Wit & Whimsy

Wendy Conklin of Chair Whimsy shares her tips for chair styling and upholstery.

Believe it or not, courage plays a big part in styling with fabrics. Often many of us do not honor our real desires when we create the spaces that we live in.  We may worry too much about what others think and gaining their validation. But our spaces should first and foremost inspire us—because we are the ones living there. Here are several of my best tips and tricks for having the courage to listen to your inner voice as you style with fabrics.

First, to achieve creativity, you need to practice playing. For me, playing with fabrics is an enjoyable key to getting the best look for my space. I joyfully position the fabric in a variety of ways to try out what might look best. My advice: take your time, and get every single possibility idea in front of you. Have the courage to be unpredictable. As you play with the fabric, don’t be afraid to try things out, even if you think that idea won’t work. You never know until you try. Play, play, play!

Second, I let my emotions steer my play. My emotions never lie, and so I pay attention to them.  Have the courage to pay attention to what grabs you and takes your breath away. Ignore the fear of what others may think. As you play with your fabric, heed your emotions, and follow where they lead you.

Finally, I muster my courage to try new things. With so many fabric options available, I find placement is the key to getting the best look.  I have to experiment with a variety of new techniques and see what will happen. To get an artistic, unique perspective in your styling, explore the design and colors of your fabric. Create a plan to evaluate each of your attempts.

Styling with fabrics—whether on a chair, a pillow, bedding, curtains, or wherever you use it—can be a joyful process. So summon your courage as you play and respond emotionally to fabrics, and enjoy the adventure of creating something new.

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