Bold Is Back!

For the past few years, the design world has emphasized minimalistic design as the way to the future!  By basing our design on the approach of the feng shui lifestyle, we created palates for design that were based on mostly neutral colors.  The world of design never stays the same for too long, and with change in mind, we have started to see high-end furniture creating Calico Inspired Pieces of Furniture with Bold Patterns!

So How Do I get this look, at a price that I can afford?

In order to achieve this look you need to start by selecting several fabrics that coordinate well with each other.  Keep in mind that the fabrics need to coordinate in color, weight of fabric, and scale.  When coordinating fabrics together, remember that each of them should have the same intensity of color incorporated in them.  If you have multiple fabrics that are going together but one is less intense than all the others, you can run into the problem of bad balance in the piece.

Good Overall Balance. Blue Pillow visually draws your eye into the center of sofa, creating good hierarchy with in the composition of the overall look.

The actual weight of the fabrics is also a concern in creating a calico inspired piece. Since you will have multiple fabrics on one piece of furniture, you don’t want one fabric to be a lot heavier than the other pieces of fabric used or the balance will be way off.  A good tip is to use the same basic type of fabric for all fabrics selected…such as choosing all cotton prints or all upholstery weight fabrics.  You would never want to mix and match the two different types of fabrics together.

Choosing the same weight of fabrics will emphasize balance.

 Since this design choice consists of multiple fabrics, you should have variation in pattern scale.  This will create balance in the piece itself when done properly.  A good rule of thumb is never duplicating the same style of fabric twice.  Start by choosing one stripe, one ditsy fabric (small-scale), one medium scale, and one bold large print.  You can even incorporate a solid in the composition.

After selecting all the patterns that are going to be used, there is one more decision to make, which is choosing the style of the furniture.  Here at Fabrics and Frames we specialize in custom furniture and reupholstering.  Many people believe that reupholstering is somewhat less expensive than creating new.  Sometimes this is true, but oftentimes it can cost as much as a new piece.  One of the reasons for this is because people don’t take into consideration all it takes to make an old piece of furniture look new again.  Many of these eclectic styled pieces of furniture are made out old French inspired pieces.  Some of them date back 100 years or more.  When you have a piece of furniture that is this old, there are many things to keep in mind such as how the piece was originally constructed.  It is likely that most pieces that are considered antiques were  constucted using horse hair or coconut hair inside the furniture.  Having this inside your furniture can sometimes create a home for little pests to live in such as weavels.  Weavels are  small bugs that live inside furniture, slowly eating away at the wood.  They are very similar to the termite.  Most people don’t realize that they have this animal living in their furniture because you usually can’t tell they are in the piece of furniture until you start reupholstering it.  One indication that the piece of furniture may be infested with these little creatures is if you see that the furniture looks like it has small little “pock”holes in the wood.  To be safe, we always suggest taking out everything that is old and replacing it with new inserts when reupholstering. This will eliminate any future problems in the furniture but the piece will no longer hold the value that an antique piece does and will drive up the price of the reupholstery.

So what if I don’t want an expensive old vintage style furniture frame?

This style can be created with hand-me-down furniture from your parents’ or grandparents’ attic or garage…Just try to use a piece of furniture that is not over fifty years old.  This will eliminate the labor cost of doing an antique re-do.  Worse case situation would be that you may have to replace the foam inside if the piece is too old.( This is a minor charge in comparison to a total redo).

If you are looking to buy new, then I would suggest you consider creating a modular styled contempoary designed furniture piece.  This is the best way to get this calico look in a contemporary setting. I have provided images that show the old style of calico styled furniture vs. new calico styled furniture.

Old Styled Calico Designed Furniture

New Modular Calico Designed Furniture

This particular style is not for everyone, but can create a dramatic appealing look for a room that is already great architectually or for those who just want to try something new and whimsical.  For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at, and or follow us on Facebook!

Written by: Erica Guajardo

Edited by: Linda Decuir




Innovative Thinking in Furniture – Then and Now

Today we are recommending the documentary Eames: The Architect and The Painter  so that you, our blog readers,  can get an inside view of what a real designer is.  Eames had a philosophy that basically said “Anyone could call themselves an artist, but a true artist will be able to design anything…”.  Art and Design go hand-in-hand in my book.  In order to understand design better, you need to understand the thinking of past great artists and designers.  Charles Eames never put boundaries on what he could and couldn’t achieve in the design world.  He became one of the greatest and  most well-known innovators of furniture design during the 19th century.

I am inspired to write about the designer, Charles Eames, because he had so many different areas of expertise! He was an architect that never graduated from Architecture School, mainly because he was “too modern” for his times. Despite this he continued to design because of his passion.  His goal was to create  inexpensive mass-produced pieces of furniture that were also well- designed.  The designs that he primarily implemented were  molded plywood shapes that were bolted to the body of the furniture frame. Some included upholstery and some were just molded plywood.

He had a design team that supported him at the Eames offices.  Creating a positive work environment that artists could indulge in was one of the most important reasons that the Eames Company was so successful.  Eames realized that one did not have to have a degree in design in order to understand how design works.  He was always willing to teach someone if they were willing to learn and had the talent to go along with it.

Here at Fabrics and Frames Furniture we have created a similar  work environment!  We are a small family run company that specializes in custom furniture, but we also dabble in other fields of design and trade and offer American signed art by Artique Decorative Trends(, and custom interior car accessories by (  In many ways we can relate to the Eames Offices because of our versatility, just on a much smaller scale.

Eames was known for being focused on his furniture design one day and then  tearing his work studio apart so that he can partake in motion pictures and photography shoots the next day.  This could be a very stressful work environment for someone who wasn’t creative, but for someone who is creative this was an enthusiastic,  imaginative workplace where design flourished.

I have learned from research that when you talk about innovative designers they rarely concentrated on only one genre of design.  Many designers, such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier were architects, interior designers, and artists.  All of these fields build on one another allowing the designer to have the option of pushing boundaries when necessary.  From what I understand about Eames, he was also one of these “Boundary Pushing Designers” and that is what made him so successful!

Fabrics and Frames has been in business 34 years this month and has changed its philosophy over time.  We believe that everyone deserves a home that is well-designed and their furnishings should reflect this. We currently only employ 7 people who each have their own area of expertise. Jim and Linda Decuir run the store and oversee the day to day aspects of running a business as well as coordinating the workroom with the design aspects to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. Andy Fischman and Erica Guajardo are the design team at Fabrics and Frames.  Andy is an ASID designer who helps to create the designs for our clients as well as for the store.  She has 15+ years experience with the company and takes pride in making sure that every customer leaves the store with a well-designed room that meets their lifesyle requirements.  She has a background in art and interior design which makes her a perfect mentor for Erica Guajardo.  Erica started with the design team 8 years ago, fresh out of design school were she studied both interior design and fine arts.  As important as the design team is, their designs could not be implemented without our workroom employees.  Audrey, Dwight, and Mike are the people that make the design team’s dreams come true! With each one of them having about 20+ years of custom furniture experience, they work beside Jim, Linda, Andy, and Erica on every project and work out all the problems that come with all the trials and errors of creating custom furniture.

Most people don’t understand what it takes to create a well-designed piece of furniture.  Eames showed us that “it takes a great team!”  Next time you are considering buying a new piece of furniture ask yourself, “Is it designed well?” If you don’t know, maybe it is something that you should spend more time researching.  Fabrics and Frames has had the opportunity to reupholster many of the original and replicated chairs that Eames designed.  Preserving such great design has been a pleasure for us. We understand great quality and try to implement the same standards in design as he did! We like to think that we can create anything upholstered and challenge you as the consumer to push our boundaries!

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at, and or follow us on Facebook!

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir



History Behind The Furniture Mind…

For the followers that regularly support us, this blog is for you!  Do you wonder why we have so much knowledge of our industry? Today, I’m going to let you know why!  Fabrics and Frames Fine Custom Built Furniture is celebrating its 34th year in the industry this month and over the years we have learned a thing or two about the construction of furniture.

In 1978, Jim Decuir  decided that he was going into the furniture industry.  He decided he wanted a business that offered special ordered furniture from existing furniture manufacturers using fabrics that the manufacturers supplied in their line. At this time there were very few manufacturers that would do special orders. As time went on, Jim noticed that the quality of the furniture that was being offered was not  the quality that he wanted to offer his customers.  Most of the furniture he was selling came from very moderate priced manufacturers. The decision was made to concentrate on better quality furniture from higher end furniture manufacturers.   This would hopefully ensure that his clients would be happier for a longer period of time.

As the years went on and Jim became more familiar with furniture construction he decided that he could make a better product for his customers. The products being offered just did not satisfy his perfectionist personality. He hired his own staff of seamstresses and upholsterers as well as carpenters and began constructing his own furniture line. This led to Fabrics and Frames creating their own line of custom furniture.  “Standing on the furniture” advertisements were made to show how sturdy their furniture was and business started to boom!

In the beginning, they offered a standard line of styles and offered fabrics on bolts for customers to choose from.  As time went on and people became more interested in home decor they realized that if they wanted to succeed in this industry that they had to become more flexible and meet the client’s demands for more custom furniture.  They began making changes to their standard styles.  Some examples of this were changing the depths and lengths on their pieces offered to accommodate the clients needs, as well as details in upholstering such as adding or deleting a skirt or changing an arm from pleated to panelled.

As the company began making more custom-built furniture, the business started to become more and more knowledgeable about furniture construction.  Everyday new things were discovered by both Jim and his staff. Clients were now able to create any possible upholstered piece of furniture that they could imagine.  The Decuir family was entering the industry of high-end furniture construction.

They firmly belive that if you are going to offer something to the public then it should be the best it can be. They only want to sell a product that they can be proud of and and would have in their own home. They learned over the years that a happy customer becomes a life-long coustomer which accounts for 65% of their business coming from former clients. The decision to only construct furniture that is built only out of hardwoods is only one of the many things that set them apart from other manufacturers and shows their philosophy on how furniture should be built!   Some other areas that the company is known for are: Double-dowelled corner blocked frames, multiple layers of padding to hide the uncomfortable parts of the frame so you don’t feel the wood, coil-spring system furniture instead of webbed furniture, using only good quality high-density foam products, building the arm into the frame (instead of outside, where it may fall off), and pattern matching both vertically and horizontally!

As Fabrics and Frames Furniture has entered the 21st century, we have noticed that most of our clients don’t want to order furniture that is standard off the floor.  Most people want to be able to create custom pieces of furniture that will last a life time and fit their own personal style.  Today we regularly create custom built furniture pieces and no longer offer fabrics on the bolt so that we can offer an almost unlimited selection of fabrics. In fact the store probably has the largest fabric library in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. The industry of furniture is changing as a whole, and leaning towards a “China World”, instead of a “Quality World”.  In 34 years, Fabrics and Frames has one goal in mind, which is “Creating a Quality Piece of Furniture”! Our goal is to give our clients the best piece of furniture we can make. We know their homes are their castles and we want them to love to come home to their beautiful furnishings! We pride ourselves on having great customer service and being knowledgeable in our industry.  We are known now as a furniture manufacturer that works on reupholstered goods, Ergonomical Solutions for other furniture manufactures, and Quality built custom furniture from the ground up.

We would like to extend a special thanks to our clients, and our internet supporters for keeping the spirit of a “family owned buisnesses” alive! Happy Birthday to us!

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at, and or follow us on Facebook!

Written by: Erica Guajardo and Linda Decuir

Edited by: Linda Decuir



Using The Basic Elements of Design To Create A Visually Appealing Room

When designing a room, you must keep in mind many different things so that you can create a visually appealing interior space.  One of the first things that you learn  in design school is that there are seven elements of design.  Whether you are creating a single piece of art work or an entire room, a good designer will keep these seven elements of design in mind.

The 7 Elements of Design:

1. Line

When creating a room the word Line refers to the lines in the room, meaning the lines in your sofa, tables, structure of the room, etc.  Depending on the particular style that you prefer, the lines in your room will differ.  For a contemporary styled room, you will find that most the lines are linear, while a traditional room will tend to have more curved lines associated with the design.

One of the reasons that many traditional rooms have more curves than contemporary rooms is because the design concepts pull from the old Greek thought process of design.  When the Greeks first started to design interiors and architecture, they developed three different types of columns to embellish their interiors and exteriors: Doric Columns, Ionic Columns, and Corinthian Columns.  Doric is the straighter of the three. Ionic consists of a curved scroll look and Corinthian bases its structure from the organic structure of leaves.  The lines used in these columns were used to create and define the styles in interiors.


Shape is a word that is used in design to train the eye to concentrate on negative and positive space.  For those that don’t know what negative space and positive space is, let me explain… Positive Space refers to the object taking up the space, an example of this would be a chair or a sofa and the floor space it encompasses.  The Negative Space would refer to the floor space that is left over in the room.  This should not be a great concern to the average person unless you are creating a furniture plan for your interior space.  When space planning, you must think about the flow of traffic and the shapes that are created by the different combinations of furniture.

 3. Direction

Direction refers to the lines that are used in a room.  Sometimes this will be as simple as picking the direction of fabric when it is a stripe.  Some helpful tips about choosing the direction of something that has a stripe in it is that horizontal [stripes] suggest calmness, stability and tranquility. Vertical [stripes] gives a feeling of balance, formality, and alertness.  If you are looking to create a “pow” statement in the room, mix things up with a piece that is constructed with an oblique angle. The piece will create movement and action because of its unique lines.

Suggest calmness, stability, and tranquility.

Gives a feeling of Balance, Formality, and Alertness.

Suggest movement and action

4. Size

 The term Size refers to the scale of the room.  When choosing the objects that you are going to place in the room, you need to consider the scale of the objects.  Scale and porportion are very important because you can easily draw attention to something that was not meant to be enhanced by not paying attention to scale.  Many people don’t consider the size of their sofa compared to the chair that they put next to it.  Sometimes if you put too large of a sofa next to a small chair, it will make the sofa look much bigger than it is and the chair much smaller.

Two chairs are too large for the bed.

5. Texture

In design the term Texture can refer to many different things in the room.  Depending on the particular style that you are going for…Minimalistic style vs. Old World Style, you may notice that texture will be represented in many different areas.  In a room that is going for the minimalistic style, you may notice that it will have very little pattern, but uses texture on the walls, in pillows, woods, etc.  This will give an overall calm, tranquil look…but still contempoary! In an Old World Room, you will notice the complete opposite.  These rooms usually consist of multiple patterns, and using textures in the fabrics instead of materials around the room.  An example of a texture that would be commonly used is a tweed fabric.

Textured Walls and Surfaces; Small amount of Pattern Incorporated

Old World Look; Many Patterns Together

6. Colour

Colour is another word for hue when talking about design.  Even if the design in your room is all monochromatic, you still have some form of shade or tone in the colour itself that must be matched.  Whites and Beiges are one of the most difficult colors to match in design because there are many different hues of beiges and white.  To further explain myself, Beige tones tend to go in the direction of having a hue of green, red, or yellow incorporated with it.  When working with these tones, you must stay consistent with similar hues because if you don’t you run the risk of making one beige look “dirtier” than another.  Most people don’t understand why one beige tone looks cleaner than the other, but this is the reason.  This will happen with almost any color, but with other colors it may not be perceived so much as “dirty” but as just plain “wrong”.

Chair in lighter Beige; Mantle to Fireplace Yellow Beige


Value in reference to interior design can talk about lightness and darkness of tone with in multiple areas of a room.  Value can be spoken about in regards to fabrics or in regards to the amount of light in the room.    When speaking of value as it pertains to the light quality in the room, you have to consider “What type of lighting am I getting in this particular room?” There is yellow lighting, natural lighting, flourescent lighting…each of these lightings will affect the nature of the fabrics and materials used in the room differently.  You must select a lighting choice that will best compliment your style.  I have provided some examples to better explain.

Yellow Lighting

Natural Lighting

Flourescent Lighting

By using these basic Elements of Design as a guide you will be able to create a very well-designed room on your own without the help of a designer! For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at, and or follow us on Facebook!

 Writen By: Erica Guajardo
Edited By: Linda Decuir

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