I am sure it will not come as a surprise when I say that upholstery is one of the most important pieces in a room and that essential upholstery pieces are worth the initial expense. There is something about the endless choices— the fabric, finishes, and details— that excites the designer side of me because I know that choosing the right upholstered piece can make a room immediately feel like home. Look at a Living Room and picture it without the sofa, or without those beautiful club chairs nestled but the fireplace. It’s hard to imagine! Sofas and club chairs can go with you from house to house and they can be changed from room to room, as long as you keep these three things in mind when shopping: style, comfort, and quality. 

Antique French Settee with Nailheads and Contrast Mini-Welt on Seat Cushions

Lee Industries 3972-11 Sofa with Contrast 3" Skirt Band

Style: Go for something that has a classic look, that could translate with any style of architecture or any accompanying pieces of furniture. There are lots of categories that make up a sofa or chair "style.” The arm, skirted or not skirted, t-cushion or square cushion, semi-attached or loose seat and back cushions. Perhaps select something traditional (like an english arm), but put the sofa or chair on legs. Or do a more contemporary track arm and pair it with a skirt. These are aesthetic choices, based on the feel of the room, but the right combination can leave you with a timeless, classic piece for your home. 

- Comfort: This is easy! Sit, sit, and sit again. I would especially encourage a comfortable sofa. This is going to be where you curl up and watch a movie, take a nap, and watch a football game. Look for the length (for your nap!), the right arm height, and the depth and pitch. These elements can add to the comfort of the piece. If your sofa is the main sitting place and you do not need a bunch of additional “sink in and never come out" chairs, then go with a chair with beautiful lines that may sit a little more upright or have a tight back cushion. Beautiful chairs can balance out a sofa and really bring the seating arrangement together. 

Charles Stewart Copper Lounge Chair

- Quality: This is an important one, and why so many designers encourage their clients to put their money in the upholstery. The upholstered pieces in the room are the forever pieces. I have Lee Industries chairs that are 20 years old, and I’ve recovered them twice! The fundamentals, the frame, cushions, and comfort, are what will last. Accessories like pillows, lamps, side tables, and even coffee tables can change, but if you pay the upfront cost for durable, quality upholstery it can go with you anywhere and stay with you for years to come.

Lee Industries 3063-32 Two-Cushion Sofa

Still have questions? Do you want to know more about my favorite upholstery vendors and styles? Give me a call!


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