Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fun with Fabric and Interiors

The great thing about fabric is that it is such a versatile product. You can upholster chairs, hang panels, drape swags, draw curtains, frame pieces, glue it to the wall and make a cushion cover with it! All in one room if you like!

Fabric is fun and you can change the look of a room in an instant but adding a fabric. Be it subtle with a textured neutral or dramatic with a bold pattern, fabrics can change the style of a room inexpensively.

You can change the look for the seasons, for children or visitors, for now or for marketing your home for sale. There are so many ways to use fabric.

The bedroom is a good example, the bedspread, comforter, dooner or duvet - whatever you call your bedding, can be changed to create different moods.

We have white textured duvet covers for spring and summer, providing a cool and crisp feel, open and the bedroom looks larger, then for winter we have rich gold duvets which provide a sense of warmth and make the room feel cosier. (Plus it shows less muddy cat footprints in the winter!) Just one simple way of changing the fabric for the seasons.

Another way is with a table cloth, the style of design can change with the function of dining. Everyday dining a simple plaid, checked or gingham fabric, easy wash no iron type! Then for more formal occasions a white irish linen damask to add style and class to the dining table.
The same room but different looks, simply but changing the fabric.

I have named a few ideas, are there any other examples that you can think of?
I encourage reader participation, I have started to get some feedback on my articles from you lately, so let's see what you have to say about this topic!

Further reading on Fabrics Fabrics and Textiles 1 Fabrics and Textiles 2 Fabrics and Textiles 3 Fabrics and Textiles 4 Natural Fibers Artificial Fibers Synthetic Fibers

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Trouble with Fast TV Interior Design Turnaround

I don't get much of a chance to watch TV, but I do hear a lot of people talking about interior design and decorating makeover programs. They tell me it is so glamorous and looks like so much fun! How amazing the designers are and can change a room with so little money in such a short time!!

So I have watched a few and I don't know about you, but I would like to visit the TV makeover rooms a week or even a month later to see what is still standing.

The speed and the shortcuts they take are not conducive to good design. Imagine what a loss to us all it the Pantheon, in Athens, had been whipped up with a glue gun in one hour!! It would definitely not still be here today. Probably not really a good example but you can see where I am coming from.

Successful design and decoration comes from good planning, having a realistic budget, and using professional qualified contractors. Then your interior design or decorating project will stand the test of time!

These TV programs set unrealistic goals that any real designer could never meet. Therefore when a client comes to you they expect things to happen instantly, and guess what? It is not the way the design process works. You and your client have to work through a planning process of design, then ensure that your plans suit the budget you have allocated, then you need to engage the correct contractors, source the materials to arrive when you need them and watch every thing as it goes along to make sure that everyone is working together and they have interpreted your designs correctly. This definitely does not happen in one hour!

I have been an interior designer for fourteen years now and I am yet to pick up a paint brush, demolish a chimney or sit at a sewing machine for my client! So why do they show designers getting down and dirty! It just seems crazy to portray a consultant in such a way. Call me a snob, but I believe that these "reality" TV interior design makeover shows have undermined our profession, and created unrealistic expectations for project budgets and time frames. They have made people more aware of their personal environments which is a positive step but do little else to promote our cause.

So I'll be back to not watching these TV shows, but I am sure that the general consumerist public, ready for a quick fix, will still sign on to the glue gun brigade!

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