Home Decorating 5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Upholstered Furniture for Tonal Decorating

5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Upholstered Furniture for Tonal Decorating

It’s the finishing touches that truly bring a room, and its design, to life. While collecting artwork, pillows, throws, lighting and other décor items can almost pass as a hobby, choosing furniture for a space—especially the upholstery fabric—can be quite a daunting task. To help ease your anxiety, we’ve rounded up a few of Annie’s no-fail tips on choosing timeless and sophisticated fabrics and furniture for your space.


1. Maintain a Simple Color Palette

Keeping the color scheme of your furniture simple (one to two colors) will help the space feel grounded and restful. Choose solid-colored or subtly-patterned velvet, linen or other heavier textured fabrics on large pieces, like sofas, benches, chairs or ottomans as a nod to both fashion and function.

Above, two of our Lloyd Settees are upholstered in luxe, modern Pebble Velvet fabric, which acts as the perfect neutral canvas for cozy sheepskin and knit accents in a similar color scheme. The textured upholstery on each settee plays nicely amongst the sleek lines  in this monochromatic space.


2. Take on Texture

Play with a variety of textures in your space through both large and small pieces of furniture (and accessories)! Seek to juxtapose matte, shiny, and nubby textiles with those that are smooth, hard, soft and so on. The mix makes each piece stand out.

Here, our Crescent Chair, upholstered in a slipper pink, slubby fabric pairs perfectly with our Canvasuede-upholstered Sheffield Ottoman in a neutral sand and our Parker Bench, upholstered in the vintage-inspired medallion Sophie embroidered fabric. To pile on more texture, we added in sheepskin accents, a warm-toned metallic mirror, a supremely-soft viscose rug and a raffia finished bar cart. Oh, and we would be remiss if we didn’t also mention the high-impact grasscloth wallpaper. (Read about our other favorite textural wall treatments here).


3. Consider the Size of Your Space

When choosing furniture, look for negative space and choose a larger piece of furniture to fill the area and make it more welcoming.

Here, our Mirage Chaise, upholstered in a soft and lustrous Pebble Velvet fabric is the perfect functional yet stylish piece to fill the corner of this airy bedroom, and helps to create the ultimate cozy reading nook.


4. Vary the Shapes of Your Pieces

When designing your space, consider the room’s architecture, the contour of pieces of furniture, the line of lamps, artwork, and accessories.

In this living room, our Paseo Sectional is structured and angular, similar to the slanted ceiling, exposed wooden beams and large piece of art. To soften the space, we added a few curvaceous pieces to the mix: Our Mirage Chair, Howe Side Table and Palm Court Ottoman. Together, these rounded accents balance out the severity of the angular pieces to create a warm, welcoming and cohesive room.


5. Pepper in Pattern

A patterned piece of furniture can bring a room to life if chosen thoughtfully. Choose a pattern that you find to be irresistible, one that brings you joy! Annie recommends incorporating patterned upholstery on accent pieces such as a stool, ottoman or a bench. We love our Swanson Bench upholstered in our dimensional, vintage-inspired Cira Velvet fabric.

In this sophisticated bedroom design, the bench stands out beautifully against the grey-hued solids of the bed and add loads of visual appeal.

Of course, you can also pepper in pattern with small accents like decorative pillows and throws.

Patterned pillows and throws from Annie Selke’s Pine Cone Hill.

(From Top Left: Resist Octagon Indigo Throw, Anatolia Linen Throw, Cachemire Delphinium Throw, Vita Linen Zinc Decorative Pillow, Rajasthan Decorative Pillow, Albero Linen Pearl Blue Decorative Pillow)

We hope that these five tips help make designing the rooms in your home a bit easier and more fun! Do you have any questions for us? Comment below or join the conversation on social media!

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Annika Larson April 17, 2017 at 6:45 pm

My husband and I are repainting and decorating our home. We want to choose the right upholstery to add to the aesthetic appeal and style of our design. As you said, adding a patterned piece can incorporate a nice accent in the room. We will have to look at having this done.

Taylor Hicken April 19, 2017 at 5:52 pm

My sister has been redecorating her whole living room, and she asked me to help her out. I’ve been looking everywhere for new furniture, but I haven’t found the perfect piece. I’m glad that she’s into the more simple colors and fun fabrics like velvet. I just hope that I’ll be able to find the right chairs for her within the next few days.

Precious Leyva June 5, 2017 at 4:40 pm

I’ve been wanting to redecorate and reupholster my living room furniture, but I don’t know what I should do. I’m glad that you mentioned mixing textures, I would have never thought of that. Adding texture does seem like it would make a space more cozy, which is exactly what I want for my new living room. Thanks for the tip!

Andy Everett July 6, 2018 at 1:11 am

I am thinking to redecorate my bedroom but get confused about what to do. Thanks for sharing this informative post the tips you have mentioned in this post are awesome. I really like the tip vary the shape of your pieces. Thanks for helping me out.

Jessie Thrower March 1, 2019 at 1:19 am

I have just gone through your article. The content of this article is very much engaging and all the tips are awesome.I am loving this article while reading ths.

easton March 29, 2019 at 10:05 am

I like the tip that you gave to choose a color scheme for your furniture. My wife and I have been talking about finding new furniture, and it would be important for us to know that it will look good with the rest of our home. If we decide to get new furniture, I will be sure to look for one that will make a nice color scheme.

easton April 4, 2019 at 11:29 am

I like the tip that you gave to choose furniture based off of the amount of space that you have in a room. My wife and I have been talking about getting new furniture for our new home, and it would be important for us to know that we can find some that will help our home look welcoming. If we decide to get furniture, I will be sure to pay attention to how much available space we should have.

Nicole May 13, 2019 at 1:39 pm

We’re so glad this blog post helped you! We hope you enjoy your new home!

Scarlet Aaron March 9, 2020 at 11:49 pm

Upholstery is the materials which include fabric, padding, webbing, and springs that make up the soft coverings of chairs, sofas, and other furniture. Thanks for letting me know about it.

Aarsun Woods May 12, 2020 at 7:42 am

Article is good to read… Your post is lovely.


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