Have you ever found yourself looking at a room in your home and thinking, "It still needs something?” This happens to me pretty frequently and, when it does, I usually end up adding some type of textile -- pillows, window treatments, maybe even an upholstered piece of furniture.
In these instances, I'd scour my favorite stores, websites and catalogs looking for "the perfect piece" for my space and it was sometimes difficult to find exactly what I was looking for. Nothing I would see online or flipping pages matched the vision in my head. Anyone else know what I'm talking about?
Earlier this year, I was updating our living room and found myself in this exact situation of looking for the perfect throw pillows to finish the space. I’ve always used oversized Euro pillows for our couches because they’re bigger and comfier…and how else are you going to dodge the imaginary hot lava on the floor? Our old covers were already starting to show wear and tear and I didn’t want to just buy new ones knowing that they probably wouldn’t hold up any better on round 2. I needed to find pillow covers that were durable, comfortable and didn’t leave me feeling like I had to sacrifice style for functionality.
“Help Me, I’m New at This!” – My First Experience with Custom Textiles
Enter Calico! Not knowing much about custom home textiles, I reached out to them to learn more. Their talented team of experts suggested custom Euro shams in performance fabrics. What’s performance fabric? Just what the name implies – fabrics that are made to hold up against stains, wear and tear. Thanks to the latest advances in design and textile technology, these fabrics combine the best of both worlds – they’re durable and easy to clean, plus they’re available in a wide variety of on-trend colors and patterns. After learning all this, I was sold!
I was a little worried the decision-making and design process might be tough since I don’t live anywhere near a Calico store. But that couldn’t have been further from the truth! My first stop was Calico’s online performance fabric library. Whether you’re looking for performance fabrics or regular fabrics, Calico’s website is an amazing resource that has their full selection of fabrics with photos. You can search by brand, designer and color. If you’re in the market for custom upholstery, you can even use Calico’s C360 online tool to choose a sofa, chair, ottoman, etc. and see it covered in the fabric(s) of your choice. As someone who has a tough time envisioning things in my mind, I was pretty impressed by this technology!
Tons of Fabric Choices and a Tip on Mixing Patterns
Calico has one of the largest selections of fabrics around, so I chose a few solids and patterns in different color schemes. With one click, I was able to load all my swatches into my cart and they were sent right to my doorstep. Easy peasy! After enlisting the help of my resident pillow experts, I chose three fabrics to alternate for my custom covers: Sunbrella Canvas in Granite, Sunbrella Journey in Classic and Sunbrella Fretwork in Pewter. I stuck with more of a mono-chromatic color scheme, but had fun mixing in different patterns. My rule of thumb for pattern mixing? Stick with a mix of solid, geometric and small-scale patterns. This combination creates visual interest without overwhelming the eye.
The pillow covers were shipped quickly and on my couch in just a few weeks. I can personally attest to not only their style, but also their performance. Within the first week, we had a juice spill on one cover and it came right off with just a few dabs of a damp paper towel. Not sure how this is possible, but who am I to question science? Now that the warm weather is upon us, we’ve even been taking our pillows out on the porch!
“Now I’m Hooked!” – Project # 2: Custom Window Treatments
I was so thrilled with my first custom textile experience that I was soon back at Calico planning my second project – new drapes for my home office. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know a whole lot about window treatments. Double-width panels, valances, shades...there are so many different things to consider and I felt like it could’ve been easy to get overwhelmed. But once again, the Calico team was amazing in helping me navigate all the options and choose what was best for my needs. Between their team and their amazing resources, like the Window Treatment Guide, I had everything I needed to make an informed decision on my project.
I went with traditional rod-pocket drapes made with Kate Spade Leokat in Silver, a surprisingly versatile, modern take on an animal print. The color of this fabric keeps it understated, and I love the pop of fun and elegance the pattern brings! The Calico team sent me an easy-to-follow worksheet detailing exactly what measurements I needed to provide in order to get perfect-fit drapes. I sent these in and, a few weeks later, I had new drapes hanging in my office. Calico even has a wide variety of hardware options available to complement your new window treatments. I paired my gray drapes with a warm brass rod. Can't get enough of that color combo lately!
My Take on the Benefits of Custom
So what's the moral of this story? If you find yourself searching for the perfect home textile -- whether it's window treatments, upholstered furniture, pillows, outdoor cushions or something else -- consider going custom and make Calico your first stop! Here's my short and the sweet on the benefits of going custom:
- You get exactly what you want, designed for your specific space and style, by experts who know what they're doing. And, it will fit perfectly!
- You can choose from an endless amount of fabric options -- there really is something for everyone.
- You have access to expert knowledge via Calico's in-home design consultants and the variety of tools/resources on their website.
- By investing in high-quality, custom pieces, you'll be able to enjoy them for years to come.
- You can breathe new life into an old piece, or design and order something completely new...the possibilities are endless!
- You'll have something that no one else has -- something that fits your home and style to a T.
Have I swayed you? What are your thoughts or questions about considering custom textiles? Any specific projects you’d love to go custom with? Share below…I’d love to hear!
This post is sponsored by Calico...but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own! Click here for my full disclosure policy.