Designer Bo Li used big design ideas to turn this small kitchen into a stunningly spacious, transitional space. Patterned upholstery gives the kitchen island seating a decorative touch while white cabinetry and rich textiles to enrich the space. A breakfast bar like this one can serve as an informal place to eat, or as functional seating for when your party guests inevitably end up in the kitchen with you. This granite breakfast bar doubles as a kitchen island and features comfortable upholstered stools.
Add a touch of whimsy and essence of fall to the back of each chair with this simple-to-make apple chair swag. Use an upholstery needle to thread small apples onto jute twine. Tie onto chair backs and tie on additional lengths of coordinating ribbons for a playful look. Tip: Once apples are no longer in use for decorating purposes, use them for applesauce or pie filling.
The trick to using leather correctly is to stick with tones that don’t read overly rich, overtly sexy or even gaudy. Here, the room’s main door was given an update with leather upholstery in an aged brown tone that’s slightly faded and worn, resulting in more of a vintage look. In addition to a mix of tones, the room was outfitted with organic textures that add visual depth.
This 4,000 square foot retreat on Lake Gaston in rural North Carolina features an inviting pool and plenty of space to lounge outside in the sun or shade.
Outdoor drapery helped blur the lines between indoor spaces and exterior porches filled with upholstery, swings and places for lazy napping next to the saltwater pool, all keeping a fresh, clean and neutral palette. And after the sun goes down, the party moves to the lakeside fire pit.
The owner wanted a place where his family could enjoy meals together, so designers added a custom banquette to give the kitchen an eat-in space, while the fun upholstery makes the space lively and casual. Although the main function of the banquette is to provide seating for the family, it serves the dual purpose of hiding the radiator in the home and was built to be easily taken apart and moved in case repairs need to be made.
Pops of coral stand out in this living room’s black and white color palette. Designer Mariah O’Brien loves to begin with a white base, adding bold hues in the form of accent walls and accessories for a striking palette. Mariah’s secret? “The whites I like to use showcase the colors, upholstery, fabrics and art in the room without competing with the wall color. If and when our clients need a little change, it is much easier to change out the window treatments, pillows and accessories than to have to repaint an entire room,” says O’Brien.
To get that pro-decorator look, be sure to hang all your chair wreaths at the same height. First, measure your wreaths and ribbon lengths carefully. Next, use a couple of upholstery pins to fix the ribbon in the joint where the chair’s back and seat meet. Last, measure from the floor to the base of each wreath; adjust the pin-job if the wreath hangs too high or too low.
Try something new this year with a space-saving, alternative Christmas tree that can even display cards from friends and family. You'll need: 4x8-foot sheet of luan; latex paint or water-based stain; staining pad (if using stain); drill; 1/2-inch paddle bit; colored craft string; upholstery tacks or push pins; 6-foot strand of 12-gauge wire; tennis ball; picture nail; hammer; battery-operated LED twinkle lights; duct tape in metallic finish; scissors; chalk.
When couples combine furniture, sometimes major pieces, like a bed, need to be freshened up. Atlantan Amanda Macy Hall, who blogs about home decor and DIY projects, transformed a queen cherry sleigh bed that belonged to her husband, Josh, with upholstery. She used a cheap drop cloth and a roll of brass decorative nails. “I love the look of the drop-cloth, a beautiful natural color with subtle texture, and the nailheads bring the added style that helps to tie it to the rest of our room.”
In a master bedroom that was all about cozy luxury, designer Lauren Macer created an inviting seating area using existing pieces from her client’s collection. “The armchairs are vintage pieces, however they were upholstered in black leather that was damaged. I reupholstered them in a beautiful soft linen fabric for a completely different look,” she says. “When looking for vintage furniture pieces, the most important element is shape. The upholstery, wood color and the condition of the filling can all be changed — so keep an open mind and don’t let a strong pattern or color distract you.”
Outdoor drapery helps blur the lines between indoor spaces and exterior porches filled with upholstery, swings and places for lazy napping next to the saltwater pool, all keeping a fresh, clean and neutral palette. And after the sun goes down, the party moves to the lakeside fire pit.
Everything is upholstered in Sunbrella, including the outdoor drapery, which all gets a heavy hose-down in advance of every visit. The couple and their guests can nap, lounge, party and relax there. We're told the lake is a jet ski drag strip on the weekends, so good spectator seating!
One of the most successful ways to keep a muted space from falling flat is to layer in several shades of the same color using pillows and throws. The large-scale butterfly pillow in the armchair has slightly more purple in it than the upholstery fabric, resulting in a subtle, sophisticated layering effect. When layering shades of mauve and lavender, it’s important to stay away from those with beige undertones: they’ll end up reading more in the pink or flesh-tone family.
When specifying upholstery for a beachfront house belonging to an active family, designers Betsy Burnham and Max Humphrey of Burnham Design opted to cover all the furniture in indoor-outdoor fabric. "Every piece is done in Sunbrella fabric — even the pillows and the custom area rug underneath. Outdoor fabric was the perfect choice for this room, which is "command central" for TV-watching and game playing.” And, they note, “In terms of the furniture plan, sometimes it’s dramatic to do fewer pieces and keep the scale large of each and bold; that’s the case here. We selected the largest sectional we could fit in the space and made sure it was super deep and comfy. We paired it with a large upholstered ottoman, which serves double duty as a coffee table and great place for everyone to kick up their feet.”
The best way to judge the quality of a sofa—as well as its comfort—is to spend some time with it in person. Sit on it for several minutes. Try different positions: Lean against the arm to see if it digs into your neck or back uncomfortably; test each end of the seat, as well as the middle; bounce a bit on the seat to see how firm and supportive it is; stand up and see how much fluffing the pillows require after you’ve sat on them. Hold onto a corner of the sofa and wiggle the frame: It should feel solid and firm, with no give in the joints. Lift up one leg to feel whether the sofa is heavy and substantial or lightweight. Examine all the stitching and upholstery from top to bottom. “The fabric should lie smoothly across the frame, without puckering, and the seams and any decorative welting or trim should be tight and straight,” says Bar-Nahum.
This stunning vintage white sofa is the one thing I might have tried to run out the door with. The woven upholstery fabric immediately adds an air of sophistication to a wall color that might otherwise come across as juvenile. The sleek curve of the arm that transitions into a fully upholstered leg, housing a floating bench cushion is a work of art with a clear mid-century reference. The only way to address a piece this special is to accent it with sleek black floor lamps, a classic black and white marble coffee table, and graphic drapery fabric by the talented Kelly Wearstler. I really enjoy seeing a successful relationship between the primary colors in the artwork and the tertiary wall color. Angela definitely took risks, but her artistic eye served her well.