Design Hints

Material Interest

One of the joys of decorating is adding personality to each room, and incorporating textiles is a great way to place a unique stamp on your spaces, as Colleen Charlton did in her Chehalis, Washington, abode. Try her ideas for utilizing fabric flourishes in your home.
Material Interest

• Leave it Alone. Imperfections add charm and realism. Nancy doesn’t touch up chipped paint, and she doesn’t sand out rust. “I like old finishes,” she explains, adding that they illustrate each piece’s history and convey the passage of time.
• Celebrate seasonality. Consider the time of year when you’re selecting textiles for a room. Spring and summer speak to lighter-weight fabrics, for instance, cotton, homespun or even hemp grain sacks. Cooler weather calls for cozy knits, flannel or corduroy.
• Build on basics. Choose upholstery fabrics wisely so they not only make a statement about personality but also allow for mixing and matching with a variety of other patterns and accent colors, such as the black-and-white checked sofa and chairs in Colleen’s living room.
• Consider clothing. Vintage wearables, including a tea-dyed bonnet perched atop a bobbin spindle or a simple vintage child’s dress hung from a fireplace mantel, can serve as playful pieces of decoration.
• Tie up loose ends. Employ strips of checked fabric to adorn accessories, whether to secure an old book’s pages together or gather a collection of thread-filled bobbins. You might even tuck another accent into the tied cloth, as Colleen did when she added a pair of spectacles to a family Bible.
• Lighten the load. Give a utilitarian space like a laundry room a fanciful touch. Colleen decorated hers with vintage textiles, displaying some on old hangers and clipping others to a rope clothesline.

Written by Donna Pizzi
Photographed by