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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Choosing Upholstery Fabric - Decisions Decisions


During the past month or so, I've been on a mission to replace our tired living room furniture.  We haven't had it a really long time, I think maybe 7 years or so, but my style has changed, and as I'm sure many of you already know, a cruising baby, and then toddler, can wreak havoc on furniture.  I feel like, if I were ever asked, I would recommend leather furniture to anyone who is planning to have children.  Either that, or something covered in a pattern that can camouflage the food and milk stains that will inevitably cover the edges of the seat cushions. 

Another issue I've been having is that we only have the sofa and one over-sized matching chair.  I love the chair, but goodness it sure takes up a ton of room! When we have people over, one of us usually ends up sitting on the floor, or depending on how many people we have over, we bring in a few dining room chairs.

For a couple of weeks, I'd been looking at furniture online, but was having a hard time finding something I really liked, that was also affordable.  It seemed the stuff I liked was crazy expensive, or I either liked the style or the fabric, but never both. 

One day, I was cruising my local Goodwill when I spotted this chair.

Aside from the fabric, it's gorgeous, and at only $35, it was a deal I couldn't pass up. 


A couple of weeks later, I was poking around on Pinterest when I ran across a gorgeous velvet Louis XV sofa. I mentioned to my husband that I would love to find something like it one day.  Later that afternoon...

$95!!  It was in excellent shape too!  


About a week later, I was out at the same shop where I got the sofa, and decided to look at their furniture again to see if I could find a wing-back chair similar to the other one.  I saw this dingy blue chair that looked like it would work, but it sure looked sad.  Until I saw the price!  I paid $4 for it.



So now the mission is to get these recovered which is something I've never had done before.  I contact one local business and was given a quote for labor and fabric yardage needed.  I'm still planning on checking around for a couple more quotes, but at least I have a starting point for how much fabric I'll need.

Choosing fabric will be the most difficult part of this.  I'm incredibly indecisive with just mundane, small things so this will be a big decision for me!  Of course, my husband and I have to agree on the choice too so that makes it even harder.  I also have to consider our two-year-old.  We are pretty much out of the food and milk gunk on the cushions, but I know there will be some occasional spills.  I need something that is easy to clean.  I'm leaning towards something neutral, and would love to just do linen, but I'm pretty sure linen isn't going to be kid-friendly.

I've been pinning ideas of what I might like, I just need some input and some fabric suggestions.  If you have any, please leave a comment!  Please???

The seat cushions on the sofa are very firm, and we believe they're stuffed with horsehair so we'll be having those replaced. I'm considering just one long cushion, like a bench cushion.  Has anyone ever owned a sofa with just one cushion?  What did you think of it?




This is the overall look I'm going for in the room.  Lots of neutrals.  Am I just setting myself up for failure, with a toddler in the house?  
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I'm planning to paint all of the wood details white/off-white, and then I'll distress them.


I love the nubby look of this fabric.  Is that linen?


I'm thinking I'd like just one long cushion like this, but I'm not sure how practical that is.  Will it stay put, or will it just get all wonky when people move around  on it?  Would two cushions be better?



I love the throw pillows on this one, but I think the seat cushions might be a little too firm.


 Most of the images I've looked at have fabrics in the brown family, but I like this grey too.


So much squish! 


Ok, so I know a lot of people just read posts, and don't usually comment, but if you have any input that you think might help me, would you please share in the comments?



4 crafty peeps said:

  1. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I wouldn't use linen. It is absolutely beautiful. I bought a linen couch before having kids. I loved it. It didn't last long with kids though. Not only did it get stained but by the time we got rid of it we had rips all over. If you are going to go though all the work of having it reupholstered, you want your investment to last. Before buying my last set of furniture I went into a local boutique furniture store and asked them for the best fabric options with kids. They gave me a lot of on-trend ideas that weren't microfiber or leather. Best of luck. I love the original piece and can't wait to see what you choose.

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    1. Thanks for your input!! Having linen is wishful thinking on my part, I guess! I kind of figured that would be a failure since even linen clothing is a pain. I think I'll take your advice and talk to a pro. I really don't want to have to redo this in a few years!

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  2. I have a one cushion couch. IT IS WONDERFUL! We actually couldn't find a couch like you pictured above so we had one made. It now needs to be recovered, and I would much rather recover it then get a different couch. I will never go back to a couch with multiple cushions.The cushion doesn't move at all. It stays put.

    I have it covered in a heavy duck-like cloth in a natural linen color. The children have dirtied it, but now it is worn through (torn).

    We're thinking dark grey this time. Same type of fabric, but a darker color to hide the dirt.

    The sofas you have above are in heavy hemp. It's an old vintage sheet, most likely, that has been made into a couch cover.

    Linen is too thin and will tear easily with children. You could do a linen blend, but linen shrinks, even in cold, so it's not so great for washing.

    Our heavy duck cloth went 7 years before it tore. The fabric we used for the other pieces of furniture tore in a year. We recovered it and it tore again.

    The thicker the cloth, the longer it will last, in my experience.

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    1. Thank you!!! I'm so glad someone shared their experience with the solo cushion. My main concern was it shifting as people got up and down. Thank you for easing my mind.

      I was looking at fabrics online today, and I'm considering a darker fabric. I really like the lighter colors, but I like having clean looking furniture even more! My car upholstery is a light color, and I can see where my daughter and I slide in and out, that the blue from our jeans has discolored the fabric. No way do I want that happening on my furniture!

      I'm just now in the sample ordering phase. I'm considering this fabric, but I'll definitely look into duck too.

      https://www.fabric.com/buy/uk-180/robert-allen-linen-slub-natural

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