×

Style at Home: Great furniture is all in the details

  • Outlining the seams of a sofa, chair or ottoman is a mainstay. Mary Carol Garrity—TNS

  • Invest in the highest quality furniture your budget will allow. Mary Carol Garrity—TNS

  • The horizontal bands of color on the skirt of this chair add a fun flair. Mary Carol Garrity—TNS

  • Lucite on this ottoman brings a contemporary feel. Mary Carol Garrity—TNS

  • Start by asking yourself, “How will I use this piece of furniture?” If it’s a dining room chair, you will need something durable and easy to clean. Mary Carol Garrity—TNS



Tribune News Service
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Here's to our upholstered furniture, the comfy pieces that make our down time so gratifying. After a long day, we can't wait to flop down on that comfy sofa in our living room, the enveloping reading chair by the fire or dining chairs that make you reluctant to get up from the table. As if supreme comfort wasn't enough to demand from our furniture, we also expect every piece to be beautiful and on-fashion, show-ready when it's time to entertain.

I'm helping lots of folks choose the perfect pieces for their homes. The secret I share with them? It's all in the details.

INTERESTING FABRICS

Before I talk about fabrics or anything else, I need to share this: Invest in the highest quality furniture your budget will allow. If you are trying to stretch your decorating dollars, it can be tempting to go for the cheap stuff. But while poorly constructed furniture may look OK on the showroom floor, it will likely fall apart in a few years, if not sooner.

Picking fabric for your furniture is a lot of fun, but can also be stressful. This is a big investment, so you want something you'll like for years. Start by asking yourself, "How will I use this piece of furniture?" If it's a dining room chair, you will need something durable and easy to clean, for example. "What colors and patterns will I love today, and tomorrow?" I like to cover sofas in safer fabrics like solids or very muted patterns. Then, have a little fun with the smaller pieces, like chairs and ottomans, opting for fabric with more color or pattern.

Showy legs

Legs help set the style of a piece of furniture, whether classic or contemporary. For years, I've been over the moon about turned legs on castors. Love that English look. But I'm also falling for today's funky legs, like the Lucite number on an ottoman. They are just so darn fun!

Statement skirts

Don't want exposed legs? Finish your furniture with a skirt. Traditionally, skirted furniture either looks formal or romantic. Horizontal bands of color on the skirt of a chair can add a fun flair. One note of caution on skirts: If you have pets that like to rest up against your skirted chair or sofa, it will get dirty and require cleaning from time to time. Thanks, Lyric!

Contrasting outline

My style has evolved and changed through the years, but there are a few things I have loved for decades, and always will. Among them is furniture finished in a contrasting welt. Outlining the seams of a sofa, chair or ottoman is a mainstay of our look. There are so many directions you can go when you use a welt that's a different fabric than the furniture is upholstered in. Try high contract. Or use a pattern or color that makes an appearance in another spot in the room, like your window coverings, accent pillows or ottoman. Sometimes I like to welt furniture in leather to give it a richer look. This design decision alone will take a piece, and the entire room, from generic to custom.

NAIL IT

Nailhead trim has been showing strong in the world of interior design for years now, and looks like it is here to stay. Finishing a sofa, chair or ottoman with these little dots of metallic sheen give it a nice clean, contemporary edge.

___

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at marycarol@nellhills.com