Iconic Designer Fabrics That Will Make Your Rooms Sizzle

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Last Sunday’s post sparked an idea that I hope that you’ll like.

I know that a lot of you love the beautiful designer fabrics that us designers use for our beautiful throw pillows and of course, other soft furnishings and upholstery.

And this relates to my next idea.

 

There has been a lot of talk recently about the change in the field of interior design and decor.

And there’s going to be more discussion about this, a few posts from now.

However, these changes aren’t anything new.

I remember circa 2006 was when the shift really started taking hold.

That was the time when all of the exclusive “to-the-trade only” home furnishings, including the beautiful designer fabrics were no longer exclusive.

 

Internet retail shops selling designer fabrics and furniture  began popping up like zits on your nose the morning of your senior prom.

 

And let me tell you, that at first, us interior design folk were frantically freaking out like a bunch of hungry, hyper gnats caught in a glass jar with no chance of escape.

But, after a while, we adapted and accepted that the way things are is not the way they were.

Some 12 years later, about 90% of the once exclusively to the interior design trade home furnishings are now available to everyone.

Quite frankly, it doesn’t bother me all that much. And it’s not only because I’m not taking on new clients any longer.

It’s because being an interior designer/decorator is so much more than having access to designer fabrics!

 

I love my brain surgeon analogy.

 

One can go out and buy a set of surgical equipment, but that doesn’t mean they know how to use the instruments!

And it’s the same with the expensive designer fabrics and furnishings.

When I began my interior design business in 1996, over the years, I made more mistakes with fabrics than there are days in a month. (Read about the hideous decorating mistakes I learned the hard way)

 

The reality is that the interior decorating business is fraught with more pitfalls than there are explosive landmines in Bosnia.

 

What I’m driving at is that while these beautiful designer fabrics are available, I still recommend working with a professional designer. Believe me, you will almost definitely do something regretful.

After all, you don’t know, what you don’t know. ;] And what you don’t know is going to cost big bucks to fix.

For instance, one common mistake is not ordering enough fabric because you don’t realize that a 36″ half drop repeat means you’ll need more yardage.

Then, you get the call from the workroom, that they need more fabric; their quote is for plain fabric. You put in a new order for more of the same, only to find out that the $165.00/yd designer fabric is discontinued.

uh, oh…

Or the classic mistake– ordering double the amount of wallpaper because the roll size was confusing. And wallpaper is never returnable, even if the roll has never been open.

And that’s a minute fraction of what can go wrong. Those mistakes will cost you money. I can guarantee it!

Who out there has made a mistake when ordering fabric for window treatments or upholstery?

 

Laurel, you keep mentioning the term “designer fabrics.” What do you mean by that? What is the difference between a designer fabric and say a fabric I would buy to make a dress?

 

That’s a very good question.

The designer fabrics, are fabrics that were once (and some still are) completely exclusive to the design trade. And most of them are exclusive to the company they are manufactured for. These fabrics may or may not be hand-screened if they are prints and are generally produced on a very fine cloth.

And the finest printed cloths are hand-blocked. (the link is to an old post with a lame attempt to video myself.)

Lee Jofa Hollyhock for sale. Great price for designer fabrics!The iconic Hollyhock pattern from Lee Jofa. And this is the mucho bucks hand-blocked version. It’s a total work of art. Please note that it is only 47″ wide, not the standard 54″ for designer fabrics.

This looks to be some extra yardage left over at a workroom. It’s almost 7 yards and it’s listed for only $650 at Chairish. That is about 50% BELOW the wholesale price. I promise you, it is going to be sold by the end of the day today. That is the steal of the week! The retail price is $396.00/yd!

Yes, I’m aware that the top link under the image says that the retail price is $643.10. I have no idea where they get that number.  Below, is a screenshot of my insider design price list.

Lee Jofa Hollyhock HB white brown designer fabric

Whatevs. The actual sale prices at Decorator’s Best are very good.

 

OH!

 

You might remember this image from Sunday’s post. This looks to be the Hollyhock in the white brown colorway. The image in the link is a little off-color.

 

It should look more like this.

This Hollyhock is the granddaddy of iconic designer fabrics and as timeless as they come. My old boss back in the mid-90s, had this fabric in her shop, in Bedford, NY on two slipper chairs and a big Roman Shade. I must say that I enjoyed looking at it a lot for four years!

 

Some of the designer fabrics are “open patterns.” These are not exclusively licensed to only one company and are available through numerous sources. These are less expensive than the exclusive designer fabrics.

 

Woven designer fabrics are usually exclusive to their company.

The finest ones, such as the ones produced at the Bevilacqua factory in Venice are laboriously hand-loomed of the finest threads. You can see the tiny factory and how the fabrics are laboriously hand-loomed from my 2016 trip to Venice.

Designer fabrics are usually wider than dress fabric. Most are about 54″ wide. But please, always check that one before ordering. I made that mistake once too. It’s a horrible feeling to be caught short.

What are the best companies for designer fabrics? Below is a list of some of my favorite sources.

 

Brunschwig and Fils

Clarence House

Cowtan and Tout

Duralee

Galbraith and Paul

John Rosselli – (numerous lines – just gorgeous!)

Lee Jofa (which in the US includes GP & J Baker, Mulberry and Cole and Sons (wallpaper))

Quadrille (including China Seas, Home Couture, Alan Campbell)

Ralph Lauren

Scalamandre

Schumacher

Thibaut

 

These and dozens more are all in Laurel’s Rolodex.

 

Today, I’ve done a few things to share fabrics and sources.

 

First I made a widget of some 30 of my favorite iconic designer fabrics.

 

Below that, there’s a widget with many of my favorite pillows.

 

***There are also more pillows and much more info about sizes and inserts here.***

 

This brings us full circle because all of the designer fabrics are available to anyone, whether one is in the trade or not. These are all at very good retail prices and almost all are from Decorator’s Best. For people in the trade, I recommend purchasing the fabrics directly from the vendor.

 

 

Below are the pillows. :] Some of them are in the same fabrics as above which helps you see the scale. Please note that all of the pillows from Etsy are for pillow covers only.

 

 

And if you’re interested in seeing some of the projects I talked about in the post, most of the related posts below have those fabrics in rooms that I did.

Well, they say that we are having yet another storm. Down in lower Westchester that’s more densely populated, we were spared power outages. But in northern Westchester County where I used to live, I’ve talked to people who still don’t have power.

And now another storm is bearing down on us.

Let’s hope that this one isn’t as windy as last week’s deadly storm.

xo,

 

 

Please don’t forget to check out the hot sales. The Serena and Lily upholstery 20% off sale is still on as well as other wonderful sales.

 

  • jacquelyn markwardt - March 21, 2018 - 12:47 PM

    hello Laurel,

    Just curious to know what the fabric is on the 11th row of pillows in the middle between two that have greek key trim. It’s a pale blue with an Ikat damask looking print.
    thanks so much. love your blogReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 21, 2018 - 5:51 PM

      Hi Jacquelyn,

      I’m sorry, the images are in a widget and for some reason they jump around when a post is refreshed. Because I’ve written it, and refreshed the page numerous times, what you see is not what I see. But if you click on the image, it will take you to the source. If that doesn’t help you, then save the image and crop until you see only the fabric and put it in google images. That usually works.ReplyCancel

  • Barb Roberts - March 20, 2018 - 9:20 PM

    I’m new to your blog, and I love it! Just a thought…it would be interesting to see some photos from your fans of how they incorporated your design ideas, or some of their original ideas, into their own homes. Have you ever considered this? (perhaps you would be inundated) For example, after my parents downsized, they gave me a armchair with carved wooden arms and legs that they had bought at a yard sale for $8.00! They loved it, but it was dreadfully upholstered in a fabric that resembled burlap. After they passed, I had the piece reupholsterd in a wonderful unique fabric that made this once dreary piece really stand out. I won’t disclose to my husband what I/we paid for the fabric, but in my eyes it was worth every penny. It now is a one-of-a-kind gem that I hope one of my children will appreciate when I hand it down….ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 21, 2018 - 12:21 AM

      Hi Barb,

      Thanks so much. There are several posts that have this already. But, it might not be so obvious from the headline.ReplyCancel

  • Mason Smith - March 16, 2018 - 10:50 AM

    A house is called beautiful when it is both beautiful from the inside and outside. And to add wonders to the house the interior should be a top notch. What includes the interiors? All the furniture, the lightings and most importantly the beautiful curtains.ReplyCancel

  • Amy Ohrtman - March 9, 2018 - 10:34 AM

    I’m not a designer but I also made a mistake with curtains. I bought a pair of pillows on etsy in the duralee roberta winter fabric. I liked them so much I wanted to see if I could have curtains made. I assumed the fabric would be the same color. I found the fabric online and sent the link to someone on etsy who made the curtains for me. The curtains turned out wonderful but the fabric color was more yellow than the pillows. I should not have assumed the fabric color would be the same and bought a sample of the fabric.

    Also I love the work you did for Jenn
    https://laurelberninteriors.com/2016/09/17/long-distance-interior-design-work/

    And the drapes you had made in the Bird and Thistle cotton chintz from Brunschwig and Fils. I did a bunch of googling but I couldn’t even find a place to order a sample of this fabric. Seems like that fabric is still to the trade only.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 11, 2018 - 1:19 PM

      Hi Amy,

      I found 10 yards of Bird and Thistle on Ebay. That might cover three single panels. I say might because it’s a 36″ repeat. But it would probably cover 4 Roman shades for average-sized windows. Please always double-check anything having to do with sizes and measurements.

      But, you can also contact Decorator’s Best.

      At the risk of making other designers mad at me, I believe that DB can get you anything you like. And certainly anything from vendors they’re already carrying. I’m surprised they don’t have Bird and Thistle because it’s an enduring classic. And it’s actually one of B&F’s more moderately priced prints, relatively speaking.ReplyCancel

  • Deborah Hughes - March 8, 2018 - 10:36 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    Just wanted to add that I recently made my first designer pillow cover purchase from Etsy. Coincidentally, they are exactly what you pictured above, the Brunschwig and Fils “New Chinese Leopard” from that same vendor. Great experience, no regrets. I opted for the one-sided version to cut costs and have to say they are beautiful. I have them placed on a sofa with other pillows and don’t miss the backs at all. I have sewn pillows for many years with locally sourced fabric. The depth and variety of color as well as sophistication of pattern in a higher end fabrication can not be matched. Thank you, Laurel, for your ongoing kindness and generosity in the sharing of your hard won knowledge. I have learned so much.
    ~ DeborahReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 11, 2018 - 1:04 PM

      Hi Deborah,

      I’m so sorry that I missed your comment. Not sure how that happened. But I LOVE that fabric and am so happy that someone ordered those pillows. Pillows from Etsy is undoubtedly one of the top ten wonderful things about the internet.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Dietz - March 8, 2018 - 10:35 AM

    Laurel, Again a perfect post. Literally hours of intertainment. Your blog is a great source of inspiration for me out here in the prairie. Keep it up and stay out of the weather. MelissaReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 11, 2018 - 1:03 PM

      Hi Melissa,

      So sorry I missed your comment; it was in no way intentional. But the notification went away before I saw it. Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

  • John - March 7, 2018 - 8:16 PM

    When we sold our house last year, we took the four sets of Fortuny “Campanelle” LR drapes with us (good thing, too, because the buyer proceeded to spend scads of money “modernizing” the 1931 Norman Tudor house). We had lived in the house more than 20 years and had inherited the drapes from the previous owner, so they could be more than 40 years old. The lining will have to be replaced, but the Fortuny fabric seems good for another lifetime. Would you have any thoughts about where to take them to have them cleaned and resewn to use in our new house? Thanks, I love your blog.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 8, 2018 - 4:19 PM

      Oh my John! The second you said Fortuny drapes, I thought, holy crap! Totally jealous and thank God you took them with you! That fabric is unimaginably expensive, but aside from that, I’ve been in love with Fortuny damasks for the last 30 years.

      Quite frankly, I would contact Fortuny and see what they recommend. Sewing is one thing, but cleaning is another.

      I see a Yale in your email address. hmmm…If you’re in New Haven, then I very much recommend Triple S cleaners in Stratford. If possible ask for Kevin DeMarco. He’s awesome and very professional. Good luck with that!ReplyCancel

  • Rose - March 7, 2018 - 5:53 PM

    This post was exceptionally drool-worthy for me, as I have a crush on many of these fabrics! I do have a question, is there some sort of index (not to the trade) to look up colorways/release/info for designer fabrics by name? I purchased some scrap yardage from a showroom that I have only found one picture (after extensive internet search) of a room done in the exact colorway match, and I was curious about its background or release, but alas, to no avail. It’s a handprint “Athos” Brunshwig and Fils, and I love it, but the nerd in me always wondered whether there was such a place/book I could look up designer fabrics to learn more about a specific print (probably just for more drooling). :). Anyway, I love this post as it is eye candy for the soul!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 7:56 PM

      Hi Rose,

      That fabric is indeed a beauty. I believe that is one that Michael S. Smith resurrected and re-colored a few years ago. I don’t know of any such directory, however. I guess one just has to google it which you’ve probably already tried.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah McGee - March 7, 2018 - 4:38 PM

    So. Many. Favorites.
    drooooooooooooooooooooooooooolReplyCancel

  • Aurora - March 7, 2018 - 2:36 PM

    Loved this post, Laurel—and had to laugh when you talked about the mistakes you can make with fabric!!! Let me count the ways…

    For instance…I taught myself to reupholster, because I LOOOOVE deep, jewel tone greens (it’s been a passion of mine for several decades now!), and I wanted to reupholster a bunch of late Victorian, and 1930’s furniture in gorgeous, plush, heavy duty emerald and forest and pine velvets—to be accented with rich blue green pillows and a splash of fake leopard and silk velvet.

    I’m an obsessive researcher (a year is a MINIMUM for me to make up my mind about a big purchase—most likely, we’re talking several years)—so I read and read and read and read and read and read everything I could find about how to reupholster, and what made a good velvet, and my mind was spinning with details about number of rubs and 4 way vs 2 way velvets, and which were well known names in the velvet world (at a price I could afford)—and wound up picking sturdy lengths of JB Martin Como Velvet. And yes, I bought enough fabric (SO MANY ROLLS!!!), and yes, it’s gorgeous and durable and plush…and everything people said it was, when sharing their online knowledge…

    But you know what no one said?

    Not one. Single. Person?

    That your butt crack and crotch are basically a DIY steamer.

    And yeah, this is a velvet that doesn’t crush all that easily—but it’s no match for a crotch and a butt crack.

    I wanted lush, inviting furniture—that could be LIVED ON. There’s me, my dogs, my clients…

    Yeah. Well, everytime someone sits down on one of my pieces…they leave a butt crack/crotch Rorschach imprint. I always find a way to scuttle over near them, and either drop a pillow there, or quickly rub it out a bit, with my fingertips, so so far, no one else seems to have noticed this, but it’s MADDENING.

    (Especially when I’ve got one more incredible throne-ish deep chair to go…with the springs sagging down to the floor, the arms wobbling out, and I’m PRETTY sure I saw a wren’s egg under the burlap, when I took it home…and it’s done in this VIVID emerald—but sadly, the nap is worn off, down to the backing, on the arms, and there’s no cushion to it at all—I’ve just got a pillow stuck in as a seat. Still—it DOESN’T CRUSH. AT ALL. EVER. I’m pretty sure it’s synthetic…but I’ve no idea what type of fabric it is to even look for something similar, and it’s probably from the 30s or 40s anyway, so perhaps it would be futile to look anyway. I COULD just do it in the gorgeous emerald cotton velvet—but darn, it, I want at least ONE chair I can SIT IN without leaving a story with my heinie!!!)

    Eventually, of course, I will not only have to find a replacement fabric for everything—some synthetic cotton blend, maybe, although hopefully still a velvet—but I’ll have to reupholster everything again…and man, just the couch took 40+ hours! :/

    Then there’s the pistachio and turquoise iridescent dupioni silk (double lined) drapes I just made for the ginormous windows in my loft with 14’ high ceilings. Triple pinch pleated. Full. Stretching over about 40 feet of wall.

    I’ve made the same thing with upholstery weight chenille and double lining before—for 11’ Ceilings (with a 12” puddle, of course!), so I thought it couldn’t be that hard.

    HA!

    Dupioni doesn’t come out straight. The fabric width can vary up to two inches, from selvage to selvage…THAT was fun. Also, it’s very compliant. You pinch it—if forms a wrinkle. You smooth it out…it STREEETCHES out. Which means unless you’re very careful, you wind up with fabric that will pucker, when hung….

    Then there’s the REAL problem: 12’ Long drapes are VERY different from 15’ long drapes!!!

    15’ lengths of fabric are BEASTLY to try to manage, to match up three layers of fabric, to smooth out wrinkled, to pin, to sew… And what with all three layers, we’re talking over 300 yards of fabric… WHAT a nightmare!!!

    Of course, I was told by the guy who’s going to install the drapes that if I’d had them made, it wound’ve run me over $20K, and this cost me plenty of hours and frustration, but more like around $2K—but it’s not REALLY a savings, because $20K was NEVER going to happen, no way, no how. Still, it was comforting to tell myself I was “saving” $18K when I was working into the wee sma’s on those things…

    Did I mention that I don’t sew? Not really…I just have a machine and sew straight seams on easy stuff, when there’s no other way to get what I want (and I’m a special snowflake, and HAVE to have everything JUST so!)

    So…um…yeah. End of rant. But HECK YEAH, having someone who knows what’s what, when it comes to fabric would’ve been helpful!!!!! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 6:19 PM

      Oh wow! That’s a new one, Aurora. See? You might have saved someone thousands of dollars and hours of embarrassment.

      In addition to the coffee and peanut butter test, if in doubt, get a sample large enough and just sit on it for an hour and see what happens.

      Who knew? :]ReplyCancel

  • Barbara Kemp - March 7, 2018 - 2:02 PM

    Laurel,

    Thanks for your post. My mouth starts watering when I looked at the fabrics you featured…….but my budget always has limits, small limits. I could nor would ever pay $395.00 per yard for fabric. Oh, I understand some can afford the cost but my husband might make me sleep in the garage if I did something so foolish. I have my ways of creating the look I want through watching for fabric sales and sewing items myself.

    PS, Years ago I lived in Ohio next to a facility that produced Payne Fabrics. Do you remember them? Well, every summer Payne had a, lets dump the inventory sale, and dump they did, very inexpensively I might add. Oh, the memories!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 6:15 PM

      Hi Barbara,

      I can’t afford that price either. But that’s why a lot of those pillows on Etsy are so great. You don’t have to buy the two-yard minimum, or even a whole yard. Essentially, if it’s just the front of the pillow, you’re paying for a quarter yard and then the back is something nice, but inexpensive. But… what it does for the room is magical.

      I DO remember Payne Fabrics and then during the recession, they teamed up with Westgate and then, I believe they both died. I had some pillows from a charming Westgate fabric, called Whippet damask. And yes, in the pattern, were book-matched whippets which you would never notice unless you were looking closely.ReplyCancel

  • SusanM - March 7, 2018 - 12:11 PM

    These are beautiful pillows and fabrics (personally, though, I’m tired of Imperial Trellis and the fabric selection is heavy on a certain type of floral and Chinoiserie, which my husband doesn’t especially like — but I could slip in a little and he’d be OK with it). I think I understand why one would want a hand screened fabric, but otherwise what is so special about these fabrics?

    What I can’t quite glean from you post is why these designer fabrics are better than a “designer fabric” I could find at Calico, Ballard Designs, or even JoAnn Fabrics. Is it because they still remain somewhat exclusive, due to cost, even though anyone can purchase them? I have found fabrics at the retailers I mentioned that fit my home’s style and colors and I’m quite happy with them. Heck, I’m happy with the fabric that came with my Crate & Barrel chairs, though I do recognize the beauty of the fabrics you featured. Is there something beyond that that I’m missing? Maybe the answer is in the title of your post: these fabrics are iconic – they’re recognized and used by designers.ReplyCancel

    • Gretchen - March 11, 2018 - 5:55 PM

      A few years ago, I learned this interesting fact: Did you know that fabric companies make “lesser” versions of their fabrics for the big box stores? They can be the same print on a different ground fabric – which is not too bad, but still not as rich looking as the originals. The scarier one though is that they also make a “lighter” version. So a less durable, won’t last as long in your home version. All to keep prices down for the box/discount stores. The problem with the lighter versions is the sun does not care that you paid less and will rip through that fabric in a lot less time than then original version – yes, even if it is lined. Or a “lighter” version on upholstered pieces means it will need to be replaced a lot sooner. Yes, it may cost less to start, but it may not in the long run. So, yes, there definitely is a difference in the quality of the original fabrics.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 6:27 PM

      I guess my explanation didn’t cover it enough. But, it’s many things. The quality of the cloth, the type of printing, either hand-screening or even hand-blocking. The number of colors. The types of dye. The country in which it’s produced. The designer who designed the fabric.

      It’s very much like clothing.

      Does that mean that fabrics at Calico and Joann’s are inferior? Not at all, they’re just a different breed.

      And I do not use such expensive fabrics for the bulk of the materials for my clients, when I had clients. We used a lot of linens, cottons, synthetic velvets, etc. And sometimes, a relatively cheap print that I would get from sources like Duralee, Robert Allen and my absolute favorite, Norbar Fabrics.

      Boy, I’m really giving away the store today!

      But yes, the title of the post is about ICONIC DESIGNER FABRICS and those do tend to be flower-y. But there are modern ways of using them. That would be a good post, I think.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - March 7, 2018 - 11:05 AM

    Hi Laurel, I don’t think that Erin Gates leopard print pillow from Wayfair has been available for some time. I tried to get one several weeks ago. Might want to check on that… maybe it’s just me and I can’t find it? Stay safe in the upcoming storm!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 8, 2018 - 4:11 PM

      Oh, I’ll have to look into that. I wonder if it’s coming back? Thanks for letting me know.ReplyCancel

  • Jerry Mikesell - March 7, 2018 - 10:57 AM

    Interesting post. However, I don’t see the pictures of the pillows.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 12:21 PM

      Hi Jerry,

      Most likely there’s a setting on your device that’s preventing you from seeing the images in the widget. The widget is a tiny piece of code from my affiliate network. In other words, the actual images/links are not on my site. I control what shows up on another website and when it’s finished, they give me the code to put on my blog which I copy and paste and it’s done. If I make changes on the other website, by adding or taking away images, usually, they will regenerate those changes to the widget that’s already there. Pretty cool, huh?ReplyCancel

  • Christina - March 7, 2018 - 10:16 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    What a great post. I fell in love with Schumacher’s Pyne Hollyhock in Indigo and used it in my living room. I love it! One problem I’ve had since choosing that fabric is that I feel very limited regarding fabric patterns and colors for the rest of the house. Many fabrics effortlessly mix and match, but this doesn’t seem to be one of them? What are your thoughts on using different fabrics from room to room in the same house? Right now I feel limited to blue and crisp white but I love too many fabrics to settle on just two colors. 😩ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 12:11 PM

      Hi Christina,

      Well, the answer to this sounds like the makings of a very good blog post! But I’ll just answer quickly here that I don’t think any room should only have two colors in it. And I can’t see what’s going on; not saying that you do, either. But, what I’ve always done is to take one color and have that as a thread going from room to room. So, yes, the blue could be your thread and it might only be a vase or a pillow or a painting. But, in one room, lives something that has all of the colors of your palette (fabric, painting, rug, wallpaper. Something like that) and those colors can be repeated in varying amounts in all of the rooms as well. And not necessarily every color.

      But this is why I created the paint collection and paint palettes, to show what colors will work with other colors.ReplyCancel

      • Christina - March 7, 2018 - 6:42 PM

        Laurel, thank you! I look forward to the possibility of seeing this topic covered in a future blog post. I love designer fabrics and want to find a way to make some of my favorites work in my home without looking like I haphazardly selected fabrics from the clearance table at Joann’s. 🙂

        Meanwhile, the paint palette resource asks for a coupon code at checkout. Just wondering if there’s a current valid code? I’m interested.

        ChristinaReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 8:12 PM

          Hi Christina,

          Working backwards. The code is set up for folks who own the first part of the collection, only. Because it was a daunting task, I divided the product up. First came the paint collection and then six months later came the palettes, etc, but when the palettes came out, and from then on, the two are sold together.

          Many of the paint collection owners did buy part II and then got part I a second time. But if they purchase now, because they already have part I, they get a discount on part II, the palettes. It would’nt be fair to make them pay twice for part I.

          The first part is the art of putting a room together. And it’s not just the fabrics, it’s whatever is on the floor, the wall colors, finishes, accessories, art and furniture which can be very difficult. The correct size, proportion, style, color. The window treatments too. LIGHTING! Oh, and then there are the other rooms around that room. This is why when someone gives me a few of the givens and then asks me for a color (which is presumptuous, but let’s not go there-lol), it’s impossible. There is soooooo much that I don’t know. And anything else would be a reckless guess.

          But I believe that everyone should at the very least consult with a designer, but ideally should find one who gets them and will work as a collaboration. And if they disagree, they need to be able to back it up with a lot more than “I don’t like it.” It doesn’t matter if the designer doesn’t like something. She/he should be showing only things that they like, anyway. Things that will work in the space. If it’s a good fit and the designer is in tune with their client and their desires, it can be a fun and fulfilling exercise. And apples for apples should not cost more money! Oh, we’ve been through this before!ReplyCancel

  • Dian - March 7, 2018 - 9:59 AM

    I love Les Touches from Brunschwig & Fils and
    Arbre de Matisse from China Seas.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 12:05 PM

      Hi Dian,

      Yes, they are very lovely. I wish I could’ve spent another 14 hours working on this post! I love everything from China Seas and was always very happy when I could use their beautiful fabrics on a job. And over the years, have done dozens of fabrics from B&F. Lovely company and always extremely helpful people working in their showroom in the D&D Building in New York City.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - March 7, 2018 - 9:56 AM

    Laurel, I ordered some teal pillows via one your widgets months ago and my gosh, they just pulled the room together, making my blah cream sofa look stylish! They are the ones above the Le Tigre velvet, but I see that they are no longer available at OKL.
    So glad to hear you’ve got your power! Stay warm and safe.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 11:57 AM

      Oh, I think that those must be the Le Gracieux pillows that we did for a job several years ago! Love that print! Those are from Mike Seratt of the Prized Pig.

      That link will take you to his pillow page.

      What I think he does is finds remnants of great fabrics and has those gorgeous pillows made. His come with the inserts and I am pretty sure that they are 50/50 down which is the most sublime thing ever. I looked to see if he still has some and it looks like they are sold out. That fabric is available through John Rosselli, but that is one that I have not ever seen on the internet unless there’s a remnant on Chairish, Ebay or Etsy.ReplyCancel

  • Susie - March 7, 2018 - 9:17 AM

    I also like the “folk animals” in a pattern as well.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 11:45 AM

      Hi Susie,

      Over the years, I’ve had clients who either liked something in a pattern or they didn’t. Sometimes they changed their minds, however. Birds is a big one.ReplyCancel

  • Dean Malambri - March 7, 2018 - 9:12 AM

    Oh I laughed so hard at the “zit on prom day” analogy. Bravo! SharingReplyCancel

  • Eleanor - March 7, 2018 - 9:08 AM

    The Lee Sofa Chinese Peony has been a contender for my couch pillows for a few weeks. It’s rivals are Chiang Mai in alabaster and thanks to your article, now Schumacher Arbre Chinois. Is it totally lame to have the back of the pillows made in plain linen to save $? I noticed that a lot of the Etsy pillow-makers tend to do this. It also seems like it saves a lot of money to find an Etsy seamstress who already carries your fabric for her shop. I haven’t been able to find someone who carries the Lee Jofa so I will probably have to buy it and take it to a local seamstress if I choose it.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 11:43 AM

      Hi Eleanor,

      Hollie, a darling Etsy dealer who makes gorgeous pillows often comments here. (the Malachite pillows are hers) I don’t know if she’ll be reading this or not, but you can contact her at Etsy at Stuck On Hue. Maybe she can make them for you, for a better price? Not sure, but she’s a doll, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - March 7, 2018 - 9:06 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    Many years ago I taught myself how to sew pillows & window treatments. (It was the only way I could afford to decorate my home).
    I’ve always enjoyed looking at beautiful fabric & imagining how I could make them work in my home. Needles to say, I have a lot of fabric swatches & samples.
    My primary sources are usually Joann’s & Calico Corners. They are somewhat local.
    I’ve come to realize that a lot of printed fabrics aren’t always printed square to the edges. It can throw off my sewing project.
    Are the designer fabrics printed squarely?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 11:39 AM

      Hi Mary,

      Actually, I believe that Joann’s and CC are in numerous locations. We have them in New York, anyway.

      Oh yes! They are printed squarely!!!

      The only time I’ve ever had an issue is from fabric coming out of India. They can get a little wonky and not everything, either.ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Lambert - March 7, 2018 - 7:57 AM

    My friend John Knott owns Quadrille, which includes a number of other lines like Alan Campbell and China Seas, to name a few. His fabrics are staples of many designers and I was surprised not to see Quadrille in your list. Also, Iris Apfel’s Old World Weavers.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 11:32 AM

      Oh Cynthia,

      Huge oversite not to include Quadrille et al. They are amongst my favorites. I will add it in. I did include their beautiful Veneto pillow. I’ve ordered from OWW too, but not as much as some of the others.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Phelps - March 7, 2018 - 7:50 AM

    Thank you for this post. You’re amazing to share all this with us peasants (JK) 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Aimee - March 7, 2018 - 7:47 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    I adore this post about fabric! I love looking at all the favorites and dreaming about how I can have a small part of them in my home. In fact yesterday I purchased a pillow for my family room sofa in Le Lac from the seller you linked to on Etsy – I have been COVETING this fabric for several years so I hope it’s everything I ever wanted!! In fact, I believe it was you who designed and wrote a post about a kitchen where you used Le Lac on kitchen seats and had it coated. I truly love it. Thanks again for giving readers with “average” decorating budgets inspiration and sources to elevate our homes!
    Sincerely,
    AimeeReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 11:28 AM

      Hi Aimee,

      They don’t have Le Lac at Decorator’s Best. I did find some yardage and was going to put it in the widget, but the image was inferior, so I left it out. It’s a beautiful fabric with a huge repeat, But all of it is beautiful, IMO. And ordering on Etsy is a great way to get that fabric at a relatively inexpensive price. The retail price is well over $500/yard!ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - March 7, 2018 - 6:07 AM

    Hello Laurel, A while ago I was at a house sale that had apparently been a high-end decorator’s. A workroom and several other rooms were heaped with thousands of fabric samples all from such sources as Scalamandre, Schumacher, and Brunschwig & Fils. They were relatively large samples–not small swatches, and there were some larger pieces, probably left over from jobs. All were in mint condition, but no one was buying them, and I’ll bet that one could have got the lot, a lifetime’s supply, for $10.

    However, I no longer have a home in Ohio, and had no place to store them, although it was hard to pass by so much quality material.
    –JimReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 11:23 AM

      Hi Jim,

      Usually, they put those steel grommets in the middle of the best part of the design in the large samples. One time, 7.5 years ago, I took a bunch of remnants I had sitting in my basement and marched them over to my work room and had them make about 30 pillow covers for me. I bought mostly down alternative for the inserts, so my outlay was about $30 a pillow cover. Then, I set up a booth and a local town fair that was visited by 100s of people one beautiful Saturday in September.

      Without going into a lot of detail, the booth, was pretty awesome. I had gotten a tent, a lovely green and white indoor/outdoor rug, some pretty etageres and a new Jamie Young lamp. And I made a big green and white sign – L A U R E L B E R N I N T E R I O R S.

      I had my laptop and two notebooks filled with lovely images of some of my favorite furniture.

      Guess how many pillows I sold?

      Right. ZERO.

      I don’t think anyone even walked inside to take a closer look. They were more interested in the junk, I guess.

      I gave away some of the pillows and my wasband inherited most of them. I still have three of them and enjoy them a lot!ReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline Wolfe - March 7, 2018 - 4:03 AM

    Hi, Laurel. I absolutely love and have learned alot from reading your blog. I’ve not yet come across a post about grasscloth and was wondering if there might be a future post about this?

    Thank you,
    Jacqueline WolfeReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2018 - 11:12 AM

      Hi Jacqueline,

      You’re right. I haven’t done a post about grasscloth.If you see this, is there something in particular that you’re finding challenging about it?ReplyCancel