Trend Report

These experts have it covered with tips for using fabric, whether it’s to brighten or soften a room, to absorb sound, or simply add texture



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1 - “A common mistake that people make is to think they need to spend more money on a fabric for their lesser-used living-room guest chair than for their constantly used family-room sofa. The harder-wearing fabric for the family-room sofa will probably be more expensive, but worth the money.” — Gail Urso, Urso Designs Inc., Grosse Pointe Park

2 - “Lack of fabric is probably one of the worst offenses when you decorate a room. We’ve all been to restaurants, for example, where there’s little to no fabric and it’s hard to have an intimate conversation with all the background noise.” — Art-Harrison Interiors, Royal Oak

3 - “Animal prints are a popular classic look.” — Birmingham Design Studio, Birmingham

4 - "Consider bold graphics that make a statement. Fabrics are now being used as the 'art' in the room. A statement chair, bench, or even sofa in a bold fabric brings great dimension to a room's personality." — Jeanine White-Haith, ShowHouse Interiors, Grosse Pointe

5 - “I’m using some extremely durable indoor-outdoor fabrics for interiors. Holly Hunt has some beautiful indoor-outdoor fabrics that are smartly priced.” — Cheryl Nestro, Tutto Interiors, Northville

6 - “Railroading upholstery (laying horizontally a fabric that was designed vertically) is very on-trend.” — Mary Olk, Designer Interiors By Mary Olk, Royal Oak

7 - “You can take the most unappealing room and dress it up with beautiful fabrics. Even in modern spaces, a room is unfinished without a simple, sophisticated window treatment.” — Cheryl Nestro, Tutto Interiors, Northville

8 - “I encourage people to use some fabric in every room. In a kitchen, fabric can be used on the windows, on chair seats, and, of course, for tablecloths and napkins. In a bathroom, a great Roman shade can provide softness and a feeling of warmth to an area that otherwise is primarily hard surfaces.” — Gail Urso, Urso Designs Inc., Grosse Pointe Park

9 - “We’re seeing wonderful color like Designers Guild, who won’t give up on those who love brights and patterns.” — Ann Heath Templeton, Duncan-Fuller Interiors, Birmingham

10 - “Upholstered walls are phenomenal, especially when done in silk. There are some caveats, though, that give people pause: It’s an art, really, to hang fabric properly on the wall. It can be a challenge to find an expert craftsman. Cleaning can be difficult; we need to install welting. It’s a big job. That said, no wall covering comes close to being as chic as an upholstered wall.” — Mary Olk, Designer Interiors By Mary Olk, Royal Oak

11 -  “Because we have all seasons, I don’t typically like to use fabrics that are too summery or too heavy. I like fabrics that will translate well in all seasons.” — Cheryl Nestro, Tutto Interiors, Northville

12 - “Among my new favorites is men’s wear-inspired fabric ... in pinstripes.” — Mary Olk, Designer Interiors By Mary Olk, Royal Oak

13 -  “I like practical fabrics that are luxurious, stylish, and soft to the touch from brands such as Sunbrella and Perennial using 100-percent solution-dyed acrylic fibers. They’re soil-, mildew-, and UV-ray resistant, making them great for outdoor and indoor use.” — Jeanine White-Haith, ShowHouse Interiors, Grosse Pointe

14 - “Intense, rich colors (purples, yellows, and fuchsia) are back, but they should be balanced with lighter, soft neutrals, such as gray and beige.” — Jeanine White-Haith, ShowHouse Interiors, Grosse Pointe

15 - “Working with so many hard surfaces, we also need sound absorption and softness.” — Ann Heath Templeton, Duncan-Fuller Interiors, Birmingham

16 -  “I like using two fabrics together on the same piece and painting the wood to match the fabric.” — Mary Olk, Designer Interiors By Mary Olk, Royal Oak

17 - “Right now, I love linen and tone-on-tone geometric patterns, and I love the new wallpapers that look like fabric.” — Cheryl Nestro, Tutto Interiors, Northville

18 - “I constantly use outdoor fabric in a family home with a lot of traffic and children because it’s so easily cleaned. Outdoor fabric works great on kitchen chairs to prevent staining and in a TV room that’s used by children every day.” — Paul Feiten Design, Bloomfield Hills

19 - “Tapestries and other heavy woven fabrics tend to be quite a bit more expensive. They’ll last a very long time, however, and won’t show spots or soil easily. They work well in contemporary or traditional settings.” — Gail Urso, Urso Designs Inc., Grosse Pointe Park

20 -  “Choose what you love. A fabric should feel good to you when you look at it and when you touch it. Remember you will be sitting on it, resting your hand on it, putting your head back on it, and living with it for quite some time.” — Gail Urso, Urso Designs Inc., Grosse Pointe Park

21 - “I tend to discourage being ‘safe’ with all the fabric being a perfect match. The wonderful shapes of furniture and accessories can get lost with such uniformity.  
— Mary Olk, Designer Interiors By Mary Olk, Royal Oak

22 - “I love to use trim on window treatments, on shower curtains, on coverlets, and on pillows. There are so many options today. In addition to beautiful traditional braids and fringes, there are beads, shells, glass, and wood trims that work well in traditional, contemporary, formal, and casual settings. There are even trims suitable for outdoor use.” — Gail Urso, Urso Designs Inc., Grosse Pointe Park

23 - “Trim can transform a sofa as long as it is used intelligently.” — Paul Feiten Design, Bloomfield Hills

24 - "It's important to ask, 'How will this fabric be used?' If it's a drapery fabric, will there be a great deal of exposure to the sun? Will children, dogs, and cats brush up against it? Will it need to provide privacy and/or act as a sunscreen?" — Gail Urso, Urso Designs Inc., Grosse Pointe Park

25 - “We upholster a lot of walls, but not in the traditional way with padding. We prefer to paper-back the fabric for a more clean-lined, modern sensibility.” — Art-Harrison Interiors, Royal Oak

26 - “Metallics bring a hint of glamour or happiness to any room.”  — Jeanine White-Haith, ShowHouse Interiors, Grosse Pointe

27 - “We tend to choose five to eight different fabrics per room, ranging from large-scale prints and heavy textures to something shimmery and something matte so the rooms have variance and depth.” — Art-Harrison Interiors, Royal Oak

28 - “Durability is the key consideration when selecting fabrics. I’m partial to fabrics done in a matelassé style, which mimics quilting or has the appearance of padding. It’s stitched with layers of fabric; there’s no padding at all.” — Mary Olk, Designer Interiors By Mary Olk, Royal Oak

29 - “A fabric needs to work for you. It needs to brighten up or quiet a room; it needs to stand up to company, kids, and newspapers, or simply look lovely and inviting in a seldom-used guest bedroom.” — Gail Urso, Urso Designs Inc., Grosse Pointe Park

30 - “I find clients are often overwhelmed with fabric choices, so I have them pick one fabric as their favorite and that will be our lead inspiration. [Then] I will build a home around that and select complementary fabrics. I also tell my clients we’re staying away from trendy fabrics and lead them to choose classic color schemes, which are not easily dated.” — Paul Feiten Design, Bloomfield Hills

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