Category Archives: wallpaper and wall coverings

Bold Decoration

Even the most expertly-decorated spaces can feel like they are missing something, especially when the palate is neutral and people are afraid to stray from the predictable.  But using bold color or pattern, even in small amounts, can really take a room to “wow” status, especially when that bold element is used somewhere unexpected.


Photo from Contemporist- Wall Decoration Inspiration

For instance, an attention-grabbing print on the walls can reinvent a featureless space. A modern graphic paper in a deep color delivers a powerful statement whether you use it on a single accent wall, or all four.  Try a boldly patterned wallpaper to highlight a feature like the fireplace wall, or use it behind shelving or build-ins.
If you don’t want to make the commitment to wallpaper, try using a bold paint color instead – if you decide it’s too much drama, paint is easily (and inexpensively) changed.  Try a deep jewel-toned hue like emerald green, cobalt blue, or fuschia on a wall to make the artwork or furniture pop, or to highlight architectural features in a room.

Presidio Heights Kitchen contemporary-kitchen

If color or pattern on the walls isn’t what you’re looking for, think about what’s underfoot to highlight the décor – go for bold floors! Colorful, patterned, stenciled, or boldly carpeted, floors can help you make a gorgeous statement and even become the star of the space.  Bold floors can add style and create ambience in even the most ordinary spaces, and it’s an unexpected way to use pattern.  If your hardwood is beat up and sad, consider painting the wood floors in a deep glossy hue like navy or chocolate, or painting a geometric pattern like stripes or chevron – this works especially well in small places like hallways or entryways, and provide a powerful first impression when someone enters your home.  If a painted or patterned tile floor is too permanent, consider a graphic print rug in a bright color, which can easily be swapped out.
Other quick, and less expensive ways to add bold style to a room include incorporating metallic decorative elements, like brass mirrors, side tables, and vases, or simply employing a bright color like coral or turquoise in your throw pillows, linens, and picture frames to give the space a punch.

Flower Power – Incorporating Floral Prints in Your Home Decor

There is nothing more classic in home decorating than the floral – it never goes out of style.  Floral prints can be botanical and iconic, or colorful and modern, and they provide a fresh, feminine sensibility to a space.  In honor of spring and all its heady blooms, here are some ideas for incorporating the floral into your decorating.


A Bright Accent

If you’re not sure about committing to floral prints, you can test them out with some bold floral accent pillows on your more neutral furniture or a pretty flower-patterned tablecloth in your dining room.  Swap out some wall hangings you’re tired of for a pair of garden-inspired framed botanical prints.  These are all easy and low-risk ways to try florals in your home.

Floral print throw pillows

Courtesy of

Here we have a beautifully done example by Tamar at Nest Pretty Things where the throw pillows have a subtle touch of floral print that really blends in with the room. The goal is to not be overwhelming with this pattern, and Tamar has done a wonderful job! Check out here awesome blog and accessory designs over here!

In the Bedroom

A floral duvet cover or another bedding is a great way to introduce a bouquet into your sleeping quarters and adds femininity to the room.  The same can be said for floral window treatments, lampshades, or a headboard upholstered with a floral fabric that complements the bedding.  If your aim is to keep the space more gender-neutral, pick a floral on a grey or tan background.  Finally, the bedroom is a lovely and unexpected place for fresh flowers by the bedside or on a dresser.

Floral Duvet Cover

Courtesy of

Phoebe Oldrey of Smartstyle Interiors has done a fantastic job with this master bedroom! The blue shade makes is not overwhelmingly feminine, but still gives a classy touch of floral. The matching color wall and curtains tie the whole room together, making this an excellent example of floral print being used in the bedroom. Check out her blog  for some very insiteful design tips with her English background and style!


Garden-inspired prints are classic wallpaper subjects, but there are just as many bold and modern floral wallpapers on offer.  Consider an accent wall of paper behind your sofa or your bed, to bring florals in without overwhelming a space.  Small prints look great in bathrooms or kitchens, but you can also use papers with bolder patterns and colors as an alternative to tile in a kitchen – bonus: most wallpaper is more durable than paint for use in food prep/cooking areas.

Floral Print Wallpaper Kitchen

Courtesy of

Lisa Wolfe used floral wallpaper as an accent wall in this kitchen to bring this eclectic, bohemian kitchen to life! While it is not behind the cooking area, this pattern makes this an interesting and unique kitchen design without overwhelming you with the floral pattern. Check out her blog for some cool design tips and lifestyle tricks!

Pattern Mixing

If your sofa is a checked pattern, that doesn’t mean you can’t use florals in the living room too.  In fact, layering patterns is a chic way to sophisticate a space. Traditional florals on classic upholstery are one of a decorator’s favorite tools. Try matching your accent chairs and sofa pillows to tie together a cohesive look. The key is to use patterns of differing scales; if your floral is a large cabbage rose, pair it with a smaller more geometric pattern for balance.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Texas based designer Carl Wesley Lowery executed this technique with ease and class in this living room by matching his chairs with the throw pillows on the couch, contrasting the leather footrest in between. Well done Carl!

Try Floral Underfoot

Artful floral prints on the floor are another way to use this style. Awaken a room with pale neutral walls by adding a lively color palette underfoot.  Use the colors from the floor covering as inspiration for accompanying textiles. Floral kitchen rugs are an excellent way to add pattern, color, and warmth, and a bright print effortlessly livens up a white or neutral kitchen.  Area rugs in the kitchen should be durable materials that can withstand traffic and spills – an added plus is that floral prints tend to hide stains!

Floral pattern kitchen rug

Courtesy of

These Canadian carpet experts have managed to place this carpet strategically by the island for cooking prep, and doesn’t let the pattern make the kitchen feel too cluttered. Wonderful job!

Modern Ways to Use Wallpaper

The mention of wallpaper can conjure images of a dusty grandmother’s parlor, or dated patterns that smother a room – but many designers know that modern wallpapers can add elegance and texture to a space, and there’s no rule they have to be used on all four walls.

Living Room Wallpaper Design

Courtesy of

In a room that lacks architectural interest, hanging a bold wallpaper on one wall can create visual interest and layer pattern or texture into an otherwise boring space.  Savvy designers have been using rich fabric or fabric-like papers like grasscloth or damask on the wall behind clients’ beds for years, to add luxury and color to sleeping quarters.  Modern wallpapers in of-the-moment prints like chevron, arabesque, toile, and Greek key all provide a canvas to layer pattern in a space.

Hand-painted wallpapers with botanical scenes, birds, and vines also add whimsy and romance to places like a dining room or child’s bedroom.  Botanical papers are particularly stunning in Parisian-inspired boudoirs as well.

Living Room Wallpaper Design

Courtesy of

Bold geometric or patterned patterns, and wallpapers with very rich colors don’t just have to be used on walls, either.  Clever designers have used them in the recesses behind wet bars or china cabinets for example, or as panels to cover wardrobe doors.  Textured papers printed to look like tiles or plaster scrollwork can take a space from plain to knockout with less commitment and expense than the real thing.

Textured Wallpaper Design

Courtesy of

Some contemporary wallpapers add metallic elements to their patterns and textures as well, which can bring light and shimmer into dim spaces.

With so many choices available, at a wide range of price points, wallpaper is definitely enjoying a renaissance in interior design, and can add depth and polish to a space without ever evoking grandma’s parlor.

bedroom by curated kravet

Bringing Light into Dim Living Spaces

When living areas are dark, they tend to feel closed-in and gloomy, which makes people seek the sunnier, visually warmer spots in a home.  But even if a living room is north-facing or has small windows, there are some simple design tricks to bring in light and make the space feel brighter and more spacious.

Get rid of heavy drapes or window treatments, for starters.  Dim living rooms benefit from minimal window treatments, like sheer white roller blinds that provide privacy but let in lots of light.  Avoid visually heavy curtains, instead opting for light airy fabrics, and consider installing the curtain rod near the ceiling line and buying longer panels that go to the floor, to create height and drama in the space.

Luminette Privacy Sheers by Hunter Douglas

Luminette Privacy Sheers by Hunter Douglas

Another indispensable curtain-hanging trick that makes windows seem larger and prevents window treatments from blocking precious light, is to buy rods that extend past the windows by at least 6” and more optimally 12,” on either side of the casing.  This way when the curtain panels are parted, virtually none of the window is obscured and all of the natural light can illuminate the room.

It should go without saying, but color in dim spaces is everything.  Using warm creamy whites or other pale colors that reflect light can help brighten a space, literally and figuratively.  Dark or dramatic wall colors can close a space in.  Layering different whites for the trim paint, wall paint, and window treatments can still feel warm, as can light-colored rugs or floor finishes.  White furniture can also visually free up a dim space, but might not work for all households, unless you use washable slipcovers for the upholstered pieces.

Light bedroom by Stark

Palm Beach home featuring STARK fabrications

Treating a dark living area with reflective accessories that throw light around is another way to brighten the space and keep the white finishes from feeling sterile.  Mirrors mounted on the wall opposite windows reflect all that natural light back into the room, and glass or metal occasional pieces like side tables also add some shine.  Consider mirrored frames for artwork or photographs on display.

all white bedroom with grand mirror

A luxe Washington D.C. apartment by Solis Betancourt & Sherrill from Architectural Digest

Finally, brightening up a dim space can be done most simply by changing out all the light bulbs in a room to daylight LEDs, and adding more occasional lighting like table or floor lamps.  Table lamps create warmth, especially if they have warm metal/brass tones or glass bases, and should not be undervalued even in a space with overhead lighting.

Lighting and Lamps by Curated Kravet

Lighting Collection by

From Decoist

Making A Successful Home Gym for the New Year

Sweat season has begun! A new year brings new resolutions and topping everyone’s list is to get healthier and to begin exercising. So let’s dive into how to turn your spare guest room into a motivating home gym.

Before you start dragging in weights and a new exercise bike, let’s get the atmosphere right. Here we take a page from popular New York City gym’s, New York Sports Club and newcomer 24 Hour Fitness.

NYSC Interior

24 Hour Fitness interior

Paint or cover your wall with bold and vibrant colors.

Warm colors in shades of yellow or red will help excite you and keep you energized throughout your workout. Stay away from dark blues and grays and opt for shades that brighten the room.

Complement your walls with large mirrors that open the space and spread light around, but more importantly, let you observe your form as your workout. Added bonus: you can also admire yourself after every hard-working session.

perfect home gym mirrors

From Decoist

Prepare your space by covering the floors in a non-slip and soft material. Rubber flooring is a popular go-to, but those who want to maintain the room’s aesthetics can opt for carpet – sometimes laid on top of rubber flooring.


Don’t let it get too steamy in there either. Overhead fans are a great way to keep the air circulating and keep you cool.


Lastly, don’t forget that a home gym is allowed to feel like home. Put up a TV or install speakers for adrenaline pumping tunes for you to workout to. Feel free to throw up motivational posters or inspiring pictures to boost your morale. Add an upholstered bench and a rack of clean white towels for your post workout meditation and cool down.

I know you were dreading starting your workout, but follow these tips and make the home gym a room you will want to visit day after day.

How to Make Your Home a Happy Home

This week we are going to take some me time out and talk a bit about ourselves for those who may or may not know about who we are and what we do.

New York Fabric Store and Custom Upholstery

New York’s Finest Fabric Resource and Upholstery Service since 1918.

Beckenstein fabrics started nearly a century ago. 1918, Samuel Beckenstein, a Polish immigrant, started his business making trousers for his customers to match their suit jackets when the original pair of pants had worn. His craftsmanship and the quality of his work lifted his business to prominence – there was even a song written about Sam Beckenstein in 1935 and sung by Barbra Streisand on her Color Me Barbra album. Before long Beckenstein’s small shop on Orchard Street  had become one of the world’s leading fabric companies.

drawing of beckenstein orchard st by Robare

Beckenstein on Orchard St.
Illustrations by Robare

Today, we carry on the Beckenstein family tradition of providing only the highest quality of service and a staunch commitment to excellence, providing New York City with fine fabrics and custom re-upholstery.

At any time you can find all different people in our storefront, from professional interior decorators and designers to homeowners and hobbyists. Some are in search for the perfect fabric to upholster a few throw pillows with so that they can complete their bedroom re-design. Other have pieces that hold a personal significance – like an occasional passed down from their grandmother that has worn and needs to be brought back to life.

So what is the Beckenstein Experience?

We have broken down the process into 5 simple steps – guiding our clients from drab to Beckenstein fab.

Home need sprucing up? It's time to give us a visit. Illustration courtesy of Robare

Home need sprucing up? It’s time to give us a visit.
Illustration courtesy of Robare

ONE. It starts with an idea; not ours – yours. Bring with your vision, your mood board, and your idea book.

beckenstein resource for fabric to bring your ideas to life

Feel free to get creative and browse through the thousands of designs we hold.

TWO. Next, let our staff help guide you through the thousands of designer fabric samples that we carry in-store. Holding the largest collection of designer fabrics in New York City, we can help you find that perfect pattern and texture to dress your padded headboard.

largest collection of fabric resource in new york city

Endless collections of designer fabric samples, wall coverings, and color schemes.

THREE. Once everything has been picked out, we will go over how you would like the fabric or window treatments applied. How will the seams be done? What about the padding or trim?

beckenstein fabrics resource and helpful staff

Don’t feel like you have to make all the decisions alone. Our staff is as big of a resource as our inventory.

FOUR. This is where we take the reigns. We will pick up your furniture from your home and bring it back to our workshop. Quality work takes time, so we ask that clients allow 3 to 6 weeks for service to be completed (depending on the size of the project of course).

beckenstein fabrics custom upholstery work

Our craftsmanship is second to none.

FIVE. Once your piece (or pieces) have been finished we will deliver them directly to you. Depending on the order, we will also install the items (e.g. window treatments, wall coverings).

the beckenstein fabric experience

Illustration by Robare

Are you looking to experience what tens of thousands of new yorkers have experienced over the generations? Give us a call at (212) 366-5142 or contact us online and begin your journey to a more beautiful home. Also, be sure to check out our current Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays special and your home perfect for Christmas.

And if you would like to contact Robare, the artist responsible for providing us these wonderful illustrations for this week’s blog you can visit his site:

Finally Cure Yourself of Decro-Phobia with 3 Easy Steps

You have always wanted to change-up your living room and finally replace that horrid wallpaper that has been in the foyer since you moved in, but sometimes that task can seem so big that it prevents you from ever starting. Put an end to your decorating paralysis and rid the worries brought on by decro-phobia.

Step 1: Start-up Your Imagination

cheap upholstery store


The only rule here is to design for yourself. Figuring out what you want will be difficult if you keep second guessing yourself because you are concerned what others might think. Throw those thoughts aside and design with absolute freedom. Let your imagination run wild and create a design that fits exactly what you want.

Step 2: Break It All Down

Don’t look at this project as one daunting task, but an amalgamation of little ones. You aren’t redecorating a room, you are first choosing your color scheme.

Next begin painting or applying wall coverings to the walls and ceiling.

cheap upholstery store


After you can get to re-upholstering your furniture, and adding in your accent pieces like rugs and throw pillows.

cheap upholstery store


Finally, we add the final non-upholstered and accessory items. Bring in your side tables, photos, lamps, plants, etc. Breaking up a huge job into small steps will make it much easier to tackle.

Step 3: Seek Help

Getting a second opinion from a professional (like those super great guys at Beckenstein Fabrics *nudge nudge*) can do wonders for your tension. Sometimes just a little bit of affirmation can rest our minds and assure us that we are on the right track.

Beckenstein Fabrics and Interiors is a complete resource for designers and DIYers alike.

Beckenstein Fabrics and Interiors is a complete resource for designers and DIYers alike.

The added bonus is that an expert can solves a problem before it happens. Maybe your patterns look great as a sample, but are too overpowering for a three piece sectional. This is a mistake many people make by blind ordering and is easily solved by asking for a professional opinion.