4.27.2015

How To Select Fabrics: Four Important Tips

I love fabrics!  It's my favorite part of the job.   I've used this linen in green before…but look how fresh it is in pink, too.

 I was just in the Lee Jofa showroom checking out the beautiful new Suzanne Kasler fabrics…giving me ideas for my own home.

When YOU are considering fabrics for throw pillows, curtains, bedding, etc. consider:

1.  What are your favorite colors?  What makes you happy or relaxed?  What colors are in your closet?
These are from Beacon Hill…pretty!  And I love that Echo Design Trim From Kravet.

2.  Do you like pattern?  No pattern is nice too.  But if you like it normally mix: 
 a small, 
a medium and 
a large pattern...
and you can replace one of those with a solid. 

 My talented friend, Debbie did that here.
So did Phoebe Howard below.
Patterns can be traditional or modern.  I like a little of both. 
This is a project that Liana is working on... so pretty.


3.  Think about it!  Can you live with it?  When I am showing a client fabrics and she/he says "It may grow on me."  I immediately toss it in the reject pile.  You should like it almost right away! 
There are too many good ones from which to choose.  I leave the "Yes" pile with the client to think about for a few days.  You can't return custom pillows, curtains, wallpaper, etc.
This is going to be a lumbar pillow on a green chair.

But you can usually return retail pillows, bedding, etc.   I suggest leaving the the tags on and saving the receipt to make sure you like it.
WS Home  They are having a sale right now.
4.  Make sure the fabric "has a good hand."  Basically meaning it feels good.  I like natural fabrics like linen, cotton, velvets...but if it has synthetic properties (good for durability and/or stain resistance) and feels good ...it's a keeper.

Here is an example: The soft Perennials cloth is going on Carolyn's new kitchen window seat.  Normally, I would be afraid of white in the kitchen--but this is stain resistant.   The other fabrics will be pillows (which you will see it eventually).

Last week, I met two friends for Afternoon Tea at the Palace Hotel. I think the tea is more elaborate on the weekends but look and the edible flowers on the sandwiches... 
 What is it about having a tea party that makes you feel like a grown-up?
Nice!

You can follow me below if you would like...

22 comments:

  1. What a scrumptious post! I love your advice and the Suzanne Kasler fabric line is gorgeous.....how beautiful is the Palace Hotel, those goodies look almost too good to eat...almost but I think I could manage:)

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  2. Great tips Mary Ann! I usually just go with what I like without thinking much, and sometimes the fabric just ends up sitting in my craft room, dusting away! I'm glad you wrote about this post! Those sandwiches look to good to eat!

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  3. Fabulous post ! so informative and gorgeous pics

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  4. So many great tips as always and no one is better and choosing the perfect combinations than you! The Palace Hotel looks amazing and the goodies…yum!!

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  5. Hi - love that yellow floral fabric from the project that Liana is working on - do you know the name of it? I know that Liana used to have a shop on Etsy but it's been empty for quite some time. Does she offer her pillows anywhere online or just to the trade? Thanks!

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    1. That fabric is Avebury floral by Schumacher. Liana is busy with trade orders but I think she will reopen her Etsy shop when she has time.

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  6. Really great advice Mary Ann! Thank you!

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  7. So true...it's tough to find a fabric I don't love! My biggest issue is winnowing it down. BTW one of the best pieces of advice anyone gave me on cabinets is not to pick the color you love because the move you love it, the more quickly you'll tire of it. And it's a very expensive change out, unlike fabrics!

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  8. Great advice, as usual! I have the Perennials fabric on my outdoor furniture, and it is so durable. I'd love to use it inside as well.

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  9. Going to tea is one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. Wherever we are in a major world city, I always schedule tea at either the best hotel in the city or the best tea room. You can even find them in third world countries. Everybody loves tea!!!

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    1. Such a good idea while on vacation, Janette.

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  10. Very good advice Mary Ann. My husband tends to take tags off and throw away receipts ASAP for just about anything! No no no….! And yes, there are so many great fabrics to choose from, it does make the selection even more difficult. I was working with a friend/client yesterday on paint colors and suggested doing the huge splotches on the walls and living with them for at least a week. Her husband thought that was a terrible, terrible idea! I can't believe they have used only paint chips in three previous houses. Well, I hope I convinced them to try this method!

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  11. Mary Ann....I will follow you anywhere! I am a fabric lover too, and when re-doing a room, I like to choose a fabric I love first and build the room around it! But with the changes in the fabric industry, it is so hard for the average Joe to find wonderful fabrics at places like Diamond Fabrics and Calico! They no longer carry great stuff like they did years ago. You need to go to the fabric showrooms, but you also need someone with a resale number to go with you. I love all the fabrics you showed and I especially love Debbie's fabulous pillows.
    Always such inspiration for all of us followers...thank you!! Gail

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    1. Come to SF and I will take you to the Design Center Gail!!!

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  12. What a great post!! I love Debbie's sofa actually I love everything you have picked. I was just at a client's today where we used that Ralph Lauren blue and white. Her sofa is white as well and it looks fabulous!! I can't wait to see what you are up to in your LR (too few sneak peeks!!)

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  13. Mary Ann, I love these kinds of informational posts from you and refer back to them often. The small, medium and large (or solid) combination is a great tip!!

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  14. Do you have a re-upolsterer in the Orange County area that you could recommend?

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    1. I like A&B Upholstery in Costa Mesa. Tell Mercedes hello!

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  15. Mary Ann you have such a good eye and THAT is so important when choosing fabrics! The choices you make are simply perfect!!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Giveaway from The Enchanted Home!

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  16. From the time my nieces were little, we had a tradition of a Christmas season visit sans parents, pajamas and pancakes one morning, then fancy tea at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia another afternoon. I'm thinking we need to revive the tradition and head out to San Francisco. That setting is stunning.

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  17. These are the perfect interior design for a home. Its like a dream house of anyone. Also these designed houses shows the luxuriousness by their amazing interior design.

    Color for Interior Designs

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It's nice to hear from you.

 
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