Tag Archives: fabric swatches

The 4 Most Unique Fabrics That Work


The right fabrics make all the difference.

Miami is a beautiful city, but it can be a tricky one when it comes to home décor. The heat and humidity can make finding the right fabrics for your home a tough choice. But have no fear; there are fabrics that work with the weather, and will give your home that luxurious feel. Here’s what works for your Miami home.

Cotton
Yes, cotton; it’s not just for your clothes and your sheets, it’s also for upholstery. Cotton is ideal because it can fit into any budget, be dyed to fit any design scheme, and best of all, it breathes. In a climate such as Miami, your home furniture needs to use breathable upholstery in order to be comfortable; otherwise, you get that awkward, sticky feeling that we’re a little too familiar with thanks to visiting Grandma on a hot day. That said, get upholstery with a high thread count for a soft, luxe feeling, and use it for furniture that sees moderate use or less.

Hemp
Hemp has, for far too long, been the province of crunchy-granola types and burnouts. It’s time to take this fabric back and use it where it belongs as the luxurious natural fiber of choice for your furniture. Hemp is not only breathable and soft, it can take quite a lot of abuse. Hemp fibers are tougher than even the brattiest child or the most ill-behaved pet. Like cotton, it takes to dyes and patterns extremely well. Use hemp for furniture that sees a lot of use; it won’t wear out and will give you plenty of time.

Linen
If you want comfort and breathability, linen is going to be your fabric of choice. Remember, true linen is made from fibers from the flax plant; any other kind of “linen” is not true linen. It’s referred to as such largely thanks to the weaving method used, but won’t offer the same freshness. Linen is actually best used not for upholstery but for curtains, pillows, and other accents. It wrinkles and stains more easily than some fabrics. It can also take some of the humidity out of the air because it absorbs liquids well, which is just another reason to keep it out of the reach of red wines and sodas.

Leather

Leather has always meant luxury.

Finally, there’s the classic upholstery choice of leather. It may seem odd to say that leather is the best choice for a humid, warm climate like Miami, but it does have a few advantages. First of all, if you air-condition your home, leather releases its heat quickly and effectively, making your leather furniture cool and comfortable to the touch. Secondly, well treated leather can withstand a lot of damage and brush off spills and accidents without staining. Finally, it’s easy to clean; you can buy wipes from leather furniture stores that can easily clean the sofa. Of course, it’s luxurious; leather is considered the best kind of upholstery for a reason.

There are other fabrics, but these are the best you’ll find for home décor in the Miami area. Factor them into your design and you’ll find they give you the pop your home needs.

Photo credits: The Miami Story, stewf

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Color Juxtaposition, the ones that do not normally work.

Color Juxtaposition, the ones that do not normally work.

If you ask a group of interior decorators what colors are not compatible with each other, you may be surprised to find out that many designers believe that all colors are meant to go together, but the shades, hues, intensity, saturation and amount of color needs to be tweaked for the best results.

Color Wheel

The color wheel is a way to assess the compatibility and contrast of one color to another. Primary colors are blue, yellow and red. The colors between the primary colors are called secondary colors and are made by mixing combinations of blue, yellow and red together.

Secondary colors

Mix red with yellow, and you create orange. Mix yellow and blue together, and you get green. Red and blue mixed creates purple. Therefore, orange, green and purple are considered secondary colors.

Tertiary Colors

Tertiary colors are primary and secondary colors that are mixed together. The six tertiary colors are red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.

Colors in Context

Colors look different depending upon the colors they are near. For example, a red square stands out on a white background but is hardly noticed on a brown background. The same shade of lavender will look reddish on a blue background and bluish on a purple background. Colors change drastically depending upon the colors around them.

Color harmony

Color harmony is the midpoint between too many colors that may cause over stimulation and not enough color that is boring and uninteresting to the eye. Harmony is achieved by both trial and error, and by following some basic rules of color theory.

Paint Chips and Fabric Swatches

There is a reason interior designers collect a variety of paint chips and fabric swatches in the process of renovating or redoing a living space. Even the trained eye of an interior designer may not be able to select the perfect color without trying out some combinations.

Color Theories

Yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange are three colors that sit side by side on a 12-part color wheel. Any three colors next to each other are called analogous colors and usually are pleasant to the eye.

Complementary colors, those colors opposite each other on the color wheel, also are deemed universally compatible.

Exceptions

Some designers believe that if you follow nature’s palate of colors, it doesn’t matter what colors are placed next to each other. Designers will often use a picture taken from nature as an inspiration for color hue, saturation and intensity.

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