Tips on how to choose fabrics for your home

Educated in textile design and art, director of photography at Bru Textiles Nancy Claessens now conceptualises inspirational images to illustrate the fabrics of Belgian company Bru Textiles. Find out more about fabric trends, what inspires her, and how she unwinds from work.

Tell us more about what you do.
I’m in charge of the visual productions. That includes coordination, finding locations and props, and being creative when things go wrong during photo shoots.

How do you pick locations for photo shoots?
I’m fond of raw, concrete interiors, and those that are in touch with nature, and with the outside. For outdoor fabric collections, I usually go to Ibiza or Spain because they have good weather – even in winter, there is good light, and it doesn’t rain frequently.

How do you filter the inspiration you get from visiting large design exhibitions?
It depends on what you’re looking for and what you’re interested in. I go with a very open mind. I also put a personal touch on everything I do, drawing inspiration not only from the interiors world, but also from the people and architecture around me. I’m interested in art and photography, too. It’s really a combination of environments, how we are living, and how we should live in the future.

Most homeowners have a hard time choosing fabrics based on tiny swatches. Do you have any tips on how they can visualise better?
I understand because I find it difficult, too. I’ve learnt to ask to see the fabric on a roll before proceeding, to lessen the chance of surprises when the materials arrive. But, for homeowners, I think it’s best to see the fabric swatch in the sample book (which are usually in larger pieces).

What are the interiors of your home like?
As I deal with colour and design all the time, I need a calming atmosphere to come home to, and I don’t like interiors where everything is full of props. So my home is quite light, there are a lot of white walls, but the kitchen palette is very dark. And I accent the space with velour, prints, cushions and carpets.

What are some upcoming fabric trends?
Fabrics are becoming more technical. Examples can be seen in the Velvet Opulence collection from Bru Textiles, where they are a combination of soft velvets with metallic finishing, making it sophisticated but also industrial. I’ve also seen fabric colours that are made up of a subtle blend of many colours which fade into each other.