Discover whether a fully-upholstered sofa or occasional chair is right for your home and personal design style with our in-depth guide below.

If you want a new-looking couch with perfectly fitted fabric and don’t anticipate needing to frequently launder the upholstery, then an upholstered sofa might be the best option for your style. 

Fixed upholstered lounges and armchairs can offer a more contemporary, elegant look, showcasing the sleek style and design of the sofa. They can also pair beautifully alongside traditional finer wood pieces.

Source: Victoria Hagan

One benefit of upholstered furniture is the ease of maintenance as the upholstery stays in place and does not require tucking in to maintain a ‘finished’ look.
Upholstery is also a better choice for couches that have wood or metal accents across the top, the base and on the arms, as some French Provincial and Victorian styles offer.

However, fixed upholstery can be slightly more expensive than slipcovers as they need to be finished to a higher level of tailoring. If your sofa becomes ripped or worn, it can be harder to repair, replace and match that section of the lounge alone. Doing this might reveal underlying conditions such as untied springs or poor foam in seat cushions that you must replace.

Source: Rip &  Tan

Some of our favourite fabrics are blended textiles of cotton, polyester, viscose, linen, wool or wool blends, sumptuous velvets and aged leather. Most fabrics are tested with an abrasion-test rub count, which can indicate the level of durability.
It is best to avoid 100% linen for upholstery as the ‘give’ in linen can stretch the fabric. This could result in the pooling & pilling of fabric and lose the streamlined appeal.

As a reference:
10,000 or less decorative accents only (throw cushions)
10,000-20,000: Light domestic use occasional furniture
20,000-25,000: General every day domestic use
25,000-30,000: Heavy domestic, high levels of every day use
30,000-50,000:  Heavy duty furniture and commercial environments
50,000-80,000: Premium

Source: Architectural Digest

Upholstered lounges can be steam cleaned on site and scotch guarded and fabric protected to repel spills and stains. Consider the use of arm caps to protect the arms on chairs and sofas where you tend to prop, as the regular friction may mark and wear the fabric. Some upholstered furniture can be cleaned with water, and will dry without leaving a mark, while others require solvent or can only be vacuumed for cleaning.

Source: Nicole Frazen

Upholstered sofas and occasional chairs look beautiful in Classic Contemporary, Urban Industrial, Parisian and contemporary Scandinavian interiors. They offer a more refined, elegant look that contributes to the minimal and sophisticated feel. 

Source: Ralph Lauren Home