Trends in Furniture Upholstery That Will Transform Your Home

Merriam-Webster defines upholstery as “the process or business of covering pieces of furniture with cloth, leather, etc”. For all intents and purposes it’s within the etcetera where the magic happens. Upholstery is so much more than a trade within the grand concept of interior design. It is a very specialized field that few interior design firms have mastered. It is an art form and a science that can transform your entire room.

With the popularity of vintage and repurposed furnishing maintaining through 2015 into the year ahead, the demand for professional upholstery services is on the rise. If you find yourself on the hunt for unique pieces from local antique shops and estate sales yet desire to make it your own— upholstery is your solution …

1. Bright Colors

2015 was a bright year in upholstery, with bold splashes of color accenting contemporary homes everywhere. The retro-furniture mod scene of the 60’s is back and it lends itself perfectly to bright colored fabrics. 2016 is expected to deliver more of the same, with the Color Association naming blues, reds, and yellows as the primaries. Blue in particular is taking off in furniture fabrics, which speaks to the continued rise in tastes to match the tech decor embraced by early adopters and young professionals. Upholstery that was once only found in modern office settings is now working its way into your home.

2. Natural, Not Neutral, Colors

If bright colors are a bit much, yet you still want to add color to your home, then this emerging trend is for you. Natural earth tones are also big right now, but it’s not what you think. Robert Allan, an international high-end fabric source for interior designers, released his Fresh Naturals collection this month, which sums up the concept that speaks to the trend:

“Naturals shows that ‘natural’ doesn’t mean neutral with a playful mix of colors and designers that give a relaxed, bohemian look.” (Hannah Alderson via Furniture Today)
Specifically, the natural tones emerging in upholstery at the moment include Mediterranean blues. Expect to see more from subtle turquoise and navy, hues that especially complement the design of vacation properties and seaside homes.

3. Subtle Metallics

Many of today’s entrepreneurs and professionals make their living in the tech sector. Their appreciation for the industry is translated in the interior design of their home and has sparked this global trend. Tasteful metallic leather (see introductory image) makes a bold statement like no other, announcing itself to all who enter the room. This textile works well on seating with flowing curves and ornate legs or straight-surfaced contemporary styles alike. There has also been a lot of headway in the development of a more luxurious metallic vinyl. This new and improved vinyl is a viable option if you’re seeking an alternative to a metallic leather.

4. Bold Patterns to Suit Unique Tastes

Eclectic and statement-making patterns were big in 2015 and are expected to carry over into 2016. Individuality is the key, with this trend encouraging you to express yourself through the patterns on your furniture fabrics. Think bold. Think colorful. Think outside of the box when selecting a fabric design for your sofas, chairs, and ottomans. If you can’t find an existing pattern, have one custom made from a digital print. Find dramatic examples of this here. Just one word of advice – be sure to choose a pattern that you know you can live with in the long run. For instance, a bright floral pattern is irresistible in the spring and summer months but it may wear on you when autumn and winter arrive.

Upholstery has become so essential in improving the look and feel of old seating that the methodology continues to spill over into other forms of furniture. Upholstering headboards and bed frames continues to gain in popularity. But in 2015-16 coffee, console, and end tables are getting in on the action.


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