Decorating for the Real World
During my pre-K (pre-kids) years, my decorating dreams and aspirations revolved around some highly impractical notions. Among the more outrageous ideas on my wish list were: a white cotton velvet sofa, a pale blue suede club chair with matching ottoman, a cream-colored silk rug and silver mosaic (with white grouting) on the bathroom floor. Then I became a mother. Don't get me wrong, my family is by far the most important thing in my life, and having children has enriched me in ways I cannot even adequately describe. It has also introduced the notion of practicality into my home. And not a minute too soon. After the task of child-proofing my home was accomplished, I wanted to spend every available minute with my new bundle of joy, not with the dry-cleaner. Cue the newest generation of performance fabrics such as Sunbrella and Crypton Home, that make maintenance and cleaning a breeze.
If you are a germaphobe, you may not want to continue reading this paragraph: a recent study found that a family sofa harbors more nasty bacteria than the average lavatory seat. I know mine was an absolute petri dish after enduring the infant/toddler years of my children. The solution is Crypton Home: soft, durable, and resistant to both stains and odors, Crypton Home fabrics are available in a wide array of textures and vibrant colors. Its anti-microbial protection offers resistance to odor-causing microbes.
Years ago, I organized a cocktail party in a luxurious high-end furniture showroom – basically a sea of cream cashmere and silk. Despite having discussed the food and drink menu with the caterer in great detail (only white wine and water, no greasy hors d'oeuvres....), the very first thing that was brought out on the night in question was a gigantic red beet salad. A beet salad! I had a minor meltdown and the salad was put away. Disaster averted. Still, accidents will happen anywhere, especially in breakfast nooks and dining rooms. With Crypton Home fabric, spills bead up, stains are easy to clean, and odors don’t cling.
In my own house, I am no particularly talented housekeeper. It is just not something that comes naturally to me. My personal low-point was when I discovered a year-old desiccated grilled cheese sandwich behind the heating unit in my daughter's room. I made some changes that day: I hired a cleaning lady and vowed to be a little more thoughtful about what went in and out of my kids' rooms. While Sunbrella was initially marketed as an outdoor fabric, it's actually a wonderful choice for children's spaces and play rooms: Sunbrella is durable, easy-care, and comes in wide array of gorgeous colors and patterns.
Lake houses and beach cottages are another perfect place to use Sunbrella – indoors and outdoors. Second homes are typically closed up for part of the year, but severely used/abused during the summer, and the last thing you want to do when you're relaxing and having fun is tiptoe around delicate materials.
Last but not least, with the start of summer upon us, I would be remiss not to share some of my favorite outdoor spaces, decorated with Sunbrella of course.
In the wise words of Henry James:
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon;
to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
Get started on your next project and browse our performance fabrics for all of your indoor and outdoor needs!