Our homes reflect our personalities and lifestyles. Home furnishings speak for themselves. Whether it’s the old family rocking chair or the elegant draperies at the window, furnishings add a personal touch. Home furnishing is big business today and there is a plethora of stores offering a mind-boggling range of soft furnishings and accessories to do up your house. Take a look at the different types of soft furnishing materials that you can use. Find out more about home furnishing styles.
Home furnishings come in a variety of styles. You can go in for a simple yet elegant style or go over the top if your budget allows it. Home product stores offer decorators and home stylists who can aid you in the process of selecting the right kind of grand home furnishings. You can give your home the rustic inn look -- hearth, pinewood floor and rugs or go oriental with rice paper screens and haiku lamps. Home furnishing need not be an expensive project. You can look for bargain sales and do- it- yourself projects and give your house a refurbished look. Coordinated products may come at a discount when bought as a cohesive pack.
The use of furnishings adds character and mood to a room. You can go in for a style that suits your lifestyle and taste – traditional French to minimalist modern to ethnic chic. But ensure that the furnishing doesn’t become the focal point of the room. What you need is a comfortable home – a haven that offers a relaxed and peaceful setting. Mix and match your furnishings – all it needs is your creativity and time. Keep color schemes and house dimensions in mind before embarking on a home furnishing plan. The architectural elements of a room can be enhanced with the right positioning of accessories and artifacts. A
drab window can be livened with a simple yet attractive curtain. Choose a material and print that adds a touch a color. Select
curtain rods and finials to suit the window positioning. Voila! You have a window with a new personality!
Soft furnishings for curtains, draperies, cushions and bed linen are now available in a variety of fabrics ranging from crochets to plaids to cotton voiles and rich tapestry. Silk is a rich furnishing fabric that has beauty, rare and distinctive. Embroidered silk and silk brocade and a host of other selections and varieties are available for home furnishings. Using the
right colors for soft furnishings can give a totally new look and feel to a room. Dark colors against a light colored wall
can be a heady contrast. Large patterns on small windows or small rooms can create an overpowering effect. Instead, small
patterns or self-patterned fabrics are a better bet. The rich feel and look of jacquard and tapestry makes for an opulent
style. Taffeta and damask fabrics are popular as table linen and curtains.
Draperies: Insulated curtains lower heating and cooling costs. You can dress up your windows with curtains of different kinds. The choice of curtain fabrics and styles would depend on the kind of window that is being dressed. If privacy is necessary, then you need to go in for thick curtains. Olefin velvet can endure heavy use and is a good choice for humid places. Nylon velvet is ideal for family areas. Crocheted curtains are an alternative to the traditional materials such as nylon and
velvet. White lace curtains inspire the relaxed and comfortable feeling, reminiscent of a romantic country inn. These simple
lace curtains bring a fresh and welcome look to a room. They are an ideal alternative to heavy drapes. But these sheer curtains
get easily soiled.
Dressy drapes are given a lining with another fabric to add extra body. Combine draperies with shades, valances and ornamentation and you can get a well-dressed window. For kitchens, a short curtain suffices whereas sheer curtains create a romantic look
that goes well with bedrooms. Window locations and sun exposure also play a role in deciding the right kind of fabric. Direct exposure to the Sun and its harmful Ultra-Violet radiation can quickly fade the fabrics, upholstery and rugs. So it would be prudent to use non-fabric shades to mask the sensitive fabrics from direct sunlight.
Cushions: Fabrics for cushions will depend on the kind of use they are going to be put to. With little kids around, you need robust and sturdy fabrics that can withstand the rigors of grubby fingers and rough handling. If the cushion is for decorative purposes, delicate fabrics such as silks and muslins are preferred. Plain cushions can be enhanced with decorative
braids or patterned piping. Using tassels, appliqué designs and fringing can add a fillip to an otherwise simple cushion.
Beds: Nothing is more inviting than a cool and comfortable bed that allows you to sink in and catch a good night’s rest! Bed linen can range from bedspreads and comforters to quilts and duvet covers. Choose bed linen and fabrics keeping the weather in mind. Thick colorful quilts can brighten up a pale bedroom style. You can get very adventurous with kids’ bedrooms. Gaily printed sheets with coordinated pillow covers are available in a variety of designs that will appeal to the little ones.
Upholstery: Sofa upholstery should be sturdy and in a color that harmonizes with the room. Slipcovers used on sofas can provide a new look at an affordable price. You can play around with fabrics of different colors and textures to create an effect that is aesthetic and functional. A drab sofa can be trimmed with bright cushions. There are a wide variety of styles
for upholstery. Leather is a durable upholstery material that can withstand children and pets. Used widely as a soft furnishing,
leather outlasts fabric 4 to 1. With a simple maintenance routine, leather can retain its original gloss and give good value for
money. Woven damask and jacquard can provide an elegant and classic look. Many synthetic weaves offer the convenience of easy washing and stain-resistant qualities.
Rugs and Carpets :
Are you faced with a stark room, dull walls and drab furniture? Add a touch of color with a brightly colored rug and watch the room liven up. Choose a rug or carpet depending on the area you want to cover. Scatter rugs are used for adorning smaller spaces and adding a touch of warmth. The color and design of the rug plays an important part in giving the complete room a new look. You can go in for dull camel or nutty hazel or exotic blues and reds. Prints range from floral to geometric to abstract. Light colored carpets make a room appear more spacious. Deep colors add coziness to a room. Rugs and carpets are available in a variety of fabrics and textures – wool, synthetic yarns such as nylon, olefin, polyester and acrylic. Dense pile with close stitches and tufts make for longer lasting material.
Twisted yarn adds to durability. Machine made rugs are available for much lesser than hand made ones and look just as good. They are easier to maintain. The understated luster of natural fibers of course cannot be matched.
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