Reupholstery Fabric - How to Make the Perfect Choice
One of the most important parts of reupholstering a piece of furniture is choosing the right fabric. It’s not always as easy as you might think! The fabric can add to the overall quality of the item, but if not chosen correctly, it can actually detract from the piece.
First, consider how the piece will be used. If it’s an occasional chair, tucked in the corner, there’s a bit more flexibility. If it’s subject to daily use it’s important to choose fabric that will resist dirt, won’t fade and will show only minimal wear over time. For heavily used items choose a tightly woven, high thread count, durable fabric.
In general linen fabrics may be problematic because they soil and wrinkle easily. Cotton and cotton blends offer good resistance to wear, pilling and fading. They are also more resistant to soil and wrinkling, and so are considered “family friendly”. Also, the durability of cotton varies greatly with its type of weave. Wool is not a bad choice either, since it is durable and is not likely to fade or wrinkle. Often wool is blended with a synthetic fiber when it is used for upholstery.
Leather, and the less expensive vinyl, can also be used. They are ideal for high-use items, dining room and kitchen chairs. Watch the quality though, as it will dictate its long-term durability. Silks and synthetics are recommended only for very specific low-use areas.
Nylon, when blended with other fibers, is one of the strongest fabrics for upholstery. It, along with Olefin, is often used on furniture that will be used every day.
Second, match the fabric style to the piece – Often the style of the furniture will guide the pattern that is appropriate and maybe even the color. It’s best to choose your fabric alongside the furniture, so that you can imagine the combination. Of course the fabric style should also blend with the rest of the room. When considering patterns, the size of the pattern should complement the size of the piece. A very large chair may be overwhelming with a large print. Conversely, a very small print on a large chair will tend to get lost. We also caution against going with “trendy” colors. Ask yourself if you’ll love the color, when it eventually goes out of style!
Third, check how the fabric can be cleaned – Here’s where you need to check out the fabric’s surface to determine its suitability. Most fabrics are labeled with the number of “double rubs”. The higher the better (over 50,000), as it indicates a longer-wearing fabric. Check the cleaning instructions for the fabric and whether or not you think the pattern would hide stains well.
Fourth, feel the fabric – Unlike choosing paint colors, the fabric you choose will likely be “felt” by you. Make sure it’s pleasing to the touch!
Final considerations – Often there are special considerations that will point you to one fabric type or another. If you have pets or small kids, durability (leather, microfiber) is king! If the piece will get direct sunlight, focus on fade-resistant fabrics. If you have allergies, consider microfiber as it is lint free and resists dust!
Decorating with Kids & Pets in Mind
As kids get older the baby-proofing goes away, but the kid-proofing can last until they’re off to college! There are some simple ways to make sure your fine furniture lasts through childhood and your rooms look fresh. Leather furniture is a good idea, for pieces used daily. If that’s not possible, consider slipcovers for lightly-colored items. These can be stylishly made and easily washed. For all fabrics, use patterns and textures, to camouflage spills and wear and tear.
Only use washable paint on any surface, with a finish of eggshell, or glossier. There are washable matte finishes too, but try them on a small area first. Choose flooring that can be cleaned with a mop, adding an area rug for softness. This will wear better than carpeting.
Common sense says to put breakables up high, but also make sure you put kid-friendly, yet interesting, knick-knacks within reach (a globe or binoculars, for instance). Make sure everyone has an area to hang out! A final suggestion is to put a decorative, empty bin (or any storage container) in heavily used rooms. This can be used to “stash” items quickly for nightly cleanup or when company unexpectedly arrives! Most of all, remember one of my favorite quotes, “Excuse the mess, but we actually live here!”
AT ROSELAND, you work with interior designers, not salespeople. HERE'S A SAMPLING of the expertise you'll find...
Add Fall Colors
to Your Home the Easy Way
A great way to welcome in a new season is to add a touch of its colors to your rooms. The warm, fall colors of green, dark red, soft orange or yellow and mellow brown can be added on a temporary basis to most color palettes. The result is a spark of new life to a room which embraces each season.
Our interior designers offer these easy ways you can add a touch of fall to any décor:
Bold Colors to Brighten up your Rooms
Adding bold colors to your home adds personality, so our designers always encourage it! However, we do give clients guidelines so that the “personality” of their home is inviting, not overpowering. We always suggest clients work towards “balance” in their home. For every wall or furnishing that makes a bold statement, balance that with something more neutral. Balance warm (yellow to red) and cool (blues and greens) colors, whenever possible. If you have a bright orange sofa you love, add some blue accents to the room.
It’s also wise to test out your appetite for bold colors by starting in a small room. Maybe begin with a bathroom or mudroom. If you like the feel, then expand into larger living areas. Keep in mind that in a larger area you don’t want to simply paint the whole room. Add a boldly colored rug, lighting fixture or paint just the entry.
We also advise clients to choose one general “look” for their entire home. For instance, go with pastels or jewel tones, but not both. Colors can change throughout the home, but the palette of one room should flow into the next. Work towards a gentle transition from room to room, never an abrupt change. With these guidelines in mind, a home can positively reflect the personality of each owner, and add just the right amount of pizzaz!
Laundry Room Redo!
Interested in tackling a fun and creative project, that’s not going to break the bank? Why not give a fresh look to a room you probably spend way too much time in…the laundry room! It’s a great place to let your creativity run wild, adding colors and creative touches you might not want to try in your more “formal” rooms.
We surveyed our in-house interior designers, and collected their ideas on giving your laundry room a quick and easy makeover:
Laundry rooms no longer need to be dull or uninviting. Try out a few of our tips and see if you don’t look forward to your next batch of laundry!
Pet-Friendly Window Treatments!
The best window treatments for your home are those that cater to the entire family - including pets! Our designers have some great suggestions, for choosing window fashions that will stand up to most any of our four-legged friends.
Vertical Blinds Win Over Horizontals - Pets can really do a lot of damage to mini-blinds, so we suggest verticals instead. These are easier for the pet to "part," and gain valuable window access, without doing damage.
If you prefer horizontal blinds, we recommend wood or ever faux wood, over aluminum or vinyl. Besides the more sturdy material, they come in wider slats, so that pets can peer through them more easily. Better yet, leave them partially open so that your cat or dog won’t have to climb through them for an unobstructed view of the great outdoors.
Cordless for Safety - Cordless blinds and shades remove the tempting, dangling cords from your pet’s view. This cuts down on damage, and makes for a safer environment for everyone.
Avoid Low-Hanging Fabrics - Depending on your pet, you may consider replacing low-hanging draperies with a decorative valance covering the top portion of your window. Valances will add the softness and texture of draperies to your room, without enticing your kitties to climb them.
Shutters are a Great Choice - Plantation shutters, in general, really stand up to pets. They are also quite stylish and will add to the value of your home. Since they are attached to the window frame, they are durable and provide only minimal access to the window. It’s difficult for a pet to get close to a window covered in shutters, so they seldom try.
Roller Shades Work Too - These shades are a good choice for households with pets, since they do not tend to collect much pet hair. They can easily be rolled up during the day, providing a generous view for cats and dogs. At night, when they may be pulled down, a pet can more easily fit behind them, without doing damage. Win-win!
Whatever window fashion you have, it’s best to give your pet an unobstructed view of the outside by raising it, opening it, or sliding it over! They’ll be happier staying inside, if they get to watch their favorite entertainment, outside!
Declutter Like a Pro!
Roseland's interior designers are in many homes across the western suburbs and “de-cluttering” comes up a lot! Their number one rule is to take it a step at a time, so that you’re not overwhelmed. Here are a few of their tips that will help speed things up.
Work on it a bit each day, doing sections of larger rooms, one closet or a small bathroom, each day. If you have 30 minutes to quickly clean out a closet, consider that a victory. In no time you’ll have a house that is clutter-free and ready for holiday decorating!
Mix and Match Patterns
Like a Pro
Mixing and matching patterns in one can seem daunting to a beginner decorator. Break open a home fashion magazine though, and it’s all you’ll see! At Roseland Draperies, we think decorating your home shouldn’t be challenging, it should be fun. We’re here to help with a few tips from our interior designers to get you started – mixing and matching!
Roseland works with fabric companies that have assembled “groups of fabrics that work well together. We also work with only the top fabric manufacturers. They have used their expertise to combine fabrics into families, which greatly simplifies the process as well.
Patio Door Solutions Beyond Vertical Blinds!
Roseland always brings you the latest designs and innovations for your home. Patio Doors are no excpetion! Check out the trending ways these doors can be transformed into a focal point of any room. Schedule a free shop-at-home appointment to see these stunning products right in your own home.
Elance Sliding Panels - These gorgeous flat panels come in a wide variety of fabrics to really make a statement in any room. They slide to the side of the door, stacking neatly behind each other, providing a clean look with maximum access and light. When closed, they offer maximum privacy and an equally beautiful look!
How Light Effects Your Paint Color
Besides creating beautiful home fashions, Roseland also provides expert consultations on interior design. One area we’re most asked about is choosing paint color. We’ve rounded up our designers and here’s their best advice on choosing the perfect paint color for your home.
Check Time of Day – As the sunlight moves throughout your home during the day, color perception can change dramatically. Morning light is a mixture of warm colors and can help paint glow. Afternoon light is much bluer, while bright sunlight can wash out most any color. Be especially careful choosing colors late in the afternoon and early evening when the long shadows can change the appearance of many colors. Evening light is warmer and brings out these tones in your paint.
Check Direction of Light – In north-facing rooms bolder colors will show up better than soft or light colors, since it is cool light that filters through these rooms. South-facing rooms show best in cool and warm colors. Dark colors will be brighter and lighter colors will shine! East-facing rooms really hold up well to red, orange and yellow colors, while west-facing rooms can look a bit dull in the evening, but warm and beautiful in the evening light.
Check Type of Light – When choosing paint, natural daylight is unbeatable in revealing the truest color of paint. Incandescent light will highlight warm tones and yellows, while fluorescent lighting brings out blue tones.
If you’d like to schedule an in-home paint consultation, please call us at 630-355-1565. Our rates are reasonable and our expertise unmatched!
Choosing Outdoor Fabrics that Last
Choosing an outdoor fabric doesn’t have to be difficult, but you do have to know what to look for. Especially in the Midwest, you’ll always want to choose fabric that’s labeled “all-weather”, “weather-proof”, or something similar. Our designers have shared a few other recommendations which they always suggest to Roseland clients.
One of the most important considerations is UV resistance. Fortunately, it’s fairly straightforward. The higher the UV resistance rating, the longer it will last when exposed to sunlight. The type of fabric used can greatly effect the UV tolerance. Polyester and acrylic fabrics are typically a good choice. Also, a woven fabric will stand up to the sun better than a printed fabric.
However, any fabric will gradually fade over time. Keep this in mind as you choose the fabric color and pattern. Very dark and very vibrant colors will fade much faster. To help delay fading, you can store pillows and cushions away from daylight when not in use. Also, remember that the fabric is still exposed to fade-inducing sunlight, even on overcast days!
You may also want to choose a water-repellant, or better yet, waterproof fabric. Most outdoor fabrics have a coating which protects them from water, but it’s always better to ask and make sure. It should also protect against the formation of mold and mildew. This coating unfortunately, does wear away over time, so outdoor cushions and pillows won’t last forever!
The final consideration is “abrasion resistance”. Furniture kept outdoors can really take a beating! Always consider how well the fabric will hold up under demanding use. Fabrics which are quite stiff and heavy hold up well. Some are even coated with vinyl to increase their toughness. For a softer look, there are also outdoor upholstery fabrics which are tough, but which look great.
It’s all a trade-off between an inviting look, and outdoor items which will wear reasonably well. By making the right choices, your outdoor furniture and pillows can last for quite a while … or until you’re ready for a new look!