Category Archives: Fabric

Alessandra Branca – Traditional Patterns with a Modern Point of View

I am always on the lookout for new fabrics, and came across new designs from Schumacher. What caught my eye was the use of colors to revive an old fashioned damask style and make it more modern and fresh.

There are many pattern to choose from while it can be used for upholstery as well as window treatments.

Patterns 175460-68311-68330

Patterns 175501-68312-175482-175460

Patterns 68433-68314-68454-175502

The whole collection can be found here

Hem Style and Size – Does It Matter

 Hem Size Courtesy of horizonyc.comSheer Curtains with Hem –  Courtesy of


Regardless of if you are creating your own drapes or you are turning to an expert in the field, one thing is for certain. The hem is a key point of contention.

  • Should you have one?
  • How large should it be?
  • Does it matter if it is a different color or material?

The answers to these questions depend a great deal on the individual style and design of the drapery but also on the design of the room. Depending on the look you are trying to obtain, the hem can be a fantastic tool for customizing the look just the way you want it.


What’s Normal

 image courtesy of horizonyc.comStandard 4″ Hem –  Courtesy of

The normal hem length on a standard curtain is about four inches. However, some have a hem as large as 12 inches. Some have no hem at all. Of course, it is up to you to determine which size is appropriate for your specific needs. Keep in mind you can use hems as a type of design element or just a functional component of the curtains.


Why Do You Need One at All?

A hem’s purpose is quite simple. By folding up the fabric and creating that small or large section in which the fabric is doubled, you create more durability and clean up the bottom line. Since the bottom of the curtain comes close to the floor, this doubled material provides some added protection against fraying. It also creates a clean line. For example, with sheer drapes, the hem helps to hide the raw edges so they do not show up in the light.


What About the Size?


2 Inch Hem curtasey of horizonyc.com2″ Hem –  Courtesy of

What factors should you consider when it comes to the actual size? Consider the following.

  •  A small, thin hem can help to reduce the appearance of it on the curtains. For a clean line, this can be helpful.
  • If you are reusing old curtains to create something new, combining the material at the hemline can be fantastic. Instead of a small hem, choose a larger one to create more visual impact. This is a good way to extend the curtains you bought that were too short, too.

12-inch-hem-horizonyc-com12″ Hem – Courtesy of

Hems are a part of the design process of curtains and other forms of drapery. The good news is they can be a major part of the design or not any part of it at all

Colored Hem – Courtesy of the

Lulu DK for Kids

looking for fabrics for a baby room or a young kid you might think that it has to have patterns of Monkeys or Turtles. But actually
toys and stuffed animals in the room can help add to the theme while curtains or shades can use fabrics with a more subtle patterns although bright colors are a must in my opinion.

Lollipop 66240  Punch / Turquoise Curtains with
Twix Tape Pink Lemonade / Punch Trim
(Available from

Take a look at what Lulu deKwiatkowski founder of LULU DK came up with when asked to create a line of kids fabrics for Schumacher

See all LULU DK child collection on

Valentine’s Day and Window Treatments – Tips for Creating a Romantic Bedroom

Valentines Day 14th February

With Valentine’s Day on its way, you may be looking for a few fun ways to add a bit of romance and elegance to your bedroom. Many people are not planning to spend a lot of money going out for this day but that does not mean you cannot make it a special evening. Why not consider doing a few special things in the bedroom.

Make The Night Memorable

You may be thinking about a new set of sheets and adding a few candles to the room. This is just the start. You need to look at paint, ambiance and overall feel for the whole evening.

  • Start with a pair of wispy sheer curtains. With a soft color, they will flutter in the breeze, creating a beautiful environment perfect for quiet attention. Do a fabric search at to find the perfect choice for your room. You can also do this at can add electric blinds to the mix.  Check out the electric blinds at Somfy Systems.

  • You should look at how you have the room laid out as well. Consider rearranging the room so that it feels more inviting and warm. Look at where you have lamps and candles placed to create a better feeling of love.
  • Look at the overall color scheme. Use warmer colors and smoother tones. Do not try to put too much into the room, but keep it simple and smooth along the edges. This will create a better flow and a more calming demeanor. Light, soft colors like pastels and pinks.

  • Look at the type of music you will have playing in the bedroom as well as the lighting that will be cast to set the mood. Whether it is natural light through the windows or if you will be using candles, consider the type of feeling it will create.
  • If you are planning to watch a romantic film wile in your room, make sure you can watch it from your bed and that the position of the TV does not interfere with the rest of the room. This will help to enhance the mood.

Once you have tied all of the aspects of the room together and you look at getting there following dinner you will have a better understanding of how it will all work and you can tie it all together.

Green Textiles: Oeko-Tex Standard 100

In coordinance with the ever-prominent shift to greener living, there are certain standards set to ensure textiles are the safest they can be. It’s strange to think something as harmless as fabric could be harmful, but it’s true. The Oeko-Tex Standard is a testing and certification system for materials used to produce textiles. From their raw state to the end product, standards are set at all stages of production.

fabricut, green fabrics, eco-friendly fabric, eco-friendly textiles, oeko-tex standard 100
Fabricut's Oeko-Tex Standard 100-certified textiles

“Sustainability is a high interest initiative within the home furnishings industry, both as a response to consumer and regulatory demands and as a key component of corporate strategies that emphasize environmental accountability,” says Bill Perdue, AHFA vice president for environment, health, safety and standards. “Third party certification is a critical tool for manufacturers to ensure their supply chains are delivering products that meet desired quality and ecological standards.”

Companies like Fabricut, a decorative fabrics distributor, are complying with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. Take their “Connect” Pattern, for example. The textiles are produced using strict environmental guidelines, creating fabric that’s free of carcinogenic dye stuffs creating a skin friendly pH.

If all components of a textile comply with the requirements of the Oeko-Tex criteria, a textile manufacturing company like Fabricut receives certification. They are then entitled to use the Oeko-Tex label to mark their products. The Oeko-Tex certificate is issued for a period of one year and can be extended subject to further successful testing. In order to ensure ongoing compliance with the test criteria, the authorised Oeko-Tex Institutes carry out control tests every year on a minimum of 15% of all certificates issued on Oeko-Tex products available in the shops.

Bold and Bright and Brave

What is it about decorating with color that sends home owners into a panic? Bold color decisions can be difficult, but remember, it’s not permanent! Using color at home can be intimidating but there are a few things to consider when using color in interior decorating projects. We asked a couple professionals in architecture, construction and design their opinion on color, and why it can be so scary to some.


Source: Vandamn Interiors

Some believe the intimidation behind color is for personal reasons. Jeffrey Driver, who is a designer and marketer from the UK, says that bold colors can be too dominating if not used correctly. Some may fear being stuck with a bright color they’re unhappy with, or having to repaint. Most are too busy to have to repaint and hiring a professional once is costly enough.

In addition to cost, Driver brings up another great point about seasonal effects on decorating.

“When do people usually redecorate? In my experience it seems to be spring or summer,” Driver explains. “I can imagine that the time of year plays a huge part in this. Depending where you live, at that time of year you want cool, fresh colors. You’re not thinking about warm colors for the winter months.”

Bright colors in the home can be overwhelming when you want to relax. Tom Kearney, President of Chicago-based residential construction company Building Dreams, believes it is not only the physical process of painting, but also selecting color that can be equally intimidating.

Solar shades and striped curtain panels


Kearney says a good compromise could be to paint just one wall of a room an accent color. This way it is a small commitment but also a small job. All the furniture doesn’t have to be moved out.

“Mistakes or misuse of colors are easily adjusted on this smaller scale,” Kearney says. “Most people will be so ‘wowed’ at their results, that they’ll continue with other colors in other rooms.”

Another great option is taking advantage of less permanent decorative accents in your home. Using bold curtains or roller shades with a pattern can feel a lot less of a commitment than paint. You could also switch up throw pillows or accessories for a splash of color.


Custom silk curtains in peach color

Pablo Maida, AIA is an architect in Los Angeles but he also does interiors on all of his projects. Maida believes that while color is one of the most difficult things to do well, trying to pick a nice white is equally challenging.

“There are hundreds of them,” Maida says.

Maida says strong color can really make a space sing, if done well.

“Every time I have suggested a bold move, either a color or a vibrant wall covering or both, it has been a challenge getting the client to trust me,” explains Maida. “In the end they usually are blown away, as are all their guests.”

Do you use color in your home?

Home Furnishing Fabric Trends

New York Fashion Week is coming up, which means a lot of blogs are buzzing about the textiles that will be trending this fall. But what about fabrics inside the home? There are trends in the interior design industry just as their are in regular fashion design. In fact, a lot of trends are transferring over between apparel and interior design. That’s right, the tweed coat you love so much has inspired designers for upholstery and draperies.This season is all about blending fibers, eco-friendly textiles, and bright pops of color.

Fiber blends are a current trend in contemporary home furnishing. Textile fibers are blended to create fabric with improved properties, feel and texture. Higher grades of fibers and yarns are being used, allowing more withstanding durability. This has turned outside spaces into an extension of the living area, bringing more indoor trends to the outdoors.

Eco-Friendly Fabrics, Interior Design Trends
Source: Design Sherpa

As they have for some time now, green textiles are still prevalent and impertinent. Renewable fabrics have become very important, and as a result, wool, linen, and silk materials have become more popular.

Leather wrapped table, interior design trends 2011
Source: Contract Leathers

Finishes that are eco-friendly, organic and non-toxic are often used. This year, leather is also making a huge presence in home decor.

Source: The Coaster Furniture
Tweed, Interior Design Trends 2011, Bedcover

Textures used in apparel are crossing over into interior design, such as nubs, slubs, bouclés/chenille, heavy tweed, and textured linen. The use of a variety of weaves and blends create fabric richness, and intricate jacquard patterns are also increasing in popularity .

Jacquard Weave Curtains, Interior Design Trends 2011
Source: Decorpad

New developments in yarns and finishes are creating fabrics with a super soft texture and hand. The use of rich metallic yarns and metallic highlights are being used to create surface interest, with hues of silver, gold, bronze, and copper.  Some of the important patterns include herringbone, hounds-tooth checks, and paisleys.

HGTV, Bright Color Accents, Interior Design Trends 2011
Source: HGTV

Color trends from apparel are also being transferred to interior design.  Bright Colors are becoming more popular thanks to home improvement shows on TV, where these colors show up better than subtle tones under the bright studio lights.  Inspiration for colors is also coming from the outdoors, with the use of citrus, neutrals, and autumn tones.  Color inspiration is becoming more trans-seasonal.


This Form of SPF is 100% Oil-Free –

Summer may be ending, but don’t think you need to stop worrying about sun exposure. You should be taking care of your skin year-long, even if you’re not one of those who ignore the unlimited warnings about over-exposure to the sun. It has become increasingly important to protect your skin. More people today are progressively aware of the damaging effects UV rays have on our skin. As a result, it’s becoming more and more common to find products other than just sunscreen with SPF added in. But there are products for your home that can save you money and spare the mess of lotions.

In collaboration with the ever-prominent green movement, fabrics are becoming more than just a decorative accent to your home. Sun-protective blinds and solar shades enhance your home, but are also very practical because they filter UV rays, depending of the fabric’s thickness and weave. Not only are you protected from the sun, your furniture will not be damaged, but your home will also generate

Solar Shades, Blinds, Window Treatments, Northside Piers, Sun Protection
Solar Shades at Northside Piers will protect the floor and furniture, and prevent an overheated room.

Consider  the following when selecting a sun-protective shade for your home:

– The denser the weave of the fabric, the more protection from the sun. Shades typically have a weave ranging from 1% to 10%

– Fabric material type distinguishes the UV filter – Materials like bamboo can block up to 98% of harmful UV radiation. Fabrics that are man-made, like polyester and Lycra, are also capable of filtering amount of light entering. Nylon, wool and silk are still good options, and cotton and hemp offer very little UV protection.

-The more dye used in the fabric; the more opaque, which blocks more UV rays. This is not the most eco-friendly product, since it is not made with natural, organic materials, but it is energy-efficient.

– Some companies use chemicals to soften the fabrics. These chemicals are also seen as colorless dyes, and these get imbedded in the fabric offering some UV protection.

With skin cancer rates on the rise, people are more aware of the damage the sun has on our skin, but it is equally harmful to the floors and furniture in our home. Environmentalists and scientists have warned us about the strength of the sun and its negative effects, but interior designers and architects have become just as conscious. Sales of sunscreen have soared over the past 10 years, and manufacturers are in increasing demand of products that function as energy-efficient.

Feature Friday: Corner Shop Cafe

Walk into Corner Shop Cafe, and you’re immediately welcomed into a warm and casual environment before the staff greets you with a friendly hello. The cafe is literally at the corner of Broadway and Bleeker in NoHo, and attracts a lot of NYU and shopper-traffic. The employees are hospitable and the selection of  food is great (lunch, dinner, weekend brunch), but the building itself  is also worth mentioning.

Corner Shop Cafe, NoHo, NYU, 643 Broadway, Broadway and Bleeker, New York City, Pinch Pleat, Curtains, Design, Building Decor
Corner Shop Cafe at 643 Broadway

The high ceilings are topped with pressed-tin and a brick wall is exposed, filling the room with a warm, antiquated feeling.  Chandeliers hang from the ceiling and intricate sconces branch out from the gray walls.  The hardwood floors  are stained to match the assorted chairs and tables scattered throughout the room.

Corner Shop Cafe, NoHo, NYU, 643 Broadway, Broadway and Bleeker, New York City, Pinch Pleat, Curtains, Design, Building Decor
Corner Shop Cafe at 643 Broadway

Horizon recently worked with Zeff Design to add a pop of color to the cafe by installing pinch pleat curtains in an orange and white floral pattern. The pattern is contemporary, but pairs well with the sconces and pattern on the pressed-tin.  The cream velvet trim on the end of the curtains gives them a clean finish and adds to the warm palate at Corner Shop Cafe.

Corner Shop Cafe, NoHo, NYU, 643 Broadway, Broadway and Bleeker, New York City, Pinch Pleat, Curtains, Design, Building Decor
Curtains at Corner Shop Cafe