Fabric lends texture and colour to any space, and can define the mood you want to create in it. It is also a versatile medium that can be used creatively and can serve as an effective means of redecorating a room. In this season of tighter budgets and less flexibilty in spending, a sensitive use of fabrics can provide a “quick fix” way of redoing your interiors.
A splash of colour
The base colour fabrics you select should range from the lightest to medium shades in the colour chart. For example, if you’re using the colours of the flame, a range between ochre and burnt orange will work for larger areas. For a more subtle effect, use a complementing neutral—beige with hints of ochre, fawn or a Wenge brown will go with the flame scheme. With neutrals, bear in mind the function of the fabric—a cream colour for a children’s couch is unlikely to hold up for very long. Also, it is important to consider the play of light when selecting fabrics for interiors—choose your fabric in lighting conditions similar to where it will eventually be used.
Pasaya collection cushions: At Maishaa, Rs 895 to Rs 1745.
The power of touch
The texture and print of upholstery add great visual elements to a room. And motifs, checks, polka-dots, prints, and floral patterns should be selected with care. Avoid a rigid match-making policy in this selection, as it creates a static look. Offset them with plain fabrics, if they get too visually intimidating. For instance, if simpler, clean straight lines dominate the furniture, and you opt for geometric prints, combine strips and polka dots in a variety of shapes, sizes and shades. The herring-bone and “chattai” texture found in many weaves works well where the fabric has a single tone, and the texture is what lends interest and visual appeal. Overtime, this tends to be a more refreshing approach than a conventional “one print for every room” approach.
Thanks to the wealth of production in cottons and silks, the variety of fabrics available are immense. For seating upholstery, choose thicker, sturdier fabrics, in colours that are easier to maintain. Opt for polyesters, chenilles, corduroys, jacquards, linen mixes, leatherites. These fabrics crease less and are easier to apply to complex furniture items. The thinner, more delicate fabrics may be used for smaller items, such as a special chair or curtains. The smaller seating, especially if designed to be focal elements in a space, tend to be more effective with the use of a stronger colour or bolder print. The finer fabrics, which allow for the filtration of natural light, serve as an effective layer behind thicker curtains, while still maintaining privacy within an interior. Nets, chiffon mixes, and georgette blends are good options. Cushions and throws should be worked with as the final element, to complete the entire story within a space. These should be the most superior in print, texture and colour, and can be sought from the more delicate fabric choices available. Use pure silks, finer chenilles, or light wool mixes for a rich, elegant look.
Hawa Mahal cushion: At Good Earth, Rs1,450.
How the fabric is draped, pleated and tailored only enhances its aesthetic impact. For instance, the design of the pleat on a curtain completely changes its flow and appearance. If the fabric colour, texture or print is visually strong, accessorize it less. To avoid clashes, for curtains with a bold print, chose simpler rods and tie backs and avoid valances altogether, so that there are no clashes. For more reserved fabrics, blinds may have borders and seating can have a fine piping or lace to give it a neat finish. Beads, sequins, crystals and embroidery may be used, if the theme so desires, just make sure to maintain a balance with the rest of the room.