Where to Start: Think of upholstery and the first thing that springs to mind might well be a cosy sofa. But fabric coverings can freshen up anything from stools and window seats to headboards and screens. The first step is to think creatively about what you have. The benefit of upholstered furniture is that fresh padding and fabric can make an old item feel new (in look and comfort). Before choosing your furniture, ask yourself some questions…Are you looking for a statement piece to brighten a tired room? should it fit an existing scheme? Will it be used by dogs or children? Is it near a window where it might fade? and, think carefully about your budget. Can you afford bespoke or is it more cost effective to buy ready made? In short, make sure it suits you. Go against trend driven pieces: There is no point in buying a piece that’s fashionable or looks amazing but doesn’t encourage you to relax in it.
Wear & Tear: Fabrics are rated by a ‘rub test’ (the number of times two pieces of the same material can be rubbed together before a hole appears). Upholsterers advise a 20,000-25,000 rub for heavy domestic use and 15,000 for light use. I find crushed velvet & chenille are the best for constant use. Consider also the dirt factor- again crushed velvet is extremely durable, you can also have the fabric treated to add some extra stain protection.
Tight Or Loose: The choice between loose, removable covers or tailored-to-fit has as much impact on look as it does on use. Tailored upholstery make for a more formal approach and gives a much neater sharper finish. For Kitchen chairs or your everyday sofa, which risk splodges and coffee stains, consider removable covers.
Tailored furniture shows off the shape of the furniture beautifully & Loose cover gives that squashy comfy look.
Follow The Pattern: Mixing & matching and mixing & not matching fabrics is very popular at the moment- Be brave & experiment. Choosing a pattern is about fit- both to the piece and in to your scheme-Make sure that patterns are centered on the item and that the repeat is big enough to suit it. Plain walls might benefit from eye-catchingly colourful furniture. Or mismatch a few patterns together, though be careful when clustering lots of loud prints. Muted patterns make for subtle contrasts, which add depth to your décor, while a scatter cushion gives a quick burst of interest (and can easily be changed). also consider size. Smaller pieces such as footstools suit delicate patterns while large stripes make a squashy sofa seem even bigger.
If you would like further informed advise from Zoe, meet her for a free coffee consultation at your local LifeSTYLE store Masion Interiors where you can choose from a selection of sofa models & upholstery fabrics.