When Mark and Carol Goodman bought a traditional house in Baltimore City, they moved in without any furniture for the living room. The Goodmans, who moved here from a high-rise apartment in New York City, did have some contemporary pieces, but they had been shuffled into the den.
After looking at an empty living room for about a year, Mrs. Goodman hired interior designer Donna Foertsch of D.L.F. Designs and together they decided to look first for fabric. "When I am starting from scratch in a room, I really like to find the boldest, most multi-patterned fabric first," says Ms. Foertsch. "Then, I work with it to pull out other colors and patterns."
The design scheme for the Goodmans' living room took off when Mrs. Goodman saw a fabric in a magazine ad for Baker Furniture. Called "Russian Plate," it was a cotton material of vivid red, blue, gold and green that featured people, flowers, birds, animals and vines in a folk pattern of Russian origin. "When my husband first saw the fabric, he said it was kind of bright for a living room," recalls Mrs. Goodman. "But when I saw it, I just loved it."