Pink Linen For Upholstery & Curtains

LinenPinksPink linen is a rather rare and unusual flower. Not often specified in your average interior designer’s scheme. I found this scan that we had emailed someone recently for the client to choose for some curtains. We were even able to introduce different pinks into the warp and weft of the linen for an unusual effect. (We can do that with most of our linen colours).

Anyway, I just thought the pink linen image looked nice and I wanted to share it with you!

Silk Velvet – What makes a great upholstery velvet

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Silk Velvet Upholstery with Fine Italian Silk

Silk Velvet really is one of the great upholstery velvets. It looks great, it feels great and it can be up to the job if your upholstery velvet is chosen wisely.

If your last and only experience of a velvet was sitting on one in the cinema then you really haven’t lived!

Firstly let’s look at silk velvet’s suitability for upholstery. It can have a Martindale Rub Test result of over 20,000 – so it CAN be readily suitable for many upholstery uses.

Composition. Just because it is sold as 100% silk can be misleading and not necessarily relevant. Is this 90% silk velvet better than that 100% silk velvet? You just can’t answer that by simply looking at the composition.

A silk velvet that is sold as being 100% silk may in fact be a 100% silk velvet pile and 100% cotton backcloth. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. If it is the look and feel of the silk that you are looking for then maybe it’s best to just consider the pile (assuming the backcloth is up to the job of course). One of our fine silk velvets has a 100% pile and then a backcloth of silk and cotton – with the cotton being added for strength and the overall silk content being 90%. Compare this to our Italian Silk & Cashmere Velvet which has a 70% silk + 30% cashmere pile.

Next look at the silkiness or the shininess. If you are looking for a silk velvet you will usually want a shine.

Consider too the length of the pile. Again, there is nothing inherently good or bad about a long or short pile. A shorter pile may be more rigid and upright and that could be a characteristic that you are looking for. Alternatively, a longer pile will probably lay better in one direction – and you may well want that characteristic.

The weight of the fabric in grams per metre is often used as a measure of quality. That is not always true and could, for example, easily be distorted by a heavy and poor quality backcloth.

My personal preference would be to get my hand on a sample; feel it and look at it. What I look for and prefer is a slightly more rigid and consistent pile with a very dense weave. I would look carefully at the country of manufacture. I prefer an Italian velvet (mainly because it sounds better!) but if not Italian then I would certainly only consider a velvet produced in mainland western Europe. But don’t copy me, have the confidence to choose what you like – you are going to have to live with it. I would now choose my upholsterer carefully; many years ago a velvet-covered chair came back for me from a local upholsterer and the pile was not running in a consistent direction…it didn’t look great (read ‘awful’). So don’t, like me, assume that all upholsters know what they are doing with velvets, they patently don’t all know. I would then read our guide to upholstering with velvet – a designer’s worksheet and armed with a bit of knowledge quiz your upholsterer carefully.

Who is the best interior designer in London?

London
London (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I was wondering just “Who is the best interior designer in London?”. I recently wrote about who was the best interior designer in the world and got some rather unexpected results.

You could, and of course, probably did, do that same Google search to find London’s “best interior designer”, just like you’ve probably also googled your own name at some point.

And yet here you are.

Maybe you are one of those top interior designers wondering why your name didn’t appear on Google’s first page like Blanchard, Helen Green, Tollgard and Robin Moore Ede did?

Is it really important? For example, I’m writing this in 2013 and Victoria and David Beckham have just, apparently, commissioned Kelly Hoppen to do their London pad. Do you think they did that Google search? Probably not, in fact certainly not, as I am sure they were influenced by many other factors. So even if you target ‘rich people’ then you might argue that your target market will never make that search.

Maybe.

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Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

I bet some of them do though. I bet some of those responsible for recent influxes of property investment in recent years do as they are based out of London. Perhaps they did have one or two recommendations but perhaps they also wanted a few new faces to present fresh ideas. & you weren’t on that list!

So how do you get on that list? Well, this blog page probably did get on or near the top of that list. So you might wonder why? Well if you look at the first paragraph you will see that I use ‘who is the best interior designer in London’ near the start of my article (google likes that) Oooh and look I’ve just included it again in the previous sentence. Google likes that too. But I will stop putting it in as if you do it too many times Google does NOT like that. & now take a look at the title, the name of the page and the excerpt…do you see a pattern emerging? 🙂

So the lesson is that you actually have to put the words into your website that people might type (keywords). That’s an art in itself. Covered elsewhere on this blog. Of course, now you know the trick you will all do it and I will get bumped further and further down the listing…giving me a reason/excuse for not being on the first page when you finally get around to reading this!

Then, of course, you actually have to have a good website and I ‘m sure you’ll agree that those companies that come up do have amazing looking websites. We deal with some of them and they certainly ARE at least amongst the very best designers in Europe, let alone London. And yet if you have the time to check their technical google ranking or ‘pagerank’ (I’ve done it for you!) you will find that most are 3 or 4; which is not so great. Certainly no higher than this blog. So you DON’T have to have a really high pageranking to get on that first page. You have to have the right content (as well as an OK pagerank).

Now here’s how you can cheat. Search instead for a generic “interior designer in London“. Different results. And you will see that maybe your adwords advert for those keywords appears on the right-hand side (you don’t use adwords? why not?). You will maybe also see that you need to have a google business/places listing to get put there as well a perhaps a listing in Yell.

So you can cheat by paying for a position on the ads on the right-hand side. It might cost you a bit though. And if you get a lot of ad clicks then google will promote you to the ads at the top of the search (because your ad generates more revenue for them). And you will see that those ads at the top don’t always look like ads and then kind of blend into the normal search results. And people kind of think that they are the first results of the search…and click them. Good clicks if you can get them maybe?

Maybe a listing in Yell is a good idea and getting a Google Places/Business listing IS DEFINITELY a good idea.

So who is the Best Interior Designer in London? Well Google’s first page for that search shows designfinder.co.uk and their listing says that www.forsterinc.co.uk are the best designers…so it must be true.

Fine Faux Leather Upholstery – New Contract Fabrics With High Abrasion Martindale

Fine Faux Leather Blue Upholstery Contract UsageUpholstery Faux Leathers are one of our many collections being revamped in 2013. We have introduced a new faux leather with a Martindale Rub test score exceeding 200,000. This is one of the highest available in the UK.

It still looks great and also has the added comfort factor of the interior designer knowing that it can be a worry-free product to spec for even demanding contract environments. Providing that it is correctly upholstered and specified it will withstand very significant amounts of abrasion.

Interior Designers: Must Blog Better – But How?

Content Mix: Content Marketing Institute
Content Mix: Content Marketing Institute

The content Marketing Institute created that nice little image up there that  shows what a content mix might be.

This image has been bandied about on various websites as THE correct mix. It isn’t THE correct mix but it’s a good starter to make you think. It might make you think you are entertaining your potential clients too much or it might make you think you are being a bit boring talking about kitchen worksurfaces a little too much.

Click To Read More Interior Design Articles
Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

For a start it’s saying that you should blog 6 times a week or at least create content 6 times a week. For small businesses that just ain’t gonna happen in the real world.

However it certainly DOES give you ideas about what to write next.

Provide relevant information: Perhaps contribute to a thread somewhere telling people about some of the great things you learnt with a particular product on your last project.

Teach: Show you really know what you are talking about. Share some knowledge in an authoritative way on how you do your job.

Start a conversation: Perhaps on a LinkedIn group or your Facebook business page.

Inspire: others to do better. This could be on a forum or your could write something.

Entertain: Never hurts to make someone laugh.

How do you explain INTERIOR DESIGN to a 6 year old boy?

RandomBoyWondering
Image Credit: http://blog.marketo.com/

“How do you explain Interior Design to a 6 year old boy?”

That is the question.

I’ve posted the same question and a link to this (evolving) article on LinkedIn. You can take the question literally if you wish. As a reward I will link back to you from this page for any noteworthy (good or bad!) answers that I might paraphrase for the sake of brevity. The more ‘sensibly’ creative your answer the more likely I will include you and your answer. Go create.

Designcouncil.org.uk describes interior design as “Interior design isn’t just about home decoration. It is concerned with creating functional and beautiful to look at interior spaces in all sorts of places including houses, public buildings and commercial properties such as shops, restaurants, leisure venues and offices. Interior design can also be applied to temporary environments, whether that’s pop-up shops that are in existence for just a few months at a time, or show homes and exhibition stands that may simply last days. Anything that has an interior can be designed, redesigned or refurbished.”

Whereas Wikipedia suggests: “… a group of various yet related projects that involve turning an interior space into an ‘effective setting for the range of human activities’ that are to take place there”

Rebecca at RHA Interiors: “[if all else]…fails I always go for the football analogy,  ‘why choose red over blue?’”

Terry Maurer makes interesting comments noting that kids are increasingly influencers in the interior design purchasing and commissioning process in families.

Mark Randall at 1901 Design would ask the boy to learn what interior design means by “doing”  And the boy would be asked to create his perfect den. Sharon Kaper suggests a similar “show-and-tell” approach.

Mike Major suggests it should be no different to explaining it to a potential client.

More Black Faux Leather Upholstery

Faux Leather is great for upholstery. Here is a time lapse video of the full process if you want to know how it is done. We would be happy to point you to a local upholsterer but please remember that we only sell the faux leather upholstery fabric. If you would like samples please drop us an email request <here> (trade only). We have several collections of faux leather in most colourways including base colours (black, brown, green, blue, red, yellow, gold) muted neutrals and metallic finishes.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/E333E2nRke4]

A-Z Interior Fabric Qualities

2A-Z Glossary or Guide of fabric qualities

A

American Cotton
Cotton of medium fineness and medium staple length.

Alpaca Angora
Natural hair from the alpaca, or animal from which the fibre alpaca is obtained.
Angora
Hair fibre from the angora rabbit.

B
Batiste
Fine, soft,plain weave fabric. Originally linen, now other fibres, eg cotton.
Blend
Combination of two or more different fibres within the same yarn. This can be for cost, properties and/or appearance.
Birds-eye
Colour-and-weave effect where the pattern shows small, uniform spots. The reverse side of a flat jacquard weft knitted fabric where the yarns are arranged to show minimum amounts of each colour in an all-over pattern.
Bouclé yarn
Fancy yarn showing an irregular pattern of curls or loops.
Bourrelet
Non-jacquard double jersey weft knit structure made on an interlock basis showing horizontal ridges on the effect side.
Brocade
Figured woven jacquard fabric, usually multicoloured, much used for furnishings.
Buckram
Plain weave fabric, generally of linen or cotton, which is stiffened during finishing with fillers and starches. Uses include interlinings and bookbinding fabrics.

C
Calico

General term used for plain cotton fabrics heavier than muslin. These are usually left unbleached, area made in a variety of weights, and are often used for making toiles.
Cambric
Lightweight, closely woven, plain weave fabric, usually made from cotton or linen.
Canvas
Strong, firm, relatively heavy and rigid, generally plain woven cloth traditionally made from cotton, linen, hemp or jute.
Cavalry twill
Firm woven fabric with a steep twill showing double twill lines, traditionally used for riding breeches and jodphurs.
Chambray
Lightweight, plain weave cotton cloth with a dyed warp and a white weft.
Cheesecloth
Open, lightweight, plain weave fabric with a slightly crêpey appearance, usually made from carded cotton yarns with higher than average twist.
Chenille yarn
Fancy yarn produced by weaving a leno fabric and cutting into warp-way strips so that each strip forms the yarn, which has a velvety, caterpillar-like appearance.
Chiffon
Originally a very lightweight, sheer, plain weave fabric made from silk. Now can also be used to describe a similar fabric using other fibres.
Chiné yarn
Originally a 2-fold yarn, one black, one white, giving a regular two colour effect. Term now used to describe any 2-fold, two colour yarn.
Chintz
Closely woven, lustrous, plain weave cotton fabric, printed or plain, that has been friction calendered or glazed. Much used for curtainings and upholstery.
Coir
Natural vegetable fruit fibre from the coconut.
Colourway
One of several combinations of colours used for a particular fabric.
Corduroy
Wove, cut weft-pile fabric where the cut pile runs in vertical cords along the length of the fabric. A number of different types are found, ranging from pincord (very fine cords) to elephant cord (very broad cords).
Crepe
Fabric characterised by a crinkled or puckered surface, which can be produced by a number of methods. 1. woven fabric where short, irregular floats in warp and weft are arranged to give an all-over, random pattern within the weave repeat. 2. woven or knitted fabric where the crêpe characteristics are achieved mainly by the use of highly twisted yarns, which in finishing develop the crinkled, puckered appearance of a crêpe. 3. fabric where the crêpe effect is produced in finishing by treatment with embossing rollers, engraved with a crêpe pattern, which impart a crêpe effect onto the fabric through heat and pressure.
Crêpe de chine
Lightweight, plain weave crêpe fabric, made with highly twisted continuous filament yarns in the weft, alternating one S and one Z twist, and with normally twisted filament yarns in the warp. The crêpe effect is relatively unpronounced.
Crepe yarn
Spun or filament yarns that are very highly S or Z twisted used for the production of crepe fabrics.

D
Delaine

Lightweight, printed, all wool plain weave fabric.
Doupion (or Dupion)
Silk-breeding term meaning double cocoon, used to describe the irregular, raw rough silk reeled from double cocoons.
Drill
Woven twill fabric with a similar structure to denim, but usually piece-dyed.

E
Egyptian cotton
Type of cotton characterised by long, fine fibres.

G
Gauze
Lightweight, open-textured fabric made in plain weave a simple leno weave.
Georgette
Fine, lightweight, plain weave, crêpe fabric, usually having two highly twisted S and two highly twisted Z yarns alternately in both warp and weft.

H
Hopsack
Variation on plain weave, where two or more ends and picks weave as one. Sometimes called basket weave.

I
Indian cotton
Type of cotton characterised by relatively short, coarse fibres.
Interlining
Fabric used between the inner and outer layers of a garment to improve shape retention, strength, warmth or bulk. Interlinings may be woven, knitted or nonwoven, and can be produced with fusible adhesive on one surface.

J
Jacquard fabric
A fabric woven on a jacquard loom, where the patterning mechanism allows individual control on any interlacing of up to several hundred warp threads or a rib-based, double jersey weft-knit structure which shows a figure or design in a different colour or texture. Jacquard fabrics are sub-divided into flat-jacquard and blister fabrics.
Jersey
General term used for any knitted fabric.
Jute
Natural vegetable bast fibre, the plant from which the bast jute fibre is obtained.

K
Kemp
Coarse fibres present in varying amounts in wool fleece. Usually white, black or brown and can be used to give decorative effects in some wool fabrics.
Knickerbocker yarn
Fancy yarn characterised by random flecks or spots of differently coloured fibres.

L
Lawn
Fine, plain weave fabric, traditionally of cotton on linen.
Linen
Natural vegetable bast fibre obtained from the flax plant.
Lambswool
Wool from the fleeces of lambs (young sheep up to the age of weaning).
Lamé
A general name for fabrics where metallic threads are a conspicuous feature.

M
Maquisette
Square-hole, warp knitted net.
Merino Wool
Wool from the merino sheep, which produces the shortest and finest wool fibres.
Mohair
Natural animal hair fibre from the angora or mohair goat.
Moiré
Fabric which shows a moiré or wavy watermark pattern. This is produced by calendaring, usually on a fabric showing a rib or cord effect in the weft direction. The moiré effect can be achieved by embossing with a roller engraved with a moiré pattern, or by feeding two layers of fabric face to face through the calendar. the effect may be permanent or temporary depending on the fibres and the chemicals used.
Moquette
Firm, woven warp-pile fabric where the pile yarns are lifted over wires, which may or may not have knives. Withdrawal of the wires will give a cut or an uncut pile. Used for upholstery, particularly on public transport vehicles.
Mousseline
General term for very fine, semi-opaque fabrics, finer than muslins, made of silk, wool or cotton.
Muslin
Lightweight, open, plain or simple leno weave fabric, usually made of cotton.

N
Narrow Fabric
Any fabric that does not exceed 45 cms in width (in the UK). In the USA and Europe, the accepted upper width is 30 cms. Ribbons, tapes, braids and narrow laces are included in this category.
Natural Fibre
A textile fibre occuring in nature, which is animal, vegetable or mineral in origin.
New wool
Fibre from a sheep or lamb that has not previously been used. Alternative name for virgin wool.
Nylon
Man made synthetic polymer fibre. Alternative name for polyamide.

O
Organdie
Lightweight, plain weave transparent fabric, with a permanently stiff finish.
Organza
A sheer, lighweight, plain weave fabric, with a relatively firm drape and handle, traditionally made from the continuous filament of silk yarns. Now often made using other fibres.

P
Polyester
Man made synthetic polymer fibre.
Pure Silk
Silk in which there is no metallic or other weighting of any kind, except that which is an essential part of dyeing.

R
Raw Silk
Continuous filaments containing no twist, drawn off or reeled from cocoons. The filaments are unbleached, undyed and not degummed.

S
Sateen
Woven structure where the maximum amount of weft shows on the face. The smooth effect is enhanced by using filament yarns and/or lustrous fibres.
Satin
Woven structure where the maximum amount of warp shows on the face. The smooth effect is enhanced by using filament yarns and/or lustrous fibres.
Silk
Natural animal protein fibre obtained from the cocoons produced by silkworms.
Silk Noil
Very short silk fibres extracted during silk combing that are too short for producing spun silk. These fibres are usually spun into silk-noil yarns.
Slub yarn
Fancy yarn characterised by areas of thicker, loosely twisted yarn alternating with thinner, harder twisted areas.
Spun silk
Staple fibre silk yarn produced from silk waster which has been largely degummed.
Synthetic
Describes a substance which has been manufactured by building up a complex structure from simpler chemical substances.

T
Taffeta
Plain weave, closely woven, smooth, crisp fabric with a slight weftways rib, originally made from continuous filament silk yarns. Now often made using other fibres.
Terry-Towelling
A woven warp-pile fabric where the loops are formed by applying a high tension to the ground warp and a very low tension to the pile warp. Beating-up does not occur on every pick, so that when a pick is beaten-up it causes the other picks to be moved into the main body of the cloth, at the same time forming the pile loops on the face and back of the cloth.
Thrown Silk
Yarn twisted from continuous filament silk.

V
Velour
Cut pile weft or warp knitted fabric.
Velvet
Cut warp-pile fabric, in which the cut fibrous ends of the yarns from the surface of the fabric. Many effects are possible, e.g. the pile may be left erect, or it may be laid in one direction during finishing to give a very high lustre.
Viscose
Man made natural polymer regenerated cellulose fibre.
Voile
Plain weave, semi-sheer, lightweight fabric made with fine, fairly highly twisted yarns. Originally made from cotton, now other fibres are sometimes used.

W
Wadding
Lofty sheet of fibres used for padding, stuffing or packing.
Wet spun
Describes man made filaments produced by wet spinning, where the dissolved polymer is converted into filaments by extrusion through the spinneret into a coagulating bath of chemicals, causing the filaments to solidify.

Source Credit: R Haworth

Interior Design Buzz Words – Trends and Which Bug You?

English: Selection of Danish Modern chairs at ...
English: Selection of Danish Modern chairs at the Danish Design Center, Copenhagen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Modern vs Contemporary: Contemporary is usually something that is modern or recent looking yet which takes something ‘good’ from the past such as, for example, GOOD traditional materials. Modern may sometimes (and probably incorrectly) infer a degree of futuristic design.

Vintage vs Retro vs Reproduction: Something vintage is from its original period. Retro is something that has been recently made in the style of an older piece or period. Reproduction is a copy of an item some time after its original period has finished. A fake is a reproduction that is specifically designed to be passed off as an original.

Selective indulgence: You probably haven’t got the budget to have a fully indulgent design. So instead you choose to be indulgent on certain concept or focus pieces that make a statement.

Organic – This can mean ‘eco’ in modern parlance. But you should also be aware that others use it to mean natural in a very broad sense – for example to how your entire scheme works together and fits to the space.

Energy: This is more about emotions and feelings than the vividness of colours or eye-catchingness of objects.

Re-purpose – this means more than just to re-use something. Yes you re-use it but you re-use it for a different purpose.

Diversified Portfolio: You have more than just taupe in the photos of your past work 😉 Your portfolio will show different types of projects, say, a classic villa and a contemporary restaurant

Collaborative spaces – allow spaces for group work but also allow such spaces to be able to be used and re-used for different functions or groups.

What do you think?or what is your bug bear?

Interior Designers – Where are my customers?

English: Interior designer J.C. Hryb of Style ...
English: Interior designer J.C. Hryb of Style de Vie and Twenty Gauge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What do you mean “you have no back-links“. You must have back-links. Everyone should have back-links. Shouldn’t they?

Aren’t they really important?

Can my blog/website survive without them?

Let’s see shall we? Read on…

Some Interior Designers will use their blog or website as a means of lead generation and then of course that leads to REVENUE. To such people, where their website/blog appears in search results WILL affect how many leads they get. If you are one of those designers whose website is a branding statement or a follow-up to a business card or a place to get directions to your office, then maybe where your blog/website appears in Google searches is not so relevant. IE IF the target person for your company knows the name of your company then they are going to type in that name and, more often than not, you’ll pop up pretty soon…unless you are called BBC Interior Design or CNN Designers or something along those lines! You get the drift?

It is a fact that the more genuine links you have to your website the higher you will appear in Google searches than would otherwise be the case. Just go back and read that again and note the word GENUINE.

So what we do on this site periodically is link to the blogs and website of interior designers…new and old. Known and not known. We share our ‘likes’ indiscriminately.  IF we do that we are doing you a favour! (So kind). Yet in the process of doing that we often add a post to our blog with your information in it. Oh and that boosts the frequency of change on our site…which Google also likes and so we benefit. (Not so kind…more of selfish perhaps?..not really we ALL gain). These kind of back-links are good. They are genuine. They might help subscribers to our blog find out new interesting stuff, perhaps even from their competitors. Google kind-of recognise this and credit us both for it. Cool.

But now let’s go a little deeper and get to the home truths. Why would I link to your web site? No really … why? What is so great about it? There are a LOT of interior designers website out there (I mean a real LOT) is yours really so different? Do you copy other’s images and comment on them? That’s OK you are adding your own original content to someone else’s original image. I’d prefer to see YOUR pictures of YOUR projects and YOUR comments, that would be better but I can live with reading your thoughts and views and opinions – they are often funny and interesting.

Do you just put on pretty pictures and sleek images and have a really nice looking site. That’s potentially great. I’ll link to it once. BUT I WILL NEVER COME BACK. EVER. There you go you got me…and then you let me go.

You’ve got to have compelling, original content that changes regularly. If you have that EVERYTHING works; I come back Google thinks you’re wonderful and so on.

It’s a bit hard to do though isn’t it. Finding the time to write perhaps 2 or 3 times a week. You can be original and maybe even funny for a few months but it gets harder after that. Sorry just stating a ‘fact’ there, no magic solutions. Be creative, perhaps? That’s your job right?

Anyway. You’ve come to the point where you are running out of stuff to say and you remember that those back-links are darned good things to have. So you go with a company who you pay a bit of cash to to create links to your site from hundreds of pseudo-fake sites that they have created. This used to kind-of work. But the people at Google are clever, they constantly try to stop you cheating. SO this works much less well than it used to.

Also again think what are these companies going to be linking back to? You have to have the content.

Let’s say you do not have a blog or perhaps one that you only wrote in for a month before giving up as no-one was reading it.   So again you go down the purchased back-links route. Why? what is it going to link to? You have to have the content. & it has to change to get real people to come back.

Actually IMHO if you are a start up company with a pagerank of 1 or zero. Then I’m pretty sure that these back-links would very quickly improve your pagerank to a 2 or 3.

So what to do?

Talk and write about your creativity. Your competitors will be interested for sure. THAT won’t benefit you at all. HOWEVER there are not many interior designers doing that, so when a potential customer sees your site some of them will notice.

People in the design industry should comment and re-publicise all our work more often (that’s kind of how Houzz works in  away if you think about it). When you share, you benefit, in the eWorld of Mr Google. You are opening up your secrets maybe, but those that share and participate in the online design community will gain the most from Mr Google. If you don’t share you may well keep your methods and clients secret but you may also never appear in Mr Google’s search results.

Thoughts welcomed. Creating false back-links could backfire and could cost you money. And we ALL know it is cheating but many of us still do it to beat the system.