In Part 3 of our series on Kitchen Fashion, we look at the role of fabrics in kitchen decor. If you didn't read the previous parts, here's Part 1 and Part 2. Gone are the days in which we had reservations about using fabrics in the kitchen environment because of durability or clean-ability. With the continued improvement in fabric protection technologies and wider availability of contract grade fabrics (for hospitality environments), residential interior designers have a much wider selection at our fingertips.

When designing a kitchen, we typically focus on the hard surfaces - counter tops, cabinetry, tile, lighting, etc. But, it's the soft goods that end up making a kitchen feel comfortable and, well, like a home. We see fabric used in window treatments and seating mostly. But, how about as a backsplash? Yes, even this is possible by laminating fabric between two sheets of glass (see the last picture below). And we have the lighting to consider. The more durable fabrics make great drum shades for over an island or built-in eating area. There is nothing more luxurious than a beautiful area rug under feet as you prepare the family meal. As long as it's a high quality wool rug, it will be easy to maintain and keep looking good.

At the end of the day, we spend a tremendous amount of time in our kitchens and fabric goes a long way in making our home's hub feel cozy and comfortable. So, don't forget the fabric!

roman shades over sink in traditional kitchen

interior designers in Portland, Oregon talk about using fabric in kitchen design

Roman shade and valance over sink in a traditional kitchen

white kitchen with teal and turquoise details throughout

fabric drum shade over island

hand-knotted runner used in kitchen design

fabric laminated under glass makes a great backsplash

If you're thinking about remodeling a kitchen (or bathroom - I'll have to cover this topic in another entry), keep in mind the role fabric will play in the space to complete you design. More than anything, have fun and create the home of your dreams!