4 Tips for Choosing the Right Fabric for Your Living Room

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4 Tips for Choosing the Right Fabric for Your Living Room

Staff Writer · Feb 10, 2010

If you want to choose the right fabrics for your living room, you need to coordinate the materials with the design scheme of your apartment. While certain fabrics work well in contemporary settings, other fabrics are better suited for more traditional designs. Therefore, when selecting a particular fabric, you’ll need to consider the décor of your apartment and how the fabric will be used in the overall theme.

1) Choose Luxurious and Thicker Fabrics for Medieval, Gothic and Tudor Designs

For dramatic decors such as Medieval, Gothic and Tudor designs, you want to include fabrics that are luxurious and heavier in weight. Fabrics for throws, wall hangings, pillows and window treatments should be made of materials such as velvets, tapestries and brocades. Avoid any lighter weight fabrics as you want to convey an inviting and warm feel in your décor. Therefore, on sofas and chairs, you’ll want to include plenty of throws and pillows made of soft yet elegant and heavier weight fabrics.

2) Select Ornate Fabrics with Various Patterns for a Victorian Look

Victorian fabrics include neutral colors such as taupes and grays and rich hues, such as burgundy, dark green and amber. Such materials are used for curtains and upholstery and include brocade, damask, velvet and embroidered fabrics. Often Victorian-type fabrics include gilt edging and patterns that feature foliage, blossoms, butterflies or birds in their designs. For summer, lighter fabrics are used for window treatments such as muslin, chintz or cotton.

3) Pick Fabrics that Are Simple and Sophisticated for Art Deco Designs and More Modern Styling

Because Art Deco is defined by a basic yet refined design scheme, you want fabrics that also follow this ideal. Include fabrics such as satin, velvet or silk and choose from among such colors as jade, turquoise, mint, deep blue, burgundy, gold, brown or dark gray for an Art Deco look. You can also extend the use of these types of fabrics into more modern decors as well as eclectic design schemes. Bamboo, organic cotton, organic linen and hemp also work out well when included in contemporary themes.

4)  Accentuate a Western or Southwestern Theme by Choosing Coordinating Fabrics

For specific design schemes, such as Western and Southwestern decors, make sure you pick fabrics and patterns that coordinate with the basic theme. For instance, in a Western theme, you’ll want to choose fabrics such as leather, cotton, suede, faux-fur, chenille and denim for throws, pillows, cushions and window treatments. For Southwest looks, choose woven blankets in Southwestern patterns on your furniture, flooring and even walls. Upholstery can be enhanced with materials made of cotton, linen or leather.

Once you determine the way in which you want to decorate your apartment, then choosing a fabric will fall right into your plans. Traditional fabrics often are heavier and more ornate while more contemporary fabrics often use lighter weight materials and are more simply styled. Whatever style you eventually decide on though, keep the above tips in mind to help you choose the right fabrics for your living room and specific decor.

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