True Colors Shining Through: Current Fabric Trends for Interior Design

2006 is a year of exciting and fun fabric trends in both the fashion and interior
design industries. Balance is the theme for this year and bringing together the
future with the past, the natural with the modern, the simplistic with the glamorous
is the challenge for interior designers everywhere. In a world burdened with natural
disasters, war and other serious issues design is filled with optimism once again
and is certain to lift the spirits of many fabric consumers, regardless of what styles
and trends you prefer.

Redefining the Blues

In the fashion and interior design industries blues have moved to the forefront this
spring. According to the “New York Fashion Week Spring 2006″ [September 9-16,
2005] report from color authority Pantone, Inc. “New York designers are awash in
America’s favorite color for Spring 2006. From sea to shining sea – the
Mediterranean and Caribbean to the South Pacific and Atlantic – they have collected
shades ranging from aquatic Blue Tint to placid Skyway and seaworthy Deep
Ultramarine. Smooth sailing typifies the calm and effortless attitude infusing the
season.” The nautical theme has also been sweeping the fashion industry and will
affect the fabric and interior design industries as well. Keep an eye out for seashells
in fabrics and a simple beach house look with furniture.

Return of the White Room

White is about to have serious comeback this year inspired by design that is natural
and clean, yet modern and functional. The Interior Design Trends 2006 Special
Report on the Sheffield School of Interior Design website reports the opinions of
successful designers from a variety of places. Karen C. Wirrig of Karen Cole Designs
says “I see furniture being designed with sleeker lines, less carving but still great
attention to quality and detail.” “I rarely have a client who wants an ultra
contemporary look,” continues Wirrig, “but I often have clients who want cleaner
lines and simpler interior designs.” Pure white can also mixes easily with bright acid
colors and works with mod and atomic age motifs, which are still hot.

Glamorous Simplicity

Although many design trends currently focus on natural colors and clean lines
nature creates a glamour all its own. This exciting return to colors that exist in rain
forests, sunsets and tropical beaches allows interior designers to include beautiful
and bright color schemes in almost any room. The “too much is never enough” rule
of the 1980′s has been transformed for showrooms in 2006. Prints are returning to
our hearts and homes as well as luxurious fibers in rich saturated hues. Look for
deep thick mohair and fine upholstery weight silks from Thailand, some of the finest
silks in the world. There will also be a move towards futuristic fibers and
constructions. The colors will be striking acid greens and fuschias, true oranges,
turquoise and glamour would not be complete without metallics, like silver and
gold! Flamestich, another delight from the 80′s, is returning with a modern, chic
appearance. I also predict a revival of polished chinz, but don’t be scared, all these
old school looks have been revamped to have hip, urban kind of feel.

Design for the Age of Aquarius

In this technological world interior design must also accommodate and blend a
variety of electronic devices. I see modern furniture with everything from built in
heaters to plug-ins for an i-pod. The Interior Design Trends 2006 Special Report
from the Sheffield School of Interior Design also reports “interior designers and
homeowners continue to struggle most with integrating the home office-and all the
electronic equipment we now have-into the home.” Designer Cari Pilon states that
“Almost all homes have a computer, but not all homes have space for a home
office.” Pilon believes the challenge for designers is making sure “the computer
desk doesn’t look like it dropped from the sky into the family room. You need to be
creative to include the computer desk into the dining room without losing the
aesthetic of the dining room.” On the other end of the spectrum there is a revival of
some past styles, such as victorian fainting couches and and shelter sofas, all with
more exposed wood.

As 2006 continues design and fabric trends will shift for the fall and winter with
even more new and exciting color schemes and textures. To learn more about the
hottest fabrics on the market for fashion and interior design visit Lewis and Sheron
Textile Co.’s new website at

Library Interior Design Planning

Library interior design or architecture requires detailed planning before plans are drawn. Interior designers can facilitate the planning process if they are skilled in communication and knowledge of the function of a library. The needs of the library patrons must be adhered to when planning the design.

It is important for designers involved in library interior design to be aware of the ambience that the library must convey to its visitors. Many bookstores feature nice comfortable chairs and coffee service enticing visitors to stay longer. In the past, libraries were very sterile and uninviting for many people, especially the younger crowd. How does the modern library compete with the bookstore? The interior designer must use their knowledge of construction and design along with their marketing skills to design a library that can bring in all ages and compete with the modern bookstore/coffee shop.

Some areas the designer may focus on are lighting, acoustics and signage. Library interior design involves designing for different age groups, people who are there for study or research purposes and people who just want to relax with friends and read the paper. Everyone must easily access all products and services offered by the library. Work areas for staff must be ergonomic and functional. Areas for children should include hands on play areas and quiet reading areas for parents and children. The entire facility should be modern and fun. The designer will need to include areas for computer use as well.

An important aspect of library interior design involves the selection of furniture. The furniture must be durable and comfortable. If the library has a set budget, the designer will need to pay close attention to it when selecting furniture. The interior designer will need call on all their supplier contacts to source out the best possible deal for the library in order to stay under budget. There are also commercial manufacturers that design furniture specifically for libraries and other commercial buildings. Interior designers or architects can select standard furniture and then add a custom feature to it to fit the needs of the library design project. Commercial furniture is manufactured to withstand heavy use.

Another aspect of library interior design is a theft detection system must be installed in a strategic location. Staff should have the ability to easily exit from their desk if the theft alarm sounds as well. Other factors involved in the design of the library are related to the specific procedures and policies in place by the library. This is when the interior designer must use their communication skills to plan the design. It can be quite costly to correct mistakes.

Interior designers involved in a library interior design plan, should interview staff members of the library to gain insight into the needs of the staff plus the design of the staff work areas and furniture such as a staff desk. Once the designer has obtained information from the staff, they should then prepare some drawings for staff to review. If the project is quite large then perhaps a mock desk or model could be made for staff to review. Library interior design is one of the many niche areas of designers come across in their professional careers.

Home Interior Design Tips on Decorating Your Space With Wall Art

How to Decorate your Space with Wall Pictures

If a room in your house lacks character, by simply placing some fine art prints on the walls can actually make quite an impact. Wall pictures are a necessary accessory in your home and are great to tie in with the room’s style and color accent. Before you go off to buy some new pictures for your walls there are a few things you need to plan and decide upon. Here is a home interior design guide on how to decorate your space with wall art.

Shop for Wall Art by Room

The kind of home you have and the mood, ambience and style of decor you create, should be perfectly designed to suit your lifestyle. Deciding on a style for your room should be determined by the lifestyle you choose and not by what’s the latest home interior design trend.

Whichever room you are wanting to decorate, whether it be your bedroom, living area, kitchen or office space, you need to decide what you want to get out of that space. For example:

  • do you want to hold dinner parties or entertain?
  • do you want a quiet retreat to get away from the hustle and bustle?
  • Is this an area for the kids to play in?
  • Is this a room for your hobby?

Once you have decided what you want to use the room for, you can now choose a color theme to suit the function of the room. For example, mellow greens and neutrals for your ‘quiet retreat room’, lively yellow for the kids room, or pale tranquil blue for your office space.

So far we have established the function and color of the room in question, this then gives us the basis on choosing the right art prints for the area.

For example:

  • bright colorful cartoon pictures for the kids room
  • mellow pastel floral pictures for your quiet retreat area, or
  • tranquil landscape and scenic pictures for your office space

Choose your Style

Like paint color, artwork can immediately establish or change a room’s mood. Not only can it pull the room together, but you can use it to create a style uniquely your own.

  • traditional & classic
  • modern
  • contemporary
  • fun & entertaining
  • casual
  • romantic

The style of the room is totally dependent on your own personal taste and this is the time when you can inject your own personality into the room through artwork and textured accessories.

Suggested art picture styles:

Fun & Entertaining: Pictures can include bright colors both in the print and on the frame. Fun and entertaining pictures can include kittens and puppies, or comedian actors such as the Three Stooges or Laurel & Hardy.

Modern: With the strong black accents in the framed iron-work and the tapestries, striking black and white photos are a natural choice for a modern and sophisticated look.

Calm Retreat: To reinforce the mood of a nestled, cozy retreat, use artwork with neutral, earthy colors and a horizontal landscape subject.

You can even mix and match different styles to create a unique style of your own. For example, frame traditional black and white photo prints in a modern black iron frame.

Arranging and Hanging your Pictures

In order to get the maximum effect of your wall pictures in terms of adding character and a focal point to the room, you need to decide where and how you want to hang them.

Here are some suggestions to help you decide how to get the best effects from your pictures:-

Modern Gallery Look: To create a modern art gallery feel, particularly nice in hallways, lobbies and stairwells, give each piece ample breathing room. Stand at the center of the first piece and take one swift, or two small steps along the wall. This is a good center for the next piece.

Above a Sofa: When placing art above furniture such as a sofa, you need to hang the picture about six to nine inches above the sofa, or at eye level.

Cluster Arrangements: Tightly group an even number of pictures together to give a statement or a focal point. This works on either large or small wall spaces, depending on the look you want.

In a row: By placing an odd number of pictures in a horizontal line to each other gives balance and the sense of space. This works well in hallways or stairwells.

By deciding where and how to hang your pictures, whether it be a tight cluster or a single print above a sofa, you can then determine the size and shape of the pictures you need to buy.

When you have decided on the room’s function, color and style, you are in a much better position to go shopping for wall pictures that fit in with the overall theme.


Wall pictures are an underestimated home interior design accessory. This is probably because most people do not know what to do with their pictures in order to get the maximum effect in a room. Before you go hanging up your pictures make sure you plan ahead what you want to get out of that room. Decide on the function, style and color of the room first before you buy your artwork. By doing this you are in a much better position to buy the right type of art picture to fit in with the theme and color accent of your room.