Choosing textiles for the living room

I’ve admitted that I am definitely itching to update our living room (read more about that here) but I haven’t come clean about how stymied I’ve been about what, exactly, I want to do.  One of the biggest issues for me is that this room has to be so incredibly multifunctional.  Not only does this serve as our family room for watching TV and having snacks, but it is also our office, and one of the main places the baby hangs out during the day.  It is also where we store a ton of our stuff including electronics, books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, office files, Sydney toys, photo albums…and the list goes on.  My vision of this room always involves it looking much less cluttered than it is in reality, but I continue to strive for a less chaotic look.

To recap, this is (more or less) what the living room looked like when I got the re-do itch:

When I last posted about my plans to update the living room, I had created this inspiration slide:

I started moving forward with this plan; we now have a great white shag rug (the quatrefoil pattern one is now in the nursery), a re-upholstered ottoman, and I actually went ahead and purchased the fabric to make these pillows.  I liked how the pattern was similar in color palette to the fabulous new desk chair.  This might be a good time to point out that I created this plan before the reality of My New Life With A Baby had set in.  That great fabric I bought and was so excited about?  Um…dry clean only.  Gasp!  What was I thinking?  I went ahead and made one pillow just to see how it looked:

And it looks pretty great.  But I just couldn’t bring myself to go through all the trouble of making all these pillows that would mostly be used to prop up a baby that spits up every 5 minutes.  And even if I don’t blame everything on the baby, there is still us.  We sometimes eat in our living room and are prone to spills.  So it just doesn’t make sense for us to have pillows that we’d be afraid to use.  This was one of the things that was so great about the Amy Butler pillows that I made that we have in the room currently–I made them as easy-to-remove slipcovers so that I can wash them easily if they get dirty.

Anyway, I realized this at least a month ago, and have since been struggling for some fabric that I think captures my vision for the room…and can go in the washer.  I originally came up with this modified inspiration slide from home dec fabrics I had found online:

But I was pretty sure that these fabrics would still be at least dry-cleaning recommended, so I kept looking for better options.

One of my favorite places to shop online for fabric is  I’ve made quite a few purchases from there over the past few years, including the Amy Butler fabric that is currently adorning the pillows on my living room sofa.  I decided to shop here because most quilting fabric is 100% cotton and thus 100% washable.  Also, the folks at are very friendly, which is great for an online store!

As a new user of I decided to create a pinboard of fabric ideas for my living room from to help me pin down (ha!) what I wanted to do in the living room, pillow-wise.  After weeks of searching and pinning and soul-searching, I think I’ve chosen the one.  Drum roll please!

I’ve ordered this fabric and reeeeeeeeally hope that it is as good and perfect in person as it appears to be online.  I know I still want to do shades of blue and turquoise in my new living room, and I think this fits the bill nicely.  In fact, I think I might actually love this fabric more  than what I originally bought for the room.  I can’t wait for it to arrive!

So I’ve modified my inspiration slide just a bit, but I imagine it will get some more tweaking before too long, especially once I have my beautiful new fabric in hand.  Anyway, here she is:

If you’re looking closely, you’ll see some other changes as well–I’m still on the fence about several things in the room (for example: beige slipcover or gray??).  I’m hoping that once the fabric arrives I can start to nail down some more of the details of the room.  Stay tuned!

What do you think of the new plan?  Do you have to change your design ideas because your baby makes a mess of everything?  Do you also have a pillow-making obsession?  Do share!


2 thoughts on “Choosing textiles for the living room

  1. Pingback: Fabulous fabric finds a new home « the2bedroomblues

  2. Pingback: Media cabinet makeover: lightening up and finding space for new equipment | the2bedroomblues

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