Ask JGB Interiors: How Can I Use “Fun” Fabrics?

26 Jan

And here we have another edition of Ask JGB Interiors…this time it’s about textiles.

Lovely bright ikats from Brunschwig & Fils. (image via Elle Decor)

Dear JGB,

I’m obsessed with fun, bold, graphic fabrics and see them everywhere. But they are really really expensive, and it costs a lot to get a custom upholstery job done. What can I do? I want them in my house!

— Crazy for Textiles in DC

Dear Crazy (no offense),

I love this question! You’re right: custom upholstery jobs are expensive. I often remind clients who have an undesirable chair or sofa that reupholstering it can cost almost as much as a new piece! That said, there are ways to go about getting your favorite patterns and prints into your home for under, say, $400. My first recommendation to to go small. Ballard Designs does wonderful work on semi-customizable pieces (meaning you choose from their fabric offerings, but most are lovely). For ever-so-slightly more, they’ll upholster using your own fabric (it’s called COM – customer’s own material. Ask about it.) I love the tiny Classic Footstool, and a pair can be yours for about $300! Seriously! Here are two options that I love:

On L: Domino Green is $153 each. On R: Canopy Stripe in Black is just $149 per stool. (images ia Ballard Designs)

Another route you can go is to learn how to sew. Admittedly, I cant, and I don’t plan to in the near future, but it sure would make a girl’s pillow, window panel, and duvet cover budget open up quite a bit. If sewing just isn’t in the cards, you can try to reupholster some pop-out seats yourself, or even take a stab at iron-on hem window panels (beware: this is dicey and the back won’t look nice. You’ll want to use a liner, most likely.) Try this chair seat tutorial via Simply Salvage for help. You’d be surprised how many $150 a yard fabrics become accessible once you have no labor costs.

You can do this. Probably. (image via Simply Salvage)

Has anyone else brought otherwise cost-prohibitive textiles into their home, by being creative? If so, leave a comment!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


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