• December 17, 2019

WHY WE’RE LEANING IN LARD TO ROBERT ALLEN FABRICS

Whether it’s custom fabric for furniture or wall hangings, getting the texture and colour just right is essential to creating the desired look and feel in a room. 

And when choosing a fabric company, it’s important that it has a wide breadth of fabric choices, because a traditional home uses very different fabrics from an ultra-modern home. That’s one reason why we like working with Robert Allen, it has had every kind of fabric we’ve needed for each project—from a Scandinavian farmhouse to a Moroccan-inspired Chinatown apartment. 

Also, having a robust selection of non-patterned fabrics in good price points is a big win too, that way you’re able to get a bit creative, combining multiple fabrics for different looks without having to rely heavily on just the pattern of the drapes for visual interest. To inspire your next custom upholstery project, here are a few of our favourite fabric moments from five recent projects: 


THE PROJECT: Home in High Point

Curtains: Robert Allen Subtle Mood in Zinc

This is a large rustic timber-framed equestrian-type home in Langley. The home itself is very rustic and traditional, but for the drapery we tried to use linens that were more soft and contemporary. These linens, which are Subtle Mood in Zinc, are kind of a soft, silky-looking linen. The reason why we like that fabric is it has a little bit of a shine to it which catches light and ends up looking very pretty. It just has more life to it than your average flat linen. 


THE PROJECT: Global/Modern Gastown Penthouse

Sofa: Wool, Periwinkle, Model #231198

This sofa is in PlaidFox Creative Director Ben Leavitt’s own home. For their Gastown space, he and his partner were looking to furnish it with pieces that weren’t ultra-trendy, but more timeless, so they opted for an extra-deep, feather-filled sofa and custom-upholstered the whole thing in 100% wool, navy blue felt. For a truly minimal look, Ben wanted a dark matte-looking fabric. Often wool or felt fabric looks very European, and Scandinavian, and so they wanted something that had a more matte finish.


THE PROJECT: Abbott Street Moroccan Condo/Apartment

Curtains: Robert Allen Brushed Linen in Blue Opal

Often what we’ll end up doing with drapery is take two fabrics, and stitch them together in what’s called “banding.” So in this Moroccan-inspired apartment in Chinatown we used two fabrics, one in a soft blue and one in a dark charcoal from Robert Allen, and combined them together to make this modern and fun-looking diagonal, two-toned drape. Blue fabrics are great because they’re in the neutral family and it’s a colour that people don’t really get tired of. We’ll often go to blue tones in any home we do, just because it makes the home warm and cozy, but also fresh—overall the house will feel like it has a bit of colour, without looking too crazy.  


THE PROJECT: New York-Style Glam Loft in Gastown

The banquette: Fabric in Midnight, Model #580010                                                             

To give the homeowners the large, upmarket dining and entertaining space they wanted (and hide some unsightly wiring), we installed a large banquette and upholstered it in a deep cobalt-blue velvet. It’s from Robert Allen’s commercial velvet collection, so the fabric, despite looking like it’s very sensitive and luxe, is actually quite durable. This fabric is usually intended for restaurants or hotels, so it’s practically indestructible. Pro Tip: It’s important when choosing a fabric that if it’s going to be around food it’s something that is easy to clean and wears well. 


THE PROJECT: Historic Farmhouse in Langley

Pillows: Metal Luxe in Cocoa, Model #243009 

For a series of decorative pillows in this farmhouse’s mudroom, we combined two different shades of blue linen and one crushed blue velvet from Robert Allen. The bench seat is vinyl (or vegan leather if you prefer!) and also from Robert Allen. We upholstered the seat of the bench in the faux leather just because we knew it would be way more durable (it’s a farm-house family of horse riders, after all).

For more on Robert Allen fabrics, check out their website at robertallendesign.com.

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