Affordable Decorating Ideas: Stretch Your Fabric

Photo: Anita Calero
With smart planning, you can make a big impact and get your money’s worth out of every inch of a favorite fabric

With a luxurious texture or eye-catching pattern, the right fabric can make a room. But fabric can be pricey. Follow these clever tricks to get a lot of bang for not many bucks.

Go for the wow factor
Use the majority of your fabric on one prominent item, such as a large pillow, bed canopy, or ottoman.

Pair pricey fabrics and inexpensive solids
Use basic cotton for pillow backs, or trim inexpensive curtains with intricate fabric borders. Upholster a chair back with a precious pattern, using a less expensive and more durable canvas on the seat.

Use bold patterns 
A little of a graphic print is enough to go a long way. Even when used sparingly in a room, it will still have a major effect.

Don’t throw away fabrics! 
Scraps can be used as pillow piping or cording.

Our Favorite Online Sources for Inexpensive Fabrics

  • eBay: Search “fabrics” to find deals on designer fabrics that have either been discontinued or are remnant pieces. 
  • Lewis & Sheron: The enormous selection of designer textiles and trims at a variety of prices makes this Atlanta-based resource a must.
  • Calico Corners: This classic fabric source offers online shopping, or you can book a free in-home design consultation. 
  • Don’t miss the “Home Decor Fabrics Under $7 a Yard” section. 
  • Grayline Linen: The endless linen options from this New York Garment District institution are now available to everyone online. 
  • The Designer’s Attic: South Carolina blogger Shannon Darby posts daily with major discounts on designer fabrics.
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