Since I’m on a quest to find the striped fabric (or something pretty darn similar) that is on my $8 garage sale chairs, I’ve been scouring the websites of different fabric companies. My search has yet to reveal that particular striped fabric, but I have found some pretty amazing fabrics. For example, these fabrics from Kravet are really appealing to me:
Pretty, right? I absolutely love a chenille stripe or geometric design. The colors aren’t exactly right, but I was interested enough to check out the details on these particular fabrics. So imagine my surprise when I clicked on them and found that the retail price for both of those fabrics is $430 per yard.
Yes, you read that right. $430 PER YARD. PER…YARD!!!
Now of course, I have trade accounts with these fabric companies, so I don’t pay the retail price (lucky me). But even with my trade discount, I simply couldn’t imagine paying over $3000 for fabric to put on $8 chairs!! Heck, I couldn’t imagine spending $3000 on brand new chairs!!
That shouldn’t come as a shock. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know how cheap I am. I find it thrilling to see how inexpensively I can decorate a room.
Here’s another one I found…
…for the bargain price of $137 per yard. Again, that’s the retail price, but the trade price is still way more than I’d ever spend on fabric for $8 chairs.
So that leads me to the question…
How much is too much for fabric?
Are you the kind of person who would never spend more than $20 per yard on decorator fabric (which is generally only possible if you have a 50% off coupon for JoAnn Fabrics or find an incredible sale), or are you the kind of person who will scrape together and save your pennies to purchase exactly the fabric you want, no matter the cost?
My own personal out-of-pocket limit is generally around $20 per yard for the average home decorating project, which means I can usually get fabric that retails for around $40 per yard if I save my coupons, purchase from my trade accounts, or find fabulous sales. However, I would consider paying more if I knew I just needed one yard of fabric for an accent, such as throw pillows.
Now when it comes to clients, I approach this topic a little differently. The fabrics I recommend for clients generally depend on the client’s overall budget for the room.
For this design, I recommended some drapery fabric that is actually quite expensive.
Why did I feel comfortable doing this?
I did it because Cassandra had given me a very specific budget for the room. Knowing that those incredible windows would be the backdrop for everything else we did in the room, I knew they had to be a real showstopper. So when everything else in the room came in way under budget, I felt the freedom to recommend that fabric that was PERFECT for the room, even though it was so expensive. And even with the expensive fabric for draperies, I still came in under budget!!
So now I’d like to hear from you on this. I generally present these questions in the form of a poll, but I really have no idea how I would even word the different options. This is a topic where people’s approaches are as different and unique as each individual.
There may be those of you who would never, ever, in a million years, purchase $200-per-yard fabric for draperies, but you may consider purchasing one yard for pillows if it’s something you really love, while others of you would never consider paying more than $20 per yard, regardless of the project.
So please, share you thoughts. I’m curious.