Not all fabrics work in all areas of the home. There are many questions that should be asked and other characteristics to consider, including the fabric's stain resistance, exposure to sunlight, color, durability, comfort, care, and lifespan.
"If a client has small children, we may suggest fabrics that are not only durable, but also more forgiving of stains because of their pattern blend," Sisler Johnston said. "Sometimes we suggest buying additional fabric for an extra set of pillows or cushions for use while one set is being cleaned."
The fabric's appropriateness also has to do with its appearance, comfort, and care. The fabric's pattern or shade should complement the room or furniture piece in terms of its color, size, and scale. A large pattern is best when used sparingly in a small room, such as for a pillow accent or applied to a small chair. When it comes to room seating, the most important consideration is the fabric's comfort. Since everyone should enjoy using their furniture, Sisler Johnston recommends handling a fabric to help determine its comfort level. If it is pleasing to the hand, it will be a more comfortable seating choice.
A fabric's weight and fiber content will help determine its durability and potential lifespan. Fabric care is another important consideration. Many manufacturers offer fabrics that already have an applied stain resistant finish, which causes stains to sit on the surface rather than penetrate the fiber. Fiber protective sprays can also be applied after purchasing fabric. Many sprays are now free of ozone damaging chemicals and do not change the fabric's appearance or texture.
Some common sense rules also apply. Not exposing drapery fabrics to direct sunlight will help prevent fading. In brighter areas of the home, a lining to block the sun can be added for protection. Rotation of cushions and pillows will help ensure their graceful aging. If selected appropriately, quality upholstery and drapery fabrics will provide years of pleasure and wear.
For help in selecting fabrics, consulting with a knowledgeable, licensed interior designer to recommend the best choices can be a worthwhile investment.
Judith Sisler Johnston and her team of licensed, highly trained, and gifted designers combine experience, knowledge, and professionalism to help clients develop their vision while analyzing their design requirements. The company celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2004 and has been recognized with more than 75 industry awards, including Aurora, Laurel, Excel, and the National Association of Home Builders Senior Housing awards.
For more information about Sisler Johnston Interior Design, call (904) 288-0908 or visit www.sislerjohnston.com.