DCOTA (Design Center of the Americas - Florida) Designer Summer Series continued today (July 26) with an impressive panel discussion of the design and manufacturing process of outdoor fabrics and what works best in our climate.

The panel members included DCOTA’s Marketing Director, Josh Fein who assembled an impressive list of stimulating questions directed to brilliant designers Lee Menichella from Chella Textiles and Eugene Freeland, President of Link Outdoor who responded not only with impressive knowledge, but with inspiring enthusiasm.
(from left to right Lee Menichella, Josh Fein, Eugene Freeland)


We’ve come a long way since Sunbrella created tent tarps for the troops during WWII, and evolving into decorative awnings for domestic use to cover mid century summer patios, and currently offers extensive lines with multiple applications. The new generation of outdoor fabrics is soft and luxurious. Now, along with Perennial fabrics, we have numerous selections that not only enhance outdoor spaces, but can easily be translated to transform interior design schemes with durable and beautiful fabrics.

With the range of fabrics available with countless designs, textures, patterns, and color ways, there are almost limitless applications. I often take the patterns and colors used for outdoor furniture, and carry the theme indoors for upholstery and drapery. This is particularly effective in commercial projects like office building and condominium lobbies that have adjacent outdoor spaces and large windows that are exposed to direct sunlight. In residential use, the fabrics are particularly appropriate for high traffic rooms, for windows exposed to sunlight, and homes with children and pets.

 The fabrics are exquisite so there's no sacrificing beauty for utility. These fabrics won’t fade or show wear. State-of-the-art manufacturing and finishing processes, synthetic extrusion and solution-dyed processes create sun-fast fabrics that resist stains. With sun, red wine, salty sea air, wind and rain, you don’t have to restrict your choice of fabric.

Don’t let your fabric choices limit you from creating the design scheme of your dreams. Live with elegance, priacticality, and functionality.

I spent a few hours at DCOTA after the presentation and exploring Chella and Link Outdoor on display at the Jeffrey Michaels showroom, visiting a variety of showrooms searching out products for some of my jobs. If you're currently working on a home design project and would like an escorted trip to some of the trade only showrooms – a light lunch included - contact me for details. 631-848-8469 or Robin@robinlechnerdesigns.com


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