8 Tactile Ways To Transform Any Space With Fabric
The fabrics you choose for your interior will set the mood of a space and dictate the cohesiveness of your design concept—here’s a look at how to apply these trends to your home.
If you prefer a more opulent mood for your abode, try accents in bold jewel tones, which can add a shimmer of glamour to your home. “I love playing with jewel tones because they’re so rich and vibrant,” says Julia Kong, the group brand and marketing head for Acacia Fine Fabrics. “Take a rich ruby wing chair with white piping, for instance—it will look beautiful when placed against dark wooden furniture with gold embellishments.”
For a punchy colour contrast, Kong also suggests pairing a lively jewel-toned turquoise curtain with a yellow pastel armchair. “Try combining deep, strong jewel tones with more neutral-coloured fabrics, as this helps to maintain a sense of equilibrium within the space.”
(Related: 16 Glamorous Pieces For The Maximalist)
Pastels can add a soothing sense of calm to your home—use soft tones such as powder pink, baby blue, lavender, mint or muted yellow in your bedrooms to help put you in a more relaxed mood. Pastel curtains allow more natural light to pass through than darker curtains, so your interiors will also feel brighter.
“Pastels can help create a natural and relaxing ambience in your home,” says Winnie Wong, the managing director of home furnishings purveyor Cetec. “When used on drapery, it can soften heavy fit-out and furnishing materials such as wood or concrete.” She recommends Zimmer + Rohde’s Hodsoll McKenzie and Monaco collections, which offer sophisticated pastel fabrics in linen, silk, wool or cotton, as well as Sahco’s selection of romantic, sheer day curtains that are available in a variety of dreamy candy-coloured shades.
Geometric prints are having a strong moment right now. Amanda Clark, the co-founder of Altfield Interiors, believes it’s a reaction to too many years of minimalism, which leans towards neutral, single-colour fabrics.
“Mid-Century Modern furniture has been popular for several years now and this has led to a renewed interest in patterns from the same era, which include bold geometric forms,” says Clark. She adds that there’s been a recent surge in interest in dramatic two-tone geometric prints, such as those in Pollack’s Fall 2017 collection. “Modern interpretations of tribal and geometric designs are also trending at the moment. These include the Itza outdoor fabric from Pollack, which are inspired by ethnic textile designs.”
(Related: 15 Chic Geometric Pieces For Every Room)
Sophisticated stripes are also in vogue—according to Clark, these linear designs can give rooms a crisp and tailored look while breaking up large monochrome spaces. “The French and English use them wonderfully on walls, while the Americans tend to use them for upholstery on armchairs or dining chairs,” she says. Stripes, such as those in Loro Piana’s seaside collection (available in both light and heavy fabrics), can add a touch of formality and a hint of masculinity to any room.
(Related: How To Decorate Like The French)
When it comes to bringing interesting textures into your home, velvets are all the rage. “Velvet is soft, feels amazing and is suitable for Singapore’s climate,” says interior designer Karen Gan of Karen Gan Design.
She suggests mixing plain velvet with patterned and cut velvet to create sumptuous layers of colour and texture within your abode. Weitzner and Nobilis are two brands that offer a good choice of plain or patterned velvet fabrics, which can be used to imbue sofas, high-backed wing chairs, throw pillows, banquette seats and curtains with a luxurious look and feel.
Woven fabrics can certainly add an extra visual layer to your home—even those that are mono-coloured have a strong three-dimensional quality that reflects light and adds visual interest to a room. “Single-coloured textiles with strong textures have always been popular for large pieces of furniture,” says Amanda Clark of Altfield Interiors. “Recently, I’ve noticed a strong interest in more patterned weaves such as tweeds and herringbone designs. I think this is also linked to the revival of Mid-century Modern interiors.”
Winnie Wong of Cetec thinks that woven fabrics are popular because they’re subtle, versatile and timeless. “Woven fabrics such as tweeds with contrasting multicoloured yarns can be used to add character to almost any surface—be it headboards, bedframes, wardrobe panels or loose furniture,” she says. If you’re using a woven fabric for upholstering, it’s important to feel the fabric in a larger sample so you can ensure it’s not scratchy or too rough for your liking.
Borders are also seeing a renaissance, as designers use them to add detail and definition to rooms in modern and creative ways. “For curtains, you can use stunning wide-embroidered tapes with geometric designs to add a couture look to a room,” says Amanda Clark. “Brands such as Samuel & Sons are working with wonderful materials, embellishing borders with materials like glass and sequins.”
Another good idea is to use a velvet border on sheer curtains to add weight and volume to the light drapery. “This is particularly suitable for curtains used with high ceilings, where additional fabric may be needed so that the curtains can touch the ground,” says Karen Gan. Borders in contrasting colours can also be added as piping to upholstered furniture. This can help emphasise the shape of the piece by giving it a more defined outline.
Tassels and tiebacks are also being used to enliven drapery or furniture. Introducing a band of tassels on the skirt of a chair or tablecloth can help draw attention to the form of a furniture item, and add a personalised touch to the piece. Luxurious tassels and embroidered borders, such as those from the Travers and Passementerie collections by Zimmer + Rohde can elevate a simple ottoman or throw cushion, while tiebacks from Sahco’s accessories collection range from contemporary leather bands to ethnic-inspired bead-like cords that can transform a simple curtain into a sophisticated work of art.
Where to go:
Acacia Fine Fabrics, 10 Ubi Crescent, #04-03 Ubi Techpark
Altfield Interiors, 1 Magazine Road, #07-10 Central Mall
Cetec, 36 Armenian Street, #02-05
This story was adapted from Singapore Tatler Homes December 2017-January 2018.