With a little design and decor know-how you can transform a home into a stylish version of its former self. It’s not only interior designers who can achieve an exquisite result – use our tips on the best textile choices, from colors to patterns and everything in between, and get ready for a brand new look. 

How fabric design and decor create transformation

One of the most important things you need to know is how to use different fabrics in home interior design to their best effect to give a space plenty of style. It’s all about looking at the whole picture and seeing where you can add color, pattern and texture to achieve the best results in a new setting. 

You need to look at the collective space and the people who live there and to consider what they want out of this large or small space. Then you can consider how to create a beautiful, cohesive set of rooms that depict the people who live there.

If you’re embarking on a designers project and you don’t know your customers well, you need to ask them questions to find out what they are looking for. People often find it difficult to explain exactly what they want; they’re quite verbal about what they don’t like, but find it hard to communicate their own personality. Of course, if you’re embarking on home projects for your own home, it’s a whole lot easier.

There are so many different fabrics available for design, which makes it difficult to choose. The best thing about transforming rooms into beautiful new interiors is that you can personalize fabrics to fit them. 

Here at maake we have a huge selection of base fabrics – 74 to be exact –– that you can print on. Why not create your own? This makes home interior design so much easier. Then find out how to print on fabric here, so that you know the sustainable printing method we use for your interior design.

If you do choose any of the patterns and designs in our library, be aware: the independent artists who feature there earn a commission every time you choose one of these designers creations. So make sure to purchase through our links.

Choosing the right decorating fabric

Each space will have its own set of new design fabrics that will create its own individual look and personality. But before you start choosing fabrics – remember: fabrics differ from fabrics that you wear. For inspiration, take a look at these warm winter decor ideas.

What designers look for in a fabric for a contemporary interior

For a contemporary interior, we use décor fabrics for curtains, upholstery, quilts and all sorts of home ware (tablecloths, serviettes, kitchen and tea towels, bedspreads etc). This textile is medium-weight, which is heavier than most of the material we use for clothing. It’s also extremely durable. For modern design and decor, you want a textile that will look good when it’s covering a sofa or chair, that will last long and be easy to keep clean. And, of course, it needs to have personality.

Consider the following when you choose to buy a textile to use for home decor. Make sure you read this before you click on links to retailer sites:


Consider what the new decor material will be used for. Is it a throw cushion or one that will be sat upon? A set of curtains to frame sunlight pouring into the space? Or are you looking for playroom or lounge suggestions for couch upholstery?

Perhaps they are easily replaceable items such as cloths, serviettes and tea towels for la dining room table? Consider how hard-wearing the textile needs to be for its purpose. 

Also think about how often people will be using the fabric.

Are you looking at particular material for a kids’ playroom or family room? Do the family pets love to sleep on the couch? Or is the space a cozy reading nook, with only one inhabitant? Then choose the textile for that living area accordingly.  


If you can, create an image in your mind – or, even better, type it up on your computer or notebook – of how the space will look when it’s complete.

Make sure that the colours of the walls, the carpet or floor and the fabrics used for a piece of furniture, cushions, curtains, etc all go well together.

Think about your color choices – do they make the space look smaller? Darker? Lighter?

maake has created a great tool to assist your colour choices. Our Colour Atlas is designed to fit on 1m of fabric; it features more than 2,400 shades with their codes to assist designers in colour matching and selection.


Texture is as important as pattern in a space in a living area. Textures give another dimension to a space but keep to the motto: less is more. Simplify the look and add just one textural element, whether it’s new upholstery, wallpaper on a gallery wall, a stunning carpet or curtains. Again, think about who will be using the space and make sure that the textured material is going to last. 


Don’t overspend - stick to your budget and choose your fabrics accordingly. There are some beautiful fabrics out there that won’t cost you a fortune – be prepared to spend time looking for what you want and don’t just pick the first textile you find. 

Playing with patterns, colour and samples

  • The rule of thumb for patterns in home design and decor is that they should have similar colours or shades. Decorators usually follow the 60/30/30 design and decor rule to balance a space; this means that 60% of the space will be in one fabric, 30% in another and 10% to add a touch of interest, perhaps in items on a coffee table.

  • Be creative and play with colours and patterns. It’s easy to do this if you get fabric samples of each of the patterns you’re considering using and then look at how well they go together. 

    maake offers a selection of services to get this right:

  • You can purchase our sample book to see how different bases look when they are printed on for home decor; OR

  • You can order a sample of a particular material with your chosen pattern on it. Or you can create your own pattern.

Fabrics for interiors, from living room to garden design

There are certain fabrics that designers will use time and again in design – and for very good reason. The texture and quality of these design fabrics are ideal to create a stylish home interior, whether you’re designing a living room, or garden design for a patio.

Every item on this page is beautiful to look at, and colours print beautifully on them. Of course, the price varies according to the textile and design, so make sure to consider your budget before you start.

Design fabrics to choose

To help you, we put together a very informative guide on maake’s top 5 textile choices for interiors – check it out!

Also, bear these fabrics in mind for the items you choose:

  • Acrylic: Popular material because it’s soft and has a texture similar to wool, acrylic is extremely hard-wearing, doesn’t crease or shrink and resists stains. It also doesn’t fade easily. You’ll find it in many heavy traffic areas in a home.
  • CottonIt's hard-wearing, inexpensive and extremely durable and versatile, and cotton is also a natural material that we often use for curtains, upholstery, cushions and home decor accessories. Sure, it isn’t as plush as silk, but cotton does the job as it comes in several weights and weaves, offering a range of textures. Also, colour, design and patterns print beautifully on cotton fabrics. It’s ideal for rooms with lots of traffic and wear, such as kids’ bedrooms, family rooms, living areas, a dining-room or a guest’s powder room design.
  • Leather: You’ve probably seen photographs of sumptuous leather home interior settings in the pages of Elle Decoration and other popular design magazines. As it's extremely durable and luxurious, we use leather often to upholster couches and chairs. It’s soft, sumptuous and comfortable and this is why we choose it, usually in shades of brown or black for a natural feel. Although expensive to buy, leather lasts very well and is easy to keep clean – just wipe dry or use a special cleaning product. Opens up a variety of home design and decor possibilities and is ideal for families and high traffic areas.
  • Microfibre: A mix of polyester and nylon that is comfortable, light and hard-wearing, microfibre is very popular fabric. It’s soft and velvety, but as it’s a synthetic fabric,  it’s less expensive than velvet.
  • Nylon: As it's synthetic and hard-wearing, we often choose nylon for curtains and upholstery.
  • PolyesterIt’s very hardy, so we often use this synthetic material for a home interior. It’s also quite stain-resistant, which is another plus, and makes it perfect for rooms where children spend their time (bedroom furniture, playrooms, kitchen areas and TV rooms). Designers often use polyester for outdoor furniture upholstery as it’s so long-lasting and doesn’t crease easily. The most common type of polyester fabrics for decorating is a microfibre blend (see above).
  • Rayon: This material feels as if it’s silk but it’s much more hard-wearing and less expensive. We often use it to upholster furniture and for curtains for the home. However, rayon does crease easily.
  • SilkWe often choose this luxurious material for curtains, cushions and upholstery. Unfortunately, silk creases easily and it’s not easy to care for. It’s also a delicate material, so don't expect it to be hard-wearing. But people love its rich silky texture. Use silk for soft home furniture and furnishings – cushions, throws and bed covers that don’t receive much wear. Don't use silk for your home furniture upholstery, unless you are planning to cover a statement piece that you rarely use.
      • VelvetAnother sumptuous fabric, we use velvet for upholstery, curtains, cushions and other home items.  
      • Wool : A natural material that is warm and classic, we often use wool for home carpets and a rug. 

          Decorating businesses, take note!

          At maake we care about our customers. We know you have your own design business and are trying to make ends meet, as we do. And that’s why we show you how to improve your business with blogs such as this one, which you can save and read time and again. Subscribe now!

          Also make sure to subscribe to our maakeAcademy website and see how we can help your business further, or check out the website to see how you can print digitally on fabric. You can also purchase offers a stunning selection of ready-made textile homeware and lifestyle products at maakeHome.


          March 15, 2023 — Artemis Doupa