Sunday, August 21, 2011

If your cashmere scarf gave birth to a tough-as-nails upholstery fabric...

One of the things that I focus on while working on selections for my projects is Eco-friendliness.  A key part of creating an eco-friendly environment is using products that are appropriate for their surroundings.  This creates longevity and minimizes long term waste.
So when one of my favorite clients came to me recently and said that she really, really wanted to use a white fabric on the daybed in her media room I was very, very leary.  This is the daybed that we had discussed weeks earlier as being the crash-pad for her best friend's children who frequently spend the night.  This is also the daybed that we had discussed being used as the morning coffee/newspaper spot and the kick-off-you-shoes and enjoy the spectacular view spot.  I went through all the reasons why this was a terrible idea.  I warned her that she would have to reupholster the piece all the time I told her that it would look awful after the first time that the kids jumped on it with their shoes on.  All these warnings fell on deaf ears.  Now what?!

Well, after gathering my wits I realized that we needed to look for something more hearty than my typical repertoire of sustainable wools, cottons and silks.  Eureka!  I need to look for an indoor-outdoor fabric!  But yuck- could I really find a fabric that would not look out of place in this refined, elegant penthouse?

Yes, the majority of the products out there are just what you would expect- hard feeling and hard looking and totally inappropriate for a room where you want to cuddle up to watch a movie or read a great book.  However, if you haven't shopped the world of indoor-outdoor fabric recently then you should.  There are some fabulous things out there including soft chenilles, velvets and even trims.

We ended up with a Donghia fabric that was created for Sunbrella.  It comes in a number of colors including the warm white that we chose.  It wears like iron and could even be cleaned with bleach if you had an emergency (think red juice boxes and an excited kid...).  But that is NOT the best part.  This fabric may be as tough as nails, but it feels like your favorite cashmere scarf gave birth to an upholstery fabric.  And it is oh, so elegant!

So all you mothers and fathers out there- fear not- there is hope yet.  White need not be a color in our past.  Bring on the juice boxes!

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