Cloth Interiors’s Teri Cardinelli on her Lifelong Love of Fabric

“I’m just passionately in love with fabric,” says Teri Cardinelli in this installment of MH+D Inside Out. “I have been my whole life.” After starting out as a fashion designer, Cardinelli moved into quilting and then decorating before she noticed a rising demand for a fabric shop. During the recession she opened Cloth Interiors in Kennebunk, a fabric center that carries a range of high-quality textiles and offers window treatments and design consultation services. Cardinelli tells us about upcoming trends in fabric design.

Q. Can you tell me about what Cloth Interiors does?

A. We’re designers, and we do everything that’s around fabric. If you want to play with fabric in mood, setting, and color, that’s what we have. Fabric is a great form of expression.

Q. What do you mean by that?

A. Color and texture set a mood. For example, you can hang soft, white, and gauzy linen draperies in front of a window that sway when the window blows. That creates an atmosphere of serenity. It’s the fabric that does that, not the breeze. In my bedroom, I chose to go in with really soft blushes. In my sewing room, I want to feel alive, and I’ve got brilliant flowers that are purple, orange, and teal because I want to create this sense of awakening.

Q. What’s your process like when you help people choose colors and fabrics?

A. When I meet with a client, I’m not looking at myself as a decorator. I’m trying to understand the sensitivity of my clients. That just opens up a lot of information when I listen to their voice. It means being intuitive and not having your ego get in the way. If I’m collaborating with a client, what I love the best is the give and take. That just allows the whole design to fall into place.

Q. What are some of the most interesting fabrics you’ve seen lately?

A. Some of the velvet fabrics that are coming in today are made out of silk, linen, and cotton and are being used as machine applique. I’m starting to get these pieces of fabric that have velvet on top of a silk with this satin stitching going around it. It can get very baroque and Middle Eastern. People are coming up with these great, funky, modern textiles.