Interior designer Ursula Wesselingh picks six of the best fabrics for children’s rooms.
Fabric has a big impact on the overall look and feel of children’s rooms. The choice is huge, though one thing to be wary of are fabrics that are clearly aimed at children – themed pictorial ones featuring animals, boats, London buses and the like. Curtains and blinds can be expensive things, so to add to their longevity, stick with plain fabrics or generic themes like dots, stars, stripes, checks or flowers – these generally come in more sophisticated colours and don’t compete with all the other decorative elements (and messiness) in a child’s room.
For cushions, beanbags and bedspreads use washable fabrics only. If you know exactly what you want, online soft furnishings companies like Curtains Made Simple can offer a competitive service, not just for window treatments but accessories too. They have a huge selection of fabrics in one spot for inspiration, though most will also allow you to use your own fabric. Some of these companies also offer a measuring and installation service. Always request samples to check on colour, texture and handle.
1. Cord fabric in Drab Green by Tinsmiths, £32.50/m
Think texture rather than pattern and add some oomph to boys’ rooms with unusual fabrics like corduroy, denim, canvas or blanket material. Great for unusual curtains and an excellent choice for cushions or bean bags too. This fine whale corduroy is from a retro range at Tinsmiths, or try My Fabrics for brighter colours. Ian Mankin does a good denim selection.
2. Vintage green floral fabric by Mokkasin, around £39/m
If you’d like to make a feature out of your child’s curtains, big blousy florals will do the trick. This fabric is a vintage design from Swedish lifestyle brand Mokkasin, but you can search on eBay for similar or go for more modern designs too.
To add subtle pattern that doesn’t overwhelm, you can’t go wrong with a small polka dot design – I love it for full-length curtains. For a great choice of beautiful chalky colours check out Sarah Hardaker’s collection – who also does a lovely small star design.
4. Peopleton Mustard from Cloth & Clover, £78/m
Love more pattern? Try mixing and matching different designs in the same colourway to dress a bed with cushions – a great way to create a snug corner. This small pattern is from a range of linens by Cloth & Clover, which is easily combined with some of their other designs. Another option is to search eBay for preselected fabric bundles. Make sure to check the measurements and weight are appropriate to what you’re planning to use it for.
5. Extra Wide Ticking in Chocolate by Tinsmiths, £24.50/m
Ticking feels at home in both traditional and modern settings, though I like the contrasts it offers in contemporary kids’ rooms. Great for bedding, but lovely for simple curtains too. Try Tinsmiths for a wide selection of styles and colours.
6. Linara Celeste by Romo Fabrics, around £35/m
To make small rooms look larger, go for plain curtains or blinds in a similar colour to the wall – a few shades darker. Blending in with the background this way, they don’t stand out as a feature in themselves and leave the eye to wander to other things. One of my go-to plains is Linara, a good value linen union by Romo with a slight brushed finish. It’s available in a vast array of colours and beautiful neutrals, so there really is always a colour that suits.Ursula Wesselingh is an interior designer specialising in children’s spaces. Follow Ursula on twitter @roomtobloom or visit her website.