Beware of Trends… Especially When Purchasing a Sofa!

So You Want to Keep Your Plaid Sofa?

I’m working with two clients right now who both have plaid sofas they purchased a few years back and they both want to keep the plaid.  They’ve been happy with the pattern and bold colors, and they really don’t want to change.   What is amazing is that these sofas were purchased during the time of floral sofas… Remember those?  I think most of us have rid ourselves of that trend by now.  Floral sofas got tiring really quick because not only was everyone buying them as they were being offered everywhere in the stores, but they were one of the biggest pieces of furniture in the house, and covered with a boldly patterned fabric!  Oh the trends that are thrust upon us by the store specials.  The floral sofa fad is a great example of a short-lived trend that caused people to spend more money than they originally intended.   These short lived trends quickly become outdated and people end up spending the money to replace them sooner rather then later.

Remember the floral sofas being widely sold in the 1980’s? Bright and bold patterns on a sofa can quickly get tiring.

Back to plaid… It’s brave and not very practical to put a printed fabric on a sofa, because typically you get tired of the print a lot faster, and it’s more practical to put the print on a chair and the throw pillows.  However these clients of mine aren’t tired of their plaid because for one it’s a classic; and two it hasn’t been a widely used trend.

A classic and traditional look using plaid fabric. Even when plaids are in bold colors, plaid lovers tend to never tire of them.

A more practical route is to use the print on your throw pillows and window treatments. It’s much easier to change the look when you’re ready for a change.

The key here is to beware of trends if you want your purchases to last longer than three or more years.

Before photo: Two large pieces of upholstered furniture in a bold fabric dominate the room. They stand out because the rest of the colors are in muted beige tones.

After: The color is balanced in the room and placed safely with color in the throw pillows, side chairs, and painted on one accent wall only.

Addendum, January 2012:   I just ran across this photo…  Looks pretty cozy!

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13 Responses to “Beware of Trends… Especially When Purchasing a Sofa!”
  1. Deborah Wall says:

    Such good advice. You only have to look in the home decorating magazines that are a few years old to spot the trends that cost thousands to follow and have dated quickly.

  2. HalleySuzy says:

    These are great ideas to keep in mind when purchasing furniture. You have great tips and ideas on how to save the same set of furniture modern for more than 3-4 years. As most people cannot afford to purchase new furniture every few years, updating throw pillows and textiles is simple. It can refresh the entire room and give it a modern, new look.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. stella says:

    I still have a floral coctrane sofa….I love it…..its in perfect condition…some florals are putrid…I don’t think this one is….I would beware of fads in general and buy what you like. The same people who sneer at my floral sofa are also in terrible debt, financially floundering, and still redecorating.
    PS slipcovers are the worst—they look like a sloppy mess no matter how much tucking.

    • Hi Stella,
      That’s great to hear you’re still happy with your floral sofa… You’re lucky! I agree about the slipcovers. Also, I’m finding many of my clients are more cautious about spending $ these days, and save up for their expenditures before purchasing. The key is to have a decorating plan with a budget before purchases are made, and there are interior decorating services around the US and Canada that can affordably help people do it right without wasting money on the wrong purchases, (such as Decorating Den Interiors).
      Thank you for your feedback. It’s always great to hear!

  4. Great tips, and so true! The look of plaid on window treatments and pillows is easier on the eye. Great examples. Somethings are very trendy and hard to work back into a space to give a completely updated look. Good luck. 🙂

    • Hi Laura,
      Thanks for your comment. Seems like a lot of people are thinking much more practical these days. Your blog looks great… I plan to add a link menu to other great decorating blogs, and I’ll include a link to yours and the other great blogs who have commented here.

  5. Valerie says:

    I wish I had done more research before my recent decision to recover two easy (smaller club) chairs in blue plaid. I looked online but found little guidance, and I liked the Sunbrella Chateau Plaid better than twills because I thought it would hide dirt and stains more – these chairs get eaten on and tons of kid use. This is a casual den and the sofa is already in a light blue/ivory stripe and I thought the plaid would complement…hopefully it will work out! Would love a post on how you worked with those 2 clients who loved their plaid sofas to tone them down!~

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