When choosing furniture upholstery fabrics, designs and colors, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Cats are one, dogs are another and the rest of your room décor is a third. Sunlight is yet a fourth, but if you ask the right questions and get the right answers in the form of a written guarantee, then you should be fine. There are other things, so here is a brief discussion of each of them.
Upholstery Fabrics and Pets
In using the term ‘fabric’ we are being fairly loose and are referring to any form of upholstery covering, including leather. Anybody who has owned leather chairs or sofas will understand the problem – in fact, even those with regular fabric coverings will know how cats just love to destroy furniture.
It’s not that they mean to – it’s just that a leather sofa is a very convenient scratching post, and while you might get away with a few snags on woven fabric upholstery, you have no chance of that with leather. Whether it is a genuine skin or faux leather, once it has been given a rip with a claw, it will do nothing but deteriorate. A tiny claw hole will increase in size until you cover it with a throw or get it recovered!
Dogs are not quite as bad, but dogs and leather furniture are also antagonists. Perhaps it’s because they know it’s from another animal, but dogs tend to attack natural leather sofas more than those covered with the artificial equivalent. So, Tip #1 is that if you have pets, choose a fabric, and one that cats don’t like – if there is such a thing!
Pattern and Color
When choosing upholstered furniture you usually have one of two options regarding the upholstery fabrics, their pattern and their color. You are either offered the fabric that comes with the pieces you choose, which within a named range will be the same for each individual piece, or will be able to customize by choosing your preferred upholstery fabrics from a given range.
You can often select a different color or design for the main furniture upholstery, for the cushions and for any pillows also offered. Don’t be tempted to choose contrasting colors, but make sure your cushions and other accessories match the main upholstery fabric. If you select a red sofa, then the cushions or pillows could be the same plain red, or red and white stripes, but not yellow!
You can select yellow – it’s your furniture, but don’t expect anybody to agree with your choice – unless!! That is unless your entire room is decorated in discordant shades as a deliberate form of home decor. That sometimes works, and also, if you don’t really care about accepted decorative practices, then you can also do what you wish.
Generally though, most people like their furniture and home decor to blend well, or contrast in a planned fashion. When choosing furniture upholstery fabrics it is best that they match well with the other furniture in the room.
Large Patterns in Small Rooms
One tip is to avoid large patterns, whether abstract or floral, for small rooms. Smaller rooms tend to look better with a plain fabric, or a simple small-scale design. Overwhelming patterns tend to take over, and are not suitable for small spaces. Keep in mind that you are going to have to live with this for many years.
Leather is generally very easy to clean, but don’t let kids near it with felt tipped pens or paints. It is next to impossible to remove some dyes from leather, particularly from white leather. The same is true of greasy hands, so while you can usually keep leather clean in normal circumstances, make sure the kids don’t play on it with pens and paints!
Sunlight and Color Fastness
Many designers suggest your living space should be decorated using three major colors. The fist should be a neutral shade, which may be the color of your walls and perhaps your flooring. You can then introduce a matching color in your curtains and perhaps your rugs that may also contain a contrasting color in small areas. You can pick up on that as a contrasting accent shade to include in your cushions or accent pieces.
Make sure, however, that your colors, particularly the bright shades, are lightfast. Get that in writing if you must, because if your windows let in strong sunlight, strong colors can soon fade. Apart from that, it’s your choice how you go about choosing upholstery fabrics – they offer lots of scope for imagination, and if you keep to a general color theme with some minor contrasting shades, you will likely end up with a fabulous living room.