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Tips for Choosing Upholstery

In our last blog we shared our guide to flooring - giving you suggestions for which options to consider and why! When youíre making a design commitment for the long-run, itís always best to do your research before deciding on a final material. So this week we are sharing a guide to upholstery!

Choosing fabrics for new furniture - or a new fabric for current pieces - can be overwhelming. There are so many things to take into consideration when making your decision to ensure you are settling with the perfect fabric for your lifestyle and current furnishes.

Things to Consider

Cost | As with all design projects the first thing to take into consideration when choosing a new fabric is your budget. Your budget will help narrow down fabric options based on type of material and the maintenance it will require. Keeping your fabric clean and looking like new can add to the cost in the long run

Durability | Get familiar with the durability of each fabric option so you know what youíre in for! For example, consider the wear on a natural leather or suede sofa compared to synthetic materials. If cost and upkeep are a concern - play it safe and leave the luxury fabrics to pillows and throws.
Style | Always consider your current finishes and furnishes when choosing a new fabric. The colour, pattern and texture of your new fabric should complement other elements of the space. Once again if youíre having a hard time committing to something bold - throw pillows are a great option for elevating a solid or neutral sofa or chair.

The Piece Itself | Whether itís a sofa, chair or even headboard - the shape and size of the piece can help you determine which fabric would be best. For larger pieces, I always recommend a solid colour or classic neutral. This will ensure you wonít get tired of it over time. Bold fabrics are normally best suited to smaller pieces like accent chairs! If you favour a patterned fabric swatch - really consider how it would look on an entire piece before making your final decision.

Lifestyle | How often your furniture will be used and by whom is a top question to ask yourself when choosing upholstery. Consider entertainment, children and pets! Delicate fabrics might not be best for busy homes.

Fabric Options

Leather | Available in different grades to suit various budgets - but normally more costly than other fabric options. Leather is durable and easy to clean - but consider how you will like the look of long term wear

Suede | Beautiful and soft, this natural material is better suited to pieces with medium-low use. It can be difficult to clean and is not resistant to stains.

Velvet | Comparatively more difficult to clean compared to other fabrics. Velvet is a an excellent choice if youíre looking to add some luxury to a space - not to mention it comes in a variety of beautiful, rich colours.

Polyester | A high-performance synthetic material. Itís cost-effective, easy to clean, and resistant to staining and fading.

Sunbrella | Generally only used for outdoor furniture - this synthetic fabric is a great option for furniture that will be getting a lot of use and exposure to sunlight!

Microfibre | A great choice for heavy use pieces! This durable material is so soft and easy to clean. Itís moisture resistant too - offering the look of a natural suede without the maintenance or cost.

Upholstery for new or old pieces is a huge investment - so make sure it checks all of your boxes. Play it safe with a cost-effective, durable and easy-to-work-around fabric OR take a risk with something bold if you have a clear vision for your space! The sky is the limit with mixing fabrics in a space.

Happy designing!


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