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« Pattern obsession | Main | Design Junction : Yesteryear at Retropolitan »

Plain relief for furniture

Well, well well, do you think we might be taking a deep perhaps reluctant breath and saying farewell to the single colour, plains fabric trend that's been covering furniture in recent times ?

Patterned fabrics are not for everyone but if you stick to a simple colour palette to keep a sense of uniformity then you are free to mix and match designs as much as you like.

I'm quite excited about this new trend forcing it's way into our interiors - tartan checks, jacquards, paisley prints, stripes, motifs in rich and cosy wools, linens and velvets. Possibly because Winter's approaching, as these patterns for me imply curling up under a thick knitted throw in front of a warm fire in a log cabin in the wilds, sitting it out through the long dark nights and inclement weather.

I've been yearning for a new sofa for a while now, perhaps it's time to be brave. See, my first sofa purchase was a beautiful chesterfield style, dark red muted paisley print button back which I eventually got fed up of and sold on ebay.  All it needed was a reupholster and I'll admit now that it was a big mistake to let it go. Our tastes change, but how foolish.

I'd be really happy with any of these examples.  With their nod to nostalgia, quality and tradition with a contemporary twist, I think there's something here to suit everyone's taste.  So, would you love to lounge on a plaid or two or are you happy sticking to a simpler design ?

 Emily Bond * Linwood * kirkbydesigns

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Reader Comments (9)

I do love a print. However, with furniture it's difficult because it's so expensive that you are stuck with it if you decide you want to change. I'm always careful with prints, inevitably I get tired of it. I love prints in fashion and mixing prints in decor but I usually do it with pillows, rugs, or throws. That dog print is so cute!

@Teri - apart from colour, it's print that really lifts a scheme. I generally do it with pillows too. Putting print on furniture is expensive I agree but if you choose your favourite colour combination, it will last longer than we think. Sam xx

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTeri

I love patterned sofas they really lift a room and give it more character. Cute dogs x

@Sarah - those dogs are a lot fun and so cute. I can imagine your boys enjoying them! Sam x

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Edmonds

I'm definitely one of those people scared of patterns, but I'll join you under a cozy blanket in front of a roaring fireplace this winter! I don't mind patterned blankets but I think I'm too hesitant about interjecting a large statement piece like a sofa in a pattern for fear of exactly what happened to you. Good luck on your sofa search! I like the little dog pattern, I'll admit :)

@Erin - I've heard that Philly gets very cold in the Winter. Maybe a cosy one at your place this year then? I'm saving the pennies! Sam x

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I'm warming up to prints. I tend to be a pretty neutral kinda girl, I'm afraid. I don't think I could do a whole sofa (I get tired of things pretty easily, I'm afraid), but I could easily see smiling every time I walked into a room with either of those chairs! I'm trying, trying to add more pattern, promise!

@Lauren - "I tend to be a pretty neutral kinda girl" that's cool! You've gotta be able to live in and enjoy your home and feel calm in it after a hard day. Sam x

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I generally like plain weaves and prints since I get oh-so-bored oh-so-quickly, unless the print is REALLY good. Currently Linwood have some cool prints that tickle my fancy. A chair upholstered in their 'mind-the-gap' fabric would certainly persuade me to ditch the plains.

@Stephi- welcome and thanks for stopping by :-) There's a big boredom theme running through the responses to this post. May be it's a female thing?! I don't know about you but I prefer the extremes of either a really small print or a big bold fat one, anything in between is a bit dull. Linwoods mind-the-gap fabric is fab - it's having print with a bit of neutral to balance it out. Sam x

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstephi

I think it's superfluous to ask me, right? Most of you will know the answer.

Here's the story of my sofa: when I bought the furniture for my flat I went to Germany as my friend had an italian interiors shop. When I chose the sofa itself he proceeded to show me some 400 fabrics of beige, grey, light green and in all it's different hues. All he noticed was I kept yawning.

Completely frustrated he sent me back to London with free reign of choosing a fabric as he was friendly with the sofa manufacturers in Italy. Plotting on the plane back, I asked myself: if budget would not be an issue, what do I really want? This was just after the launch of the Missoni Home range. Yep, you guessed it and as luck wanted it we sent the fabric from Missoni in Italy to the next village where the sofa manufacturers resided. Enough said?

Be brave, be bold! x

@Tina - nope it's not, fire away! Love your story of your passion and determination winning through. Surely it's less frustrating for your friend having someone that knows what she wants, actually his frustration came from him being unable to mould your wants into his way of thinking. Great story! Sam xx

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertina

I love these prints. Just the other the day I was thinking that I would love to reupholster just the seat cushions on our sofa to a print. Like that Kirk by Design sofa, except the sofa body would be in a plain fabric. Wouldn't that be fun?! In reality, I'm a one color, no pattern upholstery type of gal. I add the pattern (a.k.a. a bit of the unexpected) I crave with throw pillows, rugs, and accessories.

@Theresa - I love just changing the seat cushions as a great way to introduce print. Bravo idea lady! Having read everyone's comments I think we have been brainwashed against prints by the mainstream manufacturers and designers. Plains are literally everywhere. I predict a pattern revolution! Sam x

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

I've always been a little affraid of pattern but the Linwood stand at Decorex and the Kit Kemp talk we went too and subsequent book purchase really have me thinking!

I would love a huge armchair covered in a muted tartan on the inside and a crazy pattern on the outside. It would be fabulous to find a bargin sofa in the shape you love and learn how to upholster it then you could cover it as often as you liked! x

October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

I love the contemporary rustic feel of these pictures you have chosen, Linwood seem to be having a rennaisance, thought their tweed and feather stand at Decorex was great! :)

Not sure I could cope with a very patterned sofa...but I do like a patterned chair to break things up a bit x

October 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

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