Designer Advice


Materials & Finishes - Metal/Iron 235

Materials & Finishes - Metal/Iron

Stunning, versatile, and timeless, iron furniture is a very popular choice when it comes to interior decor. Whether it's a beautifully designed wrought iron table or a set of black iron chairs, iron furniture is easy to care for, and can be used in any room in the house. Iron furniture is stunning; there is no doubt about it. It is classic, it is multi-purpose, and it is magnificent.

Materials & Finishes - Wood 117

Materials & Finishes - Wood

The flexibility, warmth and durability of wood have always been part of its appeal. Limitless customizable attributes and so many different grains and textures make it possible to appreciate your piece for years to come. With little effort, wood furniture can last a lifetime, maybe even several lifetimes. Furniture crafted from wood is carefully dried, retaining just enough moisture for the furniture to properly acclimate to the relative humidity. The wood in furniture continues to exchange moisture with the air, shrinking and expanding in response to changes in relative humidity. Its natural response to extremely dry air is to lose moisture and shrink a bit, but this will correct itself as the relative humidity rises, and the wood absorbs enough moisture to expand slightly.

On the other hand, if you don't have an air conditioner or dehumidifier, the relative humidity may get too high. Parts of your wood furniture may absorb excess moisture from the air and expand. This too, will correct itself as your home's relative humidity decreases. The furniture's quality and sturdiness are not affected by these natural changes.

Materials & Finishes - Tapestry 47

Materials & Finishes - Tapestry

Originally ornamental Oriental embroideries in which coloured threads of wool, gold, silk or silver were interspersed for adornment. In the textile industry, a tapestry warp differs from a typical solid coloured warp in that it is multicoloured. "True" tapestries have at least 6 different colours in the warp, but tapestry-type looks can be achieved with four-colour warps.

Because of the beautiful, multi-coloured detail effects, tapestry constructions are popular in a range of styles from scenic novelties to intricate florals.

Materials & Finishes - Damask 68

Materials & Finishes - Damask

Originally made of silk, that came to us from China via Damascus. In the XIII Century, Marco Polo gave an interesting tale about it. It is one of the oldest and most popular cloths to be found today. Very elaborate designs are possible. Cloth is beetled, calendared and the better qualities are gross-bleached.

This very durable, reversible fabric is also known to shed dirt. With Damask, the firmer the texture, the better the quality. It launders well and holds a high luster – particularly in linen. Price range varies a great deal. The quality depends on the yarn used and the thread count.

Materials & Finishes - Brocade 67

Materials & Finishes - Brocade

Brocade represents rich, heavy, elaborate design effects. Sometimes with coloured or metallic threads making the design usually against a satin weave background. This makes the figures stand out. The figures in brocade are rather loose, while in Damask the figure threads are actually bound into the material.

The pattern may be satin on a twill ground or twill on a satin ground. Often reversible. The motifs may be of flowers, foliage, scrollwork, pastoral scenes, or other designs. The price range is wide. Generally reputed to have been developed from the Latin name "brocade" which means to figure.

Materials & Finishes - Leather/Suede 57

Materials & Finishes - Leather/Suede

The properties of leather vary considerably depending upon the type and quality of both the skins and the tanning process. Every piece of leather has individual markings, which relate to its origins and add character to each skin.

A good quality leather garment should improve with age. The natural elasticity of each hide means it is flexible and will stretch and return to its original shape. Leather also has a natural tendency to repel liquids and resist staining. It's also fire-resistant, and emits no toxic fumes, even when exposed to intense heat.

Relative to virtually all man-made textiles, leather is very strong and has a high resistance level to tears and punctures. The comfort provided by most leather goods is due in part to leather's ability to combine breathing and insulating properties. And because it is a natural product, it adjusts constantly to its environment, allowing it to breathe freely, maintaining a comfort level in all seasons.

The difference between leather and suede? Suede is simply leather which is rubbed to make a velvety nap. It is also important to note that suede is made from splits, so it's a less expensive and less durable leather product.