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The Basement: A Fabric Story

by - Sunday, July 22, 2012

If there's one thing I love, its looking at fabric. I could spend hours in a fabric store, touching all the goods and sifting through the samples. Fabric has a way of stopping you in your tracks and instantly setting the tone for a space.

I love that feeling you get when you come across a fabric that just speaks to you. Do you ever feel like that? What is it about a particular mix of pattern and colour that can set your imagination running, have you dreaming up an entire decorating scheme around just one piece of fabric? While I love the thought of fabric, in reality, it scares me a little bit. There is an art to mixing fabric and I know I haven't mastered that skill yet. So when I set out to find the fabric scheme for the basement, my long and winding journey went a little like this...

I started with getting some samples from Tonic Living and Designer Fabrics. This was the beachy mix... ticking stripe, ocean blues, and durable outdoor fabrics for the bench. It was a good first try but I wasn't loving the patterns...

Then I started to think about the function of the basement and how, realistically, most of the time we'd be spending down there would be in the cooler months - and did a beachy, summery vibe really feel right for the space? Finding the black and white buffalo check sent me off in a different direction... how about a more "summer camp" type of look, more stripes and checks, a more muted palette? I was starting to like this! But HandyMan wasn't digging the browns and I was feeling like this mix was too masculine so the search went on...

At a Fabricland store closing sale, I found the two florals on the right. I adored the pen & ink look of the large floral and the navy blues were starting to hit the right notes. Almost there...

Then I brought all my favourites together... the bold check, the playful plaids, the classic ticking stripe, the soft heather grey, and the painterly floral. Add in some denim and a neutral grey outdoor fabric for good measure. I made up a mockup (that's one of the Martha Stewart drawers on the bottom which will form the bench seat) and took a step back... the fabrics feel rugged yet cozy, inviting and a bit nostalgic. We have a winner! Now I just have to figure out how and where I'm going to use all these fabrics ;)

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  1. I adore that pen and ink floral. Any chance of passing along the name of the company that produces it?


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