Deconstructionism, How is it emerging?

What is Deconstructionism?

Deconstructionism is movement in design that emerged in the late 1980’s.  The idea is to show how something is constructed, but still be functional as a form of art or architecture. One of the unique things about this movement is that it forces the viewer to ponder about how things are put together. It’s philosophy states that “architecture is a language capable of communicating meaning and of receiving treatments by methods of linguistic philosophy”.  Some of the leading architects such as: Frank Gehry, Im Pei, and many other architectural firms have created designs in this style.  Check out some examples below:

Frank Gehry on Deconstructionism

Although we usually think of this architect as being more commercial when talking about his architectural designs, he has also designed residential spaces.  The image below is an example of deconstructionism in a residential space.  This is the house that Frank Gehry designed for himself, and legend states that the neighbors were not thrilled to have this in their neighborhood.

Deconstructed Exterior of Gehry House by Frank Gehry

Deconstructed Interior Space of Gehry House by Frank Gehry

Im Pei on Deconstructionism

One of the most recognized forms of architecture is the entrance to the Louvre Museum in Paris.  Although there is much criticism on how modern the look is in comparison to the traditional form of architecture around it, it still is a great example of deconstructionism architecture.

Im Pei design of the Entrance to the Louvre Museum in Paris. 1989.

SITE Architects on Deconstructionism

In the mid 1980’s a architecture firm by the name of SITE architects, started to produce designs for a company called BEST Products.  The interesting thing about their designs was the emphasis that the firm put into how they would push the limits of creativity in the deconstruction movement.  These are some of the best examples of what a creative team can produce, while keeping the structure functional.

SITE Architects, BEST Products Deconstructed Store. 1984.

This building was constructed to show that the building would literally open and close every day for business.

SITE Architects, BEST Products Deconstructed Store. 1975. Deconstructed entrance to the Notch Showroom store.

SITE Architects, BEST Products Deconstructed Store. 1984. Building shows how the bricks are literally falling off the buildings facade.

SITE Architects. BEST Products. Tilt Showroom 1976. Shows the entrance to the showroom being tilted as if it is being deconstructed from the facade of the building.

Dallas on Deconstructionism

Dallas is known for it emerging architecture by leading renowned international architects.  In 2012, the construction of Perot Museum of Nature and Science by the architecture firm Morphosis Architects has been introduced to the famous skyline of the city.  This new building shows that Deconstructionism is still emerging as a form of design, and may be the new look for contemporary architectural structures.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science by Morphosis Architects. Dallas, Texas.2012.

Deconstructionism in Furniture Design

As we learn more about architecture design, we notice that a lot of the movements that happen in the architectural world tend to spill into the interior design world.  Both worlds are very similar when you talk about the process of design.  In the past year, we have seen that this movement has made its mark in the furniture world of interior design.  The general public is beginning to look for the “new” innovative design in the furniture industry and they may have found it!

Although Deconstructionism is not new as a movement, it is new in furniture design.  Since the piece appears to look like a raw frame and completely unfinished, the look of deconstructionism in the furniture world is controversial.  Check out the images below to form a opinion on what you think about this movement.

Deconstructed Furniture in Room Setting

Deconstructed Wing Chair

Deconstructed Wing Chair-Back View

Straight Lined Post-Modernism Tuxedo Styled Chair

My personal, professional opinion is that as a movement in furniture, it will probably be short lived.  This look doesn’t appear to be as shocking when done on periodic pieces of furniture, like the the first image above.   When the piece of furniture becomes more straight lined and contemporary the look seems to have a  unfinished, undesirable quality to it as a style.  Many older pieces of furniture that date back 50+ years would have been constructed with burlap sacks, horse hair, and tacked upholstery.  The last example featuring the tuxedo styled chair is the ideal look of what you would find when deconstructing a chair around that time period.  As far as comfort,  I feel that over time it would eventually give you splinters because of the raw wood .  Also it may start to poke and scratch you from the tacking or filling inside the cushions.  If you are looking to make a statement in the room for non-functional purposes, then feel free to implement this design style.  If you are someone that is looking for functionality in their furniture,  this look is probably not for you.

The Deconstruction Movement in any form of design that has been seen as controversal.  It has a amount of shock value that many have a hard time grasping because of its  extreme contemporary design, even when using a traditional frame.

At Fabrics and Frames we have not yet been requested to design a piece of furniture in this Deconstruction style, but think that is would be both interesting and challenging to tackle for that very sophisticated, trendy client. Since we custom build our furniture from the ground up one piece at a time our intimate knowledge of the skeleton frame will give us an advantage when constructing this type of furniture. 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 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog, and or follow us on Facebook!

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir


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



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:

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



How is the quality of your sofa determined by the spring system?

We are often asked how to determine whether a sofa or chair is a good piece of furniture that is worthy of being reupholstered. One of the best ways is to inspect the spring system. When we reupholster furniture we see the insides of sofas made by other furniture manufacturers. The spring systems vary widely depending on the original manufacturer. At Fabrics and Frames Furniture most of our furniture has coil springs that are either machine tied or eight-way hand tied.

There are many different spring systems used in sofas today. Some utilize metal springs while others use flexible webbing. What is the difference in each of these systems?

 Metal Spring System:(machine tied coil unit)

Flexible Webbing System:

The oldest and considered possibly the best spring system is the eight-way hand tied coil springs system. All of the coil springs are tied together in eight different ways and thus when you sit at one end of the sofa it is actually getting support from the entire spring system. In addition the coils may be up to 8″ tall and when you sit on them you have a nice ride up and down that is very comfortable. This system does require maintenance over the years. The nylon or jute twine that is used to tie the springs together will eventually stretch or break over years of use. The eight-way system when done right using nylon twine should last many years. Actual knots rather than loops between the springs is important to ensure the springs will remain tight. Many furniture factories pay what is called piece work to their furniture builders. Since workers get paid based on how many sofas that they tie in one day some attention to detail is lost and loops rather than knots sometimes is done. When we reupholster existing sofas we often see coil springs that are loose and need to be retied because of use of loops rather than knots together with age. When we retie them we do it with knots not loops. A sofa for example will take us about 8 hours to tie properly while others made by many massed produced North Carolina companies take about an hour and half. Why the big difference ? We take the time to do it right.

Eight-Way hand tie spring system:

Another coil spring system we use is the machine tied coil unit. Since the coils are tied by metal wire there are no strings that stretch or break. We support the coil unit by hardwood braces which will hold the springs in place . Maintenance of this system is almost non existent since metal does not break or stretch like string. We use this system when making most of our furniture. The most prevalent metal spring system used by other manufacturers is a sinuous wire that is clipped to the front and the back of the sofa. It is shaped like a long snake. This is the most cost effective (cheapest) metal spring system available. Spring spacing is critical. This system can bottom out and loose it resilience with heavy usage. A lot of the less expensive sofas will have this spring system. When this system no longer supports properly it must be replaced. We have had clients that sank in their furniture (too soft and hard to get out of) and thought firmer cushions would cure the problem when it was actually the springs. When a client has a sofa that does not need to be reupholstered we have a remedy for this – we fill the bottom of the sofa (under the springs) with foam to prevent the spring from bottoming out.

Examples of Different Types of Inexpensive Spring Systems:

Sinuous Wire Spring System:

Many of the newer leather manufacturers use webbing as their support system. This system cost a lot less than coils and the “ride” is limited and obviously not long term. Spacing and proper installation are critical.

Whatever spring system is used can give years of service if it is done properly . Softer seat cushions perform better on coil springs that ride up and down for support. Webbing suspension has a limited ride and the senuous wire tends to bottom out and these are better matched with firmer cushions. Whatever system your sofa has now can be changed or reworked when it is being reupholstered but limited options are available if you do not want to reupholster.

Comfort in seating is the result of cushions, springs, pitch and depth . At Fabrics and Frames we have showroom samples that combine all of these options to achieve what we believe are comfortable high-quality made sofas by craftsmen who care. If you have any questions about your sofa or ours contact us – we would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.

Jim The Sofa Man

  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!

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