Inspired by Wood

Over the past couple of years as I have skimmed the pages of many home and design magazines I have noticed  that one of the latest trends in design is restoring and reusing wood.  With an imaginative mind, you will find that there are many different accents that can be created out of wood.  Using tree stumps for ottomans and tables seems to be a popular way to design with wood.  There are several suppliers that create and sell items like this for your home. You can also create your own by out sourcing someone who has recently chopped down a tree or has extra firewood.  If you are someone who is a little more creative and has more energy, you can create your own special piece by sanding and painting the wood to give it a more finished look.  It will hold presence in any interior space and stand as a conversation piece.

Tree Stump Ottomans and Side Table

Tree Stump Ottomans and Side Table

Another idea which will have a similar look, but has a more upscale design are acrylic side tables with tree branches inserted into them.  This look is primarily for the more artsy chic person who may be inspired by glamour interiors.  By giving a more contemporary feel to what could be a cottage style, this item will have your guests wondering how much you spent on such a unique item.

Acrylic Side Table with Tree branches

Acrylic Side Table with Tree branches

Accessories are usually  the last things that you should place into your interior space because it is like the jewelry for an outfit. Your primary furniture should take precedence in the space planning of your room.  Here at Fabrics and Frames we have seen many different items come through our doors.  Through the years we have found that we are the functional source for a handyman’s dream.  We have had several customers over the years who have built their own beautiful wood furniture pieces, but did not have the expertise to make gorgeous cushions to complete their projects.  That’s where we come in and help them with the functionality to their creations.  By building cushions and throw pillows to create a more finished look to their bench styled furniture we have helped make their designs more comfortable and usable.

pallet inspired loveseat with burlap cushions

pallet inspired love seat with burlap cushions

There are many different items that you can create using natural materials like wood.  Imagination is the source to creative green design.  When you create something by reusing an item that would be wasted otherwise, you are helping minimize our footprint on the Earth.  If you have found that you are in a middle of a project that Fabrics and Frames can help with, please let us know.  We are your source for cushions, table runners, and throw pillows that will help coordinate all of your styles together.

chandalier_vertical1

For more information on  where to get more ideas on designing and custom looks  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

Written by: Erica Guajardo

Edited by: Linda Decuir

Glamour In Your Decor

During the late 19th century, the word “glamour” was introduced into the movie industry in an effort to create a more attractive appearance on set. “Glamour is the impression of attraction or fascination that a particularly luxurious or elegant appearance creates, an impression which is better than the reality.” (www.wikipedia.com)  When we think of interior genres, Old Hollywood Glamour fits in this category perfectly.  When you walk into a room that is designed in this style, it conveys an elegance that screams “luxury”.  Some examples of this are below:

Old Hollywood Glamour

Hollywood Glamour is based off design elements that give you a soft, glitzy, feminine touch.  Although many times it is perceived as an interior space that has a minimalistic style, this is not the case because the monochromatic color pallete  gives the illusion that there are less objects in the room than there actually are.

So How do I create a “Old Hollywood Glamour” Look?

Modern Hollywood Glamour

Shiny! Shiny! Shiny! is the motto for creating a room like this… When shopping to create this look you want to pick out some of the most gaudy, shiny things possible!   The room will have mirrored furniture, glitzy fabrics, chandeliers, and acrylic furniture incorporated into the decor to project a modern take on the “Old Hollywood” style.  But…it is very important that you make sure that all the pieces you select coordinate with each other!  To create this look, you will only need one or two things in each category.

Categories:

1. Mirrored Furniture

2. Glitz Fabrics

(Never repeat a pattern twice, unless it’s for symmetry purposes)

3. Chandelier

4.Acrylic Furniture

Step 1: Mirrored Furniture

There are many places where you can get mirrored furniture these days, but when selecting each piece you need to pay attention to the finish of the mirror.  Mirrors will come in a clean clear finish or an antique distressed finish. If you choose to place more than one mirrored piece in the room they need to have the same finish  so that one does not look dirtier than the other.

Distressed Mirrored Furniture

Simple Mirror Furniture

Step 2: Glitz Fabrics

Use shiny, glitzy fabrics in this room as a punch of texture.  There are many fabrics that have a shiny texture such as patent leather, satin, taffeta, or silk.  There are also velvets and other textured fabrics which incorporate metallic images and threads that give a presence of glamour.  Anything with a minimalistic sparkle will create that high-end appeal to the world of shine!

JF Fabrics Metallic Fabrics

JF Fabrics Metallic Chenille

JF Fabrics Metallic Chenille

Patent Leather

Taffeta

Silk

Step 3: Chandelier

Although chandeliers are light fixtures that are “ornate, containing dozens of lamps and complex arrays of glass or crystal prisms to illuminate a room with refracted light”, they will vary in shape and size!  When incorporating a chandelier into the ambiance of an “Old Hollywood” glamour room, keep in mind which style would work best for the space of your room. Your chandelier should complement not overpower the rest of the room.

Traditional Chandelier

Modern Chandelier

Contemporary Glass Chandelier

Contemporary Whimsical Chandelier

Colored Chandelier

Step 4: Acrylic Furniture

Incorporating the room with acrylic furniture accents will give the visual appearance that there is more space.  Whether you are incorporating an all acrylic chair, or acrylic legs on your upholstered furniture this clean translucent look will enhance the luxurious look that “Old Hollywood” Glamour achieves.

Acrylic Leg Tufted Bench

Hollywood Glamour Acrylic Chairs

As you can see, there are many things that you must consider when designing a room after the “Old Hollywood” Glamour look.  The most important design key is to remember that “Simple is Better”.  You don’t want to go overboard with shine and glamour because then it looses its elegant luxurious appeal.  Each item that you choose for the room must represent unique qualities that are not incorporated into other rooms. It is great to recycle old furniture from  Rococo and French Baroque Period which will enhance the dramatic curves in the room and give the elegance that this particular look deserves.

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

www.fabricsandframes.com

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 andy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Buying New??? Think Twice…

Buying New??? Think Twice…

“Out with the old, in with the new”  In today’s disposable society this seems to be the motto when looking for new furniture. That is not the case at Fabrics and Frames Furniture! Fabrics and Frames is celebrating its 34th year of service in the furniture industry.   With so much experience behind us, we have learned a couple of do’s and don’ts from the industry, and reasons why we suggest you carefully reconsider before throwing out your old furniture or buy new.

With the way most furniture is constructed these days, it no longer holds the label of “furniture built to last a lifetime”.  Most of us assume that our pieces of furniture are constructed with the finest materials both inside and out, especially if you have invested thousands of dollars in the piece, but this is not the case in most situations.  Fabrics and Frames Furniture is a manufacturer in the furniture industry, and because of this we specialize in furniture construction and repairs.  Over the 30+ years that we have been in buisness, we have deconstructed and reconstructed  many pieces of furniture to find particle board and cardboard holding the insides of the furniture together. There are many ways to construct a piece of furniture, but by paying attention to the small details you can distinguish a well-made piece of furniture from a low end piece of furniture. Price does not necessarily determine the quality!

When you take apart a piece of furniture that was built in the early 1900’s, you will notice many unique characteristics of the style of upholstery and construction.  A older piece will show that the person or company that originally created the piece designed it with functionality meant to last for many decades.  Generally older furniture will be constructed with hardwoods, joint details that give strength to the piece, and structure details that screams out “Form Follows Function.”.

The majority of today’s furniture is constructed to last maybe 5-10 years before it starts to breakdown. One of the first areas to go are the cushions followed by the frame.  Older peices would normally have some sort of spring system built into the structure of the piece.  Today many furniture frames are constructed with a webbing systems inside of them.  (Note: there are some companies out there still offering spring systems to support their furniture, but the average furniture won’t have it incorporated into the design.)  Having a webbing system incorporated into your design instead of a spring system will ultimately end up with you eventually falling through your sofa.  Webbing is a rubber product that has elasticity…over time (5-10years) the webbing will start to stretch and wear out.  As time goes on, you may eventually start to sink into your sofa.  When this begins to happen, many people think that it is just the foam in the cushions breaking down, and that is why they are starting to have trouble getting out of thier furniture, but in reality it is often their webbing system is stretching and breaking down.

Most furniture sold these days comes from China, regardless of whose brand name is attached to it.  When shopping for a new piece that you expect to last for years, ask these questions:

1. Is it made in the U.S.A.?

Furniture that is constructed in the U.S. mainly comes from North Carolina.  Many name-brand companies are buying overseas and getting pre-upholstered furniture shipped into the U.S.  This is problem for many reasons because (A) it takes away American jobs and (B) you lose the quality aspect that comes from experienced upholsterers. You can end up with mis-shaped furniture, and poorly matched pattern repeats. I have seen fabrics put on upside down because people are not taking the time to pay attention to simple detail. (C) Non-Consistant Furniture Product.  What you see at the store is not what you always get in your home.  Dye-lot colors and patterns on the fabric being off in tone and texture are common problems.  After waiting for 12 weeks or more for a custom-ordered piece and not getting what you ordered at the store is not a fun experience. Often you get stuck with something you don’t really like because once you sign on delivery you are unable to return it.  With these many problems with mass produced furniture today it should  make you question: “Is it worth buying cheaper?”

Striped Pattern Matched Sofa

Stripes are not pattern matched.

2. What type of wood is the furniture frame constructed out of?

The only acceptable type of wood for furniture frames is hardwoods. Softer woods and particle board is a big no-no because they don’t have the strength necessary to support the frame.

3.What type of seating system does it have?

Webbed or Spring? Spring systems are superior in all areas no matter what a salesperson tries to tell you.

4.Am I looking for a piece to keep for a long time, or do I want a disposable piece of furniture?

Many of today’s younger generation like the option of cheaper furniture because it allows them to change every couple of years.  The disadvantage to this way of thinking is that economically you are spending more money overtime.  Instead of buying a better quality sofa  which will allow you to abuse your furniture and it structurally be able to withstand the impact over the next 20years, the younger consumer will buy inexpensive sofas every 3-5 years that will break down and may even structurally fall apart.  When purchasing an inexpensive piece of furniture, you are risking buying a piece that is constructed out of particle board and cardboard.  What is wrong with this style of construction is that particle board is compressed thin layers of wood, allowing it to be weaker that hardwoods, and eventually snapping and breaking in half.  Some common places where breakage occurs is in the middle of the frame, the arm falling off, and legs breaking off.  If you are looking for a piece of furniture to fill a spot in your home and it will never be used, then go with a cheap piece of furniture.  But if you are looking for a piece of furniture to really use such as in your living room or den spend a little more and buy quality.  Another benefit of buying quality is that you will not have to bother with the headache of the upkeep on an inexpensive piece that will need extra TLC.

Broken Arm Sofa

Broken Base SofaBroken Arm Sofa

When thinking about new furniture, think about the functionality of the piece, and how are you going use this particular furniture piece and how often?  Times are hard economically for most of us right now…shouldn’t we analyze our expenses so that we get the most out of our purchase? If you are now discouraged from buying new…Then think Reupholstery!  Reupholstering is not always the most inexpensive way to go, but if you have a unique quality frame, or one of sentimental value, then it may be structurally better than the pieces coming out of China and most certainly will cost a little less than buying a comparable new piece.

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 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at andy@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

Quality Made Sofas

How do you determine whether  furniture is of good quality?

When shopping for new furniture most people check out the current ads to see where they should look. Almost every furniture ad says that the furniture it is advertising is a quality product. This is standard advertising but often misleading to the general public. The ads want you to believe that the stores are indeed selling quality products when in fact they may not be. They advertise different prices but still advertise quality for all. Maybe good advertising sells products but good quality keeps customers.

So how does one determine if a sofa is truly built with quality in mind?

The old adages that “you get what you pay for” and “if its too good to be true it generally is” is a good start. But let’s look deeper into what goes into making a quality sofa or chair.

The Frame:

all hardwood frame, glued and double dowelled at stress joints

Let us first start with the main structure of the piece – the frame. Frames should be made of properly dried hardwoods. They should be engineered with strong joints that will withstand years of use. Using wood dowels and lots of wood glue to hold the joints together is very important. The size of the rails, the large piece of wood on the front of the sofa, and supporting side pieces, together with proper spacing is critical for long term performance. Perhaps most important is the time and care taken assembling and gluing the frame pieces together. The frame builder must make sure the wood joints are flush and glue is oozing out of the wood to make sure the frame will withstand the abuse of consumers for years to come.

I have seen plywood , OSB(wood chips glued together) and pine used in inexpensive furniture. I have also seen plywood used in very expensive furniture. Plywood is not necessarily bad in certain situations, such as on curves, but care must be taken to properly engineer all stress joints. Plywood is composed of layers of wood that can be used in radius (curved) pieces without concern of the wood splitting with the grain. CNC machine (computer generated cutting) of plywood is very precise and with careful assembly can perform properly. Call me old fashioned but I want my frames to be made with hardwoods , want them glued, double doweled at stress joints and most importantly I want the wood assembled with care taken so that all wood joints are flush . The process is time consuming and not easy to accomplish in large production line environments. When shopping for a sofa you can often determine how well the frame is made by trying to wiggle the arms to see if they move. If they do the joints are probably not put together properly.

Dried Hardwoods:

Dowels used at stress points:

Spring System:

Now let’s talk about the spring system. The most important part about the spring system is that, whatever type is used, it must be properly spaced and the frames properly engineered to work together with the springs for years of service. No-sag springs (snake looking wire from front to back) and webbing are the least expensive and their productive life is usually limited to the life of the fabric. Coil springs are considered the most expensive and with maintenance will last for many years. You can find eight-way hand tied springs or machine-tied springs. Both will last you for years to come.

Eight-way Hand Tie:

No- Sag Springs (snake looking spring system):

Cushions:

Cushion stuffing can be foam, dacron , feathers and down, springs or a combination of any of these. There are many different qualities and firmnesses of foam that are typically used for standard sized cushions. Soft overstuffed cushions can be a mixture of springs (small coils wrapped in muslin) or foam in the middle with a combination of feathers , down or dacron on the outside (the envelope). This is then covered with a cushion covering. Whatever type of cushion stuffing you choose should be combined with a spring system that gives proper support. A general rule is that soft overstuffed cushions work best with a good firm spring system such as coil springs which will give a good ride while sinking into that wonderful sofa. For a firmer feel denser foam cushions on a good spring system will give better support. Often when shopping one finds really hard sofas that feel like you are sitting on a board. This usually indicates a no sag spring system or webbing with a combination of cheap foam cushions.

Dacron:

Muslin:

Feathers:

Foam:

Cutting the Fabric and Tailoring:

nailheads on an upholstered arm

The tailoring of a sofa is what determines how visually beautiful it is. It is the most time consuming part of building a quality sofa. Each fabric stretches differently. When cushion covers are cut allowance must be taken into account for anticipated stretch. Most factories cut all the fabrics alike not taking into account this stretch. Factories test fabrics before putting them in their furniture lines. Many large factories marry certain fabrics to certain frames because of the difficulty in matching/tailoring.

At Fabrics and Frames we make each piece individually and study all fabrics thoroughly making allowance for stretch, pattern matching etc. before cutting it. It can take us 8 hours or more to properly cut the fabric for a sofa. A mass produced factory generally gang cuts their fabrics (many fabrics are cut at the same time, one on top of the other) thus all are cut alike without regard to stretching or patterns. This is definitely more efficient but does not produce a beautiful sofa. For us cutting fabrics is akin to an artist doing a painting. Many decisions are made as to where the pattern is centered or continued. We always try to match the pattern in a fabric all over the piece. The pattern will match from the back to the seat. The seat will match from the seat to the apron, the apron will match to the skirt, etc. We not only match the pattern vertically but also horizontally when we can.

Pattern Match Chairs:(follows lines in the base from the seat cushion)

Discriminating shoppers can always tell when a sofa has been upholstered with care. The fabric has been pulled tight during the upholstery process so that there are no wrinkles or loose fabric on the arms, apron, in back or outside back. When shopping for a sofa feel the arms to make sure you don’t feel the wood. We use three layers between the wood and the final fabric – cotton, dacron, and a base fabric. Also feel the back. It should be pulled tight and not feel floppy when pushed in. Saggy backs are just not attractive. The back and seat cushions should fit the frame nicely. There should not be lots of space between the cushions nor should they be too tightly squished together. At Fabrics and Frames we know that great upholsterers produce beautiful furniture that you can be happy to have in your home.

If you are the type that likes things done right ask lot of questions when shopping for furniture. To make sure you are buying from a reputable store you can also check the Better Business Bureau for complaints and resolutions the store has dealt with. Fabrics and Frames is and has been a member of the BBB for over 30 years and we have not even had a single complaint to address. This is because our craftsmen care and our owners care that we do it right. We are human and nothing is perfect but our goal is to do the best job we can – and it shows in both the new furniture we build and the furniture we reupholster. That’s why 70% of our business is from previous customers and referrals. Our goal is to make our customers “customers for life” by giving them the best product they can buy for a price they can afford!

Jim The Sofa Man

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 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at andy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Seat Cushions too soft ?

When I was a much younger man I loved soft seat cushions that gave you a nice “ride” as I sunk down on the sofa. I wanted cushions that wrapped around me and felt like I was in a cocoon. Now that I have matured I like a firmer cushion that supports my body better and makes getting out of my sofa less difficult. As we age many of our needs change including our furniture needs. So the question becomes:

Can a soft cushion in your existing sofa be changed so that it now fits your current needs?

The answer is almost always: “Yes”. The next question is: “Is it economically prudent? If your furniture is “high end”, was expensive, or is an heirloom the answer is probably yes. If your sofa was inexpensive then maybe not. Most mass produced furniture today is built in “other countries” – yes just like almost everything else that used to be produced in the USA. Generally this means that it is an inferior product and not worth the cost of replacing the cushions. Also many leather sofas are intentionally very soft and use webbing system rather than a spring system for support . If your sofa doesn’t have a supportive base then changing out the cushions probably won’t solve the problem. However if your sofa is of good quality then changing out the cushions should make you very happy with your sofa. It will feel like new again!

What does a webbing system look like?

 

What does a spring system look like?

If you determine that your sofa is a good candidate for new cushions then you need to determine which type of cushions you want. Cushion stuffings usually are foam and dacron or sometimes feathers, down, springs etc. When our goal is to firm up a cushion we either rebuild the existing stuffing or build a new one. Foam has two propertiesdensity and compression. The density may be thought of as the quality while compression is the firmness of the foam. We use high density foam and may use a higher compression foam than the original cushion. We may also build the stuffing 2″ larger than the finished size of the sewn cushion to achieve firmness. There are many different ways to accomplish firmer seating but care must be taken to ensure the new restuffed cushion still fits the furniture. The cushion can be stretched to the wrong size so we ask the client to give us the inside seating dimensions for comparison. It actually takes a bit of work to evaluate what needs to be done but we have done it so often we stock almost everything we need so you can get your new cushions very quickly. If you decide to replace your seat cushions make sure you go to a reputable business that has lots of experience with this. Otherwise you are bound to be disappointed.

Jim the Sofa Man

If you  need or know someone who needs to firm up their seating come see us at Fabrics and Frames Furniture. Our goal is to make every customer a happy one!

To learn more about our company please visit:

http://www.fabricsandframes.com/

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 andy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

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