Stretching Designer Fabric

That title might be a little misleading.  I’m not talking about literally stretching the fabric.  What I want to talk about is how you can buy less expensive fabric but make it go farther in a room.  Before I get into that, you’re going to need a bit of back story.

Our house was built in 1972.  We bought it in 2002, and very little had been done as far as updating.  There was still orange shag carpet in a closet and these lovely things hung by the front door.

front door

One bathroom had a dusty blue toilet and bathtub and the other was avocado green.  There were several pieces of gold glass throughout the house.  That dark wood you can see in the photo was EVERYWHERE. 

We’ve been working on some part of the house constantly since we moved in.  My daughter jokes that she’ll always have to have one unfinished room in her house just to feel at home. 

This is my fireplace.  At least, it was.


I had all I could take of that wood paneling, so I asked my husband what he thought about painting it.  One thing lead to another, and pretty soon we were re-doing the living room.  I’m dying to show you what we’ve done, but it isn’t finished, so I’m holding off for a big reveal.  I will tell you – the paneling did not get painted.

What I can show you are the new pillows for the couch.  It’s just a tiny part of the room, but I want to share a couple of tips on making your expensive fabric make an big impact on your room, but a smaller one on your wallet.

pillows 1

I set out to find fabric that would match my new living room colors and fell in love with the print above with the squares.  The black with the keys is a companion print.  Because we decided to do this room on a whim, the budget is very tight.  I wanted to use it for pillows and curtains, but at $18 per yard, that wasn’t going to work.  I didn’t want to give it up completely, so instead I found a tan microfiber on clearance and used that for the back of all eight pillows.

pillows 2

That allowed me to buy enough of the squares and keys for the fronts of two pillows each, and mix in the other coppery orange that I also found on clearance.  I recovered our existing pillows instead of buying new pillow forms, so I saved there too.  Another trick I used was piecing together some of the cheaper fabric with the expensive to get the look without using much at all.

pillows 3

I’m very happy with the pillows and can’t wait to show you what I did with the curtains.  Home improvement…better than spring cleaning.