Fabric Decisions For The Living Room

I went shopping yesterday in hopes of finding the perfect fabrics for my living room. When I set out on my search, I was on a mission to find two things: (1) a watercolor floral print for pillows, and (2) the perfect orange or orangish coral fabric for my chairs. Purple would be my fall back color for the chairs if the orange/coral didn’t work.

I did actually find the perfect watercolor floral — P Kaufmann Paint Palette Punch, which is a fabric that I actually considered way back in January 2015 (you can read about it here), but I decided to order a couple of other fabric swatches at that time, wasn’t pleased with any of them, and then moved on to other projects. And now, almost three years later, I’ve come full circle. This is definitely the perfect watercolor floral fabric for my living room now.

But as far as the perfect orange or orangish coral fabric for chairs? I’m here to tell you that no such thing exists. There are some truly gorgeous orange and coral fabrics available, but none that work with my light green loveseat. Next to that loveseat, all of the coral and orange just looked off, like it was trying too hard. I really don’t know how to explain it, but it was all wrong.

Then I came across a gorgeous deep purple fabric at Joann. It was a very soft chenille fabric, and it looked so pretty with the light green loveseat fabric.

with the purple chenille

It looks awfully dark there, but in person, it’s unmistakably deep purple…and oh, so pretty. Unfortunately, it was the wrong fabric. It’s thick enough that I assume it’s supposed to be upholstery fabric, but it’s stretchy on the bias. There’s no way in heck I’m going to mess with trying to upholster chairs with fabric that’s stretchy on the bias.

Plus, I was really concerned that such a deep purple on my chairs, which will be right there on the right as soon as you enter the front door, would kind of suck the energy out of the room. It’s gorgeous, but it’s soooo dark. But any purple lighter than that really doesn’t look good with the green loveseat fabric. It’s either deep purple, or it’s no purple at all.

So I decided on no purple. With no coral/orange and no purple, where did that leave me?

Right back at my original fabric (Crypton Clooney Parchment) that I’ve already purchased and have sitting in the corner of my living room just waiting to be used. I originally bought it to upholster the sofa, but now that the sofa is out of the picture, it’ll work great on the chairs.

The whole reason I purchased this fabric in the first place is because I was looking for the perfect velvet sofa fabric, and I came across this beautiful fabric that is as soft as any polyester velvet I’ve ever seen, and has a similar sheen. But best of all, it’s a Crypton fabric — one of those super resistant-to-all-the-things fabrics. It’s a neutral color, which I know, seems very boring for me.

P Kauffmann floral fabric with the chair fabric

But one reason I’ve had the chairs for so long without doing something with them is that I’ve been waiting and waiting for the perfect place to use them. I have a vision for those chairs that wouldn’t fit just anywhere. I want to upholster them in one color, and then use a contrast color for the welt, buttons for the tufted backs, and as a contrast band along the bottom of the skirts.

So I’m going to do all of that in a dark purple! That’ll take them from just boring neutral upholstered chairs to something really amazing and custom, in my humble opinion. I thought I had found the perfect deep purple fabric, but when I got it home and looked at it in the light of the living room, it turned so dark it almost looks black.

chair fabric

That’s way too dark. I want a deep purple, but I want it to be obviously purple to complement the purple in the area rug.

new living room rug - 5 - purple and gray with orange, yellow, teal, green

Oh, and one last thing. I purchased this gorgeous velvet pillow cover on Etsy (I found it here) to go on the recliner.

magenta pillow cover from Turkey

I still need to purchase or make an insert for it, but I love the pattern and how it looks with the rug! To be quite honest, I’ve never in my life spent so much on a pillow cover. With the shipping cost, it was kind of ridiculous, especially considering I still have to purchase an insert. I think I was not only taken by the loveliness of the fabric, but also by the fact that the seller lives in Eskisehir, Turkey, which is where I used to live. It just felt right to have a pillow from Eskisehir in my living room, even if it did cost quite a bit more than I’d usually spend.

I love how this room is coming together. It’s finally starting to feel like “me.”

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I love how your fabric choices are coming together. Like you’ve said in some of your other posts, not everyone will want to copy all of your choices exactly, but everyone should be able to draw at least one point of inspiration from a well-designed room. Not all of your decisions are what I would make, but I love your rooms, nonetheless, and take inspiration from them. In this case, I’m loving that floral watercolor, even though it wouldn’t fit in my house, and I’m still melting every time I look at your rug and coffee table. I just love those pieces so much! The new pillow cover is fabulous, too.

    On another note, though, I AM DYING TO SEE A PICTURE OF THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOUSE!!! Has the painting started?!?!? Please post an instagram pic. Pretty please!! 🙂

    Your house has changed so much in 2017! I hope you can enjoy the holidays in it! 🙂

  2. I have a pretty purple velvet-like chair from lay-z-boy. Maybe they would sell some fabric. Sitting in my chair and looking st your rug looks like they ho so well together.

  3. Do you have a name or link for the fabric you’re going to use on the chairs? I never know how to search online for fabrics if I don’t know what they are called!


    1. It’s called Crypton Clooney Parchment. Joann Fabrics carries it, but I googled the product name and found it cheaper (even cheaper than Joann’s 50% off sale) at Mary Jo’s Cloth Store online.

  4. I love that your house if not “cookie cutter” gray and teal with shiplap! Don’t get me wrong, the Color combo is lovely but so overdone! I love seeing homes that have their own style and your is one if those!

  5. Your fabric decisions and chooses are great Kristi. I think using your original sofa fabric with a purple-ish contrasting trim etc on the chairs will really clam them up and look so custom and super stylish and will really compliment your gorgeous rug and the new fabric for the cushions. Your vision and look for your living room is like a jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces are coming together now. Actually, ever since you chose and got the new rug, everything else for this room has really come together quickly, and seems like it’s fallen into place so easy and can’t wait for your final reveal. So super exciting and so happy for you, it’s going to all be finished relatively soon now and you’ll have another room completely done and transformed so beautifully.

  6. I love that rich purple. Too bad it didn’t work. Have you ever considered using the teal fabric that you purchased for the drapes on the chairs? I think they would be awesome on those chairs. The cream looks good for the drapes and would go easily with the orange trim. Best wishes on all the work and Happy Holidays!

  7. Sure hope you find a suitable purple or eggplant color to trim your chairs. I think that will be stunning. Love the pillow cover from Turkey, too. This room is really coming together beautifully. Hate to nag, but finishing the drapes will make everything look different again, so perhaps do that before making a big -ish purchase?

  8. I think that room is going to be gorgeous when it’s complete. I’m loving the colors you chosen and wish I had a book to sit on that couch and just relax in your living room!

  9. I can visualize how the chairs will look in the neutral fabric with the purple contrast welting and buttons, and I think it’s going to be classy. Similar to the coral chairs you built and covered for the foyer a while back. That contrast welting and buttons looks so smart, looking forward to seeing it in the room.

  10. I was really hoping that you were going to be able to find the perfect coral color as I love the cheerfulness that coral brings to a room (but what can ya do right) I too love it and use it as an accent piece in my living room. I’m looking forward to seeing your chairs done!

  11. Fabric.com has loads of choices AND you can return fabric too. You could order a yard or two of several choices and return them all if they don’t work. I don’t know about Waco, but I find my choices at the stores where I live very limited so I often buy fabric online. Just a thought. Things are shaping up beautifully in your living room and I think the neutral fabric on the chairs is a winner although some of the orange chairs you posted the other day were gorgeous.

  12. Hi Kristi😊
    Have you shown a picture of your recliner and the Parchment fabric together? Do they look similar in color? Or do they look different?

    I think that 3 neutral/creamy chairs might be too much in one room and I am still leaning toward a deeper color….like purple or orange. I even LOVED the blue because it was so RICH looking.

    Blessings to you,

    1. I don’t think I took a picture of them together. They are similar in color, but different in texture and sheen. And I think once the room is filled with accent fabrics, furniture (e.g. side tables), lamps, and other accessories, the three similar colored chairs won’t really be the focus. I’m gonna give it a shot. 🙂

  13. I don’t upholster I sew garments so I apologize if this sounds dumb, for the fabric that was stretchy on the bias what if you fused non woven interfacing to it to stabilize it?

    1. That could actually work. I’ve done it before on a much smaller project (just a dining chair seat). But since I’m doing two fully-upholstered chairs, it would be so much easier to just use an upholstery fabric with no stretch to it.

      1. I can understand that – I hate the stuff and try to skip it when I can. I have heard though of people having the interfacing block fused (the entire length of fabric is interfaced before cutting pieces) either by a dry cleaner or a tailoring shop. Usually only for making coats or jackets.

        1. I didn’t know places like that would do it! That opens up so many possibilities! When I had accounts with all of the big (and not-so-big) fabric companies, most of them would offer that service to turn any of their lightweight fabrics into upholstery-appropriate fabric. I don’t have those accounts anymore, so I assumed it would be a DIY job. Good to know there are other options!

          1. Laurel Bern mentioned on her blog doing this or something similar when using, I think, linen as an upholstery fabric. I had wondered why linen sometimes looked so cheap and awful and why it sometimes looked so good. I think the inexpensive linen-upholstered pieces must skip this step. Anyhow, I know Laurel sent fabric out to have whatever was done done.

    2. Kristi, it’s amazing what an interfacing can do to change the thickness and drape – not to mention stretch – of a fabric. I *love* to sew and once found pictures online of a bag a woman made of fabric printed with the galaxies on it, it was so pretty but I could not find matching cotton or canvas fabric to use for bag construction. Come to find out, she used fabric that was printed *spandex legging fabric* of all things, which is a 4-way stretch so totally inappropriate for making bags because it’s too thin, floppy, and stretchy. She had backed it with a thick-ish, non-woven interfacing that made the spandex totally non-stretch and workable for use in making bags. A good interfacing will stabilize that bias stretch for you so you can use the fabric for upholstery, and you may not even have to use anything that’s all that thick.

  14. What’s the story with the living room draperies Kristi? Have you changed your mind about them? Was that peach colored Indian ribbon supposed to be used on the drapes? When are you going to get those done? Wow I sound demanding dont I?

    1. I haven’t changed my mind. Just haven’t had a chance to work on them yet. I had planned to hire it out, but the cost was just more than what I wanted to spend. The Indian sari trim is going on the leading edge of the drapery panels.

  15. Love the new pillow on your recliner…have to say though that blue pillow laying on the floor in the corner of your picture just drew me in…Love that color with the rug! Glad to see you happily on track…it will be lovely.

  16. This is completely random, but did anyone see Fixer Upper last night? Was the dining room fixture the same as the one in Kristi’s breakfast room? (Or has this already been discussed to death?)

    1. You made me curious, so I had to go to Amazon and get a sneak peek of the end of the show (I haven’t watched that episode) to see if it was the same. Yep, it’s the same one I have! 🙂

  17. For some reason when I look at the room as a whole with bird photos . Rug . Pillow , new floral fabric, rosey tones are standing out in photos. If this is true in person I worry the trim on drapes in not going to blend . Just wondering?

  18. I love the color of your new pillow. Would it be possible to have that color on your chairs? I have no idea what it would look like with the loveseat but that color is beautiful!

  19. I am a little behind. I have the same fabric that you used in the LR when it was painted a teal color. Florabunda something… what did you do with those drapes? I would love to buy them if you still have them!

    1. I still have them. They’re folded up in a box somewhere. I think I have two panels that are 1.5 widths of fabric each. Let me pull those out and get the info (width, length, etc.). Send me an email and I’ll get back with you about them. [email protected]

  20. BTW, if you have any 30″ w Roman shades you’ve made and are selling, I’m in the market for my new old 134 year old Colonial Revival.

  21. Your teal drapery is striking for the LR……….but your fireplace needs to be white or the accent color you put on the chest near the entrance or a combination of the color on the chest. The gray dampens the spirit of the room. I love what you do. You have great talent and you are not afraid to tackle anything. That is encouraging to me.

  22. What I see in your pictures, is that the teal is too much color and the white is too bright. Love the gray fireplace and the light gray tiles, the soft mix of colors in the rug, and accenting the rug colors with pillows – the Turkish, the floral, and maybe with the teal.
    For the curtains, consider an Ikat weave or other subtle and exotic pattern that combines the fireplace grays and the chair’s linen shade… a mix that echoes your other background colors and texture that reflects your creative interests.

  23. This was your year to shine! You’ve gotten so much done. Some you don’t even know. You have encouraged so many of us out here. I sent you an email and you said that I should start my own blog. It’s been great. We have been making real progress this year working on making our flooded house a home. The Hubby is energized again because of the blog. I got one whole room finished (the guest room). Here’s to a great new year for us all.

  24. How about using some glorious silk velvet from an Etsy seller for pillows that will match the welt on your parchment velvet chairs. I’ve ordered hand-dyed silk velvet from nunofeltingsupplies before, and she has a beautiful dark purple or would maybe dye to match your welting. I’ve ordered larger pieces than what she has listed before, and she is great to work with.