Design Post is a series that simplifies the complexity of interior design. Because we all want to live in places that feed the soul.
When it comes to our homes, some things play a large roll in how our homes live and feel. How they're built and how they're finished, for instance, have a significant resonance and influence over all the other decor that's incorporated.
But then there are the smaller things, the seemingly insignificant little touches that, somehow, have a larger impact than you might expect, either in livability or visually, or both. Their presence can transform the feel of the space in a powerful way. The semi-covered sofa is one of those things.
It's a simple idea: drape a length of cloth or textile over your sofa seat or back (or both), and tuck it in. It works especially well on a sofa with a single seat cushion and smooth back. Any textile that's large enough would work. It's an excellent way to use a length of vintage or statement fabric to bring color or pattern into a room. It also serves as a proctector for the upholstery it's covering if there are pets and kids in the house.
In the above two photos, the designer brought subtle color and pattern into a calmly monochrome room by covering twin back-to-back sofas with textiles. On one, she covered the seat and back and added cream colored throw pillows; on the other she covered just the back and added blue accent pillows.
A vintage kantha cloth brings graphic accent into the family room of this California home. Where an entire sofa upholstered in this print may have been too much, a smaller amount is just right.
Then again, the cloth doesn't have to be colorful or patterned at all. This subtle natural linen looks beautiful beneath the melange of green throw pillows on the daybed in this New York home, and such easy care - take it off and toss it in the wash.
And in the case of the first photo in the post, maybe cowhide isn't only for the floor. This one was tossed over the settee in this Atlanta home, adding interest, dimension, and protection for the lighter colored upholstery fabric beneath.
A semi-covered sofa. Have you ever done it? Would you give it a try?
See also: Design Post | The Cabinet Wall