OUTDOOR FABRICS provide perfect “indoor” options
for easy-care living areas
As we welcome spring and summer and begin to open up our homes to the more friendly elements of
nature, we find that the barrier between the indoors and out become blurred for a few wonderful months.
Kathleen McGovern, of Kathleen McGovern Studio of Interior Design, loves to incorporate outdoor
fabrics into her interiors as they lend themselves to providing maintenance free living for high use areas.
Kathleen offers suggestions on the best ways to utilize these fabrics in your home.
|The sofa, chairs, and pillows are covered in colorful patterned
outdoor fabrics that complement the art collection.
While most quality furniture
frames tend to be resilient
and can stand up to many
different lifestyles, fabrics
tend to show more wear and
tear. Man made and natural
indoor fibers that are subject
to years of use will eventually
become threadbare. Factor
in the occasional accident or
mishap, and furniture quickly
starts to show its age.
Outdoor fabrics provide a
phenomenal alternative, as
they offer an extra measure
of protection against the
most active of family
Outdoor fabrics have come
a long way over the last
few years and often times
Kathleen’s clients can’t
believe the options that are available. Most are made of solution dyed acrylic, and come in a limitless
array of colors and patterns. Many manufacturers can now produce beautiful outdoor fabrics that mimic
the texture and feel of velour and velvet. In addition, there is a large variety of woven fabrics, with classic
patterns – textiles that look like they belong in a living room. Almost every fabric manufacturer offers a
selection of outdoor textiles, so interested consumers are sure to find something to meet their needs.
|The owners of this beach front home
encourage their guests to sit on the dining
room chairs in wet bathing suits.
||Window treatments made of outdoor textiles
are resilient to fading even with this vacation
home’s strong western exposure.
Kathleen tells her clients that, while style and design are important, you can’t forget about creating livable
and comfortable spaces that the entire family can use. She suggests exploring the option of outdoor
fabrics in areas that may be subject to a casual lifestyle. Outdoor fabrics are great for use in family rooms,
kitchens, and dining rooms – any room where protection from heavy wear or spills could be beneficial. A
huge benefit of outdoor fabrics is that they are easily cleaned – so much so that bleach won’t even cause
Outdoor fabrics are also extremely versatile and can be a used for a variety of applications, including
window treatments and upholstered furnishings.
|Even the family’s three dogs are allowed on this sectional.
Designers in the south have
been using outdoor fabrics for
years to battle the effects of
their humid climate. The
constant, excessive moisture
often causes mildew issues in
fabrics. Homes in northern
Michigan, open to the outside,
are also perfect places for the
use of outdoor textiles.
Beyond their resilience to
stains, spills, and mildew,
another great quality of
outdoor fabrics is their color
fastness. Rooms with
extensive use of glass always
pose a problem for
homeowners in that excessive
sun exposure can lead to
upholstery fading. Kathleen
often uses outdoor fabrics in
these situations as they can
stand up to even a strong
Kathleen has included solution
dyed acrylic fabrics in her own
living room design plan.
Kathleen says, “entertaining in
my home without red wine is not an option, so my new sofas will be upholstered in a pure white chenille,
woven from 100 percent solution dyed acrylic.”
||To view information and more photos from Kathleen McGovern, click here