Fabrics is one of the most versatile element in home decorating. It is a simplest way to soften a room, from the hard edges of walls and edges, and gives any space a finished feel. From the neutrals and solids looks of lived in sofa's to the dramatic decorative pillows.
From natural fibers such as Cotton, linen, Silks, Jute and wool to man made fabric using polyester, rayon, acrylics, and blends using all of these. The color range and the possiblilites extend when you consider prints, embroideries, jacquards, solids, stripes and plaids etc . Coupled with various themes such animal, flora, nautical etc etc. Consider that the fabrics can be made plain and simple to be soft and sheer or with various textures with other fabrics and design elements the choices in fabrics are almost infinite. It is easy to see how one can get confused. There is a fabric, literally, for any use situation.
Use fabrics in a lighter to medium weight in a variety of styles and choice to evoke any one of many feelings - romance, privacy, warmth, playfulness. Choose from prints, embroidery, solids, plaids and stripes in different materials to cover windows and doors. Use thick or thin lining to add to the sumptuous look of the treatment, go with blackout lining to block out light and prying eyes.
Other than the walls, the floor and rugs, windows and sliders offer a great opportunity to transform a listless space into a warm inviting haven. Go with traditional, tried and true, pinch pleat panels or more modern treatments. Use simpler roman shades to just cover the window area. Create and cover the hard edges of window trim with cornices and valances.
Drapery that is larger than the window makes the room look larger.
Bright fabrics. motifs, large patterns or small can be used to create throw pillows that pull color from other elements in the room to tie everything together. You can change these with the seasons.
Textured fabric, heavy duty durable, chenille's are suited for upholstery on chairs and sofa's. You can do these in solids or in wide variety of fabrics that can stand up to a tough beating.
Technical fabrics like Sunbrella and Crypton can be used for places that take a lot of beating or rougher uses (read outdoor and kids). These come in a wide variety of thickness, softness, texture and color choices.
Use linen and thinner weight fabrics around the home to create a softer touch.