How to Choose Bedding and Upholstery

One of the joys of owning a home is being able to decorate it according to your own likes and preferences. However long-term purchases like bedding and upholstery are best bought with a bit of planning and forethought.

Keep your needs in mind

When it comes to upholstery fabric, your requirements are again important. If you lead a busy life and cannot spend time in taking care of delicate upholstery, then you would want to settle for colors and fabrics which don’t need frequent cleaning. Again you have more leeway in choosing a style or fabric if only you are going to use that space. However, if others are sharing it, their needs and preferences have to be addressed as well. For instance, pastel colors or fine fabrics like silk would not work well in a room where small children play. Maybe you need fabric protection for your upholstery if your family likes to snack while watching TV. Also consider if the upholstered furniture will be serving dual purposes - if it is a bedroom that will it also serve as a home office, then it may be a better idea to go for muted colors instead of striking ones. Or if your home office will double as a guest room, you may want to go for upholstery with a bit of pattern instead of it being stark and merely functional.

Also consider how long you plan to use the piece of bedding or upholstered furniture. If you plan to use something for just a couple of years or like to change your surroundings frequently then it might not be a good idea to buy very expensive bedding and furnishings. However when you want something to last, it makes sense to look for quality.

Durability should one of the most important considerations when choosing bedding and upholstery. For instance when choosing fabric for your sofa, consider who all will be using it - if your pets like to snuggle up beside you on the sofa, consider a microfiber fabric or leather as they can withstand heavy use. In high traffic areas like the family room especially, choose upholstery with woven patterns that hold up longer than printed ones. Likewise fabrics with higher thread counts – which refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric - lasts longer than sparse ones. Again consider if your fabric is fade resistant especially if it will be placed in a room that gets plenty of sunlight, or will be placed close to a window. Likewise mildew resistance is an important consideration if you live in a humid climate that fosters mildew – in case you do, shop for fabric that is mildew resistant like those of synthetic blends.

What is the look you wish to achieve?

The choice of bedding and upholstery fabric should be determined by the final look that you are aiming at. The fabric choice for a piece of furniture should approximate the style and character of the item it is covering. For instance traditional fabrics like chintz, jacquard and damask and would look better on an ornate or carved style of sofas. Then again some fabrics like leather and microfiber appear modern or casual, while others like silk and brocade might look more formal. If a homespun quality appeals to you, your style is country and you would probably prefer bedding in florals, checks, calicoes and stripes. For furnishings, you may also like mid-toned woods or painted finishes and vintage fabrics. Choose a fabric to complement the style of the room or the theme that you have established throughout the home.

Finally consider the scale of the pattern when choosing bedding and upholstery. It should be appropriate to the size of the furniture it is covering, as well as the room size.
A large bold, pattern might work better in a larger room, while a more muted or smaller one might be a better choice for a smaller space.

Any furniture, rugs, or artwork that you already have can serve as a good starting point for going over your choices. Take pre-existing pieces into consideration or your room could end up looking out of sync, even if all the pieces are wonderful individually. For instance while choosing bedding, see if the color and pattern will complement that of your bedroom curtains. Likewise while selecting sofa upholstery avoid anything that would clash with the expensive Turkish carpet that is your joy and pride. You should also consider if your new piece is going to be the focal point in the room, or play a secondary role to something that is already there.

What colors to choose?

Everyone has a group of favorite colors – while choosing bedding and upholstery too, it may be worthwhile to consider them, because the colors you love tend to make you feel comfortable and happy. Are there any colors that you absolutely detest? Avoid them even if they happen to be in fashion at the moment or if you are getting a good discount on the fabric. Yet another point to keep in mind is the intensity of the color. Even if the store has your choice of colors, if the shades are not right, they can wreck the look of the bedding or furniture. Don’t forget practical considerations like the scale of the room - for instance, it may be best to avoid a very bold color for a smaller room, especially if your sofa is also large. Finally decide on colors that evoke the kind of mood you want in that room. Since warm and cool colors affect the ambience of the room, make sure you’re choosing the right fabric for the right mood – the bedding in a bedroom can have shades of mauve and red to evoke intimacy while the upholstery in a family room would do well with bright colors like orange and green which impart a feeling of energy and warmth.

Individual considerations

In case you or a family member has an allergy, consider fabric such as microfiber since it is lint free and does not attract dust. This is especially relevant while buying bedding. Again if you have pets avoid using delicate fabric such as silk or any fabric with lots of texture. Instead select pet-friendly upholstery like leather which is easily cleaned and to which pet hair doesn't cling to. Your pet might leave holes in it but they are usually not very noticeable. An even better choice could be microfiber which is a synthetic fabric and thus easy to clean for stains, and not a hair magnet. Moreover your cat's claws won't get caught in it, as there are no loops in the fabric.

Finally of course, your budget may prove to be the deciding factor in your choice of furnishings. Even in this matter you may have choices if you have the time to look around multiple stores, browse online for good deals or wait for the sale season. Decorating a home is one of the greatest pleasures known to humans and when choosing bedding and upholstery, it would be ideal to find a balance between practical and aesthetic considerations.