A quick word or two on the quality of what you choose. Always buy the best
you can afford, but dont break the bank! Try to manage with a few good
quality items to start with and then expand later.
If you cannot afford to buy an expensive fabric then buy a
more affordable material and have it made up really well. I have seen interlined curtains
made of calico with natural cotton, fairly inexpensive trimming, look really stunning. A
cheaper fabric can look very much more impressive if it has been quilted. A quilted
cushion will always look expensive and will crease less easily and therefore wear better.
You could even consider quilting a larger expanse of fabric for curtains or use a quilted
upholstery fabric on a small chair or stool for extra effect.
TIP: Mix a very
good quality item with something simple or ordinary for contrast. Mix the old with the
new; an antique chair on a sisal mat, or a pair or linen curtains on a grand window,
draped on the floor for a luxurious feel.
Aim to have your home feeling welcoming and comfortable, not
a show house! Pile cushions on a sofa, and add a chenille, velvet or woollen throw to make
the room feel inviting. If everything is new then you will miss out on the appeal of
having a few faded and well-worn items that perhaps have happy memories or are of
Do not become so obsessed with creating a beautiful room,
that you forget the function its and the practical implications involved! A scheme may be
very imposing, but a sofa in a drawing room that is too hard to sit on comfortably, or the
absence of a table in your sitting room for your cup of coffee, rather defeats the object
of the exercise!
Consider who is going to use the room and what their needs
are. Practical considerations are as important as aesthetics if a room is going to look
good and stay looking good for some years to come. You are hardly going to make your guest
feel welcome if they are too frightened to sit down!
TIP: If you have
children, it would be unwise to have cream carpeting throughout the whole house no matter
how much you like it, as it will look grubby after a few months. In a totally adult house,
you can afford to be more minimalist and a little less practical.