Picking Fabrics for HGTV Dream Home 2016
Viscose. Bouclé. Woolen plaid. Buffalo check. Weave. Welt. What do all of these random words have in common? They’re all fabrics. Deciding on fabrics for your home can be very intimidating since there are endless options, and once the fabric has been cut for an upholstery or window covering, there's no going back.
To tackle the upholstery and window covering for HGTV Dream Home 2016 in Merritt Island, Florida, my associate Ashley Bothwell and I made our way to the Ethan Allen showroom in Midtown Manhattan. For design types like us, it was like going to an amusement park, except instead of taking photos with copyright protected characters, we selected stripes and checks, and instead of riding on roller coasters, we played with a furniture rendering program.
All of my interior design projects begin with the selection of fabrics. Sure, I'll have a color scheme loosely in mind, but I don't tighten up the palette until I find the right prints, solids and textures to layer hues on windows, seating, pillows and even wall upholstery.
In just one productive day, Ashley and I worked with the design team to narrow down our selections and create a fluid plan that flows from the minute you enter the house, to the poolside lounge.
Inside a multi-level New York City showroom, designers and homeowners can choose from a wide variety of coordinating fabric books, which makes the selection process quick and streamlined.
If you're stumped as to where to start with your fabric selection process, know that the key to a well-layered room includes a range of scale: large, medium and small.
And if you're intimidated by pattern, know that a classic, cotton ticking stripe adds a graphic touch in a timeless manner and mixes well with a wide variety of other prints.
A common mistake homeowners make when choosing fabrics is losing focus of the overall intended look of their spaces. This comes down to a matter of taste level. Before venturing out, create a mood board with different design elements from paint colors, furniture styles and even genres of art. Fabrics can seem ill conceived if they don't maintain the same level of taste.
Although it may sound odd, colors can take on different tints and shades depending on how they’re situated next to one another. For example: If you plan on an all-white room but simply introduce a work of art with touches of blue in it, the room may end up reflecting that blue.
As you select fabrics for different elements like window coverings, upholstery and pillows, be sure to place them next to one another in natural light and artificial light to see how they appear. You may find that your first choice comes across as a different color once it's paired, and you may want to resort to your second choice.
A trick many designers and decorators stick with to avoid a “matchy matchy” or pattern packed space, is to choose several shades of a color to slightly throw the overall look off.
Furthermore, if you're excited about decorating a space, which will eventually be photographed, it's smart to take a look at how fabrics appear through a lens. Many times a very small pattern may be too tight to show up in photos. Conversely, some patterns, textures or colors may look great from close up, but lose their effect when seen from far away.
When it comes to indoor-outdoor fabrics, there are many styles available, making it hard to tell the difference between those meant strictly for interiors versus those for exteriors. Often referred to as performance fabrics, these are made to resist mold and mildew, wash off easily with a hose and and be UV-resistant.
If you have commitment issues when it comes to using pattern for your outdoor upholstery, it may be smart to stick with solids for the main cushions and then add a print with a few throw pillows.
Ethan Allen fully furnished the HGTV® Dream Home 2016. Shop the looks you love at ethanallen.com. Or visit your nearest Ethan Allen Design Center to start living the dream today—their design pros can show you how!