Designer Snapshot: Bringing the Outdoors In

July 6, 2011

By Paula Bodah

Molly McGinness chose a pretty outdoor fabric from Silkworks to feature in Perspectives in the Summer 2011 issue of New England Home’s Cape & Islands.  But she’s not finished extolling the virtues of today’s outdoor fabrics–even for use indoors.

A lot of her work, she says, centers on designing interiors for people’s summer homes. “My clients often want their houses to be very kid-friendly,†she says. With that in mind, she’s found lots of fabrics that might technically be called outdoor fabrics but are so luxurious they work equally well indoors. “I’ve been using chenilles and velvets that are actually outdoor fabrics but feel and look like an indoor fabric,†she says. “They’re durable, kid-friendly, but they feel really nice.â€

Pillow Talk, from Perennials  Fabrics, shown here in citrus, is a solution-dyed acrylic with the look and feel of quilted cotton. “Perennials’ fabrics are so carefree and easy to clean,†Molly says. Another Perennials Fabrics, Outside the Box, shown here in slate, is “very similar to a velvet you might find from Cowtan and Tout or another high-end line,†Molly says.  As plush as it is, though, it’s very durable.

Pillow Talk and Outside the Box fabrics from Perennials Fabrics; photos courtesy of Perennials Fabrics

Molly likes Silkworks‘ Persepolis fabrics because she can choose a background color, one of a wide variety of patterns and practically any ink color she wants for a custom fabric.

Silworks’ Persepolis fabric in beige; photo courtesy of Silkworks Textiles

Forget about the ubiquitous awning stripe that comes to mind when you think of outdoor fabrics. Molly has used these fun prints from Chella Textiles–San Marco (in a raffia hue) and Aretha (don’t you love the Caribe/Kiwi color scheme?)–to bring a little excitement to the mix.

San Marco and Aretha fabrics from Chella Textiles; photos courtesy of Chella Textiles

Rain or Shine in blue-violet and Breakers in burnt sugar are two of Molly’s favorites from Holly Hunt‘s Great Outdoors series of outdoor fabrics.

Rain or Shine and Breakers fabrics from Holly Hunt; photos courtesy of Holly Hunt