Yes, the question that has been asked for ages. Well no, not really. I just thought it sounded silly enough to write down. Over the weekend, I went hunting at Forsyth Fabrics, a veritable holy grail for any fabric you'll ever need. I'm now doing custom curtain and pillow making, among other fabric related ventures, and I'm starting to collect panels of interesting and/or good quality fabrics. Since I'll likely start by selling a few pillows here, I thought I would try to find more universally appealing fabrics, that are classic and yet could work in both modern and traditional applications.
I still have dreams about the sofa pictured above from Room & Board. Who wouldn't love a bold emerald green in a midcentury modern cut? It's petite and adorable and would completely make any room. But being the crazy bright color it is, it really dictates the decor of whatever space it's in, which can be problematic.
A lot of designers will tell you to always buy a sofa in a neutral color, since it's the biggest piece in your living room and having a neutral focal point allows you to change things like curtains and rugs and pillows and accessories to whatever piques your fancy. And I agree, this makes life much easier, and is much more flexible. But if you love something, the way I love this green sofa, just go for it. Don't rush into it; really think about how it will look in your room, and then when you've fully committed to something bold, pull the trigger!
If going for a bold color on your sofa or chair, tone it down with some neutrals in the other fabrics in the room. For me, there's nothing better than classic black and white neutrals. They make everything look more polished and pulled together. I found three fabrics [two of which I purchased because they were too good a deal to pass up], all of which would work with my Wizard of Oz green sofa.
Black and White Ticking Stripe, $14.95/yard. The priciest of my finds, but there were quite a few yards left, leaving plenty for curtains, pillows, even to upholster an ottoman. It's a good quality, hardwearing fabric, and looks good with almost everything.
Black and White Herringbone, $2 for 2/3 of a yard. YES, TWO BUCKS. I snagged it so fast, I probably offended a couple nearby ladies who were eyeing the same section. $H*T gets real at the fabric store. It's really not that much fabric to work with, but it's enough to make one awesome pillow and even a couple other accessories, TBD.
Is black and white too 'black and white' for you? Try gray and cream. Another awesome buy at $3 for 1+ yard, this fabric has a great textured chenille stripe, and is the most modern of the three fabrics I found, but is still a beautiful neutral.
Just in case you weren't completely in love with my dreamy green sofa, here are a couple great neutral alternatives that would also make my new neutral pillow fabrics pop.
This Dekalb Leather sofa from West Elm is insanely deep and cushy. It's made of a really high quality, distressed looking leather [none of that tacky, shiny stuff you sometimes see] and it's on SALE. If I didn't already have a leather sofa [it's really an essential when you have four pets like I do], this would have come home with me.
I actually like both the chair and sofa pictured here from CB2, just not together [I think when having one shelter style seat, the other should have lower, more unassuming arms]. Both are pieces for a larger, open space. They're big and high armed, and would be insanely too large for my living spaces, but if you've got the room, go for it. The Club Grey Sofa can seat a whole party of people, and the Avec Chair in Peacock is also roomy and would look awesome with the gray and cream striped fabric.