Home Decorating For Dummies
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon

Fabric is a favorite wall covering for almost any room in the house. Certain historic houses have velvet-covered walls, while others have linen. Fabric, such as polished cotton, works well for tenting (covering the walls and ceiling) powder rooms, fancy bathrooms, and even bedrooms. But fabrics are impractical for use in kitchens, where they’re a fire hazard. Generally, in living rooms and other public areas, fabrics are professionally mounted on a backing material that makes them easier to install (by professionals). Consider having fabric treated with a protective coating that makes it easier to maintain.

Fabrics used in bedrooms are often gathered or sheared at the top and bottom on curtain rods that are attached to the wall. Sometimes fabric is gathered on wood slats, which are screwed or nailed into the wall. Another method is to gather and staple fabric directly onto the wall.

Tenting bedrooms and bathrooms is a romantic and practical way to disguise disfigured walls and ceilings.

Favorite fabrics for walls are velvet, linen, silk, cotton chintz, and cotton corduroy. Some fabrics, like corduroy, don’t drape very well. Silk does.

Fabrics come in standard widths: dressmaker, 35-inch; drapery, 45-inch; and upholstery, 54-inch. To measure fabric for wall covering, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the number of widths you need per wall by placing a full 35-, 45- or 54-inch-wide piece in the center of the wall, and then adding widths to either side to cover the wall. Deduct 1 inch from each side to allow for cutting away selvage and room for a 5/8-inch seam. (Consider 54-inch-wide as 52-inch-wide fabric.)

    This prevents awkwardly placed seams or motifs.

  2. Measure your wall’s height and translate that figure into yards.

  3. Multiply the number of widths by number of yards for total yardage needed to cover your wall or walls. (For example: A 13-foot-wide by 12-foot-high wall needs 3 widths of 54-inch fabric, multiplied by 4 yards, for a total of 12 yards of fabric.)

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Katharine Kaye McMillan, former senior editor of a New York City-based national magazine, is a writer whose work appears regularly in magazines and newspapers. She is a contributing writer to internationally circulated Florida Design Magazine. She is the co-author of several books on decorating and design, including Sun Country Style, which is the basis for licensed signature collections of furniture and accessories by three leading American manufacturers and importers. A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, she holds a masters degree in psychology and is a doctoral student in psychology at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

Patricia Hart McMillan is a nationally known interior designer, whose interior design work for private clients, designer showcases, and corporations has appeared in publications worldwide, including the New York Times and USA Today. Known as a trend spotter and for clearly articulated views on design, she is quoted frequently and extensively in both trade and consumer publications. She a ppears on TV and talk radio. A prolific writer, she is coauthor and author of seven books on interior design and decoration, with Sun Country Style signature collections of furniture based on two books. She has taught decorating courses at several colleges and conducted numerous seminars across the U.S. She is decorating editor for Christian Woman Magazine and reports on design trends for The Sun-Sentinel, a Tribune newspaper based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She has been editor-in-chief of two publications and was head of a New York City-based public relations firm representing some of the most prestigious names in home furnishing and building products. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a minor in art history (with an emphasis in architecture), from the State University of New York (New Paltz). She was awarded a certificate from The New York School of Interior Design.

This article can be found in the category: