Textiles are the convenient chameleons of the decorating world. They store easily and can be added, removed or rearranged in your décor with very little effort. Need a warm pop of seasonal color for fall and winter? Changing the fabric elements in your room -- like accent pillows and throw blankets -- is a simple and effective way to make your home cozy.
If you remember how comforting it felt to cuddle up with a favorite teddy bear or blanket when you were small, you can understand the innate ability fabric has to relax and reassure us, and warm up our home with easy textile decor. From jungle prints to shimmering velvets, fabric and textiles can be a feast for the eye, a tactile delight and a small luxury you shouldn't underestimate when you're considering your fall and winter decorating options.
Cozy fabric wall art
The wooden picture frames and shiny glass-covered prints on your walls create dimension and help define your space, but the addition of some fabric art will contribute a tactile element that traditional artwork just can't match. Textures invite you to touch them – a compelling way for your family and guests to experience art.
Alexandra Stoddard, interior designer and popular design author, calls textile wall art some of the most compelling and beautiful art you can add to your rooms. You aren't limited to hanging up your grandmother's Oriental rug, either. From quilts to wall tapestries, you can find textile wall art at almost any price point and in any size.
Warming window treatments
Your drapes may have been horrendously expensive, but that's no reason they should remain untouched for the next decade. Coming up with creative ways to update your window treatments can renew your décor for the current season. Braided or fringed tiebacks, new sheers or impromptu valances can make your window treatments plush eye-candy with a few small changes. Add fabrics in accent colors that are reflected elsewhere in the room.
In addition to traditional drapery, decorative silk apparel scarves and even trim from your local fabric store can enhance your existing window treatment and give it warming layers or heavier autumn textures. Play with your options and when you have something that works, it'll make your room feel cozier and draw more attention to what's going on inside than the gray or wintry landscape outside.
You know about tablecloths and place mats, but how about using both in the same tablescape by layering your design? For your next big holiday celebration, use a quilt as a tablecloth instead of the same old lace number your relatives will recognize a mile away.
You can add specialty napkins and even chair covers and nubby fabric cushions to your textile design for a dressed-up look that can soften the hard lines of your wooden table, or make a mismatched assortment of china or serving pieces look like a carefree – and intentional – design choice.
These tips will help:
Include a focus fabric that contains all the colors you want to work with.
Use at least one color that figures prominently in your dining room or kitchen, like the paint on the walls or the shades in the carpeting.
Opt for table textiles that are wash and wear, and take the extra step of applying stain guard; your fabrics will look better longer.
Luxury pillow covers and throw rugs
Instead of adding season-specific slipcovers to your furniture, cover some of your pillows for a budget-savvy approach to a quick furniture makeover. We love Pottery Barn's Textured Linen Pillow Covers, but once you see how simply elegant and amazingly versatile they are, you may be tempted to try and make some yourself.
You can sneak more simple luxuries into your home by replacing those skimpy summer throw rugs with plush winter alternates. When you're headed for the coffee pot on a wintry Monday morning, you'll be glad you indulged in some area rugs that caress your feet.
And throw rugs aren't just useful accessories to trap dust and dirt. These little jewels are available in many styles and colors and can extend a theme or accent color from one room to another, anchor groupings in larger rooms, and make tile and stone look warmer and more inviting.
You know how delightful it is to snuggle in bed under a fluffy comforter or warm electric blanket. Bring that sense of comfort and well-being to your favorite chair or couch with a couple of throw blankets. Snuggie-type blankets have been hugely popular in recent years, but standard throws are also making a big comeback.
We think the Reversible Cable Knit Throw from the Martha Stewart blanket collection is cunningly designed with plush fabric on one side and a cable knit on the reverse. It's available in the latest colors, and it's just big enough for a nice nap in front of the fire. And remember, throw blankets aren't just for keeping warm – drape one across a chair or the back of a couch for a touch of color and a feast for your fingers.
When you're bringing luxury to your fall and winter décor, don't forget the bathroom. Bathrooms are full of hard surfaces that can look (and feel) cold and forbidding. Fill them with plush towels, textured window treatments, and a warm and charming shower curtain to make the most of a small, utilitarian bathroom – or make a larger one more hospitable and fun to frequent. Oh, and make sure everyone in your family has a thick terrycloth bathrobe, a perfect winter indulgence.
In the chill of fall and winter, your kitchen can look full of sharp corners and hard, bright surfaces. Add textile elements, like specialty towels and a quilted runner on your kitchen island (or peninsula). Try seasonally colored appliance covers if your kitchen sports an abundance of stainless steel. A tea cozy, toaster cover or other soft sculpture can give your countertop a whimsical air that will hit just the right note on a cold holiday morning.
When a pot of hearty stew starts to sound more appealing than a burger with potato salad, it's time to layer your home's interior with warming fabric accents that will help stop that winter chill at the door and keep everyone inside snug and comfortable until spring.