When I first started decorating and selecting fabrics for my clients, it took me a while to figure out the best upholstery fabrics to use.
One day, I was in the Robert Allen showroom and one of the designers whispered that Orvis was her personal favourite. A great herringbone texture that comes in a multitude of colours. It’s also really durable at 45,000 double rubs since anything over 30,000 is considered commercial. She told me she uses it for almost every project.
And once you find a great basic upholstery fabric like that, I see no reason why it can’t be used over and over again. I have used it in three of my projects since. . .
My lovely client in Kitsilano got a sofa in Jade.
Then I specified it again for the sofa in this living room in Ecru. Here you can see it a little closer.
Cotton/Polyester (50/50) velvet is another great upholstery fabric I really like.
I can’t remember if I’ve already told you this but the yellow sofa in my living room (below) is a cotton/poly velvet.
When we started packing up to move from the city into this house almost two years ago, I realized it needed to be cleaned. You could see the fine layer of dust imbedded along the top of the sofa (this is the first place a vacuum cleaner salesman will vacuum to show you how great his vacuum is, haha) I didn’t realize that having a sofa in that colour is almost like having a white one.
My Mom (who knows how to clean anything) pulled out the Bissel and a scrub brush for floors (I kid you not) and we scrubbed that sofa clean. It looked as good as new.
As y’all know, I’m the throw pillow queen, no room is complete without the right cushions. I love Robert Allen’s many colourful patterns and even though I’ll look at other designer fabrics, Robert Allen are the ones I end up using the most for cushions.
I looked everywhere for a green roman shade fabric for my kitchen to match the green accents in my living room so that I would have perfect flow and of course I found it at Robert Allen, it’s Zahara: Leaf
I love horizontal stripes for drapery but that pattern is hard to find, so when I came upon a linen sheer book through Robert Allen, I used this large plaid instead which reads as a horizontal stripe (above). It’s Stitched Block: Linen.
The drapery in the master bedroom might be my favourite in the entire house. It’s a stitched horizontal stripe. And if you look closely, you can see that it kind of looks like a ball gown, because the stripes are actually not perfectly straight.
My workroom called me when they were in production and said “You better get down here and look at this!”. The problem was, the seams did not line up at all, the stitched stripes could not be matched. I called my Robert Allen Sales representative who said “We sell thousands of yards of this fabric so trust me, it’ll be beautiful”.
And it was. It’s this relaxed looking, wavy stripe that adds a pretty, romantic feel to our bedroom. It’s called Kazak Pleat and I chose ivory because I have a mixture of whites and creams in this room.
The ottoman fabric is also Robert Allen it’s Canvas Duck: Chamois. I had an old ottoman that was a black and white zebra stripe with little square feet, but perfect for a place to put our feet up when relaxing in the bedroom. So I had my guy Vince at Vance Upholstery make a slipcover for it. He always does such a beautiful job.
And here’s a close up of the vignette on the left side of the sitting area.
Over to you, I’d love to hear which designer fabrics are your go-to’s favourites!
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