Create Texture in your Home with Textiles

by Dick Stoner 06/11/2019

That great furniture sale filled the empty spaces in your home with a matching sofa and loveseat, coordinating side chairs and matching pillows. It looked great on that showroom floor, but now that it's in your living room it all seems a bit sterile and blah. The challenge with matching sets is that they lack depth and dimension. They don’t satisfy the sense of touch … they need texture. 

You can add texture with a few well-placed pieces, either modern or vintage (or even a mixture of both).

Vintage textiles

Textiles are any woven fabric or cloth, but informally include knitted or crocheted items as well. When shopping for textiles at flea markets and vintage shops, you'll find a plethora of designs, appliques, embroidery, dyes, and other hand textures applied to fabrics. Often made from wool, cotton, flax (linen) and other natural fibers, vintage textiles add that unique feel for which you're looking. For your home, interesting options include classic pillowcases, framed doilies, hand-knitted or crocheted afghans, hand-stitched quilts, and tapestries. 

You also may discover stacks of uncut cloth leftover from some long forgotten sewing project. Open every item to inspect it for damage. Knit and crochet may completely unravel if threads have broken or knot loosened. Discoloration from damp and pests might be hiding in the folds too.

If you genuinely want vintage, you'll find most contain imperfections or uneven stitching, indications of a hand-made product rather than machine made. Check the back too, since aged woven fabrics typically show patterns on both front and back. Beware of bulk materials. Most often, when a dealer has a large stock of one fabric (unless its provenance shows otherwise), it is not very old.

Modern textiles

Modern versions of vintage textiles include hand-loomed woolens, delicate embroidery and lace and other hand-made, small batch fabrics. But, if your budget runs more to the lean side, you can get the texture without the vintage or hand-made price. Look for plush knit throws made from chunky yarns, coarsely-woven pillow fabrics, or embellished fabrics to add the depth you seek. 

Even a cotton duck (canvas) pillow cover adds texture to a microfiber sofa. Create interest with a seagrass rug or faux fur blanket too. Drapes or curtains of loose-weave, gauzy fabrics let in light while adding the coveted dimension. Wander through the offcuts from upholstery fabrics. You might find a paisley pattern that, if framed or hung from a rod, mimics the look of an expensive tapestry.

Don’t be afraid of mixing textures. Vintage or modern, if you love it, buy it, and bring some life to your space. And if you need a new area, talk to your real estate agent.

About the Author
Author

Dick Stoner

Reist Corporation was incorporated in 1994 to renovate and restore commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Working from a 200+ year old farm in Washington County, MD , we have restored barns, warehouses, and even WWII Army buildings in Central MD. We maintain expertise in zoning and land use issues, and we stay abreast of market conditions and changing market statistics. We welcome the opportunity to work with buyers and tenants who wish to take advantage of current market conditions to lock in long term deals at favorable rates. Those able to sign 5 - 10 year leases in commercial transactions right now, are able to obtain the best rates in over 10 years, and those able to purchase are able to get pre-2005 prices on many types of buildings and land. On residential transactions, we continue to help buyers of bank-owned and short sale properties. We welcome the opportunity to work with you on your challenges, and we pay generous referral fees to agents from other areas who wish to utilize our services on Maryland property transactions

Certifications

Since 2002, I have worked on some of the largest real estate database systems in America. I have introduced online marketplace products to areas that were using residential MLS products for commercial real estate information, and I have worked on the expansion of some of America's largest real estate data systems in some of the largest MSA's in the country. Research is key to many commercial real estate valuation projects, and our firms' knowledge about how these systems work can help you reach the best information about other transactions in your area. We are active in Land Preservation programs and environmental offsets which can sometimes bring additional revenue that is crucial to making a transaction work. Nutrient offset credits in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed have become a new component in the valuation of active farmland and for many rural properties which involve environmental features like streams, woodlands, pastureland, etc. We've partnered with the experts at Blueline Conservation Incentives, LLC in Northern Virginia on nutrient offset and land preservation programs and together we are part of a team with expertise in all of the Middle Atlantic States as they strive to meet WIP - Watershed Improvement Plans in order to meet the 2017 and 2025 water quality goals that were set by the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Plan. 

Awards

2009 -MD Historical Trust -Award for Project Excellence in the Restoration of Frieda's Cottage at Chestnut Lodge in Rockville, MD