Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tips On Furnishing Home Effectively

No room is complete without soft furnishings—sleek draperies, graceful window shades, pretty cushions, cozy throws, luscious bed linens. Not only do fabric elements add beauty, color, warmth, softness and personality to a room, they’re incredibly practical, too.

Think of soft furnishings as the grace notes that balance the hard surfaces and angles in a room and address the finer points of comfort. Curtains can bring in softness and color while providing privacy and controlling harsh sunlight, for example. A slipcover, on the other hand, can transition a more formal upholstered chair from winter to spring while extending the life of the upholstery and protecting it from stains at the same time. And, as seasons and styles change, soft furnishings, such as pillows, throws, napkins and table linens, are among the easiest pieces to switch out to freshen up a room cost-effectively.

Defining goals 
Given the countless colors, patterns and textures of decorative fabrics from which soft furnishings are made—as well as the endless ways in which fabrics can be shaped into wonderful forms—it helps to return to your stylistic frame of reference to guide your choices in both the fabrics and the style of your soft furnishings themselves. If you’re developing a traditional-style setting, for example, you might choose floor-length draperies topped with a pleated valance to frame a window. If a modern
scheme is what you’re after, then you might opt for crisp Roman shades.

Once you hone in on the look you’re after, consider the functional goals for your soft furnishings, too, as well as what you’re willing to spend to create them. Custom curtains can cost a bundle, but they can also last 25 years or more, meaning you’ll amortize their cost over time if you plan to stay in your home for the long haul. Decorative pillows on the other hand can be purchased for next to nothing, and can readily be replaced for an instant style update while keeping your budget in check.

Tips on using fabric effectively 
Before investing in soft furnishings for your home, consider these tips for making stylish and savvy choices.

Keep upholstered pieces simple. 
Especially in public rooms, the fabrics on large upholstered items should be easy on the eye, and preferably in a solid color. It ’s easier to switch out a printed pillow when you tire of it than to start over with a new chair fabric. Solid blocks of color on furnishings will also make a room feel more serene, and will provide a solid base that you can change simply with accents, pillows, rugs and art.

Consider your lifestyle. 
If you’ve got a large family, young children or pets, know that your upholstered pieces will endure a fair share of wear and tear, so be sure the fabric you choose is durable and dirt-resistant, too. Opt for textured fabrics such as tweeds or chenilles, or look for a high- performance fabric, such as a synthetic ultra-suede, that ’s durable and stain-resistant, too. If you’re a low-maintenance empty nester, you might go for silk or velvet.

Expand your options. 
If you want a seasonal change of scene, consider slipcovers. They can be Use pattern sparingly. Even if you love pattern, limiting it to smaller doses will help keep a room
feeling serene. Employ it on small side chairs, pillows or ottomans for best effect. Patterned rugs are
also great, as they conceal footprints and dirt.

Choose curtain fabric with care.
Curtains bring softness and drama to bare windows, but patterns sometimes lose their impact when lost in folds of fabric, so prefer solids and neutrals for curtains and shades. If you do choose a patterned fabric for a window treatment, however, consider the scale of the pattern in relation to the scale of the windows and other patterned elements in the room.

Be mindful of curtain headers and hems. 
If, for example, you’re creating custom curtains in a traditional home, you might choose softer goblet pleats, butterfly pleats or fan pleats; for a modern home you might opt for clean panels topped with crisp pinch pleats, X pleats or grommets. For very soft romantic headers, a variety of header tapes can be employed to create gathered, shirred or smocked designs. For more casual rooms, consider panels topped with tabs, ties or clip-on rings. Pocket-style headers always result in soft or romantic curtains.
Another key to stylish curtains is their length. 
Ideally, they should break at the floor an inch or two, like well-made gentleman’s trousers, for an elegant drape. However, many people prefer curtains that stop just short of the floor for ease of cleaning, which is also fine. Short curtains should be hemmed just above the windowsill.

Vary the scale of patterns. 
Including fabrics in a mix of large-, medium- and small-scale patterns will also keep the overall picture balanced. Also, remember that the style and scale of the pattern should relate not only to the style of the piece of furniture but also to its size and proportions.

Add a personal touch. 
Give extra polish to pillows you make yourself or inj ect a ready-made pillow with a custom touch by embellishing a pillow cover with trims and embellishments. Piping or welting provides a classic finish to the seams of all kinds of cushions, from a basic toss pillow to an extravagant neck roll. Other options for edging cushions are narrow flanges and brush fringe.

Choose fabrics in soothing hues for bedrooms. 
Fabrics with limited patterns and soft hands will also contribute a serene and comforting ambience.


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