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How to elevate your décor with statement upholstery fabrics

Our top tips for turning a treasured piece into the start of the show…
How to elevate your décor with statement upholstery fabrics

Choosing the right upholstery fabric can be a daunting task and it often sees us resorting to relatively safe options such as plains or quiet, subtle patterns. But while these fabrics have their place in a scheme, a statement upholstery fabric can truly elevate a room, making a focal point of a key piece of furniture and informing the aesthetic of the rest of the space. Here, we explore some of our favourite statement upholstery ideas…



The art of making a statement


Linwood Fabric | Wild Life | Issa | Earth


What makes a statement upholstery fabric? It’s a design that draws the eye to your chosen piece, creating a fabulous talking point within a scheme. A richly patterned velvet, a bold floral or a textural fabric in an arresting colour will all serve to create a standout piece, bringing colour and interest to an interior. Remember that a bold print can also be a forgiving choice in a busy home, as it will often hide the odd scuff or stain much better than a plain.



Geometric wonders: graphic printed chairs


Linwood Fabric | Tango Weaves | Pagoda | Tomato


There is something very modern about a bold geometric upholstery fabric. Punchy and incisive, it brings energy to a scheme and adds a touch of drama. Introduce a geometric printed chair to an otherwise restful space to create a sense of movement or use it to shake up a classic interior by juxtaposing it with more traditional patterns. In this instance, two different geometric fabrics – Pampas in Charcoal on the chair and a cushion in Pagoda in Tomato – are a daring combination, making an impactful statement. A clever way to add character to a modern piece.



Vintage charm: floral jacquard sofas

 Linwood | The English Garden | Albertine | Coral Orange


Floral fabrics never go out of vogue and are a perfect way to bring a sense of nature to a piece of upholstery. Mix with contrasting florals and small prints for a classic English country house look, or adopt a more modern approach by introducing a floral upholstery fabric to a simple, stream-lined interior. For a real statement piece, we love using colourful floral linen fabrics – this design, Albertine in Coral Orange, is a case in point – or for a slightly more subtle approach, try a floral jacquard or damask such as our elegant Miletto design. The self-pattern will add character to upholstery, as well as a feeling of understated glamour.



Luxurious comfort: velvet upholstered seating


Linwood Fabric | Kami | Topaz


Nothing beats a printed velvet for bringing a sense of opulence to furniture, and its tactile qualities make it perfect for any number of upholstery projects. The beauty of our printed velvets is that they are also eminently practical. In the case of this stunning design, Kami in Topaz, the velvet is not only stain resistant but also machine washable at 30 degrees. The gorgeous Oriental pattern is wonderful for making a statement on a sofa, armchair or ottoman and it provides a ready-made colour palette for the entire room scheme – see how we took the coral pinks and turquoise hues of the print to inspire fabric and paint colour choices for this sitting room. Sophisticated yet cosy… what’s not to love?



Nautical inspiration: striped print furniture

 Linwood Fabric | Small Prints | Croquet | Violane


A striped upholstery fabric can bring a subtly nautical style to a scheme, giving a piece of upholstery a crisp, structured feel. If you don’t want to go overboard with the coastal theme, team your stripe with a variety of prints: a small organic pattern for the curtains, perhaps, or floral designs for the cushions. Also remember that you don’t necessarily have to opt for bold blue colours: watery shades such as the serene blue of this informal stripe, Croquet in Violane, are soothing rather than strident, helping to create a restful feel. Note how the stripes on this sofa perfectly align for a neat, tailored effect – the mark of a good upholsterer.



Contemporary chic: abstract print recliners


Linwood Fabric | Velvet Wonderland | We Built This City | Heat Up 

An upholstery fabric in an abstract print is an inspired choice for modern pieces, from slick lounge chairs to fabulous recliners. We love the energy of this colourful printed velvet, We Built This City in Heat Up. It is inspired by a textile that is more than a thousand years old, although the reworked colours give it a decidedly modern edge. The print – which is also very forgiving – looks fantastic on this neat armchair and would also look stunning on a chic chaise longue. A dramatic showstopper of a fabric.



Earthy elegance: natural fibre cushions


Linwood | Elba Linen | Cushions


Don’t forget all-important cushions when devising your upholstery projects, as they are brilliant for adding both decoration and comfort to your chosen piece. Cushions in natural fibres are a great choice as they are warm in winter and cool in summer, and eco-friendly options include designs made from jute, hemp, bamboo or linen. Our Elba linen is a wonderfully sustainable choice for soft furnishings as it is made from the flax plant, which requires very little water. The ready-made cushions feature two tone colours, enabling you to change the look according to your mood. In this instance, a subtly earthy elegance pervades with shades of saffron, cinnamon and dusty rose.



Mixing and matching: eclectic upholstery combinations


Linwood Fabric | Small Prints


You don’t have to confine statement upholstery fabrics to just one piece. Find fabrics that “speak” to each other, and you can add character and a sense of eclecticism to your upholstery, creating a room that has lots of personality. A common theme is important, though, to avoid the effect appearing incoherent: in the room scheme above, a striking contemporary lattice print, Maypole in Peony, provides a lovely statement upholstery fabric for the ottoman, and its fresh palette in turn inspired the uplifting pink stripe chosen for the sofa. Other soft furnishings, including a pouffe, curtains and cushions, introduce more prints, all of which are united by the colour palette of pinks and greens, as well as the informal painterly style of the prints themselves. A lovely lesson in the art of layering.



Texture play: chenille and leather fusion

Linwood Fabric | Faroe | Tangerine


Another way to make a statement with upholstery fabrics is to contrast different textures: velvet with linen, for example, or crisp cotton with a fabulous chunky weave. Another favourite combination of ours is chenille and leather, the smoothness of the leather proving a wonderful foil to the textural quality of chenille. This armchair, which is covered in our tactile herringbone chenille, Faroe in Tangerine, would team beautifully with a footstool in rich tan leather (our Saddle range has the advantage of being beautiful and eco-friendly as it is made from offcuts from the fashion industry) or go a step further and combine the two on the same piece, upholstering the frame in leather and the seat and back in chenille. Warming choices for a cosy scheme.



Bespoke beauties: customising statement upholstery


Linwood Fabric | Tango | Jungle Rumble Velvet | Leopard


If you are investing in a beautiful designer fabric for a piece of furniture, it is worth getting every detail right, and custom touches can really help elevate your chosen design. Buttoning or piping in a contrast colour, or a shade that picks out a tone in the print, will add character to the piece and show off its shape. For this 1950s style sofa, we chose an exuberant velvet upholstery fabric, Jungle Rumble in Leopard, picking out the rose pink in the print with velvet piping that adds a touch of elegant tailoring. A fabulous way to enhance a statement pattern and make a piece truly your own.


Linwood Fabric | Bibi


We hope you have been inspired to be creative with your upholstery projects, choosing a standout fabric that really enhances your chosen piece. Bear in mind how much fabric is required for your piece of furniture: sofas tend to require a lot of meterage whilst headboards require relatively little, so if you have fallen in love with an expensive fabric, you might want to consider showcasing it on a headboard or, indeed, an ottoman or bench. And remember that if you feel your upholstery fabric will be too shouty in the room, try adding some secondary patterns to the scheme. It seems counterintuitive, but by adding more prints, your standout design should sit more happily in the space.