The first time I took on a big design project I brought in fabrics for my client to look at. She didn't understand the approach so I had to explain the areas that would end up with fabrics - cushions, upholstery, drapes, poufs. Also, once I knew the fabrics she was interested in I was fairly clear on the colours that could happily inhabit the space.
Above image from Sarah Richardson Design
Sarah Richardson once said that she started every room design with a minimum of nine fabrics. The reason for doing this is that fabric design provides decorators with colour combinations that provide inspiration for the original concept of a design.
Unique Fabric showroom,Woodbridge, Ontario.
Decorators have access to a large number of designer fabrics in Alberta design showrooms like J.Ennis Fabrics, Designers Library, Wigger Drapery, andRainbow Draperies. Fabrics from Kravet, Maxwell, Alendel, Avante Garde, Schumacher, Unique, JF Fabrics, and Robert Allen are just a few available to designers and decorators.
Many fabric houses collaborate with famous designers to come up with new and exciting collections, and decorators and designers are given a first look at these fabrics as each season emerges. The images above show fabrics resulting from a collaboration between Schumacher and Mary MacDonald as well as the collaboration between Kravet and Diane von Furstenberg. Below are fabrics from Candice Olson's collaboration with Kravet.
The most exciting designs begin with beautifully designed fabrics. Colour, pattern, cotton, linen, wovens, sheers, damask. These are the words that inhabit the world of textiles. Some of these fabrics have been handmade, and hundreds of hours of labour have gone into the production.
Remember, if your decorator or designer provides you with designer fabrics, do NOT wash them, shrinkage may occur and washing may affect the dyes used to create the print. Not only that, but washing may remove some of the finish, changing the hand and appearance of the fabric. Vacuum your upholstered furniture and window treatments frequently to remove surface dust, and if you need to have the fabric cleaned check on the fabric content and question your cleaner beforehand.