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Category — Fabric

Curtains and More Curtains

Prior to the start of the weekend, I promised myself that I would finalize the fabric for the sofa I’m about to get re-upholstered.  I finished all of my experiments and was satisfied with the results.  So I grab the credit card and placed the order!  Yay!  The fabric should be delivered in about a week since it was a special order.  The cost of the fabric was nearly $400.  But before you cringe at the price, I did order a high end commercial grade fabric.  There were MANY options available that were much cheaper, but my hope in using a commercial grade fabric is to never need to re-upholster this sofa again.  Time will tell.

Once I got the sofa fabric out of the way, I felt energized to work on my basement windows that have desperately needed some dressing up.  I know I have mentioned this a few times before and never seem to get anywhere with it.  I somehow found myself stuck with what to do with two of the four windows.   Many months ago, I bought two double rods and put them up on the windows that face south.  I was really lucky and came across some garage sale finds – linen curtains that were the right size for these rods and the right price – $1 each.   And that’s as far as I got.  Well, I’m happy to say that not only a decision was made but orders were placed.  The two east facing windows will be getting 2” faux wood blinds in white (you’ll be surprised where these are coming from), while the south facing windows will get the top rod (of the double rod) finished off with some velvety curtains.  Have I mentioned how much I heart velvet?

If you didn’t already lose all respect for me when I mentioned the Tori Spelling book I purchased, then I might be walking on a very thin line when I tell you that I bought the blinds from Wal-Mart.  After doing some research on 2” faux wood blinds, the reviews from the Wal-Mart ones rose to the top.  Over and over I read how people had purchased more expensive blinds from other sources and found these to be superior.  The blinds have a 4.7 star rating out of 5 with 200+ reviews (you can check it out here).  Pricing was also a plus at $39 each – an unbelievable price for windows that are rather large.  Then for the icing on the cake – shipping to my house for both blinds was only $2.99.  Did I win any of you back?

Sources:

Sofa fabric – Decorative Fabric Direct

2” Faux Blinds – Wal-Mart

Velvety Curtains  - Curtain Works

Images:  House of Many Hues (CurtainWorks Ad)

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May 1, 2012   No Comments

Adventures with Fabric

My latest project involves performing experiments on fabrics by intentionally spilling liquids on them.  Why would I do that you ask?  Well, I shall tell you.  A few years ago, I bought a down-filled sofa off of Craigslist for $300.  Before ever physically seeing the sofa, I knew I was going to be in for something special.  When we arrived, we drove up the driveway to a home (estate) that must have been worth in the millions.  I’m not joking – at one point I thought we were at the wrong house.  Why would these people post anything on Craigslist?  This gorgeous home boasted 9 bathrooms and over 8,000 sq. ft.  Ok, back on topic (I could go on about this home).  Once we got the sofa to home, I was able to trace its origins to a super high quality line.  With the information I was able to gather, my guess is was that it was originally purchased for thousands of dollars.  It’s got beautiful lines that are classic and ever so solid construction.  However, while the fabric is durable and in good shape, the color does not go well in my home (I kinda knew this buying it).  So now I am working on having it re-upholstered and selecting the right fabric is tricky.

If you’ve never researched upholstery fabrics, you may not know that the majority are non-machine washable – not so great when you have two kids under 4.   In fact, many even stated that only “non-water solvents” are to be used when cleaning.  What are non-water solvents?  Does that mean dry-cleaning?  I contacted one of the upholstery manufacturers and asked, “So what happens if you spill water or juice on your fabric?”  Silence.  I guess no one has asked her this question before.  She didn’t really have an answer (or want to say).  She did mentioned that it might leave a water ring or that the fabric could shrink.  I then asked, “What if I machine washed the entire fabric before it’s used for re-upholstery?”   Again, no real answer.  So I’ve setup a series of experiments in which I spill various liquids (that are likely to spill) on my sample fabric.  I’ve left the spills to sit overnight and so far the results are quite favorable.  But the ultimate test will be running it through the wash.

Some of the fabrics I’m exploring are from:

1.  West Elm

2. Pottery Barn

3. House of Fabric

4. Fabric Guru

5. Inside Fabric

Images:  House of Many Hues

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April 24, 2012   1 Comment

Designer Fabrics

I spent most of my weekend at home working on a few projects but mostly spending time with the girls.  My weekends generally involve alot of driving around but after gas prices hit over $4 a gallon on Saturday (for me a $70 fill-up!), I was reminded that I need to brush up on how I plan my driving routes and where I really need to go.   Therefore I spent all day Sunday at home and loved it!

Part of my weekend was spent working one of my favorite hobbies – searching for hard-to-get European designer fabrics.  They are hard-to-get because most of the companies do not sell directly to the public so you must purchase them through interior designers.  However, sometimes there are remnants left over from a project that buyers sell.  I came across many that are just g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s and were on sale for around $60 – $100 per yard.  I know that sounds crazy expensive but many of these can range hundreds of dollars per yard.  My impulsive side wanted to just jump and buy a few yards but I have incorporated a rule when buying fabric – I must have a specific project it will be used for.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought pretty fabrics with no purpose in mind only for it to sit on a shelf.  So as you can imagine, I’m working hard at thinking where I could use the newly found fabrics before purchasing them.

While on my hunt of fabrics, I came across Jane Claire, a UK based shop owned by Jane Kitching and Claire Scott – both international interior designers.  While they do not sell fabric, they do design their own eclectic fabrics using lots of color, silks, and even vintage fabrics.  These designs and fabrics on their own line of cushions.

Images:  Jane Claire

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April 18, 2011   No Comments

Visit to the Michigan Design Center – Part III

I can’t believe we are almost to the end of our week long series on my visit to the Michigan Design Center.  But fear not – with 30+ showrooms, there is still much more to cover and discuss.  So let’s get started!  My topic of focus in this posting will be fabric exhibits.  It is one element that is almost always part of any design.  Whether it’s the window treatments, pillows, sofa, bed coverings, fabric plays an important roll in the overall scheme of interior design.

I began my visit at Rozmallin where I met Dawn Tennant, Showroom Manager.  She was extremely accommodating and informative about the layout of her showroom and the fabric lines her company represents.  It was no surprise that she is also a Design Professor at Baker College in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

The walls are lined with endless amounts of fabrics.  Some of the lines include Clarence House, Peter Fasano, and Motif just to name a few.

She even took the time to show me her sample stockroom which was extensive and very well organized.  As we chatted, she provided me with gorgeous brochures from various suppliers Rozmallin deals with.  I was quite fortunate to receive these brochures as I imagine that only retailers and designers generally have access to them.

Aside from carrying fabrics, Rozmallin also sells wallcoverings, handmade French iron chandeliers by Ironware International, and furniture by Farmhouse Collection.  The bed above just happens to be one of the beds on display from the Farmhouse Carondolet Collection.  Thank you Dawn for the wonderful tour – I would love to come back and visit again!

Duralee happen to be another fabric showroom filled with colorful fabrics and wallpapers.

They have a well organized resource center and are quick to find what clients are looking for.  While taking my photos, a client had called in looking for an item seen in House Beautiful magazine.  The staff quickly looked up the issue and immediately hunted down the item.

I was told they have the largest collection of wallpapers on display (take a look above).  The wallpaper display seems to go on forever.

My final stop was at Tennant & Associates, a well established fabric showroom.  I spent quite a bit of time with the owner as he explained the layout and design of his showroom (which is 19 years old and still looks so current and beautiful).  “Good design is timeless”, he said.  We talked about how he went to architecture school, the military, and finally how he landed in the design business.

There were so many fabric – contemporary, transitional, and traditional.  The polka dot fabric above is by Tessuti Uno.  He also told me about the legendary Jim Thompson Fabrics line.  I found the history (and unsolved mystery) to be so interesting that I did additional research that evening.  Through my investigation, I found a book on it here.

Tomorrow will be the last of a week long series on the Michigan Design Center.  Come back and join me again!

Images:  House of Many Hues

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February 3, 2011   No Comments

Visit to the Michigan Design Center Part I

I’m just busting at the seams to share with you my visit at the Michigan Design Center – “…a one-stop shopping resource for the finest names in interior furnishings“.  The Troy, MI based location has 215,000 square feet filled with fabrics, wallpapers, sofas, lighting, tiles, artwork, accessories – just about anything for the home you can think of.  So when I received an invitation to their Sample Sale a few weeks back, I was beyond excited.  Days before the sale, I contacted their main office to obtain a photography clearance.  It was suggested that due to the high volume of people expected, I come a couple days before the sale actually started to take photos.  This was not only helpful, but quite the treat for me!

Upon my arrival at the Design Centers concierges desk, I was greeted with warmth and lead to the Manager’s office to confirm my arrival.   Shortly thereafter, I went off to explore the 30+ showrooms.  I took so many photos and spoke to some of the finest designers that there was no way I could capture it all in one posting.  Therefore I have dedicated this week to the Michigan Design Center!

I began my journey at TRA Art Group where they offers tons of glasswork, sculptures, paintings for purchase, framing, and art rental.

My next stop was at Brunschwig & Fils fabric, upholstery, and trimming company.  There was wall after wall of luscious fabrics.  I was really happy to see such a wonderful and extensive contemporary collection.

I inquired about the stunning fabrics above and was told that they were by Stark Fabrics.  This set is from the Lelievre collection.   Below is a designer’s work in progress.  So many beautiful fabrics to choose from!

I continued my way to the next showroom which happened to be Michael Coyne Design.  As I walked into his showroom, I immediately recognized the rope chandelier hanging in the middle of the room.   He was a sponsor at last years Dining by Design and it was used in one of the displays (you can see it in my post here).  As I was nearing the end of my photo session at his exhibit, in walks Michael Coyne himself!   I introduced myself and briefly spoke to the designer noting that I had recently seen his famous chandelier.

I spent hours at the Design Center and could literally have used another 3 hrs. – there was so much to see!  One thing to note if you are going to visit is that products not offered at the Sample Sale  generally must be purchased through a designer.  Don’t know one?  Not a problem.  The Design Center can help you connect with one.

Thank you to the Staff and Showroom Employee’s at the Michigan Design Center for your superb hospitality and informative experience.  Stay tuned for more…

Images:  House of Many Hues

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January 31, 2011   No Comments

Naomi Ito

I haven’t painted in a few weeks because it seems that lately so many other tasks have taken precedence (and for good reason).  However, that has resulted in a lot of pent up inspiration and really needs a creative outlet.  After spending time over at Naomi Ito’s website, I’m convinced that I need to find time (even if it’s just for 1/2 an hour) and pick up the paint brush!  Naomi is an artist and a textile designer (makes really cute buttons too!) that has worked in such cities as Paris, Osaka, and Tokyo.  Checkout some of her work…it’s just beautiful! Can you guess why I love it so much?

If interested in purchasing some of her work or her latest fabric collection, Nani Iro, it’s available for sale on Etsy and Super Buzzy (a Japanese fabric and craft supply shop).  Ok, it’s now time to think about what I can make with this fabric…

Images:  Naomi Ito

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November 2, 2010   No Comments

Designing and Printing Fabrics

Have you ever had a project that required fabric where you knew the design and feel that you were targeting but after a trip to the fabric store came up with nothing?  This very thing just happened to me this past weekend!  I envisioned a large print fabric with blues, greens, and yellows.  While there were lots of beautiful fabrics available, none of them came close to my minds fabric.  Then by complete coincidence, I came across not one, but two fabulous companies that offer you the ability to design and print your own fabric.

Want to print your designs at home?  Inkbloom offers their Loomtrack technology (printable vinyl) to use on your home inkjet printer (not designed for Laser printers).  You can purchase a roll of Loomtrack (8.5″ x 108″) for around $18.50, print your design, and then stick it to a base fabric (also sold on their site).  No heat required – just stick it on!

The second company is Spoonflower located in North Carolina.  Their process is simple – upload your design, choose your fabric (type of cotton), and the yardage.  Spoonflower uses eco-friendly inks and natural fiber fabrics.  Prices range from $18 to $32 a yard with no minimum order.  Want to share your original designs with the world?  You can sell your fabric designs in the Spoonflower marketplace and earn 10% of the sales price.

I haven’t quite given up on finding a fabric similar to what I have in mind.  However, I do have a great excuse to try out one of these services if nothing comes up.  I’ll let you know if I do!

Images:  Inkbloom, Spoonflower

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August 17, 2010   No Comments

Belle Notte Linens

A few weeks ago I went shopping at a strip mall that I have visited on numerous times.  They were having a sidewalk sale and so I couldn’t resist and had to stop on by.  While shopping, I came across a little shop that I had never seen before.  As I walked through the doors of the store, the first display to greet me was a Belle Notte bedding set.  Sooo gorgeous!  I wanted to throw myself on the bed and wallow in the velvety softness but the sign stating, “Please do not sit on” stopped me.  My intent must have been obvious because within seconds the shop owner came over to discuss the beauty of the bedding.  “It’s all machine washable too“, she said.  This could not get any better!

So what else did this shop have to offer?  Beyond the Belle Notte display were other designer fabrics and clothing.  How could I have missed this specialty shop before?  Unfortunately, the shop lacks any store front appeal and the organization inside is less than desirable.  It’s such a shame because the products carried are so beautiful.  But it goes to show that no matter how “high end” a product is, without visual merchandising (retail decorating), shoppers may be inclined to leave for something brighter and better organized.  I wish to nominate this shop for Style Networks business makeover show Peter Perfect (if they ever bring it back!).

Images:  Bella Notte Linens

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August 9, 2010   No Comments