How to commission upholstery and soft furnishings

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Knowing however to committee upholstery and brushed furnishings creates rooms with idiosyncratic benignant – and delivers results that volition last.

Whether for curtains and shades, seating, headboards oregon pillows, it’s captious the fabrics utilized wrong an interior design tick the boxes for practicality and however overmuch deterioration they volition undergo, arsenic good arsenic creating the desired aesthetic.

Here experts explicate however to committee upholstery and brushed furnishings for rooms astir the home.

How to committee upholstery and brushed furnishings

Custom model treatments, seating upholstery, headboards, and pillows are worthy investing successful but considering some the relation and benignant of immoderate portion is indispensable for enduringly elegant results. Use these guidelines to committee upholstery and brushed furnishings.

Commissioning curtains

Living room

Interior decorator and cloth decorator Susan Deliss had a trim of cloth added to the starring borderline and bases of the curtains successful this strategy arsenic dogs went successful and retired of the treble doors

(Image credit: Deliss)

Often the starting spot for a room, window attraction ideas tin beryllium tricky to commission. 

Start by creating a privation database which includes some the functionality you privation from the curtain oregon blind, arsenic good arsenic what you privation to execute visually arsenic portion of your interiors strategy – this, alongside a Pinterest temper board, tin past beryllium presented to your chosen curtain shaper for discussion.

'Keep an unfastened caput and cautiously see the signifier of the model and the country astir it,' recommends Kathryn Seidl of bespoke brushed furnishing supplier to the commercialized KLS Interiors. 'Do you privation a Roman unsighted connected a model that is already wide and not precise tall? This attraction volition stress that. Instead, level magnitude curtains volition assistance to redress the equilibrium of the window,' she recommends. 

Equally, bulky accepted radiators nether windows volition assistance up the hem of agelong curtains; alternatively see a blind, shutter oregon fixed formal curtains (with a moving blind). 

'Other ways of mounting a curtain specified arsenic a covered way (lathe and fascia) oregon a pelmet whitethorn besides beryllium imaginable wherever determination are heavy radiators. Both of these options are created with custom-made timber apical boards which tin beryllium made deeper to task curtains further guardant if necessary.'

Commissioning privateness and blackout solutions

Window seat

Well-made curtains and blinds tin enactment similar treble glazing, particularly successful play properties with ample single-glazed windows specified arsenic this model spot strategy by Carden Cunietti

(Image credit: Carden Cunietti)

Particularly important successful nurseries, curtains and Roman blinds volition permission gaps astatine the sides so, to execute afloat blackout, spell for a aggregate furniture of a blackout roller blind, curtains and a pelmet, recommends Kathryn. Discuss privateness concerns arsenic aboriginal arsenic possible, too, adhd interior designers Ali Johnson and Alex Keith of Otta Design. 

'You’ll request to make solutions for antithetic times of the day. Roman blinds and sheer blinds are an enactment – the second tin beryllium raised and lowered astatine immoderate clip without impacting heavy connected daylight. Sheer curtains are a large mode to soften up the abstraction and connection a applicable solution to south- and west- facing rooms with beardown sunlight particularly with ample expanses of glass,' they add.

Natural fabrics specified arsenic linen, wool, fabric and silk are perfect for schemes with a softer oregon little tailored finished. They are besides worthy considering successful older houses wherever elements specified arsenic floors and ceilings are uneven. Lucy Bathurst of Nest Design is some an interior decorator and curtain shaper who specializes successful utilizing handwoven and hand-spun antique oregon vintage textiles successful her curtains. 

'Natural fabrics thin to drawback the airy erstwhile draped connected the level which tin unbend and soften rooms successful a pleasing way.' 

For those who privation a akin style, arsenic a unsmooth guide, she recommends asking the curtain shaper to adhd a further 2in (5cm) to the driblet of the curtains truthful that they excavation connected the floor.

Budgeting erstwhile commissioning curtains and blinds


Plain roman blinds oregon curtains tin beryllium elevated by adding a pelmet and an embroidered trim. Otta Design commissioned trade-only KLS Interiors to embellish a plain cloth with an embroidered Greek Key braid down the starring edge

(Image credit: Otta Design)

One mode to trim the outgo of cloth is to inquire the curtain shaper lone to usage it arsenic an extra-wide borderline down the starring edge, with a plain making up the main portion of the curtain, adhd the squad from Otta Design. A akin attack tin beryllium utilized if curtains person been prima bleached – adhd a contrasting cloth to screen the width of the damage.

'A covered lathe and fascia is simply a much affordable mechanics for curtains compared to a corded pole, peculiarly successful a bay window,' says Ali. 'Pelmets oregon embroidered trims tin elevate plain Roman blinds, too.'

Commissioning upholstery

'We ne'er compromise connected comfy seating, whether it’s upholstering caller chairs and sofas oregon restoring antique and vintage pieces,’ says interior decorator Fran Hickman. 

‘Practicalities don’t person to overrule finishes truthful it’s worthy taking clip to deliberation and plan, and there’s a batch to see – wherever is it, what’s astir it, who is utilizing it and what for.'

Neutral coloured upholstered daybed successful  beforehand   of a ample  model   by Fran Hickman

(Image credit: Annabel Elston | Fran Hickman)

'For seating upholstery, we deliberation astir the country it's going to beryllium in, and we deliberation astir the radical that are going to usage it, and however applicable it needs to beryllium particularly if determination are children.

'Think astir however overmuch of the seating, and which parts, volition beryllium visible, and which parts volition get much wear. (The backmost of the seat is going to get little deterioration than the seat.) With a banquette, for example, we mightiness bash the spot successful 1 fabric, and the backmost successful a antithetic fabric, and we'll bash scatter cushions successful antithetic fabrics again.'

'You tin beryllium playful with upholstery. One of the astir amusive ways you tin enliven a country is to bash each seat a antithetic color, which is besides large if you can't rather marque up your mind! A much subtle mentation mightiness beryllium to take antithetic shades of 1 color, oregon usage a palette of complementary patterns.

'Interior designers tin defender their upholsterer contacts jealously truthful it’s worthy utilizing an manufacture body, specified arsenic the AMUSF, to find qualified and experienced specialists successful your area.’ In the US, you tin find a section upholster who is simply a subordinate of the National Upholstery Association.

'I besides usage antique seating that we person restored and reupholstered,’ continues Fran. ‘Auctions person go truly casual online: I deliberation it's 1 of my favourite ways to root seating due to the fact that it’s amusive and you tin bargain immoderate peculiar pieces astatine amended prices. We usage restorers specified arsenic Titian Studios successful London and an upholsterer volition springiness it a caller lease of beingness to marque it look wholly transformed.'

Commissioning ottomans

Living country   with sofas

Be generous with cushion sizes and inquire the shaper to marque them up successful antithetic shapes to adhd involvement to a room, arsenic demonstrated successful this sitting country decorated by Susan Deliss

(Image credit: Deliss)

One of the astir communal mistakes made erstwhile specifying an ottoman is to bash with size, says interior decorator and cloth decorator Susan Deliss. So, it’s champion to program up carefully. 

'If you are not definite astir the size of the ottoman, fold an aged expanse to the size you deliberation mightiness enactment and laic it connected the level successful beforehand of your furniture,' recommends Susan. 'Ask yourself, tin you locomotion comfortably betwixt it and your sofa oregon chair?  Can your legs scope it if you beryllium connected your sofa and privation to enactment your feet connected it?'

Commissioning headboards

Bed successful  bedroom

When designing a headboard look for immoderate architectural shapes successful the country to transcript and adhd wadding to let for a shapely look, says Tiffany Duggan of Studio Duggan 

(Image credit: Studio Duggan)

Dramatic and oversized oregon relaxed and low-slung, a large headboard design tin acceptable the code of the bedroom. Tiffany Duggan of Studio Duggan regularly makes bespoke ones for her projects. When it comes to deciding connected a shape, she recommends looking astatine immoderate architectural details successful a country for guidance. 'You bash truly request to bash a standard sketch drafting to cheque the proportions and assistance amusement your upholsterer what you are looking to achieve.'

And erstwhile it comes to size, measurement up the tallness successful the country itself and adhd a pillow halt to neatly code the mattress junction. 'It’s ever champion to person 2 joins to let symmetry (one ample halfway panel) and 2 smaller panels of cloth to the sides,' says Tiffany. Lastly, she says, debar precise thin, quadrate headboards truthful adding immoderate wadding to let for a much shapely, brushed look.

Commissioning pillows

Sofa with past  infinitesimal  Christmas styling by Birdie Fortescue

(Image credit: Birdie Fortescue)

When it comes to choosing a pillow size, beryllium wary of commissioning excessively small. 'Be brave with pillow sizes,' says Audrey Carden and Eleanora Cunietti of Carden Cunietti. 'The modular British size of 45cm x 45cm (18 x 18in), for example, doesn’t truly let a patterned cloth to person immoderate impact.'

Where Fran Hickman sources fabrics

Purple upholstered seat  successful  model   designed by Fran Hickman

(Image credit: Annabel Elston | Fran Hickman)

‘In presumption of textile companies for seating, I enactment a batch with Turnell & Gigon, Holland and Sherry, Kvadrat, Pierre Frey, and Décors Barbares,’ says Fran. ‘When I've got a somewhat higher fund there's an astonishing textile decorator called Merry Mullings based successful France whom I usage to root beauteous rugs and textiles. I deliberation betwixt them, you tin nail it all.

'In presumption of keeping up with cloth trends, erstwhile I'm successful Paris for enactment I effort to spell astir each the cloth houses with my team. Of course, we besides person the showrooms successful the UK but it's truly enjoyable to bash it successful Paris due to the fact that you're walking down beauteous aged streets going successful and retired each of the idiosyncratic shops.'