Fur… Interior Faux-pas or Interior Trend?

Winter has arrived and we are looking for ways to bring a little more warmth into our homes and designing with fur is one way to do it! Using fur in home interiors has been a trend with many designers for centuries.  Whether we are talking about hair-on-hide leathers, mohair, or actual fur from wild animals, this product has been used to create aesthetic comfort as well as  functionality in interiors for many years.   Modern uses of fur can teeter on tacky or very trendy when  it is over used.  Fur becomes tacky in a room when the fur  is used in abundance and becomes too over- powering for the room design.  When designing with fur, it is often best to let it be one unique thing in the room. The rule of thumb when designing with fur is “Less is better!”

Fur Chairs

Fur Slipper Chair

Fur Slipper Chair

Using fur to upholster a piece of furniture is very daring to the average person. Most people love  feeling soft textures against their skin and many animal furs can create this feeling. The  chair  like the one above uses a very soft animal fur which  gives the feeling of softness and comfort. The one below is upholstered with hair-on-hide. This one may feel  much more coarse and may begin to prick the skin. It would not be appropriate to use it for a chair that is sat in often but it can make a unique statement about your room when used as an accent piece.

Hair-on-hide Wing Chair

Hair-on-hide Wing Chair

One particular look that I have found quite interesting and unique is upholstering in fabric which has feathers appliqued into it.  This look  has great texture incorporated in the design but lays flat enough so that it will not be uncomfortable when sitting on it.   When creating this look it is best to stay with a monochromatic pallet for the entire piece because this will emphasize the look you are trying to create.

French Laquered White Chair with Feathered Fabric

Fur on Sofas

Generally a rule of thumb is that you do not want the largest piece of furniture to have the most unique fabric or texture in the room.  The eye will be drawn almost exclusively to it while your other furniture will almost disappear in the room.  If you live a more minimalistic lifestyle and don’t have a lot of stuff  in your home, this could be a great way for you  to highlight a great unique furniture piece, possibly like the one below.

Baroque styled Sofa with Embossed Black Fur

Baroque styled Sofa with Embossed Black Fur

Although color is important in design, using bright colors in fur can be a bit too much! Most of the  time when you use colored fur it tends to look cheap and inexpensive because the colors are so unnatural.  When creating a large scale  piece of furniture it is best  stick to natural colored furs.  If you choose to use a colored fur in the design scheme, then use it on a throw or pillow to create a small pop! The best way to keep this particular type of fur from looking “cheap”  is use only very soft feeling fur.  When a fur is so soft it almost melts, it portrays a sense of luxury in the room and the color is not really important .

 Asymetrical Colorful Fur Sofa

For those of you who would like a more classic look but find the fur look interesting,  mohair may be the solution for you!  Mohair is a Wool Velvet which has a high pile.  Many designers think this particular look  resembles fur.  It has a history which dates back to before the 14th century.  It is  one of the oldest fibers still being produced and many upholster in it because of  it’s luxurious status.  Check out the look below…

Chesterfield Sofa in Mohair

Chesterfield Sofa in Mohair

Small Accessories with Fur

Fur is a texture that can become excessive in a room very quickly!  If you  prefer to add just little touches of texture to your the room, then think small accessories like ottomans, rugs, blankets, and small throw pillows. This look can give a subtle, very unique punch of texture to a room without becoming overwhelming.

interiors with fur ottomans.

interiors with fur ottomans.
Punch of texture with Fur Pillow

Punch of texture with Fur Pillow

Fur Throw adds a soft touch to a contemporary room.

Fur Throw Blanket adds a soft touch to a contemporary room.

Fur Throw adds a soft touch to a contemporary room

Fur Rug adds a soft touch to a contemporary room

Remember that fur is best treated as a small accessory!  If you choose to use this look for your room using it on a single piece will have the best impact.  This will keep it unique and interesting. As you have seen there are many types of fur that are suitable to incorporate into your room design including but not limited to wild animals, more domesticated animals, birds, and man-made fur. There are many ways to incorporate it in your home whether your tastes tend to be very classic or tend to have a lot of flair. Have a little fun and add some excitement to your decor excitement to your decor. Not only is it unique and fun but it is also soft and cozy and will bring a little warmth into your home on these cold winter days!

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

Written by: Erica Guajardo

Edited by: Linda Decuir

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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

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