How to order upholstery and upholstery fabrics

When it comes to ordering soft furnishings and upholstery, from curtains to cushions, it’s easy to get sidetracked by design and aesthetics while neglecting the practicalities. Experts explain how to achieve both goals.

Commissioning curtains


Interior designer and fabric designer Susan Deliss added fabric trim to the leading edge and bases of the curtains in this pattern as the dogs walked in and out of the double doors.

(Image credit: Deliss)

Often the starting point of an interior design project, window treatment ideas can be difficult to implement.

Start by creating a wishlist that includes both the features you want for the curtain or blind, as well as what you want to achieve visually as part of your interior project – this, with a mood board. Pinterest, can then be presented to your curtain manufacturer choice for discussion.

“Keep an open mind and think carefully about the shape of the window and the area around it,” recommends Kathryn Seidl, supplier of custom furnishings for the KLS Interiors business. “Do you want a Roman shade on a window that is already wide and not very high?” This treatment will focus on that. Instead, long curtains on the floor will help restore the window’s balance, ”she recommends.

Likewise, traditional bulky radiators under windows will lift the hem of long curtains; instead consider a blind, a roller shutter or fixed curtains (with a functional blind).

“Other ways of mounting a curtain, like a covered rail (tower and fascia) or a headband may also be possible where there are deep radiators, both of these options are created with custom wood top panels that can be deepened to project curtains further if necessary.

Commissioning of privacy and obfuscation solutions

Window seat

Well-made curtains and blinds can act like double glazing, especially in period properties with large single-glazed windows such as this window seating system from Carden Cunietti

(Image credit: Carden Cunietti)

Particularly important in nurseries, curtains and Roman shades will leave gaps on the sides. For complete blackout, opt for a multiple layer of a blackout blind, curtains and a headband, recommends Kathryn. Also discuss privacy concerns as early as possible, add interior designers Ali Johnson and Alex Keith from Otta Design.

“You will have to create solutions for different times of the day. Roman shades and Venetian blinds are an option – the latter can be raised and lowered at any time without greatly impacting daylight. Sheer curtains are a great way to soften space and offer a practical solution to rooms facing south and west with strong sunlight, especially with large glass surfaces, ”they add.

Natural fabrics such as linen, wool, cotton, and silk are ideal for patterns with a softer or less worked finish. They are also worth considering in older homes where things like floors and ceilings are uneven. Lucy Bathurst of Nest Design is both an interior decorator and curtain designer who specializes in using antique or vintage hand-woven and spun textiles in her curtains.

“Natural fabrics tend to catch light when draped across the floor, which can relax and soften rooms in a pleasant way. ”

For those who want a similar style, as a guideline, she recommends asking the curtain manufacturer to add an extra 5cm to the curtain drop so that they pile up on the floor.

Budgeting during the commissioning of curtains and blinds


Solid Roman shades or curtains can be raised by adding a headband and embroidered border. Otta Design commissioned KLS Interiors, a commercial-only company, to embellish a plain fabric with an embroidered Greek key braid on the leading edge

(Image credit: Otta Design)

One way to cut the cost of the fabric is to have the curtain maker only use it as an extra-wide border on the leading edge, with a solid being the main part of the curtain, the team adds. Otta Design. A similar approach can be used if the curtains have been bleached in the sun – add a contrasting fabric to cover the width of the damage.

“A covered tower and fascia is a more affordable mechanism for curtains compared to a wired pole, especially in a bay window,” says Ali. “Lambrequins or embroidered trims can also enhance plain Roman shades. “

Putting the poufs into service

Living room with sofas

Be generous with the sizes of cushions and have the maker put them together in different shapes to add interest to a room, as evidenced by this living room decorated by Susan Deliss

(Image credit: Deliss)

One of the most common mistakes made when specifying an ottoman is size, says interior decorator and fabric designer Susan Deliss. So it is best to plan carefully in advance.

“If you’re unsure of the size of the ottoman, fold an old sheet to whatever size you think is appropriate and lay it on the floor in front of your furniture,” recommends Susan. “Ask yourself, can you comfortably walk between her and your couch or your chair? Can your legs reach for it if you sit on your sofa and want to step foot there? ‘

Commissioning cushions

Sofa with a last minute Christmas style by Birdie Fortescue

(Image credit: Birdie Fortescue)

When it comes to choosing a cushion size, beware of orders that are too small. “Be brave with the cushion sizes,” Carden Cunietti’s Audrey Carden and Eleanora Cunietti say. “The standard UK size of 45cm x 45cm, for example, doesn’t really allow a patterned fabric to have an impact.”

Commissioning the headboards

Bed in bedroom

When designing a headboard for any architectural shape in the room to copy and add wadding to allow for a shapely look, says Tiffany Duggan of Studio Duggan

(Image credit: Studio Duggan)

Dramatic and oversized or laid back and low, a stunning headboard can set the tone for the bedroom. Tiffany Duggan of Studio Duggan regularly customizes them for her projects. When it comes to deciding on a shape, she recommends looking at all the architectural details in a room for guidance. “You really need to sketch to scale to check the proportions and help show your upholsterer what you’re looking to achieve. “

And as for the sizing, measure the height of the room itself and add a pillow stopper to properly address the mattress junction. “It’s always better to have two joints to allow for symmetry (one large center panel) and two small fabric panels on the sides,” says Tiffany. Finally, she says, avoid super thin square headboards, so add a little wadding to allow for a more shapely and soft look.

About Richard Chandler

Check Also

Seattle Parks and Recreation Heat Wave Resources

See Seattle Alert for the latest heat advisory updates and resources, as well as thermal …