The Interior Design Yearbook 2012 is out now. Packed full of inspiring case studies, gorgeous images and expert guidance from professional interior designers, it’s a must-read for anyone interested in design. Writers include Jonanna Wood, Sally Storey, Tara Bernerd and our very own Cate Burren who was asked to pen the chapter on fabrics and textiles, as well as providing a case study. Cate’s article is featured below and the yearbook is available here.
Trend: Fabrics and Textiles by Cate Burren
Fabric and textiles have always been a core part of an interior designers’ tool basket and fabric houses are quick to pick up on and reflect current tastes and trends. As a result, these textiles can act as a unique barometer of changing fashions and styles within our homes and interior environments, immediately evoking memories of childhood, reminiscences of bygone eras or recollections of people or places.
What is a trend?
There will always be trends in fabric design; styles and colours come and go in seasonal waves and fabric houses regularly present new collections. However, there are no fixed rules when it comes to following these trends. People often have an immediate reaction to a particular texture or pattern and each client’s choice will be uniquely personal to them. I find that this can play a key part in uncovering a client’s style; the type of fabric that they are instinctively drawn towards will tell me a world of information about their lifestyle and the look that they are after. As such, whilst I am aware of trends I will always consider the client and their needs first when selecting fabrics for them. It is far more important to me to ensure that the client has a finished home which suits their needs and lifestyle than a home which is filled with the most up to date products.
There are lots of great developments in fabric design at the moment. Outdoor fabrics are looking better and better with products that really are weather resistant and there are some great voile fabrics on the market, especially linens that are so versatile and look fantastic. We are also seeing an increasing crossover between fashion and home furnishings, for example the Christian Lacroix collection for Designers Guild and the Oscar de la Renta collection for G P and J Baker. These collaborations are refreshing as they bring new styles and ways of working with fabrics to the interiors market. Colour has been gradually been returning to home fabrics after a prolonged period of beige and this trend keeps growing all the time. Probably as a reaction to our current austere times, consumers are also increasingly choosing the luxury of textured fabrics; tactile velvets, light reflecting sheens and fabrics with a touch of glitter and sparkle, which bring a bit of joy into our cost effective schemes!
How to get it right
It is essential to think about quantities; the trouble with mood boards is that fabrics are presented in equal size cuttings but in reality you may use 40m of one for a curtain and 2m of another for a stool and getting the balance of different fabrics right is key to a successful scheme. It sounds obvious, but it is also important to make sure you look at a large piece of each fabric rather than a swatch when choosing. Cuttings are not representative of a whole pattern and a piece of cloth that you love or hate in a small piece will look totally different in bigger meterage and you may not have the same reaction.
Finally, enjoy the process! Choosing fabric is the fun part of designing a room; selecting the colours patterns and textures that will pull a look together and add the final layer to a scheme is really rewarding. The beauty of fabrics is that they can also be updated relatively easily as opposed to furniture or flooring etc, so have fun and be bold with your choices.
Image credits: Zimmer and Rohde