The best upholstery styles for your furniture
When most people picture furniture, an upholstered piece is likely the first thing that comes to mind. From a sumptuous sofa to a plush padded headboard, upholstery is well-suited to a variety of furniture types, and the diverse range of upholstery styles means that upholstered furniture is well-suited to all interior design aesthetics.
But with so many upholstery styles to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down the best options to furnish your home. Take the guesswork out of home decorating with our guide to the best upholstery styles around.
What is upholstery exactly?
Before we begin, let’s clarify what upholstery actually is. The term ‘upholstery’ actually refers to all of the materials that make up soft, cushioned furniture. This may include webbing and springs, padding and foam, and the materials that cover it such as fabric or leather. ‘Upholstery’ can also refer to the entire process of adding these materials to furniture.
That said, for today, we’ll focus on the fabric, and the upholstery styles available to select the look and feel of your upholstered furniture.
The main upholstery styles: fabric vs. leather
The main options when it comes to upholstery covers are arranged into two categories: fabric and leather. You can read our full guide to leather upholstery styles here, but there are some pros and cons to keep in mind when choosing between fabric and leather.
Fabric-upholstered furniture tends to be less expensive than equivalent leather-upholstered furniture, and there are more options in terms of colour, pattern, and texture — at Corcoran’s we even have a wide selection of made-to-order furniture so you can choose from a huge array of fabric options to create your dream furniture.
On the other hand, leather furniture is sleek, low-maintenance and easy to clean, and hypoallergenic. Leather furniture is less likely to gather dust or other allergens. While it’s generally more of an investment than a fabric equivalent, leather upholstery is designed to last and requires minimal maintenance in comparison to fabric pieces that require regular vacuuming.
Types of fabric upholstery materials
There are a wide variety of fabric types that can be used to upholster furniture. Because upholstered furniture often sees daily use and needs to stand up against the friction of people sitting on it, upholstery fabric is usually heavyweight and often features a sturdy backing to add durability.
However, there are still plenty of options for fabrics that meet the reliability requirements needed to upholster furniture. Here are seven of the most popular choices:
Cotton is one of the most popular materials for fabrics of all sorts, and that includes upholstery fabric. Cotton dyes extremely well, meaning it is great not only for natural colours but also for vibrant hues. It’s breathable, comfortable, and fade-resistant, and it can suit any budget. Cotton is great for daily-use furniture and decorative pieces alike.
A synthetic blend fabric, polyester is another one of the most popular upholstery styles thanks to its supersoft feel and low-maintenance construction. Resistant to pilling and wrinkling, polyester is an appealing pick for hard-wearing furniture, although dark colours are preferable to avoid stains and marks.
Nylon and nylon-blend fabric is an extremely durable and stain-resistant fabric that is great for common upholstered furniture pieces. It is susceptible to heat and light, so position nylon-upholstered furniture carefully to avoid fading, but it’s an otherwise resilient pick for your furniture.
Looking for relaxed yet elegant upholstery styles for your furniture? Linen is a natural pick that looks great in neutral shades and light and airy home decor. Although linen stains easily and may not be ideal for heavily-trafficked rooms, it’s a lovely choice for special occasion furniture pieces.
Super durable and great for outdoor furniture upholstery, acrylic can withstand the elements and avoid mildewing in the rain or fading in the sun. It tends to be rougher than some other upholstery styles, but for indoor use it can be mixed with another material or processed for a softer and more comfortable texture.
Add a luxe finish to your favourite furniture with velvet upholstery styles. Velvet is a fabric style that can be made from a variety of materials, and is always in demand thanks to its soft, tactile design and beautifully rich colours. Ideal for an on-trend upholstered piece or for furniture with a touch of glamour.
If you love the look of leather but require a synthetic option, faux leather is a solid alternative. Usually crafted from polyurethane, this upholstery type imitates the look of natural leather in a budget-friendly, non-animal-product form. Like real leather, faux leather is low-maintenance and easy to clean, making it a good choice for furniture in high-traffic areas.
Top-quality upholstery styles at Corcoran’s
For leather and fabric upholstered furniture to fit every style, budget, and requirement, shop Corcoran’s collection in-store or online and find the perfect pieces for your home. You’ll find your favourite upholstery styles, as well as plenty of accessories and other items that will help you complete a room.
Want to learn more about your upholstery options? Get in touch; our expert team is always here to help. And if you have questions you’d like to see answered in a future blog, let us know, and get the design knowledge you need to create your dream home.