After reading this post your house will look like a million bucks. I can show you how you can use those expensive designer fabrics but stay within your “beer budget”.
We see them all the time in magazines and boutiques and interior design showrooms – gorgeous, shimmering silks; rich, thick chenilles; sumptious velvets with a beautiful hand. (Hand describes the drapability of the fabric and how it feels to the touch.) But who can afford them? You can, in moderation.
Home fabrics are usually 54″ wide, sometimes a little more. A 1 yard length gives you lots of fabric for a number of projects:
- An obvious choice is to make pillows – they’re small, easy and will pack a punch in a room.
Save money by covering only one side of the pillow in the expensive fabric and the other side with a plain, inexpensive fabric.
These 2 pillows are $145 and $120 respectively but by finding a pattern in a beautiful, stitched or silky smooth fabric and using it on ONE side, you can recreate the look for pennies on the dollar.
2. Draperies make a huge impact in a room but also on a budget. One of the best ways to get good value for your money is to buy packaged draperies that are plain (either a solid color or a subtle tonal pattern) and then embellish them to make them look custom. Cut up the plain, inexpensive drapes (I know it’s scary, but it’ll be worth it! Just be sure to measure twice, cut once) and insert a wide band of accent (expensive) fabric.
If you like the look above, consider a basic twill or woven fabric as the original panel and add a shimmering silk for a contrast in both texture and color. You can see by adding the accent stripe, you are also able to increase the length of the panels so you can cover those oversize windows. A bonus! If you want something a little bolder, choose a pattern to insert as your stripe. If the bottom of the drapes will be hidden behind furniture or if you want to draw attention to the ceiling height, move the accent stripe to the top 1/3 of the drapes.
3. Use this same idea of banding to create custom table linens. Make a designer table runner using the expensive fabric on the top, visible side and something inexpensive on the other side. Or use the banding idea for a tablecloth. Something plain and purchased for the main part and banded with something dramatic, contrasting and expensive.
4. Upholstery. Yeah, I know, you’re wondering how to use expensive fabric for this transformation. Think dining chairs or any small chair. I had the living room chairs pictured here reupholstered for a client using this exact technique…..
Use an affordable, on sale chenille or ultrasuede to upholster the seat and front side of the backs of the chair. Then splurge on a beautiful silk just for the backs. The upholstery will last longer, the 2 fabrics on one chair is definitely a designer look, and the whole project will be infinitely more affordable. If you have the kind of dining chairs with only upholstered seats, you’re in luck. Those seats pop out easily, you can stretch the new, expensive fabric over the seat and staple in place, then return the seat to the chair frame. Talk about an easy makeover!
5. How about thinking how to use fabric from the scrap bin? Even designer home fabric stores have remnants (or you can buy a 1/4 yard piece). A piece of textured fabric glued to a wide picture frame or mat, a patterned sheer wrapping a lamp shade,
or maybe a little piece of sparkling beaded fabric framed for a vintage looking piece of art are a few ways you can inject designer style in small doses.
6. Of course the bonus tip for working with expensive fabric: buy it on sale!
Usually the most interesting rooms are a blend of expensive, luxury items combined with bargains – it just takes a little effort, patience, and luck to come up with the winning combination. If you’ve got a little wiggle room in the budget and want to add some delicious expensive fabric to your room but aren’t sure where to start, email me your dilemma and I’ll certainly try to help.
Check out any of these links to CostPlus for stylish pillows to jump start your makeover.