, pick patterns and colors that will grow with the child, rather than cartoon characters they’ll outgrow quickly.

Storage, storage, storage!

Kids tend to come with a lot of toys, so unless you want the floors constantly covered, then storage is important. To maximize your space, go for vertical storage like floor to ceiling shelving (cubbies) and store toys in colorful baskets. Armoires or lockers are other great organization tools for a playroom (to save some money, check flea markets or thrift stores for ones in need of a little TLC). There are even multipurpose furniture pieces like benches, ottomans, and tables that have removable tops and storage within.

To avoid mass clutter, be sure to have dedicated storage for specific items. Art supplies, books, toy cars, or anything else your child enjoys playing with should have its own place to be stored. Cleanup may not always be perfect, but over time, your kids will be mindful of their duty to put items away in their special place.

Ask for help

The best way to create a playroom your kids are sure to enjoy? Ask them for their input! Younger children may not be able to express their ideas in a way that helps your design process, but they can certainly help in areas like color choices, textures, and accessories. Who knows, they may come up with some really cool ideas!

Looking for a fabric store near you in Houston? Come by our Interior Fabrics showroom in Houston, TX, for the best deals on discount designer fabrics for drapery, upholstery and more! Don’t know where to start?  Our team has oodles of experience and can help guide you every step of the way.

Your ultimate guide to selecting the perfect upholstery fabric.

Whether you’re salvaging an old piece or designing a new one, picking upholstery fabric will eventually come into play. For some, choosing upholstery fabric is fun. For others, not so much. Honestly, between the investment in the piece itself and the abundance of options at our fingertips, it’s no wonder many homeowners feel overwhelmed rather than overjoyed when they are faced with fabric.

Just thinking about things such as colors, texture, pattern, and thread count can make your head swim with thoughts on where to even begin–and the last thing you want is to make the wrong decision. Once you have an idea of what to look for, however, picking upholstery fabric can be something you can actually like doing.

So, let’s get started! First, we’ll take a quick look at fabric content, fabric type, and pattern type. Then, we’ll move onto some key tips that can help make your decision easier and the overall experience more pleasant.

Picking-the-Perfect-Upholstery-Fabric

Fabric Content

When I say fabric content, I’m talking about the fibers that make up the fabric, which can be broken down into two categories: natural and synthetic. While I won’t be covering all the fibers, I will be listing the most popular.

Natural fibers generally feature a flat weave that is softer than synthetics. They also tailor well for upholstered pieces. Because they are a natural product, however, they can be less resistant to fading and pilling.

Widely-known natural fibers include:

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Rayon

Synthetic fibers are man-made, chemically-produced textiles. In general, they are more durable and more resistant to staining and fading.

Common synthetic fabrics include:

  • Acrylic
  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Olefin
  • Polypropylene

Fabric Types

Simply put, the fabric type is the way the fibers were turned into fabric. There are several ways to do this, which include:

  • Weaving–interlacing, usually at right angles, of two sets of threads to form cloth, rug or other types of woven textiles
  • Knitting–multiple symmetric loops of yarn, called stitches, in a line or tube
  • Braiding–method of interlacing three or more yarns or bias-cut cloth strips in such a way that they cross one another and are laid together in diagonal formation, forming a narrow strip of flat or tubular fabric
  • Nonwoven–bonding or interlocking fibers or filaments by mechanical, thermal, chemical or solvent means

Pattern Types

There is a wide array of patterns available, but there are some that are more common than others. Some of these include:

  • Florals
  • Paisleys
  • Stripes
  • Geometrics
  • Damasks
  • Plaid
  • Checks
  • Gingham

Now that we’ve touched on some of the basics regarding fabric, let’s move onto talking about what you can do to make the narrowing down process easier.

Examine Your Space

Is your upholstered piece going in a large room or a small one? As a general rule, a larger space can visually accommodate more patterns and colors than a small one can. For instance, if you have a large room, don’t be afraid to go all out with bold colors and repeating patterns. Your room can handle it. A smaller room, however, might be more appealing with a simple print and a smaller range of color.

Assess the Piece

Is the piece you are upholstering small and narrow or big and long? A smaller piece, such as a chair, won’t really showcase a big pattern like a couch will. Instead, you might want to look for something along the lines of thin stripes or small flowers.

What is the style of your piece? Is it modern? Early American? Traditional? In most cases, the piece will look its best when covered in fabric that compliments its character. Will the colors and patterns blend nicely with the other items in the room? Are you picking the color because you truly like it or because it’s the latest trend? These are all things to consider before making a final choice.

Wear and Tear

Will your piece be in a high traffic area or used less often for formal affairs? Do you have kids? Are pets in the house? Is its location by a window? Taking things like this into consideration will really help you narrow down your choices.

Woven fabrics, rather than printed ones, and fabrics with higher thread counts will definitely be the most durable. If you have children, you might want to lean toward a darker color scheme in order to hide dirt more easily. If there is a dog or a cat sharing your space, leather and microfiber fabrics are more likely to withstand your furry friends.  If your piece lives near a window, ask for fade resistant fabrics that will hold up against sun damage.

If kids and pets aren’t an issue, don’t be afraid to flaunt that freedom by choosing a luxe fabric. Something soft and lighter in color won’t be much of a problem if it won’t be faced with messy fingers or pet hair.

Another factor to consider is how much maintenance it will take to keep your fabric looking nice. Certain fabrics, like leather, age over time. Others, fade easily in the sun. Read labels to see how it can be cleaned and how proactive you’ll need to be to keep it from looking older than it really is.

Once you’ve narrowed down your decisions, be sure to examine the fabric before you buy. Giving the fabric a little tug and pull, both with and against the grain, is an easy way to determine the quality. If loose threads appear, the fabric is poorly made. That doesn’t mean that quality fabric comes at a higher price. You can get really good deals for your piece of furniture if you’re willing to do some homework. Before you stop in to buy your next designer fabric at only a fraction of the cost at Interior Fabrics, make sure you measure your piece of furniture correctly so that you know exactly how much fabric you will need!

The Importance of Custom Drapery

The decorating process includes a variety of things, including selecting furniture, choosing colors, and picking out accessories–and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Once you dive in, it can quickly become a very complicated project that sometimes makes you wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. Amidst of the craziness of it all, we often find ourselves torn between all sorts of decisions such as style or substance, what has to stay and what has to go, and of course, what can come “off the rack” and what needs to be custom.

That last one, though, is often the toughest. Why is that?

The-Importance-of-Custom-Drapery

Well, when most people hear the word “custom”, they immediately associate it with cost, which is totally understandable. It’s no secret that custom-made items tend to come with a higher price tag than your run-of-the-mill department store furnishings, but that’s actually what’s so great about it. Custom made items mean you get exactly what you want. Furthermore, you get a product that’s of much higher quality than what you’d find off the assembly line.

With that said, homeowners don’t necessarily lump window treatments into items they consider worthy of being custom made–but perhaps they should. For some, it may be that custom drapes aren’t as important as something like a custom sofa. I get that, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the idea should get brushed away and forgotten about altogether.

Windows, inside the home, need attention too. Sure, you can walk into your local department store, pick a pair of drapes you like, and then go home and hang them. No doubt that they can get the job done–and there are actually some very nice ones out there. In all honesty, however, custom-made is the way to go.

Again, it’s no secret that custom window treatments will cost you more than curtains found off-the-shelf, but making the investment will get you something tailor-made to fit your style and your window, just right. When properly selected, tailored, and installed, custom drapery can provide a myriad of benefits. If you haven’t given the custom drapery a thought, here are 4 reasons that might change your mind.

  1. Draperies provide climate control.

    Draperies offer insulation. Think of it like you would clothing. In the winter, we add layers of clothes to keep us warm. In the summer, we use certain clothing to help deflect the sun. Drapery works in a similar manner, and you don’t even have to add to them or take away. Simply hanging drapes (or even a blind or shade) will insulate your windows, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This climate control is a great energy saver!

  2. Draperies block harmful UV rays.

    Sunlight is beautiful, but it can be damaging to the inside of a home over time. Without drapery, walls, floors and furniture are vulnerable to fading. Think about how disappointing it would be to invest in new furniture, only to have it look aged well beyond its years all because there was nothing there to block the sun.

  3. Draperies provide privacy.

    Whether you live out in the country or in the heart of the city, there will be certain times when you’ll want some privacy. Not only will drapes block visuals, they will also mute sounds and keep morning at bay on those days you get to sleep in later than usual.

  4. Draperies add style to your home.

    You can have a beautifully decorated room, but custom drapery will still manage to enhance the look. The warmth and personality they add really is the finishing touch. And, because you went custom made, you’ll have window treatments that truly reflect your decorating style.

Now, if you’re ready to add window treatments, it’s important to know what types are available. Basically, drapes can be broken down into two categories: functional and nonfunctional.

Functional drapes are used to block light, control temperature and provide privacy. The most common types available are Roman shades and pinch pleat (draw) drapery. Non-functional drapery is geared more toward adding accents to the room. Common types of these are panels, valances, swags/cascades, Roman shades, and cornices.

Often times, you can buy fabric from wholesale or at discount prices from a fabric supplier, either at the store or online. In most cases, they also provide a wide selection of drapery hardware, which is something that needs to be carefully selected as well when dressing up your windows. Drapery hardware not only provides a strong architectural element to the room, it will also finalize the theme you wish to convey.

Good, quality custom window treatments can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years depending on the fabric selection. With proper care, your custom drapery will probably still look new by the time you want to update them. To keep your home furnishings protected and also to keep your home full of style, custom window treatments and hardware are definitely worth the investment.

Take some measurements and come on in to Interior Fabrics on FM 1960 in North Houston to select a great designer fabric at wholesale price.

Coordinate Fabrics Like a Pro

Coordinate-Fabrics-Like-a-Pro

 

I really enjoy looking at fabrics. I think it’s fun to imagine how different fabrics would look paired together–but, with so many options available, I completely understand how intimidating the thought of mixing and matching them could be. It can be extremely frustrating when you know what you want but have no idea how to execute it. You can visualize it, but it almost seems impossible to get the look without having the help of a professional. Most times, people simply give up and opt for something less challenging. The result? Pure disappointment. It’s not what you truly want, so of course, you won’t truly be happy. Don’t give up or be afraid to try! You can actually make that dream room happen. Believe it or not, you don’t have to hire a designer. You can get the look you’ve always wanted in your home by yourself if you keep these three simple elements in mind: color, texture, and pattern.

Color

As a general rule, you want to find colors that complement, rather than compete, with one another. The easiest way to begin is by finding a specific color, similar in temperature (cool versus warm) and intensity that will carry through and tie it all together. Having a second color will make the continuity even better.

Warm colors include reds, oranges, yellows, and combinations of them all. These colors tend to make a larger space feel intimate and cozy. Cool colors include shades of greens, blues, and light purples. These colors have a soothing effect and tend to make small rooms look larger than they really are.

In order to find a harmonious balance, avoid having all warm colors or all cool colors. Both the balance and contrast is important, so use fabric from both families. Try keeping large pieces covered in neutral colors and add the brighter, more intense colors to the smaller things. For example, a tan or soft grey sofa would ground the room while brightly colored drapes and throw pillows would add the punch you need.

Texture

Texture is very important. Not only will the texture influence the durability, it will also set the mood of the room.

For formal areas, stick with smoother, lighter textures such as lace, crepe, satin, velvet or damask. Think leather, tweed, corduroy, velour, wool or cotton for high-traffic areas like family rooms. Sensuede, vinyl, and fabrics usually used for outdoor furniture can stand up to children. A romantic feel can be created with fabrics like organdy, taffeta, tulle, and antique satin.

If you have no desire to pinpoint a particular theme, don’t be afraid to mix heavy and light fabrics in the same room. It can be done and it can look wonderful, so break out and get creative.

Pattern

Bringing too many fabrics into the room can become chaotic if you’re not careful. So, in order to avoid that and get a cohesive result instead, try not to exceed more than three patterns: a large-scale (to serve as a focal point), a medium-scale, and a small scale. To simplify it: (1) start with a large pattern, (2) pick a second pattern similar in color, yet half the size of the first, and (3) finish off with a solid color pulled from either one of the first two. However, if you’re feeling brave, scrap the solid and incorporate another fabric with a minuscule pattern.

Keep in mind that patterns, just like texture and color, can create a mood. To add energy to the space, use large, bold patterns that make a statement. Something like an oversized floral or even a large plaid will not only make the most impact in the space, it will serve as a driving force for the overall color scheme and atmosphere. For a sense of calm, stick with small and pale patterns that share at least one similar color.

For best results, try to avoid putting all patterned pieces in one part of the room. Be sure to scatter solids and patterns throughout the room in order to retain the balance.

So, are you feeling more confident than you did before? Maybe having some visuals will help. Here are a few examples I’ve pulled together using a small selection of the beautiful fabrics we carry.  Hopefully, seeing some trios will spark inspiration and confidence!

See? It doesn’t really take much to pull a trio of fabrics together that you really enjoy. Remember, the goal is not to “match” but rather to coordinate. As long as your fabrics share similar a similar hue or shade of a hue, your choices will work together beautifully.

If you’re still doubtful, seek out a professional to help. There are actually some interior decorators who work by the hour. Find one who does, take them swatches of fabrics you love and then get their advice. Taking this route takes stress off of you for a fraction of what it would cost to have a professional come do all the work for you.

Once you have your trio of fabulous fabrics selected, you’ll need to decide if you’re DIY-ing it or if you’ll need to seek out a seamstress or professional upholsterer. Getting the look you want is so much easier when you have someone make them for you.

In the midst of coordinating your fabrics, be sure to have fun! It will all come together if you just let your creativity flow.  At our Cutting Corners location in Dallas, Tx , we’ll be happy to help you find designer fabrics for great prices!

Creative Ways to Add a Little Fall to Your Home

Autumn is without a doubt, my favorite season. Once the leaves start changing colors I become giddy with excitement over all the wonderful things fall has to offer, which is why, of course, I go crazy with the fall decorations. Even if it’s not “officially” fall yet (but close) I’m chomping at the bit to haul out my bins of festive decor. The beautiful colors! The delicious smells! I want it all!

The thing is if you’re anything like me, a warm and welcoming home is especially desirable this time of year. There’s just something extra special about that cozy feeling once the days get shorter and the air gets cooler. It’s what makes those frigid nights bearable and those family gatherings all the more memorable.

Thankfully, for fall fanatics like me, it doesn’t take much to harness that coziness and execute it in a way that radiates through your home, carrying you through to warmer days. And that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today. While there are several ways you can bring a touch of fall into your home, we’re going to focus on 3 specific ways you can get creative with autumn colors to spread that much-desired warmth throughout your space.

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Revive something with a fresh coat of paint.

If you’re ever unsure about what to do, think paint. Paint is one of the easiest ways to change the look of your home and it’s something that can be used just about anywhere. Seriously. A desk chair, a kitchen island, a wall, a bookcase, a sofa table, a dresser, the front door–all places that could easily be freshened up with paint. And that’s just scratching the surface. I bet if you looked around, you’d see something you could paint. I advise you, however, to stick with items that have already painted or that are ones you don’t mind painting. If you’re making it a DIY project, be sure to educate yourself on all the proper steps to create a piece that will not only look great but last for years to come. There are plenty of DIY upcycling tutorials online that can get you started if you’re up for a fun challenge.

Of course, you’ll want to pick the perfect color and Pantone is a great place to start. Since they are known as the color experts, it’s worth taking the time to check out the color reports they release each season. You’d be amazed at what they consider fall colors and how many of them can easily work year round. Once you find one you love, you’ll have no problem finding it, or a close replica, though one of the many paint manufacturers out there.

Add fall-colored accessories throughout the house.

Accessories are another simple way to decorate for the season. Try walking into any craft store without being bombarded by seasonal decor–it’s impossible. Wreaths, silk flowers, centerpieces, wall hangings–it’s all there for your choosing. A beautiful display of flowers in a tall orange glass bottle or vase may seem too simplistic, but it’s actually a wonderful way to add a splash of seasonal color without putting in much effort. A fall-inspired picture hung on the wall is also an easy yet effective way to add seasonal warmth to the space. Pumpkins on the table, wreaths made of leaves or flowers of autumn hues, rustic floor rugs, such as this Drake, designed by Joanna Gaines, and scented candles in autumn shades are some other ideas that can influence the look and atmosphere of your home. And don’t just stop inside the house! The exterior of your home can be just as important as the interior of your home. Adding some accents outside the home to make it look inviting from the outside.

Incorporate new fabrics.

This is especially easy to do if you have more neutral pieces of furniture, but it can still work if you don’t. Some easier ways to incorporate new fabrics would be by changing out window treatments, accent pillows, or tablecloths. A larger project would be to reupholster or add a slipcover to a piece of furniture such as a chair. Often times you can find seasonal fabrics at a department store, but they tend to be limited. As a general rule, you’d be better off visiting your local fabric store or purchasing your fabric online. Doing so would ensure finding the exact patterns and colors you want, which is the great thing about having something custom made.

No matter what you choose to do, don’t feel like you have to go overboard with your decor. Start small the first year and then as each new fall season rolls around, build on what you’ve started, or try something completely different. Either way, you’ll be sure to make your home feel like a cozy and warm just like autumn should be.

For some help getting started with your next project, consider swinging by our Interior Fabrics location in Houston. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff would love to help you navigate the complexities of whatever project you decide to take on!

Understanding Fabric Weights for Home Interior Projects

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Weight is an important component when it comes to choosing the right fabric for your project. Often times, we focus more on the texture, color, or pattern of a swatch, rather than focusing on how heavy it actually is. This isn’t as much of an issue when it comes to picking out clothing, but when it comes to home decorating, picking the wrong weight of fabric could be disastrous.

This is why I think it’s important to talk a bit about fabric weights and why paying attention to them is vital to a successful interior design project…

Simply put, fabrics are classified based off their GSM–grams per meter. The GSM is what differentiates between lightweight, medium-weight, or heavyweight fabric. Typically, the fabric weight is measured by placing a standard meter of fabric on a scale. The weight is recorded in grams and then the fabric will be classified based on that weight.

In regards to home interior fabrics, when we think of fabric weight, we’re really talking about durability. In short, the thicker or more condensed the material, the more durable it will be.

So let’s shift gears and talk durability…

We know that the classification of a fabric is based on the GSM, but within that classification is another component to focus on: double rubs.  

You may be wondering what I mean by double rub. Let me explain.

The double rub is a back and forth motion that gives an approximation of the wear and tear. Manufacturers will perform a double rub test, which is often a simulation of a person getting in and out of a chair, to determine fabric strength. The number of double rubs it can withstand is recorded and then labeled.

In recent years, abrasion tests have become more extreme, leading to some discrepancies regarding these numbers. This has made things even more confusing for consumers in determining what is actually necessary for upholstery applications.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to how the fabric will be used. Anything that meets at least 15,000 double rubs is more than acceptable for upholstery. Furniture in more formal areas, that will get light-to-moderate use, can typically have as low as 9,000 double rubs without any issues.

Below, I’ve elaborated on fabric classifications and their double rubs–but for your quick reference, here’s a condensed version that can serve as a guide:

  • Delicate use: < 9,000
  • Light use: 9,000 – 11,000
  • Medium use: 12,000 – 15,000
  • Heavy use: 15,000+

Note: Most manufacturers cease abrasion testing once the fabric reaches (or surpasses) 35,000 double rubs.

Light Weight Fabric

Lightweight fabric can handle roughly 3,000 to 9,000 double rubs, meaning this isn’t the best fabric for heavy use. At best, this fabric will withstand up to three years of regular use, so it’s best to keep it for items such as accent pillows, curtains, or chair cushions that get minimal use. When looking at lightweight fabrics, lean toward tight weaves and durable fibers like cotton, linen, nylon, and microfibers.

Medium Weight Fabric

Fabrics of medium weight can handle approximately 9,000 to 15,000 double rubs. These are fabrics that would serve well in family and/or living rooms. Since they are more versatile that light weight fabrics, they can be used in many more ways.

Heavy Weight Fabric

These fabrics are the most durable, able to withstand more than 15,000 double rubs. In the past, heavy weight fabrics used to be stiffer and thicker. Today, however, newer blends are available, leaving you with much more supple and softer options. Choose heavy weight fabrics for heavy use pieces and elegant drapery. Be sure to factor in texture when looking at heavy weight fabrics (this can apply to medium weight as well). Certain overlaid patterns and textures can fray easily, so be careful as to where you use it. Just because it’s heavy weight, doesn’t mean all textures can withstand heavy wear.

Additional Tips

Some additional things to consider and remember when deciphering fabric weight:

  • Look for wearability codes such as LD, MD, and HD on fabric swatches to determine if it’s light, medium or heavy. Some swatches may have DD, which stands for delicate duty.
  • To prolong the lifespan of the fabric, keep it out of direct sunlight if possible.
  • If you live in a humid climate, look for mildew-resistant fabric.
  • Delicate fabrics should be avoided if you have indoor pets.

While it is always nice to know the brand name of a product, it’s important to remember that quality doesn’t have to be expensive. Be sure to shop around and speak with fabric suppliers directly when possible. Fabric can be changed, but to save in the long run, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s an investment that should be well understood.

Linen: An Essential Fabric for Your Home

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If you haven’t given linen much thought, today is a great day to start. One of the oldest-known fibers to man, linen has so much to offer, yet it is often overlooked as a decorating fabric. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this fabric a perfect choice for the interior of your home.

The Special Traits of Linen

Linen is known for its beauty, comfort, and durability, but there are other traits that make it so special. Here are some traits you may not be aware of:

It’s eco-friendly.

Linen is composed of flax, which is biodegradable and recyclable. Additionally, flax produces no waste and requires less water, pesticides, and energy to process.

It regulates body temperature.

Linen evaporates moisture and it naturally insulates. What does that mean? It means you’ll stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

It can heal.

Really! Linen can actually aid in healing your body. It can help reduce or eliminate skin irritations, detoxify the air, and can even provide more relaxation to your nervous, muscular and cardiovascular system. Linen is also anti-microbial and resistant to fungi.

It has longevity.

Linen is a fiber that lasts a long time. Not only is it incredibly strong, it’s great at repelling dirt and retaining its color. Additionally, it doesn’t stretch and manages to stay tough even though it softens over time.

How to Use Linen in Your Home

Linen is extremely versatile, which makes it easy to use in a variety of ways. For the home, consider using linen in the following ways:

  • On the windows. Linen is perfect for beautifully casual window treatments.
  • On your bed. Linen can keep you comfortable at night in all seasons.
  • On furniture. Linen is ideal for a comfortable slipcover.
  • In the bathroom. Change out that old shower curtain for a linen one dyed in a fun color.
  • At the table. Linen can dress up a table effortlessly.
  • Over a light fixture. Consider recovering a tired lampshade with linen.

 

Ready to add linen to your home? If so, stop by our showroom or browse our gorgeous selection of linen fabrics online. We have a variety of linen and linen blends that will add extra beauty to your home.

Giving Your Child Creative Freedom with Their Bedroom

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If you have children, you are fully aware of the stage of independence. All of a sudden, your little one has a voice–and it’s one that needs to be listened to. When it comes to decorating your home, you may not feel comfortable with them giving input in the entire decorating process, and that’s okay. You should, however, try to give them creative freedom in smaller doses–like the bedroom. Being able to have some input on their personal space will not only make them feel like a valued member of the family, it’ll also make them a much happier child. Here are some ways you can give your child creative freedom (while still maintaining a little control).

Let them choose the color palette. Ultimately, you have the final say, but there’s really no harm in letting your child pick the colors for their room. Take a trip together to the hardware store and let them choose their favorite paint swatches. It’s almost a guarantee that he or she will hand you some crazy colors–but that’s okay. Have them narrow it down to their top three and work from there. If the color is way over the top, pull a few toned down swatches of their top choices, telling them those brighter colors can be brought in with a wall mural, painted furniture, or accents.

Fabric choices also fall into the realm of the color palette. Take a fun trip to the fabric store, letting your little one point out some of their favorites. Since they’ll be the one spending the most time in the space, it’s important that they have fabrics they enjoy. To make things easier narrow down a variety of textures, patterns, and colors for them to choose from.

Skip the themes. Sure, themes can be cute and fun, but they don’t leave you much room for change. Instead of letting your child decorate their room top to bottom in a theme, guide them to pick small theme-like things as a compromise. Get that pillow with an airplane or princess crown on it, or hang an animal or superhero poster on the wall. This will give them much more room for creativity and flexibility in the long run.

Allow them to display things they like to look at. As long as it’s appropriate, and as long as there’s enough wall space, nothing is really off limits. Names displayed with wooden letters, favorite cartoon characters, handmade collages, sports memorabilia, bowls of collected rocks–these are just some of the ways they can let their personalities shine.

When it’s all said and done, you’ll have one happy kid and the satisfaction of knowing that they are truly pleased with their space.