Denim: America’s Fabric

There is something decidedly American about denim, and I do love the homey feel it brings to a room.  So much is right about it – it’s comfortable, it’s casual, it goes with everything, it gets softer with use, it’s easy to clean, it can withstand nearly anything…the list could go on.  But somehow, in the 80′s and 90′s, denim on upholstery meant overstuffed, saggy, generic blah.

curbed.com

curbed.com

I think everyone I knew had one.  But there’s hope for denim!  Done right, it can look classy, and dare I say, chic?

Don’t believe me?

cottage living

cottage living

source unknown

source unknown

meg braff via house beautiful

meg braff via house beautiful

house and home

house and home

source unknown

source unknown

restoration hardware

restoration hardware

house beautiful

house beautiful

source unknown

source unknown

southern living

southern living

real simple

real simple

So you want a denim sofa but don’t want it to look drab?  Here’s the scoop:

1.  Go as dark as possible.  A deep indigo or navy will read much more updated than the cornflower blue acid-washed hues.

2.  Add some detail – nailhead trim, tufts, lacquered white legs or frame.  A little oomph will go a long way!

3.  Stick to mostly straight lines.  Too much curviness will look “basement couch” fast.

But Grace, what if I own the denim sofa you are talking about?  In fact, I am staring at it right now.  

Spice it up!  Add some bright modern-looking pillows or a trendy pattern.  Take the cushions to an upholsterer and add a contrasting welt to the edges.  Or maybe do this?

What are your thoughts on denim upholstery?  I’d love to hear your comments!

P.S.  Thank you so much to everyone for participating in the survey I posted last week.  It has been so helpful in planning for the future, and I feel so lucky to have such diverse, knowledgeable, engaged readers!  I am so grateful!

Written by Grace

2 Responses to “Denim: America’s Fabric”

  1. textilady February 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    I, too, had the denim couches and was in love with them.

    One thing to remind your followers – don’t tried to save money and buy denim created for the apparel industry. It’s designed to crock (transfer color) just like our jeans.

    Make sure the end use is for home/interior and test a swatch of the fabric to make sure that it doesn’t transfer the indigo color.

    Hmmmmmm! You have inspired me with the dark denim…I may have to reconsider my reuphostering choices!

    • Grace February 12, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

      Hi textilady, such a great tip! Definitely! I’d love to see your pieces if you use a dark denim, I think it can look super chic! Thank you so much for reading and for your comment! G