One thing that you will always notice about interior decorating is that designers will often play with a variety of fabrics to create the desired look. This could be a simple tablecloth on a large, impressive looking dining table or it could be a throw draped across the couch. Fabrics are generally used to provide a splash of color or texture to the room and you can use fabrics to pull out the decor you are going for or simply to accent it.
When it comes to fabric, there are many selections to choose from and it may be hard to figure out which one works best for you home. Not only should you think of the fabrics that are covering pillows and windows, to name a few places, but you should also think about the fabric that is covering the furniture.
The type of fabric that you purchase is very important and it can be the difference of having beautiful lines and a crumpled mess that is filled with holes. Before you choose your fabric, ask yourself some simple questions about the use of the space.
• What will the space be used for?
• Will it be a high traffic area?
• Will it be used regularly or just when guests come over?
• What type of light does the room have?
• Do you have any pets?
• Do you have any children?
Believe it or not, your answers will deeply affect your fabric choose since you won’t want to use a lot of silk if you have children eating snacks in the room. You also won’t want to place a leather chair in a sunroom. Once you know all the answers, then you can move on to selecting your fabrics.
When it comes to fabrics, there are many different types out there and the combinations are endless but for the purpose of practicality, we are going to look at a 100% fabric and none of the combination fabrics.
Also known to many designers as “art silk,” rayon is a semi-synthetic fabric that is a great alternative to silk. It has a bright shiny texture to it and is a great choice for many homes that is looking for something that is more durable than silk is. The one major drawback of rayon is that it will wrinkle so it is better to use it on a surface that won’t have a lot of people lounging on it.
Well, we all know what silk is and it can provide a rich element to any room when you use it for window coverings, pillows or even as an upholstery covering. It has a soft lustre to it and the fibers themselves are actually prism like, which is why the material shines it reflects light at various angles. The main drawback of silk is that it is not very durable. It is prone to wrinkling and it will stain very easily. I would avoid using silk in high traffic areas such as family rooms where people may be munching on popcorn during a movie.
If you want to find a material that is comfortable and functional, then you should choose this synthetic fabric. Olefin is a very common material that is used in furniture since the fabric is durable, holds color and stain resistant. This is the perfect fabric for those high traffic areas and for smaller fabric areas; you can find olefin combined with other fabrics to create beauty and function.
Usually seen in drapes and bed sheets, most people do not use a straight polyester fabric to decorate with, or really at any time. What they do use instead is a polyester blend with a variety of other fabrics. Polyester is a synthetic fibre that is used in a variety of ways and can be found in a large number of textures. It, or a polyester blend, is a good choice for sitting areas since polyester is resistant to wrinkles.
Cotton is a natural fiber that is found in a lot of different blends and fabrics. It is comfortable and breathable, which makes it an excellent fabric to work with. It also has the wonderful traits of being resistant to fading and other signs of wear and tear. The main problem with cotton is that it tends to stain and become soiled very easily. That is why, if you choose to use cotton in your home, you should use a cotton blend instead of a pure cotton.
Acrylic, also known as Acrylic fiber, is a synthetic fabric that was created as an alternative to wool and it has begun seeing use as an alternative to cashmere. The fabric is surprisingly soft and comfortable and its durability makes it an excellent choice for home decor. Generally, acrylic fabrics hold color extremely well and resist shrinkage, which is excellent when you have to clean some of your fabrics. Acrylic fabric also resists stains and wear and tear. It is also resistant to wrinkles.
Another synthetic fabric, nylon is a resilient fabric that has a silky texture to it. It is usually resistant to stains and it holds color extremely well. Although it is a strong fabric it tends to only be used in blends and not on its own. Since it is a strong and resilient fabric, the uses for nylon, or nylon blends, is practically endless when it comes to your home decor.
The last fabric that I am going to look at is leather, which is a natural fabric that is produced by tanning various hides, usually cow but not always. Leather can add a rich element to a home and many people love it but this is not the easiest fabric to have in your home. Leather requires a lot of work and the color can fade if it is placed in direct sunlight. Another problem with leather is that it can become scratched and stained quite easily. Still, it does make a statement wherever you use it and can be an excellent choice for many rooms.
The main thing to remember about fabrics is that you need to pick something that you are comfortable with and ones that fit your lifestyle. You won’t want to use a lot of silks if you have dogs and cats scrambling over them on a daily basis. If you are ever in doubt about a fabric, simply look for an alternative in a fabric blend instead of working with 100% pure fabric.
When deciding on a Rug, many factors need to be taken into account. What colour, texture and design would align with your existing décor? Will the size of the rug be over bearing or merely a centre piece below a coffee table? What fibre type would be best suited for the environment?
Let us help you clear the confusion and make an informed decision.
Are you comfortable with a mix of patterns and colors, or would you prefer to let the rug serve as an unobtrusive backdrop? For a more spacious look, choose a lighter colour. For a cozier atmosphere, opt for darker colours.
How much traffic does the space get? Do you have children and pets? Some rugs are sturdier than others. For your highest traffic areas, choose a wool flatweave rug or durable jute or sisal rugs. Rugs with a lot of pattern are also a good choice for frequently used rooms since they camouflage traffic patterns and the occasional muddy paw print.
How much do you want to spend? Handmade rugs are more expensive than machine-made rugs. Wool is more expensive than cotton or sisal but will last longer. There are lots of options to suit both your space and your budget.
Know Your Fibres
Wool - Long the choice of rug makers, wool stands up well to traffic, provides a soft cushion underfoot, and, over time, takes on a patina that adds to the character of a room. Prone to shedding; must be professionally cleaned.
Cotton - More casual and affordable than wool. Cotton rugs are often flatweaves or braided, and because cotton dyes easily, these rugs are available in a wide range of colors. It's a softer, though less durable, alternative to seagrass, jute, and sisal rugs. Often machine-washable.
Jute, Seagrass, and Sisal - These natural fibers create tough, durable floor coverings. None will be as soft as wool or cotton, but their distinctive textures and often large-scale weaves add interest that wool and cotton can't always achieve. All may darken if exposed to direct sunlight and shouldn't be exposed to moisture for long periods of time. Stains can be difficult to remove.
Silk and Viscose -In our rugs, these are used in combination with wool. Their sheen adds highlights to the rug and gives definition to the design.
Polypropylene - A stain-resistant synthetic fiber that repels stains and water, making it the perfect choice for outdoor rugs. Dry cleaning is not recommended because many dry-cleaning solvents can swell the fibers.
How to Measure For Your Rug
As a general rule of thumb, if you want one rug to cover the floor for the room, choose a rug approx. 60cm shorter than the smallest wall in the room. Try to leave an equal amount of flooring showing on all sides. So, for a 4m x 5m room, your rug should be approximately 3.4m x 4.4m.
In large rooms, consider your furniture configuration. Try to keep all four legs of your furniture on the rug while leaving a nice border of bare floor. If only the front legs of a sofa or chair are on the rug, you might need to use furniture coasters to level the piece and add stability. As an alternative, choose a smaller rug that fits under a coffee table or is centered on a fireplace and let the more major furniture pieces surround that.
For an entryway, swing your front door open and measure the floor from that point, keeping the door's pathway clear. Hall rugs should have at least 15 cm of floor showing on all sides, so measure your hallway and subtract 30cm from the length and width.
Dining room rugs should extend at least 60cm beyond the edge of the table so that the rug accommodates the chairs, even when guests push back from the table. A quick way to figure this is to measure the length and width of your table and add at 1.2m to each measurement. If possible, keep the rug small enough that sideboards, servers and other furniture pieces are not on the rug.
Key Things to Consider When Buying Office Furniture and Fixtures.
The first, most important factor is your office design budget. How much you are willing to spend on office furniture? This figure will determine the kind, quality and quantity of office fixtures. With a budget in mind, look for the best deals and highest quality furniture that limited resources can buy.
How large or small your office space is will determine the kind of furniture you buy as well. If you have only a few employees and a small space you can purchase larger co-working tables. But more employees in a small office require more tables. So, ensure they aren’t too small or uncomfortable.
Every office space requires an ample amount of lighting irrespective of how many windows are available. Though, having more windows could decrease your electricity bill during the day, but lighting must be strong and placed in places where it benefits employees the most.
When buying office furniture, the comfort of employees must be considered. If your team is not comfortable in cubicles or desks, they will get agitated, which will undoubtedly impact productivity, performance and workplace morale.
Hygiene is important in any workplace. So, don’t forget to account for the type of material your furniture is designed from; something that shows stains and that isn’t easy to clean may not be the best choice in an environment where cleanliness is a priority.
Selecting office furniture that has a consistency of color, design or look across the entire office makes it look united. If the furniture color or style is different for every individual then an office can look like one big jigsaw puzzle and give off a messy vibe. It may also assert ideas of favoritism among employees. A consistent furniture scheme creates calmness and synergy.
While selecting office desks, keep in mind that employees will be spending most of their time working from it. Therefore, office desks must be functional, and large enough that an employee can write and work work from their desktop computer (if required). Most importantly, an office desk should allow team members to do their jobs in the most optimal way possible. For instance, ensure adequate leg space underneath for employees to stretch, occasionally.
Chairs are one of the most important factors to consider when designing an office space. Most employees sit in their chairs for eight to nine hours daily. So, naturally, office chairs must be extremely comfortable and adjustable, but not too comfortable to encourage a mid-day nap. Also, buying office chairs with wheels is a better option as it allows employees quicker movement and accessibility.
Creating an individual workspace storage area for every employee to keep files, data and project information is extremely important. This will help employees stay organized and benefit from easy access and improved workflow.
The office furniture you select should be ‘electronics friendly’ — offering just enough space for hardware and easy management of wires for key things such as a computer, phone, etc.
If you choose to outfit your new office with cubicles, utilizing cubicle dividers should be considered for both privacy and workplace productivity. It is the best, and most cost-effective way to give every individual a mini-office within an office and still be able to communicate easily.
Choosing a couch is one of the bigger decisions you'll make in terms of furniture in the home and certainly a big investment too. The couch is the main focal point as well as the most functional furniture in the living room, so getting it right is critical for the overall look and feel one tries to achieve.
Follow these tips to get the basics right and the rest should fall into place.
Mark your lounge out with masking tape on the floor to get an overall idea of the size and positioning of your lounge suite. Take into account the space at the ends of the couch if used as a pathway into or out of the room. Naturally, the longer couch in a suite should face the focal point such as a fireplace or TV. Recliners will also need to be recessed away from any back walls so as to fully open and extend.
In a room with low ceilings, go for a couch with a lower overall height to accentuate the ceiling height. Similarly choose a high back design if the room has tall ceilings, so as to give the couch more of a presence. Also be aware of the overall width and height of your couch and make sure doorways can accommodate.
If you love taking a nap on your couch, make sure the seating section is at least 2m long. Also the width of the seats should be at least 60cm. A deeper couch will also accommodate more scatter cushions. Take into account the shape and height of the armrest, a lower one will be more comfortable on your neck.
Upholster your couch in a solid colour that matches the curtains or walls. Reserve the bold and punchy colours for scatter cushions which can easily be changed according to season or taste. Darker fabrics can be used on skirts or below seats to avoid foot scuffs. If using stripes, then make sure the stripes on the seat backs line up with those on seats/ seat cushions.
Get acquainted with sectional terminology. “Right arm facing” (RAF) means that when you are facing the piece or section, the arm is on your right. “Left arm facing” (LAF) means that the arm is on your left. Getting the proper-facing arm is critical to the placement of your new sectional in your room.
If possible, choose a 3 seat couch over a 2 seat couch with the same overall length. 3 people will generally not sit on a 2 seater couch.
Pick up one end of the couch, a heavier feel means more timber has been used in the construction. Also if you lift one of the front legs off the ground, the other should lift too. If not, then it could be an indication that the frame is weak.
If you decide on a couch with exposed timber feet or inlays, make sure the colour and finish matches other pieces in the room such as coffee and sidetables. Also match the design of suite to the rest of the décor in the room, Chesterfields are classic and timeless where a square arm design more contemporary.
On a deeper/ taller couch use larger scatter cushions, undersized ones will look lost. Naturally, when using larger cushions, you will have less of them to constantly fluff up. Loose seats can be re-filled, or foam replaced fairly easily. Fixed seat couches would have to completely opened up and re-upholstered to achieve.