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Fabrics can fulfill a fascination with textural elements more so than any other interior decoration. The variety of colors and patterns offers a vast opportunity for articulating a specific look and below are some hints to help you do it.

Choosing your fabric first is probably the simplest way to begin a room’s design–you can always match a paint color to the pattern. But you may have a piece of artwork or furniture or an accessory that “speaks” to you so don’t feel compelled to hold off on everything if you haven’t found the perfect swatch. If you’re more color conscious and it’s the hue that inspires you, get it on the walls to stimulate your creativity if you’re not committed to a specific theme.

Fabrics are a key ingredient in the completion of your interior fashions. To help decide on a particular style, you can research by viewing design ideas online, in books and magazines or by touring show houses. You may also browse around furniture stores to get an idea of the colors and textures available for your room design. Your final decision on fabrics will make or break the overall look and feel of your interior fashions.

One of the first steps in selecting fabrics for your room design is pattern selection. It is often best to pick your favorite pattern as the starting point of how all the other elements of the room will come together. The colors within your selected pattern will offer you the ability to coordinate flooring, furniture, window treatments and accessories. You can use similar colors and vary texture..or you can vary the colors as wildly as it suits your taste. The same pattern may also be used in multiple applications depending on how much you enjoy that pattern. One trick is to cut swatches of the pattern into the various sizes they will be used in the room. This will help establish the proportions of the pattern(s) being used. The largest size is often the furniture upholstery, followed by the window treatments.

Furniture upholstery should be selected on how the room is to be used and the available space in the room. Rooms with lots of activity often require more durable fabrics with less maintenance requirements. More formal fabrics can be used in rooms that have less use but are intended to have a more elegant look. It is often best to order samples of fabrics you are not able to ‘try’ while in the store.

Another design aspect to interior fashions is the use of sheens and textures. Too much shiny material could overwhelm the design while the use of too many matte finished materials can often diminish the overall look of the room.

You can also use fabrics in unexpected places, like the back wall of shelving units, as pieces of wall art, slip covers on furniture pieces or to cover an entire wall. There are many possibilities for fabrics to be used to create the perfect interior fashion.

The Right Fabrics For Interior Fashions:

There are so many fabric choices, how do you determine which is best for interior fashions? Different fabric types have properties that are more suited to specific applications than others.

  • Cotton fabrics often hold patterns well. There are many finishes available, which best suits their use on; draperies, furniture covers, pillows and table linens.
  • Velvets present a more formal appearance. They often come in a range of many colors and have a luxurious feel, but are durable in their elegance. When properly cared for, velvets make long-lasting chairs and sofas (upholstered with cotton velvet).
  • Nylon and Polyester fabrics can emulate the look of natural fibers depending upon how they are woven. Sheer fabrics can also be created from these materials, which is great for draperies. There are many types of finishes that can be created with nylon and polyester creating textures that resemble leather, suede, snake or straw. The use of nylon and polyester has the most varying application from small to larger items.
  • Denim can be durable, but it also gives a casual look. This is often best suited for children’s rooms and family rooms. Denim does not always have to be blue either. It can be dyed to many colors including black and red.
  • Silk has an incredible sheen, but is very fragile. It is also available in many textures, from velvet to smooth, nubby to soft. Silk is best used on pillows or draperies.
  • Linen is a fabric that wrinkles easily, but looks best when it is freshly pressed. Linen works best on interior fashion items that typically do not move as part of their function.