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Simple lines, big impact, little fabric
29/03/2011

Ann Moore Spencer

You’ve looked through what seems like every bolt of fabric in every store and the one that you absolutely cannot do without is way too expensive. You would have to be crazy to buy all those yards of pricey fabric.

When you do the math, it looks like you would have to break the bank or mortgage the house to pay for it. But you are convinced that it’s the best and only fabric for your living or dining room window treatments.

Now, let’s establish up front—you will have to compromise, but I hope that some of the ideas I suggest will be favourable. If you have a modern décor, use window treatments with simple, clean styles. Roller blinds, roman shades, sliding panels, flat panels, ripplefold panels, etc, use less fabric. The fabric is the focus rather than the style.

Use expensive fabric for valances. Valances use less fabric than drapery. And if you use a simple, flat valance or an upholstered cornice even less fabric is required. Simple lines; big impact; little fabric. Use less expensive coordinating fabric for the drapery. Fabric can be used on part of the valance or cornice. Use coordinating fabrics and trim for a decorator’s look and to increase the decorative value of the piece. If your window treatment requires multiple lengths of fabric, use two lengths of your special fabric along with less expensive co-ordinating lengths. Use your “special” fabric to upholster an accent chair. It takes a mere 6 1/2 yards to upholster a club chair. An ottoman will take 2–3 yards. Less than the 9 yds of fabric is required for pleated or rod pocket drapery for a 55—60 inch window. That is one window. What if you have more than one window in your living room? What if you what a valance or swags?

Make the chair cushions reversible. Fabricate one side in your special fabric and the other in a less expensive coordinate—Two cushions in one! Make decorative pillows from the fabric. Even less if you just use special fabric on one side and a less expensive co-ordinating fabric at the back of the pillow. Increase the decorative impact of the pillow by adding co-ordinating and contrasting trims. Use pillows of different sizes and shapes. Pillows in coordinating less expensive fabric can play a supporting role and serve to highlight your special pieces. Use the fabric on table cloths, table toppers, throw, runners, lampshades or other decorative accessories. If your fabric has a small pattern or stripe, it can serve as the embellishment for other pieces. It can be used for a contrasting border on top treatments, drapery, table cloths, table skirts, etc

If the fabric has a very large motif, consider using it as a wall hanging or frame a pattern repeat as a print or painting. This is something I have done a number of times with great success. The key to using small amounts of your special fabric is to ensure that it is not hidden. Place it in a strategic location where it is readily seen and appreciated. Choose your co-ordinates wisely to lend decorative support to the fabric. By placing your fabric in the leading role, and designing your décor around it you would be surprised how well put together and impactful your room will be. Be innovative and creative. And guess what? You would not have to mortgage your home or break the bank!