Condo Design Tips from an Award Winning Designer!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN SELECTING FABRICS?

When it comes to fabrics, you have to see it and feel it to believe it and then you have to style it!


Selecting the right fabric for your furniture, window coverings or throw pillows is more important than you may think. Talking about quality furniture, the fabric used for the upholstery can make your sofa or chair a one of a kind.

So many questions received about how to select fabrics for your condo furniture when you have pets, allergies or when you go for an eco design. As designers, we have access to a wide range of companies specialized in textiles for furniture and furnishings, from residential to commercial, from natural fibers to synthetic.


Threadcount is one of the companies with a clear focus on natural and sustainable products such as wool, linen, silk and cotton for your home. They take a ‘less is more’ approach to the world of fabric embracing timeless basics that will maintain their beauty over the years. And because I believe that furniture and furnishings trends go hand in hand with fashion trends, I’m equally fascinated by fabrics used in fashion or furniture. Growing up in a family with generations of fabric heritage , the 4 sisters owners of Threadcount were well versed in fabric, fashion and great design from a very early age. “We all love how fabric can transform how we feel in clothing or in a living space. Why wouldn’t we use breathable and toxin free fabrics in a space we spend most of our time?! The way we respond to the colour and the feel of great fabric is very primal.”

And here are the answers to the top 3 questions asked by our readers:

1. Pet friendly fabrics- Jane is concerned about her cat shedding a lot of hair and wants to know what are her options: For Pet friendly fabrics one of our recommendations is using leather. As a natural product, any surface wear only adds to the leathers character and its it easy to just wipe off pet hair. If leather is not your thing Microfiber fabrics such as Ultrasuede is known for its inherent stain resistance, its easy to clean and can’t be scratched. If neither of those are an option we recommend you choosing a plain untextured fabric so hair doesn’t stick, you can always spice it up with decorative pillows. Also machine washable fabrics that are great for slipcovers, like denim or heavy cotton. Leather has come a long way! Printed leather is one of my favorites!

2. Allergies- Trisha’s question: What fabrics are recommended for people with allergies, most importantly which fabrics hold on to dust: "We highly recommend 100% Linen. Linen is made entirely from the flax plant, and all parts of the plant are usable, recyclable or biodegradable. Not only is linen a pure natural fiber, it is hypoallergenic and its breathable nature leaves a natural resistance for any dust to stick. Linen has and earthy yes sophisticated look and feel, and it isone of our favorites."


3. Is scotch guarding a healthy solution? We don’t recommend scotch guarding as a healthy solution as it has been linked to fluoropolymers that may be a source of perfluorochemicals PFC contamination in people. To be safe people should look for non-fluoro based products, which is not easy to find. There are non toxic spray downs that can be found for this purpose.


When it comes to coordinating your window coverings with your upholstered furniture, keep in mind the theme you’re going for- is the overall look casual,natural and one of a kind eco friendly furnishings? Why not opt for linen, it never goes out of style!

Are you going for rich textures and patterns velvet is a great choice and when used on the right piece of furniture it could become the focal point of the room.

Are you busy decorating your cottage? Linen, cotton, fresh colors are a must have when trying to create a blissful summer escape…

Looking for a way to create a new look for your bedroom? A fresh coat of paint, a reupholstered headboard and new drapes can totally change the look!

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