What are Textiles? In interior design, the term “textile” refers to any product that’s woven or made of fibers or fabric. Fabric, area rugs, carpeting, and tapestries are all textiles that bring warmth, visual interest, comfort, and acoustical dampening qualities to a room.

 Setting the Mood: The selection of textiles is critical as these materials will play a primary role in setting the “tone” or “mood” of the room. For instance, velvet and silk are often associated with formal, traditional, and transitional design styles, while heavy knitted textures, denim, or distressed leather are associated with a more casual, rustic, or cottage style. Tip: Fabric with a shimmer or shine such as a silk jacquard weave is associated with formal or contemporary, while a matte finish such as a denim twill or plain weave printed cotton is perceived as more casual. These are a few loose guidelines as there are exceptions to all rules.

What’s New? Interior designers today are creating exciting, vibrant rooms by bending the rules and playing with juxtaposition. Example: Rustic architecture may be instantly elevated to a “dressier” environment by choosing more refined, elegant fabrics for the furnishings, flooring, and window dressings. Conversely, a traditional formal architectural style may be relaxed by using more casual textiles.

Quilts and Rugs: Quilts and woven scatter rugs are not just for cute country bedrooms and kitchens! They are available in a wide variety of styles and patterns and can be made of materials from a finely woven to chunky texture.

Designer Trick: Get big impact for a modest investment by using textiles in an unconventional or unexpected manner.  We have gathered some of our favorite inexpensive tricks to help you introduce texture, color, and character into your home décor.

  • Use a ready-made quilt to reupholster a favorite chair and ottoman or cover worn dining room chair seats. A quilt will provide fabric at a much lower price per yard than purchasing actual fabric by the yard.
  • Explore using colorful woven scatter rugs to make large floor pillows for movie night.
  • Why not use a reversible quilt as a “throw” in your family room? It will add texture and color while folded over the arm of your sofa.
  • Perhaps that fabric you love would look great as a wall covering or draped from the ceiling for a bohemian look!

One Yard: Have you ever fallen in love with an incredible fabric, only to discover the price per yard is not within budget or there isn’t enough of it to tackle the project you had in mind? Try this:

  • Purchase a single yard and frame it in a large poster frame. A yard of fabric will provide a piece of “art” approximately 36 x 54 inches. Use it as your inspiration for the room and use other complementary fabrics around it.
  • Line the back of a glass-front cabinet or open bookcase with a favorite fabric.
  • Place a hemmed piece of fabric under a piece of glass to add interest to a tired coffee table or cute bistro table in your kitchen nook.

Tip: Build your décor starting with a neutral color palette on your major furniture pieces. Changing the mood of your room is as easy as swapping out an area rug, slipcover, or boldly patterned pillows. Remember to experiment and have fun. What matters most is that you love it!