Eclectic is the look for furnishings, according to industry observers. Homeowners are turning away from matched sets and favoring a mix of colors and styles.
Experts also say that indoor-outdoor fabrics continue to gain popularity for indoor upholstery. “Due to their versatility—stain and fade resistance—and new textures,” says Bohnne Jones of Decorating Den Interiors.
Kendall Simmons at Julie Couch Interiors attributes much of its popularity to young families with children and pets. “We tend to use indoor-outdoor fabrics, leather, and vinyl for durability,” she says.
New on the scene is a textile called Crypton, which Jones says provides protection against stains, odors, moisture, and mildew. It’s long been used commercially, she reports, and is making its way into the residential market.
The choices among indoor-outdoor fabrics has grown exponentially, according to Gail Adkins of Change Magic. “These aren’t your mother’s fabrics,” she says.
In 2014 look for more luxuriant fabrics used for upholstery, according to Kevin Vaughn of K-Vaughn & Co. “We’ll see cotton, and silk velvets, quilted velvets, mohair, and even fabrics made from cork.”
John Starbuck of Starbuck Designers, Inc., says, “People want fabrics that provide a luxurious feel and practical functionality. Yes, velvet is popular for traditional pieces and interiors. Velvet can be a very practical as well as luxurious, and I prefer 100 percent cotton velvet. Chenille is popular for more casual, elegant upholstery. In either case, a tight weave is essential to reduce stretching and to maintain a tailored, smooth look.”
Agreeing that velvets in various textures and designs are gaining popularity for home decorating projects is David Buffington of Brentwood Interiors. “We’re also seeing ikats, herringbones, zig-zags and chevron patterns, and modified bargellos.”
Personalizing furniture is also trending, and includes such details as contrasting welting, nailheads, banding on skirted upholstery, and mixing fabrics on seat areas and backs. “Upholstered pieces with exposed wood are also popular,” says Jones.
In agreement is Vaughn, who reports woven braids, fabric banding, buttons, and nailhead accents are being used on upholstery as clients seek to express more individuality.
Achieving a global feeling in upholstery can be established through the use of complex and organic patterns, says Amanda Totoro of Amanda Totoro Design. “Neutrals are the ‘go to’ colors when it comes to upholstery,” she says. “This year we will see people playing with colorful accents on upholstered pieces.”
Vaughn says global appeal can be added through decorative pillows, throws, and small upholstered accent furniture. “Gray tones are the new beige with added pops of jewel tone accents including a rich palette of indigo, fuschia, Chinese red, jade green, and forest green,” he says.
He adds, “Indigo, navy, and gray are popular menswear choices and are influencing interiors with a sleek, elegant look. Popular patterns include herringbone, pinstripe, and felted wool. Accents mimic print, stripe, and paisley patterns found in men’s ties.”
Starbuck reports that while pale blue/aqua/gray are trending nationally, his customers appreciate more color and a mid-tone for practical larger upholstered pieces. “Leather is still very popular, and denim, wool and tweeds from menswear looks are popular.”
“Stronger shades of aqua/teals, greens, and oranges seem to be gaining popularity,” says Buffington. “Linen colors are still the most requested and blue continues to gain favor.”
Jones says the menswear influence in the most muted designs is seen in monochromatic room settings. “Overall, though, we are doing much more with the brighter, cleaner, clearer colors. Reds and oranges are popular.”
According to Simmons, bright colors are the fastest, easiest way to to add personality to a room. “If you’re really brave you can commit to vibrant upholstery or wallcovering,” she says. “Otherwise bringing in bright accent pillows, art, and accessories is a good way to go.”
Totoro reports she has seen the menswear influence in upholstery as well as the trend toward bright colors. “We have seen both these trends but not many requests for combining the two. Hopefully, this year people will become more daring and we can experiment with combining them.”
“Ten years ago, when you were talking about eclectic furniture decor, you were talking about the high-end consumer,” says Rick Stroud, vice president of Thomasville. “Now, it has transcended all price points.”
There are a number of local sources for upholstery in the Nashville area including:
Amanda Totoro Design
Nashville 615/ 290-4105
Brentwood 615/ 376-6361
Decorating Den Interiors
Nashville 615/ 469-7334
Spring Hill 615/ 275-9514
Julie Couch Interiors
Nashville 615/ 873-1832
K-Vaughn & Co.
Nashville 615/ 320-1768
Loblolly Interior Market
Columbia 931/ 388-4676
Nashville 615/ 834-0055
Franklin, Nashville www.sprintz.com
615/ 236-1700, 615/ 352-5912
Starbuck Designers, Inc.