54 Iconic Designer Fabrics To Make Your Room Look Rich

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Phew! It is very hot here in the northeast. I haven’t listened to the national weather, but I imagine that it’s pretty durned hot everywhere!

So, I stayed in and started collecting some of my favorite iconic designer fabrics.

 

I want to let you in a not-so-little secret about how to create a beautiful room.

 

In my opinion, it’s mostly in the details.

And, one of the ways to get the biggest bang for your buck is with some super gorgeous pillows.  Usually, but not always, with some super-expensive fabric.

Designer Fabrics.

 

What do I mean by designer fabrics?

 

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 unique 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 or hand-screened (the link is to an old post with a lame attempt to video myself.)

Now, before about 2006, the only way a non-professional could get these exclusive fabrics was if they were working with a designer or architect.

 

OR–

 

They fibbed their way into the D&D Building in New York City. Or, some other design center.

For my entire career, I would schlep myself into Manhattan often searching for just the right pillow fabrics. But, I was happy to do it, because I knew that a special fabric or two would make a big difference.

 

I also kept a library of beautiful designer fabrics.

 

However, around 2006, internet retail shops selling designer fabrics and furniture began popping up like zits on your nose the morning of your senior prom.

Then, much to the dismay of the interior design trade, anyone could get almost all of these exclusive fabrics on their own.

So, today, I want to share some of these special fabrics with you.

Some of them are truly iconic and have been around for decades. But, some of them are relatively new.

And, sometimes, fabrics I think are fabulous are discontinued. Remember this post about Ralph Lauren’s gorgeous green and white room?

 

However, this is a word of caution regarding these expensive designer fabrics.

 

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 trying to say 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 if you make a boo-boo .

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?

 

Lee Jofa Hollyhock for sale. Great price for designer fabrics!Above is one of the most iconic designer fabrics ever. It’s the 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 most designer fabrics.

 

OH!

 

Lee Jofa Hollyhock - designer fabrics

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

 

Lee Jofa Hollyhock - Designer Fabrics

It should look more like this.

As I said, 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 large 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 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 sources of designer fabrics can be found in Laurel’s Rolodex.

 

Designers can go directly to the vendor to purchase these fabrics at the designer’s wholesale price.

 

But, for the rest of you, some terrific places to purchase designer fabrics are:

Decorator’s Best, Etsy (individual vendors), eBay, and Wayfair.

Some vendors on Etsy have cut yardage, but some only make pillows out of these gorgeous fabrics.

 

Here’s a tip that I think will be helpful if you’re looking to have pillows made out of a designer fabric.

 

If you find a fabric you like, but you only need one yard, and the fabric has a two-yard minimum. Or, you just don’t want to be bothered with having to make a pillow. Here’s what I recommend. Go to Etsy and in the search box, put in the name of the fabric, e.g., “Hollyhock pillow,” “Chiang Mai Dragon pillow.”

Even for companies that you can’t find online, like Galbraith and Paul, there will be Etsy vendors who make pillows and window treatments out of those fabrics.

 

Lynn Chalk - Etsy designer fabrics - pillows - window treatments

 

One of my favorites is the wonderful Lynn Chalk. I adore her work and taste.

 

Below are nine mini-widgets with six fabrics each.

 

I tried to put fabrics that look like they could be in the same house, not necessarily the same room. Unfortunately, in the mini-widget, you can’t put any information about the items like in the big widgets you’ll see in other posts.

However, if you see something you like and wish to know more about the fabric, just click on the individual image, and like magic, you’ll be taken to its vendor. The vendors are Decorator’s Best, Etsy (individual vendors), eBay, and Wayfair. I didn’t know until recently, but Wayfair carries pretty much the entire Schumacher line and some other high-end fabric brands.

 

Please note that some of these designer fabrics are sold in quantities greater than 1 yard.

 

And, some have two-yard or up to ten-yard minimums. However, the sources with ten-yard minimums usually have the best prices. So, if you need ten yards or more, that might be a good choice. You can also contact the vendor directly to see if they’ll sell you less than 10 yards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope that you enjoyed these beautiful designer fabrics.

 

Iconic Designer Fabrics to make your room look rich

please pin to your Pinterest boards

 

In closing, another post I was thinking of doing is including sources and designer fabrics that have the look for a lot less money, like $25.00 per yard instead of $250.00.

So, if that interests you, please let me know in the comments.

Please be careful in the heat. And, as always, please check out the beautiful HOT SALES pages.

xo,

 

 

Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!

 

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Elizabeth Fasching - July 26, 2020 - 11:45 PM

    Now that I’ve read the post on less expensive fabrics, I’m feeling as if I should have posted this there! Either way, thoroughly enjoyed looking at the all the designer fabrics, both high and low end!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Fasching - July 26, 2020 - 11:03 PM

    Hi Laurel and ladies-

    I adore looking at fabrics; thank you so much for sharing this post and all your information. As I was pulling my living room together around my blue velvet sofa I had reupholstered, I fell in love with drapes in a gorgeous Jacobean print by P Kaufmann that were $180 a panel…and I needed ten panels. That did not even address the weird window at the back of the room, nor the need for some sort of privacy that the panels would not give. I drove myself crazy trying to compromise! Finally, six panels miraculously appeared on Amazon for $12 a panel and then I found four more elsewhere at $40 a panel. I continued to search for the material, which appeared as several different names, and eventually I found a five yard remnant for $35! I nabbed that as quickly as I could and made a non-functioning Roman shade (following the advice of some of your posts showing different window treatments for different windows.)

    THEN I tried to find the $75 a yard green leopard upholstery material that I had to have to coordinate with those new drapes for the perfect little club chairs that I found in a second hand store. As soon I saw that print, I wanted it, but the shop was telling me it would be twenty yards plus labor (gulp!) I searched, found the exact fabric for $20 a yard (on fabricguru.com) and found a local guy who assured me I only needed ten yards plus labor. (A caveat-some fabrics on that site are true remnants, others have defects, which are clearly stated. I got lucky!)

    Moral of my extremely long story? With some patience (almost a year!) and a little searching, I was able to get the lovely material I wanted. I cannot tell you how invaluable your advice has been. I truly, truly appreciate your sharing your knowledge with us. You gave me the courage to mix those fabrics! I get peace and enjoyment every day in my home because of the choices I made with your advice.ReplyCancel

  • Hollie Rich - Stuck on Hue Pillows - July 26, 2020 - 9:57 AM

    I am a pillow-maker who has my own website as well as an Etsy shop. I wanted to let everyone know that many of us can sell you fabric by the yard too — not just pillows. Depending on how much you need, we might sell you the yardage from our own stock, or we might order it from the manufacturer and have it sent straight to you. We are often much less expensive than the markup at Decorator’s Best, too!

    If you see that seller has some pillows with fabrics from Schumacher, for instance, then you can assume we have access to any Schumacher fabric.

    I can get wallpapers and trims from the same manufacturers too! Many of us pillow makers have accounts with most all of the to-the-trade fabric and wallpaper companies. Decorator’s Best is well-known, but they don’t offer all the manufacturers and their markups are quite steep. If there’s a fabric or wallpaper or trim from a to-the-trade source, most likely you can get your hands on it if you do some digging and asking!ReplyCancel

  • Hollie Rich - Stuck on Hue Pillows - July 26, 2020 - 9:47 AM

    As a pillow-maker with an Etsy shop and also my own website, I can tell you that what we offer as our standard is usually to appeal to the largest group of people, but most of us will gladly take custom orders. I add self welt or contrast piping frequently for customers who are willing to spend a little more for those special features. Many people who shop on Etsy are looking for the lowest price, and won’t even look at a listing if the price is over a certain amount, so they’d rather have knife edge to get the look for less.ReplyCancel

  • Hollie Rich - Stuck on Hue Pillows - July 26, 2020 - 9:41 AM

    Hi, Terri. It’s actually quite rare to find a designer fabric with a bright white background. They are mostly ivory, with some that are off-white. I don’t know exactly why that is, but it is. Before I started my own pillow business, I too was looking for a bright white ground and was very frustrated. I no longer get hung up on that because in most cases it will look fine to mix variations of white/off-white-ivory.ReplyCancel

  • Hollie Rich - Stuck on Hue Pillows - July 26, 2020 - 9:36 AM

    Hi, Kim. You might do a Google search for designers in your area, then look at each of their websites to view their portfolios. If they have Instagram accounts, those are helpful as well to not only see photos of their own work but also to get a feel for their aesthetic based on inspiration images they share there. Of course, some designers can do many different styles well but if you’re nervous, I’d start with someone who mainly does work in the style you aspire to.ReplyCancel

  • Hollie Rich - Stuck on Hue Pillows - July 26, 2020 - 9:32 AM

    Hi, Carlene! If you know the manufacturer, you can simply go direct to their website to get more details about a fabric. For instance, Chiang Mai Dragon is made by Schumacher, so you can go to fschumacher.com and search for that fabric. You don’t have to have a trade login to see the fabric details, just the pricing. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Alisha J - July 25, 2020 - 10:05 PM

    I love all the beautiful fabrics in your post. I have also used Etsy to get Chiang Mai pillows made and I love them. I highly recommend doing that for a slightly more affordable option than buying 2 yards of fabric.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - July 22, 2020 - 11:17 PM

    Please, please, please do the budget post! We had so many issues with our new build that ended up cutting deeply into my decorating funds…I’m desperate for some pretty up in here and you are THE person that is in my head when I’m purchasing and decorating…”Would Laurel like this..?” Need you on speed dial…:)ReplyCancel

  • BA Key - July 22, 2020 - 2:45 PM

    Thank you for all the tips-YES please post more budget friendly optionsReplyCancel

  • Catherine - July 22, 2020 - 2:19 PM

    Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Carlene - July 22, 2020 - 5:50 AM

    Thanks! (And love the new budget selections!)ReplyCancel

  • HeidiP - July 21, 2020 - 10:23 PM

    One of my favorite stores is GoodGoods in Darien. I’ve spent hours there just going through their books of amazing fabrics. They don’t even carry RL bc it’s too expensive for their buyers (even in Darien). The experience of selecting fabric is so overwhelming to me, but such a treat!!ReplyCancel

  • nancy Rappa - July 21, 2020 - 7:41 PM

    YES! PLEASE do a blog about great fabrics that are available for less than $250/yd!!! More like under $40/yd!!!ReplyCancel

  • Janet R - July 21, 2020 - 5:20 PM

    Oh my goodness! My favorite is the zebras! I went to see if it came with a purple background and it doesn’t but the blue is great. Lucky for me, it’s out of stock because there is no way I can afford a couple of yards of that.ReplyCancel

  • Beth Horsley - July 21, 2020 - 9:23 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    I devour your posts! My husband laughs everyone I mention your name but he understands that if you say something, it has to be obeyed! I would love a post on less expensive fabrics.
    May I also ask a favor? I have searched for a month on your posts for bathroom floor tile suggestions. I need a basic, always in style tile. I love the gustavian look so that cuts out white and black classic. If you could do a post on that. I’d love it❤️❤️❤️ReplyCancel

  • Susan Dawson - July 21, 2020 - 7:18 AM

    As an almost compulsive decorator with a pretty good eye for antiques & fabrics, I’d love to find a place to buy designer look fabrics. I so enjoy your columns & have learned valuable information even though this is my first time to post a comment. I appreciate your willingness to share your expertise.ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl - July 20, 2020 - 11:33 PM

    Oh yes Laurel, please post an article for those of us who will never get the opportunity to purchase designer fabrics. But I still love designs and color, especially blue and chinoiserie on the less expensive side. I’m using our savings for my husband’s healthcare and dementia.

    I have always said you “crack me up”. I have moved from Ct. and Ma. back to Il. and I felt saddened and disappointed for you when the house you loved fell through. You have a lot of unknown friends out here in website land. Just wancha ta know!ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - July 20, 2020 - 10:55 PM

    YES, Laurel, PLEASE help us out with some more reasonably priced fabrics for pillows, draperies, etc.!
    You are always such a great instructor, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - July 20, 2020 - 10:11 PM

    Love your blog Laurel! I have a thing with textiles–fabrics, rugs, etc, and fabricguru.com is a wonderful source for high-end and regular-end designer home fabrics, including remnants. Regular prices are great, and the sales are even better!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - July 20, 2020 - 2:06 PM

    I would love a post about less expensive fabric. We are starting to redecorate the house since everything is 20 – 30 years old! By the way, I have a 60” round table with 2 twelve inch leaves. I can fit 12 around the table but that is it. It was my mother’s from the fifties ( Drexel). It is early American so not my style but I’m keeping it. She saw it on the cover of a magazine and bought it including the tureen in the picture and the lazy Susan!!!ReplyCancel

  • Berenice - July 20, 2020 - 12:31 PM

    Yes! would love to see and read about less expensive fabrics. Love all your tips.
    Thank you
    BereniceReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Howard - July 20, 2020 - 11:42 AM

    Love these fabrics and I get so much info & ideas from your blog. You’ve helped me get my dining room set up. I bought a gorgeous antique table & chairs for a song. The table is being refinished and I am re-covering the chairs to update them.

    Please do a more frugal fabric post! With 2 little boys, I want a high end look, but I don’t want to have a heart attack if something happens to the chairs. Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Lorri - July 20, 2020 - 11:01 AM

    I’m always amazed at how reasonable Etsy prices are for designer fabric pillows.ReplyCancel

  • Lorri - July 20, 2020 - 10:58 AM

    @Carla Klittich . . . There’s an Etsy vendor or two who make stuff from Spoonflower fabrics! One has all the tablecloths you can imagine with those fabrics!ReplyCancel

  • Tricia Heliker - July 20, 2020 - 10:52 AM

    I am making two 18″ pillows with a fabric I ordered online from Anatol’s website. They have an outlet store near me that I shop often, but it is closed because of the pandemic. I ordered a sample first to check colors but the sample was way too small to check the repeat which I knew was large. Somehow I managed to get almost all of one black/white tiger on one pillow and the faces of two tigers on the other pillow. However, because of the cuts I made, I could not get even one 19″ cut for the backing from a 54 x 36 inch piece. It worked out fine as I bought a perfect compliment for the backs from Hobby Lobby for $3 with a coupon. As you can see, I’m a frugal shopper but love the designer look. Would love resources that accommodate that perspective.ReplyCancel

  • Patti - July 20, 2020 - 9:28 AM

    Yes Laurel ….please do a post on designer fabrics look alikes that don’t carry designer price tags.

    Thank you. Take care and stay well.
    Patti🌴🌞😎🌴😷ReplyCancel

  • Shona Koehn - July 20, 2020 - 8:49 AM

    Yes, please, on the lower-cost fabrics!ReplyCancel

  • Alisha - July 20, 2020 - 8:31 AM

    Love all these but Yes to less expensive fabric sources please!!ReplyCancel

  • Carlene - July 20, 2020 - 6:04 AM

    Lovely post! Thank you. And yes, it looks like the jury is in: we’d love a sampling of more affordable options.
    I do have a question: on the Decorator’s Best site, the fabric use is not usually specified. For example, the Chiang Mai China Blue has ‘usage’ specified as ‘fabric’. Well, I knew that, but is it appropriate for upholstery or curtains…or both? Other fabrics on the site merely say “multipurpose’, equally unclear. Also, there is no ‘abrasion’ factor given–or an indicator of the wear and tear the fabric can take. The Etsy site offers a little more information, but not consistently. Is there a guide to guessing the usage appropriateness of a fabric? At big bucks a yard, it seems like this would be crucial information.
    Thanks again for a moment of loveliness!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:07 PM

      Hi Carlene,

      That’s a very good question. For residential use, manufacturers are not required to give usage or abrasion info. Of course, it would be nice if they did. One thing you can try is to contact the vendor directly. They should have a customer service number for these types of questions. But, generally, cotton is an extremely durable fabric and unless it’s extraordinarily thin, which none of these are, it is fine for upholstery that gets a lot of use.ReplyCancel

  • SUSAN J. SIMS - July 19, 2020 - 9:27 PM

    Hi, I would love a post regarding how to calculate yardage correctly based on the repeat and width of both fabric and wallpaper. You’ve mentioned the pitfalls associated with miscalculating orders based on non-standard variants in a few posts, and it would be wonderful to know how to account for this, once we have identified something as non-standard. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:18 PM

      Hi Sue,

      In the 333 Rules & Tips Guide I do go over that quite extensively for window treatments in that chapter. As for upholstery and wallpaper, I generally recommend letting your workroom or installer tell you how much they need. What if you’re doing the upholstery or wallpaper yourself? Well, then you’ll know what the cuts are and can calculate it that way. However, I do recommend getting 10% more materials than you think you’ll need.

      The things you need to be mindful of are the repeats, the width of the material and the size of the roll for the wallpaper. And, you’ll need to be able to convey those things to your workroom. I also recommend giving them a small sample or a photo of the material on your work order.ReplyCancel

  • Sheree L - July 19, 2020 - 9:15 PM

    For Kim & Sidne, Laurel has a blog post that may help you: https://laurelberninteriors.com/2019/01/19/decorator-from-hell/ Best of luck to you both!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:24 PM

      Thanks Sheree, and there are some other posts on the same topic, all updated and re-published on the same day a year and a half ago.ReplyCancel

  • JC Shetterley - July 19, 2020 - 7:51 PM

    I’ve read your blogs for a couple of years but this is the first time I’ve ever commented. Would love to see an article on designer fabrics that only look expensive. Thank you for providing such valuable information—I have learned a lot from you!ReplyCancel

  • Debra - July 19, 2020 - 7:22 PM

    Thanks for this awesome post!
    I recently purchased two beautiful pillows from a vendor on Chairish in the Scalamandre Resist fabric you pictured. They were on sale, and the vendor even agreed to come down a bit more on the price. I never would have known about that resource without your blog! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Kris C. - July 19, 2020 - 6:57 PM

    Gosh, Laurel, what beautiful fabrics! My mother had an old steamer trunk filled with all sorts of fabrics and I’d look through them often just to get inspiration for sewing projects. She taught me to sew and see the beauty and functionality in fabrics and for that I’m truly grateful. Thanks for a great post. I look forward to seeing what fabrics you show us in the more affordable group!ReplyCancel

  • kim - July 19, 2020 - 6:45 PM

    Laurel on the subject of hiring a designer which you always recommend, how does one find someone who is the right fit for you and your project? The whole thing scares me spending a lot of money on someone who could very well deliver something that is so far from what you want. it breaks my heart every time i hear you no longer do this work! (but welcome advice on how to find the right person)ReplyCancel

  • Alisa - July 19, 2020 - 6:19 PM

    Sidne, I’m a designer in the Chicago suburbs. I can’t tell you if the $1500 is reasonable. But it is reasonable for you to ask her what she will be doing for her fee. Number of hours? What will she will be delivering to you? Floor plans? Kitchen or bath drawings? Furniture or finish selections? The answers to these questions should give you some comfort and if they don’t then maybe contact another designer in your area.ReplyCancel

  • Sidne - July 19, 2020 - 5:20 PM

    Yes, I’d definitely like a post on less expensive fabrics. I read your advice on hiring a designer. We are planning on doing a lot of work on our house (electric, plumbing, dining room floor, laundry room, move TV, etc.) and I wanted to tie everything together. I contacted several people and one lady sounded interesting but wanted $1500 to do a design for an 1100 sf house. Just wondered if that sounded reasonable….??ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:21 PM

      I can’t say, it depends what you’ll be getting for that. She needs to spell that out. The only thing I will say is that coming up with a good design always takes a lot longer than clients realize.ReplyCancel

  • Risa - July 19, 2020 - 5:08 PM

    Jane,
    As someone who has been sewing since I was a girl, both clothing and interiors, it will add to a pillow’s expense if it uses a self-covered cording.

    A pillow will often use the fabric cut on the bias (cross-grain) so it curves nicely around the corners with no wrinkling. This adds to the amount of fabric and labor needed. But I agree, it is a much more high-end product and more desirable.ReplyCancel

  • Lynn - July 19, 2020 - 4:09 PM

    Would love to see a post about the right size pillows for a sofa or chair and how to combine different shaped pillows.

    Images of good, bad and seriously ugly combinations might be fun.ReplyCancel

  • DE Canon - July 19, 2020 - 4:01 PM

    Thanks Laurel- Another tip for those starting out is to look for pillow inserts and retail pillows that are feather/down filled with zippers. It’s fun to have a “wardrobe” of pillow covers and easy to store and switch out for seasonal changes. Adding pillows to solid upholstered pieces makes sense. My Westie has a thing about knocking the pillows off the sofa when we leave and I would cringe if it were a pile of $250 pillows I returned home to see on the floor. Designer looks for less are always more of a challenge. One difference is that the patterns are discontinued more frequently and might sell out after your post! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Berube - July 19, 2020 - 3:22 PM

    Dear Laurel
    thank you for our quick trip to Venice…
    Reasonably priced fabric resources would be wonderful.
    Your ideas for the posts are always informative – looking forward to the next one.ReplyCancel

  • Terri - July 19, 2020 - 2:27 PM

    Hi Laurel, love this post and would like to see designer-look fabrics for less too! One thing I always struggle with is the background color when you can’t get a sample of the fabric. So many seem to be printed on off-white grounds, whereas I like a pure white ground in my decor to go with all my white. When I went to London, I stopped at Soane as I love their fabrics and was surprised that all their “white” grounds are in fact creamy yellow. You can special order to have it made on white. Ugh! If you happen to do that post on designer fabric looks for less, maybe share info if you know whether they have a white ground or off-white linen or cream ground. When buying from Wayfair, etc. it doesn’t look like you can get a sample…
    Thanks and love and read ALL your posts. 🙂
    TerriReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:27 PM

      All of the vendors on Etsy offer samples. And so does Designer’s Best. You must get a sample of the fabric. Barring that, if possible, purchase a yard. Of course, that is if you’re 99% sure. The other thing is the photography. So often the colors are off. Most commonly, I see a pinkish background and I’m pretty sure the background isn’t pink. It is definitely off-white. In fact, for tomorrow’s post, I just did a comparison showing a color-corrected image. However, yes, always get a sample even if costs a couple of bucks.ReplyCancel

  • Jill Caritas - July 19, 2020 - 2:12 PM

    I live in the Southwest, so the light, sensibility, and suitable fabrics are completely different than the choices you’ve offered…AND it’s beyond wonderful to have access to gorgeous fabrics suited to every taste. It would also be helpful to have access to more reasonable fabric options. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:30 PM

      Hi Jill,

      I’m not sure why the fabrics would be completely different. Maybe you just don’t like them. That’s certainly fine. Some people don’t like any pattern and that is also fine. As for light, I do recommend that all windows (particularly south and west) have UV protection. We have the same problem in the northeast.ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - July 19, 2020 - 1:52 PM

    I made the curtains and pillows for my house with fabric from Decorator’s Best to save money. Mostly Fabricut, which seems to be a good mid-range option. I used a bunch from the French General book.

    One thing I struggled with is pillow inserts. I think we just wad up the pillows and sit on them too much or something but it seemed no matter what I did with “feather proof” pillow protectors, interfacing, etc, feathers were always escaping from the inserts. I finally switched them all to polyfill because I was so tired of the mess. But feathers look and feel so much better.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:35 PM

      If one layer of down-proof fabric doesn’t work, then two definitely will. I don’t currently have that problem with my pillows, but I have in the past. Also, try Dewoolfson Down. It’s one of the 500+ sources in Laurel’s Rolodex— going on sale in about 10 hours!ReplyCancel

  • Helen Avalon - July 19, 2020 - 1:39 PM

    Love this post! And yes, I’d also definitely enjoy reading a post about less expensive fabric sources. My taste in colors isn’t very common and so I’ve spent countless hours looking for the right ones. I finally landed at Spoonflower dot com, a site where anyone can sell their fabric designs on your choice of fabric (as you can imagine, a lot of these scream beginning designer).

    Then when even here I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, I’ve set about learning how to take my own design, turn it into a repeating pattern, and load it onto to their site to be printed. Not a great deal of success so far (when I received the first yard of my design, the colors were strikingly different than what I saw on my computer monitor), so now reading your post and scrolling through these beautiful expensive designs is like a cool glass of ice tea on a hot day! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sheree L - July 19, 2020 - 1:05 PM

    About 90% of the time, I make my own pillow coverings, and I enjoy the hunt for fabric! I love these fabrics, but, I’m my hubby and I are quite frugal. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend so much money! So I put my vote in for the “look for less” post. Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge and helping to make our homes more beautiful. This is BY FAR my favorite blog of all time!ReplyCancel

  • Gail - July 19, 2020 - 12:57 PM

    Wonderful fabrics and sources. Yes, I’d love a get the look for less post on fabrics. Thanks so much for all you do.ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - July 19, 2020 - 12:52 PM

    Hey Laurel,

    Great post! These exquisitely patterned designer fabrics are one of the things that has me so into interior design lately. I’m really impressed by the geometry of them. A good repeat seems like a challenge. I love that I’m starting to recognize some of the famous patterns in rooms I admire on pinterest. I vote in favor of the look for less post, too.

    Question for you if I may: is antelope print a design that has roots in one of these big legacy fabric designers? I see it everywhere, but can’t tell if it has staying power or history.ReplyCancel

  • Kristi H - July 19, 2020 - 12:50 PM

    Yes yes yes, please! Would love to see the lower priced options. Another idea…for your groupings above of fabrics (and the lower cost groupings you might do) suggest which of your color palettes that they would relate to? You could refer by number for the benefit those who have purchased, which might also encourage those thinking about purchasing! Love this post!ReplyCancel

  • Rhonda - July 19, 2020 - 12:13 PM

    Oh! You have reminded me just how much I love beautiful fabrics, and of the yards I have of Charlotte Moss “Claire” just waiting (for years now) to be made into pillows. Must get busy!

    But isn’t it sad that the wonderful fabric stores are falling by the wayside?ReplyCancel

  • Carol Totaro Warren - July 19, 2020 - 12:09 PM

    Hi Laurel, Yes, I would love to see substitutions for the ultra beautiful designer fabrics. Now that I’m retired, I find myself not wishing to purchase even at my designer net. lol–can’t believe it, but my feelings have changed a lot about what I really want in life now. Hope you stay healthy and well and I hope that you will continue to enjoy the journey of finding your dream home. Warm wishes !!ReplyCancel

  • Patricia - July 19, 2020 - 11:45 AM

    Yes, I would be interested in a post about more affordable fabrics, especially since my favorites above tend to be $650-$1,300 a yard….
    Lovely article. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Pam Holmes - July 19, 2020 - 11:39 AM

    Yes, please less expensive gorgeous fabrics!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - July 19, 2020 - 11:38 AM

    Gorgeous! As always, thank you for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Deborah Thornburg - July 19, 2020 - 11:36 AM

    Yes Yes Please! Designer fabric look at bargain prices would be fabulous!!!ReplyCancel

  • Tricia - July 19, 2020 - 11:35 AM

    Hi Laurel, I would love a post about less expensive fabric options. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda Gluska - July 19, 2020 - 11:31 AM

    Yes to the look for less!!!!

    Thank you for this beautiful post!ReplyCancel

  • Maralee - July 19, 2020 - 11:28 AM

    There is no reason in the world that I should be able to recognize the Chiang Mai Dragon fabrics. I am not a designer and my home is not high end. I am just a dedicated reader of your blog and apparently you have over-educated me! Hahahaha! Thank you…I think😆
    Love the new sources. YES! To more affordable options.ReplyCancel

  • Carla Klittich - July 19, 2020 - 11:16 AM

    For reasonably priced fabrics that are just the design you wanted you can consider Spoonflower. They print the design to order on the fabric of your choice, and they have a bazillion designs in stock or you can upload your own. After mulling over samples taped to windows for a month I just ordered 17 yards for making roman shades with my favorite design on linen-cotton canvas which is 54″ wide and runs $28/yard. I like that they support graphic designers and that they only manufacture what people order so minimize waste. They are slow right now though, you can’t be in a hurry.ReplyCancel

  • Jane S. - July 19, 2020 - 11:10 AM

    Hi Laurel —
    When you write the post about bargain fabric, will you please talk about pillow details. I see 90% of the Etsy pillow covers are knife edge (i.e. Home Goods, not that there is anything wrong with them). My preference is a corded edge, it looks more finished.(i.e designer) But it may be a contemporary versus traditional detailing and I am definitely traditional. Or is it a trend? You say the details matter. So I would appreciate your thoughts.

    JaneReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:42 PM

      Some of the vendors might be able to accommodate that request for an upcharge. In any case, I recommend contacting them for any other details, like a change of size, placement of the fabric, and if you would like the face-fabric on both sides of the pillow.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - July 19, 2020 - 11:09 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    With so many fabric choices you really did a fab job on this post! Trade pricing is still too high even for most designers to do their own home. Who doesn’t love a good deal? Heck, $25 – $50 is a steal on some of these top brands. Thank you for being on the very top of my list of blogs to faithfully read!ReplyCancel

  • Lilli - July 19, 2020 - 11:08 AM

    Yes, Laurel. $25. Can you find $15?ReplyCancel

  • Lori Haffner - July 19, 2020 - 10:59 AM

    You read my mind! Would love to see some…ahem…”more affordable” fabric options.
    I adore your blog, and look forward to reading every post. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Joan - July 19, 2020 - 10:51 AM

    Would like to see the $25/yd knock-offs like yesterday 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Alisa - July 19, 2020 - 10:49 AM

    Amy, How about doing the edges of you draperies in your designer fabric?ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - July 19, 2020 - 10:46 AM

    Affordable fabric post would truly be appreciated!ReplyCancel

  • Amy Holmes - July 19, 2020 - 10:45 AM

    Thank you for this wonderful post. Such beautiful fabrics. I like the idea of a ‘fabrics that only look expensive’ post. I’d also love ideas for how to use an expensive fabric in small doses other than pillows. I just purchased 3 pillows in Schumacher Plaisirs De la Chine for our basement we are finishing. The fabric coordinates with the green of my husband’s inherited pool table and sets my whole color scheme. I’d like to repeat it in the room but I need about 30 yards for curtains so that’s not an option. Thought about doing inset panels on a console table skirt. Is it cheesy to frame fabric (I also need any acoustical help I can get)? Would love a post on this.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey Dorrington - July 19, 2020 - 10:25 AM

    Once again you’ve opened a new world to me. These fabrics are gorgeous and I love your combinations. I would also love a post on “bargain” fabrics. I truly appreciate the art of these but just don’t have the cash. Thank you for sharing your talent! Love, your fan from rural MontanaReplyCancel

  • Pattie - July 19, 2020 - 10:12 AM

    Thanks for another great post. Would love $25. fabric sources. Canadian, possibly?ReplyCancel

  • Maureen Guerrieo - July 19, 2020 - 9:49 AM

    Would love to see designer fabrics for $25 per yard.
    ThanksReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - July 19, 2020 - 9:41 AM

    Hello again, To be clear what I meant by overwhelming, for those who don’t have time to check out the Sotheby’s sale, you are recommending distinctive patterns for perhaps a pillow, but Mr. Steinitz used the red zebras to cover the walls of an entire room. As with sports cars, the smaller the car, the more vivid are the acceptable colors.
    –JimReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:46 PM

      Oh, I agree! I realized that I was more focused on accents like pillows. And, didn’t go into wallpaper at all. It’s a pretty large topic.ReplyCancel

  • DebinAZ - July 19, 2020 - 9:41 AM

    Yes please to lower cost fabrics, everyone loves a bargain.ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - July 19, 2020 - 9:32 AM

    Hello Laurel, I just got notices of Sotheby’s Benjamin Steinitz sale:

    https://www.sothebys.com/en/digital-catalogues/addiction-benjamin-steinitz

    As can be seen, Steinitz used the Scalamandre Zebra pattern, but I think that this pattern is so strong and memorable that I would go crazy in such a room.
    –JimReplyCancel

  • Alisa - July 19, 2020 - 9:30 AM

    Remember to get samples before you commit to cut fabrics, which can’t be returned. The colors on the computer are usually way off the actual colors. You can’t coordinate colors, and you can’t see quality of fabrics unless you have them in hand.ReplyCancel

  • fiona - July 19, 2020 - 9:24 AM

    yes would love such a post. on the verge of reupholstering my sofa.ReplyCancel

  • Krista - July 19, 2020 - 9:18 AM

    Laurel,

    I discovered your blog just in the nick of time. I recently closed on a new home and was on the brink of making several horrendous design choices, but your advice has pulled me into the light. As for fabrics, I would greatly appreciate your advice on less expensive upholstery options. I inherited a wing back chair from my grandmother that I would love to use as an accent chair in my new home. Many years ago my mother had it reupholstered in a silk striped fabric, that while beautiful, does not fit my aesthetic. While I would love to run out and choose new upholstery for the chair without regard to cost, we are completely gutting the new house, so budget must be considered. Additionally, my husband is the type of guy who would throw a fleece blanket from Costco over a dated fabric and call it a day. (horror). I could use your guidance to find the perfect fabric and save me from my husband’s Costco fleece. Thank you!

    -KristaReplyCancel

  • Connie Fo - July 19, 2020 - 9:13 AM

    I loved exploring this post, Laurel. And yes, please, to more affordable options.ReplyCancel

  • Ramona - July 19, 2020 - 8:56 AM

    I actually have a square pendant light made out of the red and black zebra fabric. I got it on super sale for around $250. It absolutely makes my study!
    Yes, do the less expensive sources. I have many of them bookmarked. If you would like my list, just ask.
    I am a fabric snob as my mother was a seamstress and we went to fabulous fabric stores in New Jersey just miles from the NYC fabric center. Believe me we needed bargains, and my mom found them. She told me that even as a toddler, I would gravitate towards the most expensive/highest quality fabrics in the store. I was/am very tactile and can feel the quality in the fabric.

    One place we went had yardage folded in stacks all over the floor. The store owner would ask what we were looking for, e.g. black wool coating, and he would wade/swim through the piles and pull out magical pieces that most often fit the bill. It was always a very strange experience, but he had tremendous bargains. That place was so unlike a store that it made me nervous and excited every time.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:49 PM

      Thanks so much. I needed to recuperate from Sunday’s all-nighter! So, I’m seeing your kind offer too late.ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - July 19, 2020 - 8:38 AM

    Yes I would love a post about less expensive designer fabrics! Love your blogs. They are informative and a great learning tool.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara Kemp - July 19, 2020 - 8:33 AM

    Laurel, Do you remember Payne Fabrics? I lived close to their facility years ago. Payne had a small outlet store which was available to us locals. Once or twice a year they also had a warehouse sale. For years I was able to make beautiful window coverings and have furniture slipcovered or reupholstered at a much lower cost. I even met a woman at the outlet one day who became a close friend and we still are today. Designer fabrics can enhance your life more ways than one.ReplyCancel

  • Claudia - July 19, 2020 - 8:17 AM

    Oh, how I love beautiful designer fabrics! Sometimes I get sad knowing they are out of reach for me. But just looking at them, along with your help and the instruction of this blog, has helped me develop a better eye for color, design, and elevated my taste. Laurel, I would love it if you did a post on affordable options.

    While I can’t spend $250 a yard for the premium designer fabrics I covet, I did splurge on a custom made shower curtain made with Robert Allen’s Lake Paradise Spa fabric (discovered on this blog) from a vendor on Etsy for about $130, it looks head and shoulders over the usual mass produced ones found at big box stores and chains. I get asked all the time where I got it from.

    When I think about adding up how much I have spent over the years on cheap accent pillows, never quite being really happy with them, at $20 and $30 a pop from places like Home Goods, PB, etc, I probably could have bought gorgeous ones with the perfect designer fabrics. Sigh.ReplyCancel

  • Trish Fowler - July 19, 2020 - 8:13 AM

    I look forward to your blog each week—SO much helpful information. And…Yes, yes, yes!! Would love for you to do a post about less expensive decorator fabrics! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Ann - July 19, 2020 - 8:12 AM

    Yes, would definitely like to see a post on affordable fabrics. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Marsha B - July 19, 2020 - 8:08 AM

    You have exquisite taste and I love your posts. While I wish I could purchase these designer fabrics, it just isn’t my reality. I would very much appreciate how to get similar looks for less. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Sorahan - July 19, 2020 - 8:02 AM

    Yes please! An article on more affordable fabrics would be appreciated.ReplyCancel

  • Gayla Meilleur - July 19, 2020 - 7:48 AM

    Absolutely would be grateful for some less expensive great looking fabrics. Thanks Laurel!ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Gregory - July 19, 2020 - 7:45 AM

    Hi Laurel!
    I just love you and look forward to reading your blog every Sunday morning. I follow (most of) your advice and have a prettier home because of it.
    My home is a traditional center entry colonial. Over the past 18 years we have done a lot of renovating and redecorating-especially since our 5 kids (yep, 5) moved on.
    We’ve opened walls and neutralized the big pieces, I.e., walls, floors, upholstery, drapes, etc. but now need to add back some life in color. Our artwork is on the big side and while colorful, it’s not too out there.
    My question is: how do you go about threading a color story through the use of pillows and throws? Since our floor plan allows you to see one room from another, it seems to me that there should be some coordination (not matching) of color and maybe pattern. I can figure out one room at a time, but this has me stymied. I’m thinking there must be other readers like me?
    Thanks for your blog. It’s the bomb!
    Cathy GregoryReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:51 PM

      Well, this is all covered extensively in my paint and palette guide. If you don’t have it, I’m sure that it’ll be helpful. It’s going on sale for a few days beginning tomorrow, the 22nd of July.ReplyCancel

  • Fran - July 19, 2020 - 7:25 AM

    Please do a post on sources and designer fabrics that have the look for a lot less money. That would be great! Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Tanya Skeen - July 19, 2020 - 7:08 AM

    I’m not sure if it is all right to simply ask a decorating question here or not, but here goes. Should a crystal chandelier be hung above the bed in the master bedroom, or in the center of the room? Thank you so much for your help!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:53 PM

      Usually, in a bedroom, the chandelier is placed in the center of the room. Great question!ReplyCancel

  • Gail Neylan - July 19, 2020 - 6:54 AM

    Yes!!! Please would love to have sources for more affordable quality looks.ReplyCancel

  • Patricia Wilson - July 19, 2020 - 6:44 AM

    While these options are stunning…I can’t see myself ever purchasing because of cost. Less expensive options pretty please.ReplyCancel

  • Ingrid Aller - July 19, 2020 - 6:23 AM

    These are beautiful fabrics, but as with most, I would appreciate a list of fabrics to get the look for less.ReplyCancel

  • kim - July 19, 2020 - 6:15 AM

    YES to your question – beautiful fabrics for less! thanks Laurel.ReplyCancel

  • Aimee - July 19, 2020 - 6:01 AM

    Would love to read a more budget friendly fabric post although I love these out of reach fabrics. I have one tiny pillow made with Le Lac fabric and even if I could afford more it’s impossible to find. That pillow is a cherished possession – ha ha!ReplyCancel

  • Randa - July 19, 2020 - 4:45 AM

    Lovely! I would love to see what your affordable options list looks like, too! And regarding the heat, we have a feels like of 117 degrees at the moment, with the humidity on the rise. Of course in the Middle East, that’s par for the course in the summmer – but we’re not usually here right now! So my plan is to take your practical blog posts and do some fun house projects. Thanks Laurel!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 21, 2020 - 2:57 PM

      I was in Cairo – yes, Egypt in 1980. And I’ll never forget walking outside and it was 105. (air temp) And, it was a blast of hot air, like an oven. But, if our blistering high temp yesterday of 98, felt like 105, I can’t imagine what 117 (refeel) feels like.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Harrison - July 19, 2020 - 4:25 AM

    I have put sooo many of these fabrics on my wishlists for each site but since I can’t (realistically) see me going from “add to cart” to “confirm purchase” PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do a post about the affordable options. Thank you!ReplyCancel

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