Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Inspiration, Fabric, Workrooms and Bras?

Last week the whirlwind surrounding my life began to die down to a gentle breeze.  With the week off from school and the kids out also, I only worked one day at my internship – all the while nursing my wounds over losing my dream home.  With that behind me, it left nothing more to do over the long weekend than to enjoy some well-deserved fabric samples.  I dialed up my new Robert Allen rep and he dropped off the most fantastic menagerie of fabrics --- all for my collection!  I am giddy… 
 For those of you not grasping my excitement, there are others like me with some pretty intense opinions about fabric.  Take Jesse Ventura for example.   Ex-pro WWE wrestler, former governor of Minne-snow-ta and current host of television’s “Conspiracy Theory”. Mr. Ventura offers his own value of fabric when he said, “If I could be reincarnated as a fabric, I would come back as a 38 double D bra.”  Wow…now there’s fascination with fabric and then there’s fascination with fabric.  Jesse takes the cake.  Although I’m not that intense about my fabric fascination, I do believe that there are a few essential tools that a designer should have at their disposal – with fabric being one of them.  In addition to drive, skill and business savvy, a good designer also utilizes the following:

A library of inspiration – Architecture books, interior design books, color books, window treatment books, and tons of magazines make for a solid beginning to your library.  Each client and each job will have different requirements and you will want your own stuff to offer them.  Another good tip? An online collection of photos, organized by room.

A fabulous workroom – Drapery, pillows and re upholstery are a staple in the industry.  Find yourself a workroom that can deal with the volume that you are creating for your clients.  It should be reliable and you should work at keeping a strong relationship with them.  Lead times are critical to the process so make sure that everyone is clear about dates and expectations.  Could be messy…. I use Berkeley Fabrics right here in Frisco.

Sample books – Paint decks, fabric and flooring samples will all add to the client presentation, letting them actually touch and feel what could be right in their home.

My current living room after “the drop” of goodies from Robert Allen. Even though office space is an issue, these little jewels are definitely going to come in handy. 

With some well deserved downtime, I was able to examine each book thoroughly.  Broken down by color and then by fabric type (i.e. upholstery, drapery, etc.) it’s actually pretty easy to flip through the books to discover the perfect match.  Check out this elegant blue fabric:

And some newer patterns....
Offerings even include clean, crisp ocean reminensce pattern from Nautica.
dAlso with the goodies came two trim books - meow.
I love how the photography is so sharp now that you can see the texture on even the color pages...
Robert Allen and Dwell Studio have combined efforts to create a new line.  Frankly, these are right up my alley.  They have pop and are fun too - best of everything. 
Even though you may not be able to answer the doorbell and see your friendly Robert Allen rep laden with treasure for your trove, that’s what I am here for!  There’s not a more beautiful fabric in all the design world.  So… whether you are in the market for new drapery or need to recover your priceless piece, the ideas are flowing.  Contact me directly and I will pull a book for you! And no, I won’t show you the Jesse Ventura collection.

Happy fabric -

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