Selecting the perfect fabric for your life
And while just about any fabric can work, proceed with caution.

"Silk is one of the most beautiful fabrics for drapery, but it needs to be lined and interlined for protection from the sun," says Weeks. "Because sunlight deteriorates the silk fiber, you may want to avoid it on south-facing windows."

You also may want to consider synthetics, suggests Hall. "These days, companies like Duralee and Architex are bringing out some great polyester fabrics for draperies."

Trends While you shouldn't buy a fabric just because it's in vogue, the latest trend can be an inspiration for pumping new life into your décor.

According to de Vries, eco-friendly decor is the current major trend. "Organic, natural fabrics are big … all of the manufacturers are making green products now."

Hall also notes the trend toward going green and suggests it doesn't come with the tradeoffs it once did.

"There are fabrics made from bamboo fiber that are very soft and durable, and some manufacturers are even recycling plastic soda bottles to create really soft and amazing fabrics."

The color green is popular, too.

"Green is the new neutral," says de Vries, "and the strong yellows, like mustard and citrus colors mixed with grays are popular. Color trends are borrowing from the palette popular in the '50s, and we are also seeing lots of geometrics on the windows, large-scale two-color patterns — white with aqua, white with orange."

Many of these geometric patterns are popping up on embroidered fabrics.

"I'm seeing beautiful embroidered quatrefoils, chevrons, and herringbones and sheers with embroidered florals. Duralee, Fabricut, Lee Jofa and Taffard Fabrics are bringing out some really pretty embroidered designs," says Weeks.

Worried about being too trendy and want to avoid a look that might be dated in just a few years? Accessories and decorative pillows are a great way to embrace today's hip colors and motifs.

"Because you don't need much yardage, you can splurge on a more expensive fabric for pillows or accent your decor with something trendy like a strong graphic pattern for punch," says Hall. "A little bit of something great can go a long way to make a space special."

Dennis Hockman is editor of Chesapeake Home + Living magazine. He can be reached at