Buying Upholstery Is A Lot Like Buying Underwear (Part One)

Home Stager with Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY

Buying Upholstery Is A Lot Like Buying Underwear (Part One)

There are three ways to look at buying upholstery: How it's made, and how it looks get the most press, but let's discuss the third-how it fits.

Which is why buying upholstery is a lot like buying underwear: Simply-seriously-you spend a lot of time in it, and it needs to provide the right amount of function, intimate comfort and support to your unique body.

I will leave you to your own decisions on the former, but whether re-working, or replacing -helping clients have fun while making their own best decisions is what I do, so here is the first of two posts on how to road-test upholstery.

Close your eyes. Sit in it. Do not be distracted by the fabric, the toss pillow with weird fringe, the price tag (for now), or the argument the couple across the room is having. Sit all the way back.

For the record-women tend to be proportionally leggier, and men tend to be more torso in their height. But there are leggy men, and long-waisted women. And regardless of gender, leggy can be lower-leg leggy, or more-upper leg leggy. So listen to the Decorator.

  • If you are short-do your feet touch the ground? If you are taller-does the cushion hit the back of your knees? Ideally, your knees should form a right angle, showing the height and depth of the seat match your proportions.
  • Is your posterior at the same height as your knees? Teeny bit higher would be ok, but if it's lower/severely angled, you will always struggle to overcome gravity and get yourself out of it.

Now lean back (still keeping your eyes closed). Now is the time to think about how you are going to use this: will you be reading, watching TV, napping (tell the truth, it's for your own good-this Westchester County Decorator will already know the answer, anyway!) socializing, or all of the above?

  • How is the pitch? Are you comfortably upright (important for reading)? Can you relax, or is your midsection tensed, holding your torso upright?
  • Are your shoulders supported? Is the back wide enough? How about tall enough? Backs with steep pitches should be high enough to support your neck and head-especially if TV watching is high on your list.
  • Is it the right amount of cushy? Spend more than .87 seconds deciding this, there are no wrong answers.


 TOMORROW: Arms, filling materials, and motion furniture.

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Our spaces affect us profoundly...and so many other parts in our life fall into place when our spaces and possessions serve us in the best way they can. But getting there is much more than a pursuit of pleasing aesthetics.


Decorating and Staging are different, but much of the skill sets overlap, and each creates unique solutions that considers the needs, goals, resources, expectations, hopes and dreams of each client.

Bettering Westchester, Putnam and lower Fairfield counties since 1981, The Refreshed Home works collaboratively, and brings a thoughtful approach to the creative process. Proud to make a difference, as well as make a living. Offering specialty services such as remote and buyer consults, listing photo/video styling, guided and accompanied shopping, and accessory rental. We get in, get out, and you get on with your life.  Talk to me TODAY about how we can better your space!




Marie Graham ASP, IAHSP, IDS Your Stager With A Mission!

QUESTIONS? Don't hesitate!! 914.607.2895 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Belinda Spillman 12/16/2012 05:39 AM
Home Improvement
New York Westchester County
Active Rain Block Party
Hudson Valley
Diary of a Realtor
Be The Best In Your Field
decorating tips
marie graham
the refreshed home
westchester county decorator
buying upholstery

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Janine Boulay-Seibert
Seibert Properties - Murphy, NC
NC & GA Real Estate Broker

Oh so true. We have been searching for the right upholstery to recover a sectional for a large living area for months. Cat seam to get my hands on the right look with the right feel.

Dec 14, 2012 01:25 AM #1
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

That is a lot like buying the analogy and the great info your provided Marie.

Dec 14, 2012 03:05 AM #2
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Janine-don't give up! Go to stores to just sit. Make short, focused visits, don't look for the perfect piece-just to establish a gene pool of what fits.

Roger! Gotta work in some smiles whenever we can, right? :)

Dec 14, 2012 09:57 AM #3
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Marie.  I am only 5'3" so I have a heck of a time buying seating furniture.  I got a measuring tape out the other day and measureed my arm span in front of my husband.  It was 21 inches.  I told him this was the reason he needed to quit putting items up out of my reach.  He gets it now.

Dec 16, 2012 05:38 AM #4
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Marie Graham

Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager
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