A Guide To Upholstery Design; Preparing to Plan

Furniture plays a vital role in interior design. Since as early as the 18th century, furniture has been apart of human existence and is continually evolving. It is one of the main components used when designing spaces. It defines the purpose of the area, and it supports our day to day activities. Another benefit of furniture is that design and functionality options are plenty. Designs can be as detailed as traditional style furniture or as simple as mid-century modern style furniture. Functionality depends on the location and purpose of the piece. It depends on your design style and what you are trying to accomplish. 

There are many topics that we can cover when it comes to furniture design; however, today’s focus is going to be on upholstery. Initially, upholstery can come off as intimidating to the new designer, but once you understand the basics, then the concepts are no longer as complicated. In this post, I am going to explain the idea of upholstery design and ways you can apply it to your new design plan.

What is Upholstery?

My First Upholstery Project

Upholstery is the material that makes up the covering of the furniture. Materials can include padding, webbing, springs, foam, etc. When all of the elements are combined, they create a finished piece that establishes the desired appearance, functionality, and comfort of the furniture. Upholstery design is the process of planning the finished look for your furniture, such as fabric type, color, texture, etc. It affects the overall look of the space and can bring different elements together in a room. The goal is to complement the overall interior design, and it usually occurs when you are changing or enhancing the look of your home. 

Finding Inspiration

Find inspiration on Pinterest.

When you are determining the design for your first upholstery project, the first thing that you need to do is collect ideas and get inspiration from other sources. Some of the ways that you can do that is looking at magazines, searching the internet and social media, and visit furniture stores. The idea is to find things that catch your eye. Maybe it is the structure of the furniture or the color or texture of the fabric. If you are visiting a furniture store with furniture staged, take a seat on a sofa and look around to get a feeling of the atmosphere. How does the atmosphere make you feel? Collect pictures or write down ideas because this will help you create your next step, a mood board.

Creating a Mood Board

Mood board in the making.

Once you collect your samples, now it is time to create a mood board of your design. A mood board is a layout of various images, colors, or text that portrays a particular concept. It can help you describe your project verbally, help you focus on an idea, create multiple designs, and help you stay organized. You can make a mood board with cardboard, Pinterest, or using design software such as Canva, Adobe Spark. Keep in mind that the result should fulfill a purpose. In another blog, we will go more into depth on how to make a mood board. Creating a mood board is a component of your design plan. 

In our next few posts, we are going to cover how to create a mood board, tips, and what questions you should ask yourself when planning a new design.

Have you ever used a mood board? Which method do you prefer? 

Happy Designing,


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