How do you choose the right fabric for your sofa?
A good quality sofa is a major household purchase for most of us. By choosing carefully, it will provide you with many years of comfort and use. It is worth investing in well made good quality furniture. It will be durable and will take the knocks of everyday living without falling apart. It will withstand home moves and constant usage for a considerable time.
Quality Will Always Win
A well made sofa, manufactured with care and experience will be costly initially. However, you will really see the benefit of a solid frame with sturdy construction. You do not want an insubstantial flimsy flat pack substitute. The quality option will always be the winner in the long run. The alternative option involves measuring, searching, purchasing, delivery and possibly assembly too. Not to mention, you may end up doing this on several occasions. From experience, this time-consuming process turns out to be a real inconvenience. You may not be in the furniture removal mans good books but hey, you cannot please everyone. At least you will have the assurance that your well made sofa will make it to the other end. Can the same be said for an inexpensive assembly of plywood or MDF? Not to forget the potential of an incomplete selection of screws.
Things to Consider
Initial thoughts should focus on the type of fabric. This will be determined by factors such as do you have pets, and /or children? Cat claws, dog hairs and crayons spell impending disaster for many types of fabric. (note: this list is not exclusive, you can create your own disaster derivation). Leather or its alter ego ‘faux leather’ should be a serious contender. Distressed leather, either the real thing or manmade, will hide a multitude of sins. There are many leather type fabrics in dynamic colours and exciting textures. Many will be sure to add a ‘wow’ factor to your home décor. Avoid a sofa upholstered with a delicate finish if you have children climbing over it. A silk material is a risky move if you have any rough and tumble in your living room. Potential staining and marks could prove awkward to remove. Essentially your lounge is your chill out zone so ensure your sofa fabric is practical and up to the job.
The infinite options of fabrics available may seem overwhelming. Do not fear, let your style of interiors and size/shape of your sofa guide you when choosing your fabric. Is your home traditional or modern? Do you crave colour and impact or prefer subtlety and understatement? If your lounge has a cool calm feel head towards fabrics in a similar character. Warm toned decoration requires a warm toned fabric colour. This will bring the room together and allow the colours to work harmoniously.
Does Your Fabric Work with the Shape?
If you have selected a sofa with a curved back stay away from patterned fabric. Unless you are confident in your choice of course. Depending on shape, the pattern may simply look odd. This is particularly true if the design is linear or striped. A more free flowing design with rounded shapes could work very well. However, be mindful of the pattern. It has to work in different directions and flow over rounded arms, cushions, and piping. If you love pattern and want to make your sofa a statement consider its scale. It should be appropriate to the size of your sofa and enhance the decoration of the room. A large scale patterned fabric on a sizeable sofa in a spacious room adds drama. This will also create a bold, visual feature that lifts a room and shouts style.
A traditional fabric for a traditional styled sofa does not need to be a fall-back option. A velvety material or one with a distinct texture can really enhance its shape and styling. Choosing a neutral colour in order to retain its appeal over a long time is a sensible way to go. Beige may be boring but if you think of it in terms of oatmeal, biscuit or taupe it takes on a new identity. A pale colour can be surprisingly practical as it will hide all those little bits of dust and fluff that emerge. Texture, weaves, self coloured stripes or small scale patterns bring life to this family of neutrality. It offers a durable and workable solution.
How to use Colour
Colour used on a sumptuous sofa in an attention grabbing shade provides instant impact for your interior decoration. Red, blue, green or whatever your preference makes for immediate dynamism and drama. Your statement piece, your major interior design feature, your sofa on which to relax. One item gives you multiple solutions.
Some design messages suggest matching your sofa to the wall colour. This is a practical idea if you set out with a neutral coloured palette. If you run with the sofa in the same colour as your feature wall, perhaps a bold daffodil yellow colour. There is the strong possibility that you will tire of this. A coat of paint will solve the wall colour but not the sofa fabric, – handle with care! ‘On trend’ colours will date furniture, no matter what shape it is.
You can easily add colour with cushions on your sofa and chairs. Update your curtains or artwork, add colourful homewares. Vases, frames and accessories for far less financial outlay. Fabric choice for your sofa needs to acknowledge the colour of your floor. Whether that be carpet, rug or flooring. A dark sofa on a dark floor is doable. However to make it visually acceptable, create a space between the floor and the furniture. Go for sofa feet in a light tone, a pale wooden finish or metallic legs in a colour picked up by a nearby coffee table. Subtle but clever touches that will bring a comfortable feel to your room. Alternatively treat yourself to a luxurious rug; an option that brings colour, shape, pattern, texture, style and comfort in one item.
Enjoy your Beautiful New Sofa
And when you have your new sofa in your living room, kick off those shoes, grab a well earned glass of wine and tell yourself what a great choice you have made!
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