There’s nothing like upholstery to bolster a feeling of luxury in a room. However, picking out upholstered furniture can feel daunting. Between deciding on a color and a particular fabric, the options can seem endless. Especially when you consider that some fabrics like linen might take your room to the next level, but they also might also be impractical with your home’s mess level (i.e. kids). To make it all a bit easier to manage, we’re spotlighting three questions to ask yourself when selecting upholstered furniture. Equipped with the answers, we guarantee that selecting the right fabric will be a breeze! 

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Assess the mess 

Begin by taking stock of where you’ll be using your upholstered piece. Upholstered dining chairs, for instance, will be in close proximity to food and drink, which means easily-stained fabrics like linen or suede, as well as light color fabrics might not be best — especially if they’ll regularly be seating kids. Similar concerns might come into play when choosing fabrics for bar stools, as well as furnishings that will adorn playrooms, kids’ bedrooms, and living rooms. If the mess potential is high, consider fabrics that clean up well, like leather and Crypton. Darker colors will also be your safest bet.

Gauge its Usage 

Even if you don’t have spill-prone kids or muddy-paw-prone pets, light fabrics, whether they be linen or leather, are going to show dirt eventually, no matter how careful you are with them. With that in mind, consider how often you’ll be using your upholstered furniture. For instance, a white boucle sofa is a much better choice for a barely-used formal living room than it is an active family room that gets used everyday. 

Stake out the Sun

While not always mandatory, it can pay off to pay some mind to the sun exposure that your upholstered furniture will receive. While no fabric is truly fade resistant, some Performance fabrics like Crypton and Sunbrella are a much better bet. High sun exposure also makes a case for considering white upholstery. Even if you have kids and pets, a white sofa with a slipcover you can wash might be a good trade-off if your sofa will be beaten by the sun every afternoon. 

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Lead photo design by Form + Field / Photo by R. Bradley Knipstein


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November 29, 2022

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