Spring Cleaning – Advice for Building a Life Proof Home

Some of our clients have young children, some have fur babies, and some have children that are grown who now like to visit with children of their own. Whether it’s kids, best friends, grandkids, or furry companions, we all want a stylish home that’s durable enough to withstand life’s little messes. Today, we’re sharing a few of our designer tips for building that beautiful life-proof home!

Customize Your Fabric

We love creating custom furniture for our clients because we can directly specify fabrics that are suited to their lifestyles. And we’re here to tell ya – don’t shy away from fabrics that are described as “high performance” or “durable.” They’ve come a long way since the stiff stuff your grandma had on her beloved sofa and we’re huge fans of the new and interesting collections being rolled out by companies like Perennials and Crypton.

Faux Leather

It’s tough to beat the way real leather looks, smells, and feels, but we’ve noticed that lots of companies are now offering a faux leather option. It looks and feels like the real deal but also manages to resist abrasions, repel stains, and it’s a breeze to clean!

We recently used a wonderful Holly Hunt faux leather for some breakfast chairs in a couple’s vacation home. We knew the chairs would receive a lot of love from visiting family and friends, so we opted for this supple fabric that’s easy to spot clean with warm water, natural soap, and a cloth.

19 Breakfast Nook - After

Marie Flanigan Interiors – Holly Hunt Masquerade Faux Leather



Marie Flanigan Interiors – Holly Hunt Masquerade Faux Leather

Another faux leather fabric we love comes to us from Ultrafabrics. It provides breathability through a unique airflow circulation system that prevents you and your guests from experiencing that sticky feeling that comes with some faux leathers. From warm, coastal climates to cozy theater rooms, we’ve used this fabric everywhere “life” tends to happen and comfort reigns supreme.


Marie Flanigan Interiors – Ultrafabrics Brisa Distressed Faux Leather


Many people don’t associate velvet with the word durable but we’ve actually discovered that it’s one of the best fabrics out there for clients who are looking for a piece of furniture that feels luxurious but that can also stand the test of time.


Marie Flanigan Interiors

Arabel – Obsession (spot treat with a cleaning solution) and Calvin Fabrics – Lush (machine washable) are two great options for durable velvets because they both score over 200,000 on the Wyzenbeek test, an abrasion test that determines how well fabrics stand up to wear and tear. To put that number in perspective, many residential fabrics are between 6,000 – 15,000 on the scale which makes these beauties total over-achievers.


Solution dyed acrylic fabrics are growing in popularity because they’re fade resistant and so easy to clean. We love that the dye permeates every fiber of the fabric, creating a solid color throughout the entire piece which means that it can even hold its own against bleach!


Marie Flanigan Interiors – Perennials Fabric

Durable cloth fabrics [a la Crypton and Perennials] have been a popular choice for many of our coastal homes. They tend to have large windows that allow lots of sun to stream through and durable fabrics ensure the colors we’ve selected will stay vibrant for years to come!

Reach for Reliable Rugs

Keep things feeling fresh and clean by opting for high performance rugs in areas that are exposed to a lot of foot traffic! Consider using natural materials like jute and sisal that can be easily cleaned with a vacuum or you can go for an acrylic dyed rug that will actively repel stains.

We most recently used a sisal rug from Fibreworks to lay a fuss-free foundation in a family’s game room:


Marie Flanigan Interiors – Fibreworks Sisal Rug

While we’re here, it’s also worth mentioning that Perennials rugs are stain, mildew, and fade resistant so they’re a solid choice for inside or outside your home. And no, they don’t pay us to say that; it’s just a solid dang fact!


Counter Tops You Can Count On

We recently installed Neolith Countertops in a home. These high performance beauties are heat and fire resistant and never scratch or stain!


Marie Flanigan Interiors – Neolith Counters

This is the perfect product for a kitchen or bathroom! Go ahead – spill your wine, lay down your curling iron or a steaming hot pot, and make a generalized mess because these counters can take all of that and then some.

Plan Ahead

Last, but most definitely not least, before we hand the keys back to our clients, we call Clean As A Whistle . Their team joins us on site at the end of every install to apply a sealant that will help each family’s new furnishings repel stains and stand up to all of life’s happy accidents. They also hand out their specially-formulated stain remover that we can personally guarantee works wonders! Because no matter how durable your fabric might be, there’s always one person [or precious little pet] who’s gonna’ figure out how to stain it…

Thank you for following along and make sure to let us know if you have any miracle products we need to try out!


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