Ignite FB Tracking PixelUtilizing Textiles in your Decorating - Harriet "Ronnie" Ellis
Coldwell Banker Res. R.E.

Utilizing Textiles in your Decorating

by Harriet "Ronnie" Ellis 09/29/2019

That great furniture sale filled the empty spaces in your home with a matching sofa and loveseat, coordinating side chairs and matching pillows. It looked great on that showroom floor, but now that it's in your living room it all seems a bit sterile and blah. The challenge with matching sets is that they lack depth and dimension. They don’t satisfy the sense of touch … they need texture. 

You can add texture with a few well-placed pieces, either modern or vintage (or even a mixture of both).

Vintage textiles

Textiles are any woven fabric or cloth, but informally include knitted or crocheted items as well. When shopping for textiles at flea markets and vintage shops, you'll find a plethora of designs, appliques, embroidery, dyes, and other hand textures applied to fabrics. Often made from wool, cotton, flax (linen) and other natural fibers, vintage textiles add that unique feel for which you're looking. For your home, interesting options include classic pillowcases, framed doilies, hand-knitted or crocheted afghans, hand-stitched quilts, and tapestries. 

You also may discover stacks of uncut cloth leftover from some long forgotten sewing project. Open every item to inspect it for damage. Knit and crochet may completely unravel if threads have broken or knot loosened. Discoloration from damp and pests might be hiding in the folds too.

If you genuinely want vintage, you'll find most contain imperfections or uneven stitching, indications of a hand-made product rather than machine made. Check the back too, since aged woven fabrics typically show patterns on both front and back. Beware of bulk materials. Most often, when a dealer has a large stock of one fabric (unless its provenance shows otherwise), it is not very old.

Modern textiles

Modern versions of vintage textiles include hand-loomed woolens, delicate embroidery and lace and other hand-made, small batch fabrics. But, if your budget runs more to the lean side, you can get the texture without the vintage or hand-made price. Look for plush knit throws made from chunky yarns, coarsely-woven pillow fabrics, or embellished fabrics to add the depth you seek. 

Even a cotton duck (canvas) pillow cover adds texture to a microfiber sofa. Create interest with a seagrass rug or faux fur blanket too. Drapes or curtains of loose-weave, gauzy fabrics let in light while adding the coveted dimension. Wander through the offcuts from upholstery fabrics. You might find a paisley pattern that, if framed or hung from a rod, mimics the look of an expensive tapestry.

Don’t be afraid of mixing textures. Vintage or modern, if you love it, buy it, and bring some life to your space. And if you need a new area, talk to your real estate agent.

About the Author
Author

Harriet "Ronnie" Ellis

In the Spirit of the Seabees

Born and raised on the Pacific island of Guam, daughter of a Navy Chief who served there in the Seabees during WWII, Ronnie learned and lived the Seabee motto "Can Do" from an early age. The Seabees are the construction battalion of the Navy, rebuilding roads, bridges, utility systems and barracks. Falling in love with the island (and Ronnie's mother), her father returned to the South Pacific after the war to help in the rebuilding. Watching his multi-national successes and generous, outgoing attitude, Ronnie says, played a key role in making her the authentic person she is today.

After excelling at Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawaii, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting, she immediately started following in her dad's international business and real estate footsteps, albeit in princess flats. Ronnie breathes real estate with fierce loyalty to her customers and colleagues. She imbues her professional commitments with an affable, affiliative "Ronnie" humor; a natural resource that attracts friends and allies. Ask to describe her business self in three words, she chose: Innovative, Creative and Collaborative. Coupled with her accounting background she is strongly analytical, allowing her natural flow of precision and productivity to benefit those she represents. Those who know her say that Ronnie pursues all aspects of business with joy, confidence and integrity.
"I've been a real estate professional for more decades than a lady might care to admit," she says with her biggest smile. "But now my path from general brokerage sales agent to broker in New York, my experiences as a North Carolina broker, custom home builder and real estate developer, give me daily insights into both the opportunities and land mines of the property marketplace."

As a licensed general contractor, new home construction became her specialty. She's built neighborhoods and won prestigious Parade of Homes awards. Both Ronnie and her husband, Edward, have earned the National Association of Home Builders highest sales designations: Member of the Institute of Residential Marketing (MIRM) and Certified Marketing Professional (CMP). An active and avid member of the National Association of Realtors, she was president of her local Board of Realtors in Havelock, N.C. She also supported the Rotary Club serving as newsletter editor, and she's a Chamber of Commerce member as well.

A visit to Melbourne, Florida in late 2010, convinced the Ellises that this should be their retirement home. With the move behind them and a mini-retirement under her belt, Ronnie decided she missed the day-to-day action of real estate. "The industry is challenging and changing constantly," she says. "I absolutely love it. That, and building relationships, working with customers and clients in all aspects. I stay excited and prepared to be a part of their journey."
Her final thoughts: "There are many people out there that I know I can assist especially with the backing I get from Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate. Coldwell Banker keeps me upfront with the tools and marketing to meet all my customer's needs. And I've never been afraid of competition. Like Dad taught me: "Can Do."