Erica Guajardo’s Artwork featured with Fabrics and Frame Chair

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We reupholstered one of our sofas from the past and it looks great!

Before and After Chair

Frugality in Furniture…Looking at Younger Generations Perspectives vs. Older Generations Perspectives

How does buying high quality furniture translate into frugality in furniture purchases? We need to look at the older generation’s philosophy about consumer spending.  Most of the  people over 40 have a different perspective when buying furniture than a person in their twenties.  As buyers begin to establish themselves financially they also  begin to see furniture as an investment just as their parents did. They are savy enough to know that quality does not come cheap and know that ” You pay for what you get!”  is generally true. They understand that there is a reason why you pay more for a better product. They also did not grow up in as disposable a society as we have seen in the last generation.

Fabrics and Frames Furniture has been endorsing quality furniture for 34 years and has found that in the last decade or so we have predominantly catered to the over 40 consumer.  On occasion we do come across a savy younger shopper who understands and appreciates quality in furniture.    But why doesn’t every younger person shop with quality in mind?  As someone in their late twenties, I frequently come across peers who say that they don’t want to spend $2,000 plus for a sofa that will last them a lifetime because they see furniture as disposable and want to constantly change their room every couple of years.  They are still learning who they are and what their style is. Although I see their point that a room can become stagnant, I don’t understand why they will spend $1000 plus for a sofa that they will only get to use for 3-5 years before it begins to fall apart.  I try to show them how it will be more economical for them to spend more on a quality piece in a furniture style that is classic and  change the small accessories around the room to update their look every couple of years.

On  Sunday, August 18, 2012, I  came across an article in the Dallas Morning News called Think long-term when shopping for new furniture  which explained how we have had a consumer  mentality of  being wasteful.  We have been living by certain  mottoes such as: “Buy Cheap”, “If it breaks, throw it away” and ” When you’re tired of something, give it away and start over.”   We are constantly reminded that economic times are still hard for many even though they have improved over the last couple of years.  With this in mind, isn’t it more economical to invest in a product that you have always wanted or really love that will give you years and years of use?  We need to get back to the  days of our grandparents who bought furniture to keep for years and would reupholster several times before discarding it.  Refurbish, restyle, and reuse are becoming more in vogue as our society is beginning to see the errors of its ways in being so disposable.  Our society is becoming more aware of its wastefulness which is a great thing. As we watch our landfills grow and water supplies shrink we are getting back to a more frugal society more like our ancestors. We find more and more classic furniture options in the stores today.The classic styles of sofas that have been around for centuries  can have an eclectic style that fits in with the current trends.  Some of the styles  include the chesterfield sofa, mid-century style sofas, and danish styled sofas.  What all of these pieces have in common are linear lines  which do not become dated as our tastes change. They adapt well to whatever the new trends bring us.

This chesterfield styled sofa has roots dating back to early 18th century furniture. To enhance a contemporary feel, this sofa can handle vibrant colors as well as neutral tones.

This particular piece of furniture has many straight linear lines with in the furniture frame itself, juxtaposed with minor rounded corners to create a softer home look. Small tapered legs give it a modern, low to the ground appeal.

This particular style of furniture is classic because it started to emerge around the early 1940’s and 1950’s. Great classic shows like “I love Lucy” and “Dick van Dyke” would show this style of furniture in the background. Currently in high demand among individuals, this straight lined retro sofa is a great way to stay economical and frugal in your furniture!

Since Fabrics and Frames is a manufacturer, we are often called upon to  help out many of our neighbor furniture companies in the Dallas area by repairing  structural damages in their furniture.  Fixing structural damages in other manufacturer’s furniture allows us to see the many differences in how they construct their furniture versus how we construct our furniture.  Many manufacturers no longer offer the option of a real spring system.  One reason for this is because they can acquire higher profit margins by using a webbing system and can offer their product for a lower retail price. This type of support system does not hold up over the long term.  Another thing that has changed in the furniture world is the type of woods that some manufacturers are using. At Fabrics and Frames Furniture we only use  hard woods  such as  oak so that our frames will never split or crack.  Some manufacturers are no longer using hardwoods in there frame construction  because it is more economical for them to build with other  woods such as pine and even plywood.  Hardwoods are a bit more expensive to build with and  using softer woods such as pine to build out of is definitely more cost effective initially but not in the long term.   When using a less sturdy wood  the frame is much easier to brake or split. In the end buying a less expensive piece of furniture may not always be the most economical considering you will have to replace it much more often.

Sofa not using Hardwoods in Furniture Frame.  Example of how sofa can split and brake in half when not properly supported.

So as a younger individual, how can I create a room that I will be able to change as I change with just a few minor details?  

One way that you can enhance frugality in your furniture buying is to purchase simple, solid colored pieces.  There are a number of colors that will complement almost any color combination.  These colors are beige, taupe, brown, black  and grey.  They are considered neutral tones and depending on your aesthetics can be used in traditional, transitional, or contemporary settings.

When using a black sofa in the room, most of the time it gives a contemporary feel. This is not always the case, and really depends on the style of the piece of furniture. You can liven up the room with bright colors such as red or gold.

Using a neutral colored sofa such as taupe will give you the option to punch color in the room with small accessories such as pillows!

Classic Chesterfield Sofa looks great in any neutral color tone. This creates a nostalgic feel in the room.

Grey Sofa infused with pink accessories

Remember that you don’t have to invest in high quality pieces of furniture everywhere in your home.  If you focus on quality in the main areas of your home where your furniture gets the most use, you will be able to expand the longevity of your furniture.  For many this area would be the  living room and television rooms of your home where most of the activities of your household take place. For other areas of your home that get much less use it is perfectly fine to purchase a lower quality piece that will fit the space. You can fill in with lower quality decorative occasional pieces that are mostly for looks and  style to complete those rooms that are rarely used. Since these pieces will not get lots of use they should last you for many years!

Recycling is becoming a necessity as our natural resources are dwindling and our environment is at risk.  So the next time you start your search for a new sofa or chair remember to focus on quality just as your parents and grandparents did. It will last you for years to come and maybe even your children and grandchildren can enjoy your purchase as well as a better world because of your frugality!

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

www.fabricsandframes.com

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog atandy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir

Graffiti and Furniture Design…

Current design trends have recently been gravitating towards having the more artsy looks.  Keeping this  trend in mind, we are now seeing the emergence of  graffiti in the home.   In past generations  graffiti was viewed as a form of vandalism, but in current years it has emerged as its own art form.  Many famous contemporary artists such as Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and Sour Grapes 13  started their artistic careers as graffiti artists.  My knowledge about this movement was enhanced after watching the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop: A Banksy Film.  I have provided a link to the trailer for the film and recommend it if you would like to learn about the dangers and secrets these artists go through all because of their  passion for their art.

Graffiti artists tend to be recognized as contemporary artists when they are sponsored by reputable companies or showcased in museums.  The Dallas Contemporary Museum has featured 2 of the 3 artists mentioned above allowing them to spread the word that graffiti should no longer be viewed as a form of vandalism when  displayed in a tasteful manner and appropriate venue.

Sour Grapes 13 Graffiti featuring director from the Dallas Contemporary Museum.

Shepard Fairey Mural displayed on the side of the Dallas Contemporary Museum.

Shepard Fairey with Mural in Dallas on Singleton.

How is graffiti emerging in interior design?

Art trends tend to reflect life as we know it and graffiti is now starting to be seen on anything and everything  in the home.  Ranging from wall space, wood furniture, and upholstered furniture you can  find graffiti used as a way to make a personal statement in your home.  Check out some interesting new looks that may inspire you to view this form of art differently…

Wall Graffiti Mural displayed in contemporary home. Using a solid “L” shape sectional to emphasize that graffiti and upholstered furniture can still make the home appealing, comfortable, and inviting to guest.

Is eclecticism more your style? Create unique vintage looks with a modern twist by incorporating classic french baroque furniture in modern solid colors for the front, and display cool graffiti prints on the back of the furniture. This look is great for open floor plans which allow you to view the entire furniture piece from all sides.

Graffiti refers commonly to typographic forms of art, but with new graphic images popping up within the graffiti world, creative artsy looks will enhance your interior decor as well.

Graffiti Spray painted Chest and Contemporary Wing Chair featuring Graffiti Queen Anne Legs.

Interior design has emerged as a fusion of new and old ideas.  Incorporating both art and design in rooms will enhance your vision on what a room can become.  If you are someone who likes color in the room, this look may be for you!  Color is a great way to psychologically create a better mood and self-esteem in your everyday life!  Although different colors have various  effects on your emotions and energy,  adding color will generally  lift your mood.

Here at Fabrics and Frames Furniture we are always looking for new and innovative ways to create the perfect piece of furniture for you!  We encourage you to contact us if you have a vintage piece of furniture that you would like to turn into a piece of art or if you would like to start from scratch and create a brand new piece!  With a knowledgeable staff of designers and artists  we are able to create any piece of furniture that you can dream up!

Upholstered Contemporary Tight Back Chair. Similar Furniture Frame as Fabrics and Frames Style #139 Chair.

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

www.fabricsandframes.com

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog atandy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir

Texas Ranch Style Homes: What Makes them Unique?

Original Texas ranch homes have rustic qualities which are unique to this style of architecture.  One  of the most striking differences between a modern Texas home and a traditional ranch styled Texas home is that a traditional ranch styled home will include materials of leather, hair-on-hide cow hides, nail heads trims, taxidermy wildlife, neutral color tones, stones, exposed wood and novelty items which show off the Lone Star State pride. Most Texans are quite proud to call themselves Texans and this pride can spill over into their home furnishings and decor.

Traditional Ranch Style Interior Home

Limestone and Austin stone are two of the natural resources that are plentiful in the state of Texas.  For luxurious homes that have  ranch themes to them, many individuals incorporate this natural material in walls, floors, bars and fireplaces as well as  landscaping.

Limestone Contemporary Fireplace

Limestone Wall to encase stairs

Texas Outdoor Limestone Kitchen and Bar

As you can see from the pictures above, stone can be used in both traditional and  contemporary applications.  Much of these aesthetic techniques depend on how the stone is cut or polished.   One of the most famous places in Dallas, Texas that shows the incorporation of limestone in their architecture and art is the Nasher Sculpture Center.  I have provided a link if you are interested in learning more about the center. (http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org/James/Turrell/Skyspace)

Other materials that are common in Texas homes are cow hides.   There are three major different types of cow hides that Texans love to incorporate in their  ranch style homes:  leather, suede, and hair-on-hides.  Leather is commonly used with nail heads to create that ultra- traditional ranch look.  A benefit to using leather in homes is that it is that most  spills  can wipe right up.  Since leather is a natural product, you must condition it about every 6 months to keep its luxurious appeal.  Leather is not so forgiving when it comes to punctures so it is important to keep sharp objects off of it.  Many of our clients at Fabrics and Frames like to go with a leather and fabric combo on their furniture to help minimize these types of accidents from happening with their furniture.

Traditional Leather and Fabric Combination Sofa

I must warn you that leather furniture which is not made at Fabrics and Frames, may not be fully leather.  Much of the mass-produced “leather” furniture is a combination of leather and vinyl. It is not uncommon for manufacturers to put leather wherever you touch  and use vinyl everywhere else. It is not a bad look with all the very nice vinyls available today but don’t be fooled into thinking you are buying a full leather sofa when in fact you are not.  In the past couple of years, a new product called bonded leather has come out which is a vinyl top layer and a leather back layer. This is commonly sold as leather in the furniture world and will have the disadvantages of vinyl.  One of the main disadvantages of vinyl is that the top layer can peel but it is resistant to stains.

Great Resource for someone who wants that leather look at a high-end vinyl price!

Suede is a great natural product to use on something for decorative purposes but it is not very functional.  As many of us suede shoe owners know, once you get a spot on suede it’s hard to get it out!  A great compromise to this look is Nova suede or Ultrasuede which should not be confused with microfibers.  This generally will give the same look but stains are usually easy to get it out with a little soap and water!

Nova suede

Hair-on-hides are great for either rugs or upholstery.  There are many people who are just buying hides of this product to use  as a throw rug.  This product also makes  great accent pieces as well when used on small occasional chairs!  I would not recommend this product for someone who has allergies because it is actual hair from the cow on the hide and  may cause some people to have an allergic reaction.  If you are not one that is prone to allergies, then this product is a great way to incorporate a unique texture in the room!

Interior using Hair-on-hide rug

Hair-On- Hide Chair

Pillow using Hair-on-hide

As you can see, with this style of home you often have many different textures incorporated into the design.  A way to keep from being  so over- whelmed with texture is by using a neutral design palette  so that the textures will stand out without being distracted by color.  If you choose to use patterns, a suggestion would be to use tone-on-tone patterned  fabrics to keep the minimalistic approach to the design of the room which will enhance the rustic aesthetics of this Texas style.  At Fabrics and Frames we are always willing to help  create the  aesthetic design which suits our customer best! If you are interested in bringing this unique style to your home come see us for that perfect, polished look. We love being Texans and have great pride for our wonderful state and want to help you create that very special room!

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

www.fabricsandframes.com

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog atandy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir

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