Picking fabrics… where to start?

I design for many clients in many different ways—entire homes, single bathrooms or kitchens—but sometimes I have clients who enjoy shopping and doing the running around themselves and just want me to advise and help them with a starting point.

I find most of my inspiration for a room through fabric. I could spend hours just looking at vintage fabrics  as well as what is hot and new to the market.

So OK… this is how it goes: I tend to start with a drapery fabric for the windows or an upholstered headboard for the bedroom… basically whatever will be the main focal point. When choosing I try to find something that gives me lots of color options or texture options, which will be used in the upholstery and accent pieces.

For example, right now I am working on a house using Schumacher hot house flower spark as my jumping off point for the living room drapery. I love this because it has an organic floral vibe but is heavier in feel because of the saturated color in the vines and flowers.

There is a beautiful creamy background that will become our wall color, and the latest color trend of turquoise blue will be used on two very contemporary chairs. The sofa and larger side chair will be a darker shade of the cream in the window fabric, and the accent of orange will be used on welting and trims to give the whole thing a punch and connect back to the orange/red tones of the wood in the home.  There is an accent wall that will be a subtle green grass cloth to connect the tile work in the kitchen and the green of the window fabric.

Sounds simple, but I know it can be daunting. All fabric vendors have websites now, but I find it best to see and feel fabric before buying. Just don’t rush… take your time and enjoy the process. If you have doubts hire a designer to consult on your choices…

Above: The floral is a great jumping off point. It has a beautiful creamy background, which will become our wall color, and the latest color trend of turquoise blue will be used on two very contemporary chairs.  The sofa and larger side chair will be a darker shade of the cream in the window fabric and the accent of orange will be used on welting and trims to give the whole thing a punch. There is an accent wall that will be a subtle green grass cloth to connect the tile work in the kitchen and the green of the window fabric.

– Ana Donohue

Images via Kravet, Schumacher and B|Berger

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