Picking A Sofa Fabric And Design You Can Live With Happily

Is choosing the perfect sofa upholstery driving you crazy? Don’t feel bad, because you’re not alone. Sofa purchases are generally a long-term commitment, so it is natural to ponder which exact shade and material to pick. Trying to decide how to adorn your new sofa is a big decision because you’re going to have to live with it for a very long time. Too many people wind up hating their sofa after just a few years, sometimes even a few months.

By choosing your next seating piece with care and with the future in mind, the chances are higher that you and your couch will stay in decorative harmony together. If you enjoy window shopping online just to check out the design concepts of today’s home interiors, you know there are hundreds of colors, themes, patterns and textures that a sofa can come in. So, how do we pick a sofa pattern that we will love for many years to come?

 Sofa Style, Color And Fabric Are Strong Considerations

Before you make the print or solid decision you might want to think about fabric types first. Do you want a natural fabric like cotton duck which stands up well against premature wear, fading and piling, but doesn’t do so well against soiling and wrinkling? There’s also cotton blends, leather, linen, silk, wool, ramie, and hemp to name a few in the natural world of fabrics.

Would a man-made fabric do the trick, such as rayon which is durable but also wrinkles easily? Of course you have acetate and triacetate, acrylic, microfiber, nylon, olefin, and vinyl, velvet and many more.

It seems like the choices are endless. It may help if you consider things like sofa placement in the room. Will the sofa be located in an area where it will be heavily used or exposed to direct sunlight? Does the sofa dominate the room or are there other large pieces of furniture in close proximity?

Sofas Upholstered In Patterns Or Prints Create Decorating Frustrations For Some

Pink Polka Dot curved couchWe can gravitate towards patterns in upholstery because of the visual interest they provide in our homes. We also like patterns that fit in well with our favorite decorating theme.  Are they always the best long-term choice? Well, that depends.  If you’re going to consider a patterned sofa, make sure that it’s appropriate to the size of the room. Large repeating patterns tend to look better in larger rooms. If your room is tiny you might want to consider a design with smaller patterns. As lovely as patterns are, there can be unpleasant decorating consequences when you choose this type of upholstery.

Finding long-term sofa happiness with patterns, dots and stripes are perfect for some and simply dreadful for others. Your personality has a lot to do with it. Some of us are solids and some of us are patterns. Which one are you?

My Striped  Floral Sofa Decorating Dilemma

Decades ago, I purchased a sofa at a great price that had patterned upholstery. The main background color was Ivory and the pattern consisted of thin stripes of Burgundy and Forest Green with small horizontal stripes of flowers in the same Burgundy and Green shades. At first, I was fine with accessories in the Cream, Dark Green and Burgundy color families.

Unfortunately, after a few months I became weary of having to stick to those shades of accessories to have a color-coordinated room. Having learned from this frustration, I can now see that I am a ” room switcher” of the worst kind. This is why I now choose white furniture and white upholstery. I can switch out my accessory colors on throws, pillows, lamps, picture frames and knick knacks as the mood strikes me without having to buy or store various kinds of slipcovers.

Staying Happy With A Couch That Has Patterns, Stripes Or Polka Dots

Estonia LoveseatOnce you understand what type of decorator you are and how firmly entrenched your style is, patterns may be right up your decorating alley. Patterns are perfect for people who know what they like and are loyal to certain colors. How can you tell whether buying a solid or a patterned couch is a good idea for you? Here is my opinion on which type of home decorator has a better chance of finding long-term bliss with prints and patterns:

  • Traditional At Heart-If you were born with traditional taste and feel comfortable in environments that change very little, you may love having one great sofa in the same print design for years and years. Seeing the same accessory colors day after day makes you feel cozy and safe, not claustrophobic.
  • Riding On Trends And Fads Are Not  Your Style– If you stick to the tried and true and tend to ignore the newest shiniest object offered for sale by manufacturers, you have the type of personality that would be pleased to stick to one theme for a long, long time. You don’t need to change your decor every 3 months.
  • Furniture Buying Is Seen As A Long-term Investment– Many people purchase big-ticket furniture items for their homes that are meant to be passed down from one generation to the next. Collecting heirloom pieces meant to be handed down to  grandchildren creates a very conservative way of choosing sofa styles.

Who Should Consider Avoiding Prints Or Patterned Couch Upholstery

Just like there are folks who can find satisfaction with room decor that rarely changes in appearance, there are other folks out there that are decorating mavericks and love to experiment. Unfortunately, if your sofa is red, blue and green plaid and you are dying to incorporate some pastel shades of lavender and pink accessories in the room, your sofa design will stop you in dead in your tracks. If you can see your decorating style in the list mentioned below, plaids, prints or polka dots may cramp your change-around style.

  • Your Tastes Constantly Change
  • You Decorate According To Your Mood
  • You Feel That Your Room Should Be A Blank Canvas For Creative Expression
  • You Love The Next, Newest Shiny Object Or Accessory
  • You Prefer Clean Expanses Of Color And Feel Calmer Around Neutral Shades

Staying on Solid Ground; Why Tan Couches Are So Family-Friendly

Tan Throw PillowWhen it comes to upholstery, color seems to be the primary driver for most people. Choosing colors wisely means understanding that they  don’t all stack up in durability tests or stain resistance. For instance, if your home has small children and pets, or if you entertain a lot of guests, you should consider darker fabrics that don’t show dirt and wear as easily as lighter-colored fabrics.

One of the most popular and practical colors for family-friendly upholstery is tan. This shade family has many names; Mink, Taupe, Beige, Fawn, Natural Wheat and many more. No matter what name manufacturers give to it, the shade is great for disguising soil.

Thank Goodness For Slipcovers

Hopefully, you’ve picked up a few ideas that will make your fabric selection for your sofa style a little bit easier. One incredibly practical product that has saved many a home decorator from having a nervous breakdown is the slipcover. Today’s versions come in many more colors and fabrics than ever before.

Slipcovers are not inexpensive, but they are perfect for adding new life to flea market finds, outdated upholstery and for those who love switching out looks from season to season. The best thing about slipcovers is that they allow us to change our decorating minds as often as we feel like it.

Image Credits: Courtesy of Amazon.com, Upholstery fabric by the yard,  Comfy Sofa Pink Polka Dots by Newco Kids , Estonia fabric love seat sofa with leather by Yuan Tai,  Microfiber Polyester Faux Suede Pillow by Mill River Products