Textile maven Meredith Ellis worked almost 600 yards of fabrics into the Idea House! Here, she shares her secrets for choosing the right prints for your home projects
After looking at layered rooms like the ones that Meredith designed for the 2018 Idea House, you're ready to refresh all the fabrics in your home. And now you can! Meredith has taken all the guesswork out of the complicated science (what's a repeat? which fabric is best for a Roman shade? How much do a I need?) that is fabric and upholstery.
36 inches: length of 1 yard. 54 inches: width of a standard fabric bolt.
2 to 3 yards: amount needed to make a typical window shade.
10 to 12 yards: length needed to outfit the same window with draperies.
¾ inch: amount of the curtain that should be touching the ground.
6 to 10 yards: length needed to re-cover a typical club chair.
20 to 25 yards: fabric to cover an average sofa.
All of the fabrics shown on this page are available through James Showroom locations in Austin and Dallas.
Throw pillows are to a home what shoes are to an outfit—a place to be daring. Covers with zippers can be easily removed and cleaned. Lampshades are another way to add patterns. I like lightweight, small-scale cotton.
Sister Parish Design's Bolero in Chocolate and Rule of Three's Stone Plume in Darby Rose
Patterns with small prints tend to require less yardage and can also be easier to seam together. Wallpaper gives more flexibility in terms of scale and repeat, but there is nothing like the warmth of paper-backed fabric on walls
Nile & York's Macita in Racing Green
Fabrics for dining chairs or stools must be durable (try woven textiles with a high rub count or indoor/outdoor fabrics), dark printed patterns (to hide stains), or slipcovers (washable). Contrast calmer sofas with bolder chairs.
Peter Dunham Textiles' Addis and Schuyler Samperton Textiles' Nellcote in Sky
Shades require less yardage than curtains. If I'm going to invest in drapery, then I pick big prints. For full panels, double the width of your curtain rod (not the window).
Peter Dunham Textiles' Fez in Blue/Natural and Tulu Textiles' Lu-Si
I try to be reasonable (given the amount of fabric required) but never boring. For a solid, I go for durability and texture with a linen velvet. If I use a large-scale print, then I prefer to select a monochromatic one that I won't tire of. Small repeats look like solids from a distance but show off their contrast up close (and hide dirt).
Peter Dunham Textiles' Taj in Mist/Indigo; Walter G's Batik in Chalk; Stroheim's Ashford Linen Velvet in Evergreen