Nursery: Choosing Fabrics Online

I have a favorite fabric store (Home Fabrics in Concord, Ca), but I'll be honest -- lately it's just easier to troll online fabric And here's why: I've found that I can save myself time and heartache by printing out "swatches" of the fabrics I like when shopping online. The best way to avoid buying the wrong fabric is to see the fabric in your room...but you can't see the fabric in the room without either buying the (non-returnable) fabric, or getting a teeny tiny swatch from the fabric store and then making a second trip back to buy the fabrics you liked. And online fabric stores have such a huge selection, I always feel like I'm buying the absolute best of my options, instead of just the limited inventory the fabric store has to offer. 

Don't get me wrong...I still love the experience of wandering through Home Fabrics, Alice-in-Wonderland-style, staring wide-eyed at the gorgeous fabrics and dreaming of all of the wonderful things I could do with said fabrics. But in the case of the nursery, my design vision was already set -- I wasn't looking for fabric to inspire the direction of the room. I need fabric to support the existing vision. Which is kind of backwards, I know, but it seemed to work for this room. 

So, I hit up and turned into a printing wild woman.

Before I got too crazy with the printer, I decided to test out the accuracy of the printed colors. I previously purchased fabric for my master bedroom throw pillows from, so I pulled them out and printed out the swatch. Pretty dang close!!

I started placing swatches around the room and began narrowing down my selection.

I picked fabric for the crib -- I'm planning to create a bumper / skirt facade. I selected very neutral bumpers and sheets on our baby registry, with the plan that I would make an exciting facade around the perimeter of the crib. It's cheaper than buying a designer bumper and skirt, and easier than making my own bumper and skirt. I'll be posting about this project once I'm done, just in case my description isn't making any sense.

I also plan to make my own crib quilt. I honestly didn't like any of the choices at the major baby supply stores, so I'm opting to make my own.

I picked a lime ikat and a creamy linen for my two-layer drapes, and fabrics for a window seat cushion and throw pillows.

So, here's what I ended up with. Grey and cream elephant fabric for the quilt, and a grey and cream fabric for the crib facade (both by the same company, so they colors should coordinate nicely).

A deep olive corduroy for the window seat cushion. The maple and cream elephant fabric and the polka dots will be throw pillows.

And last but not least, my ikat and coarse linen two-layer drapes!

Shipping was free and I found a 20% off coupon code by doing a quick Google search before checkout, so the fabric for all these projects came in at about $150. Incredible!!


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  1. As a person who has to touch every fabric with my eyes and fingers, I love that you have chosen multiple textures. I think a room with only one texture looks very flat, one dimensional. Know what I mean?

  2. What a great idea! I always try to look at different fabrics in separate windows and I can never get a feel for how they'd look together. I'm gonna try this next time, duh! :-)

  3. Love this idea! Love your choices so far too! Can't wait to see the finished nursery - and your beautiful baby :)


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