I’ve developed a love for a bit of “imperfection” in the seat of a sofa or chair.
An uneven-looking upholstered seat cushion often results from being a down or down-wrapped seat cushion, so I think I’m a bit like Pavlov’s dog and when I see a seat that’s slightly uneven, I associate it with a down-wrapped cushion (which are super-comfy) and it looks more comfortable to me, which makes me like it more. You also see it a bit more in single seat cushions or double because the longer a seat cushion is, the more it will vary.
There are the quarter-bouncing seat cushions and the more slouchy down ones and while I think both are great (and each definitely has its place in certain homes or rooms) I myself love the more imperfect look of the slouchy ones in my own home because I’m an extremely casual person (it matches my sweats better 😉 and when I sit in sofas, I tend to curl up in them & get cozy vs. sit on the edge of them & sip cocktails. (And you can sip cocktails from a curled up position just as well- trust me 😉 😉
In my work for clients, we do both types of seats- quarter-bouncers and relaxed seats. It really just depends upon my client and the function of the room. I find my perfectionists & very busy clients are often more drawn to tighter seat cushions because of the look and the fact that they don’t need fluffing. (Flipping yes, always, but fluffing, no.) I consider myself pretty busy too, but I guess I just have a thing for imperfection.
I’m the type of person who usually picks a favorite but still appreciates the alternatives. It’s probably why our client & client projects are all so varied… I think different things are right for different people.
You don’t often see imperfect down seats in photos because they usually get fluffed and primped before they’re photographed, but you can still pick them out:
I’ve found a couple of photos which look like they were shot just after my boys visited and had a party on the sofa, but they somehow look really beautiful & chic to me:
There’s often so much newness and perfection in a home that’s getting decorated that I really love to see elements that feel as if they’re been there for a while & that have patina like the gorgeous leather on the wing chair above. People often have unrealistic expectations with what will happen to a piece of furniture after it lives in a house for a while. The reality is that pieces with fabrics and cushions and stuffing will change over time and that’s okay. Sometimes that change (or need to fluff/ whatever you want to call it) is a hallmark of quality & natural materials, which have their own innate beauty. Good shoes can scuff, a great t-shirt gets softer, and jeans fade… Life makes its mark on everything, so of course it will affect the things in our homes too. I see this as part of everything & think these slow subtle changes are good. Eventually, something can wear through to tatters, and you fix it or recover it, but along the road to tatters, that piece has a beautiful life as long as you take care of it.
It’s the pieces that are made so that they look like they shouldn’t change that end up looking bad as life hits them. (In a sofa I’m thinking of an inexpensive foam or cushion insert that just gets smashed down and doesn’t come back up leaving the seat cushion all baggy & lonely looking.) Like this:
Upholstered furniture requires care & maintenance: flipping cushions periodically, vacuuming gently, washing or spot cleaning…
Here’s a room that’s totally not my own personal style but that I find really charming. I’d love to visit and curl up:
Here’s a pretty example of the slightly imperfect seat cushions I love on an English arm sofa:
There’s something so inviting about it to me.
Here’s a totally primped picture but I know these pretties are what I’m talking about:
Here’s an example of a French mattress-style cushion that doesn’t look like it’s down wrapped but that still has that very “real” look I like:
Anyway, I’m off for the day but would love to hear your thoughts on perfectly imperfect upholstery. Tight perfection? Love it or hate it? Have a great day!!