How to use soft furnishings
Moretti Blog • December 05, 2018
hen I teach one of the most asked questions from my students is how to put fabrics together. Being able to play with all the lovely fabrics is I think one of the main drives why people start an interior design course.
Fabrics are actually one of the core of every decorating scheme, but the way is putting together and selected its very important as all fabrics have their own personality. They can be used to create major focal points or they can subtly underline a design scheme with colour, pattern and texture.
How to start
First of all, do not think and consider a single piece, but see broader. The trick is to create a family of fabrics where the overall effect is what gives the feel and look. After you have selected all of them, you can start labelling each of them and carefully deciding which one will go where and have a feel of how little or more is needed for the room.
One key aspect when working with fabrics is to add different textures. Otherwise the all scheme will be flat. Collect quite a few samples and start putting them together and play around with them until you are completely happy about the result. Don’t be afraid of having too many as little by little you will start to eliminate the one that does not look right also in terms of colour tones.
Think where the fabric will go
While you are creating your fabric scheme think where each fabric will go. Every fabric sample will have a label at the back that will show if that particular fabric is suitable for the window treatment and or upholstery too.
Also look at the fabric composition and how many rubs is indicated. To be able to understand the later is important in order to see the durability and suitability of a fabric. Sometimes you will find some little icons or other time a rub number given by the Martindale test. The rubs number will indicate if a fabric is suitable for decorative purposes only, usually then less than 10,000 rubs, for light domestic, 10,000 to 15,000 rubs or general domestic, 15,000 to 25,000 rubs. If you need fabric for heavy duty then you have to look at 25,000 to 30,000 rubs.
Maintenance and practicality
Think about the practicality and maintenance of the fabric you choose. Of course, if you have kids and or pets you need to opt for a fabric that can be easily washed or wiped. Most of the fabrics nowadays can be treated to be easily cleaned so ask your supplier for that. Scotchgard has become very common and this is a strong fabric protection that repels spills for easier cleanup.
When you pick your fabric firstly make an analysis about the room orientation. This will be useful not on;y for choosing the right colour but also for the material. For instance, if you have a South oriented room, silk is not really ideal for the windows treatment or cushions if close to the source of natural light.
Cushions & Throws
There are so many cushions on the market for all budgets, shapes and sizes. I call them the cherry on the cake. Because once you have done all the planning you can easily add colour and transform the look of a room. You can make a room look from formal to informal just picking the right cushions, you can easily change the season of the room for instance from winter to summer with changing the cushions colours and fabric and this is a very inexpensive way play with different looks. Play with different sizes too. Try and use a mix of large and small cushions with various textures and you will see how your space will be suddenly lifted up.
Throws are another good way to use soft furnishing to add interest in texture and colour. You can use them in living areas or bedrooms and quickly change the feel of a room. According to the fabric used can be a seasonal addition and cushions they are easily changeable for a different feel that you want to create.