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3 Fresh Fabric Design Trends We Want In Our Homes

Welcome to an extremely fun design post! I don’t want to hype it up too much but it’s filled with inspiring photos and 3.5 trends that we think are mainstays since this isn’t their first time around the design block…they’ve just had a fresh makeover:) And actually, this might be our first fabric-specific trend post (it’s definitely the first one I’ve written). Now if you read Emiy’s kids’ bath reveal post (or watched the YouTube video) you know about her love of fabric. Oh and let’s not forgot the Japanese Boro fabric post too! Fabric adds so much texture, coziness, and uniqueness. So with that said let’s talk about our favorite trends AND give you some shoppable options too. The custom world can’t gatekeep these puppies…entirely:)

Contrast Piping

This trend is by far the biggest of the three. I feel like I’ve been seeing it everywhere and to my surprise, I LOVE IT. The team loves it too! We can’t get enough. So much so that both Em and I are considering designing beds with contrast piping and when Caitlin peeked at these photos (early access:)) her exact words were, “I NEED PIPING IN MY HOUSE.”

For me, I guess I’ve always thought of piping as a little too traditional for my taste but boy was I wrong. Sure, I’ll show you some examples that are more traditional but other versions that are modern in the best way. Let’s dissect.

Both of these stunning spaces were designed by Sophie Rowell. As you can see she used contrast piping in both spaces despite their inherent style difference. One is more traditional with the other is more contemporary yet this detail adds such a fun moment to both. Notice the choices in materials, colors, and functionality of the pieces. For the sofa on the left, the colors are dark and rich, with a playful skirt that leans traditional. But with that darker piping, it helps to make the piece look and feel a bit more visually exciting and structured. As for the ottoman on the right, I LOVE the happy pastel colors that were picked up from the sofa’s fabric pattern. It feels modern, playful, and in that beautiful velvet, luxe!

Keeping with the cool eclectic granny vibe, designer Shannon Eddings added contrast piping in a few spots in a recent project. I love mixing solid piping with fun patterns like she did on that cute window bench. Then for a more modern look, the gold piping on that club chair is so good. The colors feel unexpected but perfectly understated. The last little moment is on the pillows on the blue chairs. You don’t need to commit to a big piece of furniture to dabble in this trend! The brick-red piping adds a quiet visual punch that talks beautifully with the leather sofa, other pillows, and warm tones in the rug.

design by hayley bridget interiors | photo by will laird

Now it’s time to head into the more modern takes like these adorable chairs designer Hayley Bridget used in a recent project. Don’t they look chic?! When piping is used like this it adds a special structure that I just love. This particular fabric combo is fun because there’s already a grid pattern that the piping gets to play off of.

via nickey kehoe

Have you also seen this incredible Nickey Kehoe club chair? It has a vintage look yet feels so modern. It comes in a bunch of different fabrics but I have a soft spot for this one. My love for minty greens has only grown since I keep seeing them more and more in the most beautiful ways. Remember this home tour too?? But that dark piping really adds a sexiness, no? I can’t tell if I prefer darker contrast piping or light. I guess I don’t have to choose! But this photo is making lean towards team dark. You??

As I said above, I am heavily considering bringing some contrast piping into my apartment and the two photos above is the look I think I’m going for. Isn’t it so pretty?! It’s a little more casual with organic fabrics yet doesn’t feel too organic. Maybe it’s refined organic? I just love this modern take so much and desperately want to incorporate it. Stay tuned!

And as promised here are some shoppable options if you are in the market and love it as much as we do:)

1. Harrow Throw Pillow | 2. Outline Cushion | 3. Mae Indoor/Outdoor Pillow | 4. Stargazer Merrow Stitch Cotton Throw Pillow | 5. 100% French Flax Linen Scalloped European Pillowcases (Set of 2) | 6. Classic Cotton Velvet Pillow | 7. Adelina Velvet Pillow | 8. Chatou Organic Cotton Arctic Ivory Stripe Throw Pillow Cover | 9. Customized Pillow with Piping

I won’t pick favorites because my god I love them all! But if you only want to dip your toe then #4, #6, and #8 are perfect. If you want to go a little bolder with color then #2, #7, and #9 will satisfy that. And for those wanting something more “outside of the box” then look no further than #1, #3, and #5!

1. James 2-Seat Sofa with Contrast Piping | 2. Marnie Range | 3. Bench Gaspard | 4. Lynwood Square Upholstered Cube | 5. Mina Bench | 6. Harlow Contrast Piping Sectional

Now that Interior Define has a new owner things have been looking much better…including this incredible customizable sofa with contrast piping! Another retailer that makes customizable chairs and sofas is Maker & Sons. Their marketing is so good but not as good as that wildly sweet pink chair. What a dream! I know most of these are $$$ but Target to the rescue with that great little ottoman. See it’s a trend!!

Bullion Fringe

When I first pitched this post it was really just about the contrast piping and thin sofa cushions (coming up!) with the plan to do some more research. Caitlin immediately exclaimed, “bullion fringe!” Of course, I thought, “DUH! She’s right!” Much like contrast piping, it’s not like bullion fringe is new to the design world, quite the opposite actually. But it is currently having a big resurgence and we are not mad about it.

First I HAVE to start with this sofa, designer Tamsin Johnson (a personal favorite of mine) put in a recent project. It’s a showstopper, to say the least, and not only has that incredible fringe detail but also a pretty spectacular contrast “piping”. Ok, it’s more of a trim but a “trend two-fer” nonetheless!

So Nickey Kehoe is also nailing the bullion fringe trend too! I love the super vintage fabrics paired with the ever-decedent bullion fringe. The drama it adds makes it look so cool and special. These chairs are also purchasable and come in a ton of different fabric options too (like solids and velvets if that’s what you’re after:))

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our modern english tudor living room

For a little throwback moment, remember Em’s vintage chaise from the Los Feliz living room (round one:)) when she first got it? We all loved the fringe so much! It just wasn’t right for the space. But clearly when she saw it for the first time her heart was drawn to that special detail.

The market has some great options at a bunch of different price points. Take that ridiculously beautiful sofa on the left from Sunday Shop. If I had the money and space it would be mine! But luckily if you feel the same way but do have some extra space, Target has that wonderful chair on the right for $360 (and it also comes in cream which is on sale for $216).

via jpdemeyer&co

Speaking of “if I had the money” I’m having a lot of emotions over the fact that this pillow will never be mine. I’m obsessed with how the colors both contrast and complement each other in the coolest way. There’s visible style friction between the modern stripes and very fancy fringe. It’s simple yet feels so exciting to me!

Here are some more shoppable options:

  1. Wright Sofa | 2. Fringe Velvet Pillow | 3. Pierre Fringe Titan Emerald Fabric Round Ottoman | 4. Vera Titan Pink Champagne Fabric Accent Chair | 5. Astrid Fringe Ottoman | 6. Chenille Tiger Handmade Pillow Cover | 7. Yolanda Upholstered Round Accent Ottoman | 8. Crapaud Chairs (Set of 2) | 9. Fenn Velvet Ottoman

Fabric Blocking

That’s right! Gone are the days of a single-color sofa! Ok, obviously I’m kidding but I’m not kidding that mixing fabrics on upholstered furniture is highly on trend and I love it A LOT. Come to think of it I literally just realized as I’m typing this that growing up we had a two-fabric sofa – chocolate velvet cushions with a rust and gold floral linen-y fabric to contrast. What a combo Mom and Dad! Maybe that’s why when I started seeing them gain popularity I couldn’t get enough.

design by zoe feldman design | photo by stacy zarin goldberg

Let’s look at the very talented Zoe Feldman team and the sofa they put in their Georgetown Project! I just love that it’s most definitely a statement sofa but since they used a solid color for the cushion, the bold pattern of the frame doesn’t take all the attention in the room. It’s also great to see a modern version of this since a lot of examples lean it a bit more traditional or “eclectic granny” which I love too!

design by sophie rowell | photo by chris snook and kane hulse

Like this one! It’s soooooo great but I don’t think anyone is calling this sofa’s style modern. Now, if you count the pillows this sofa has SEVEN fabrics on it which gives it so much depth and soul. I would happily plop right down and cozy up with a cup of tea…basically just living out my British fantasy.

Judarn Sculptural Chair | Jordan Leather Swivel Chair | Delaney Chair

Usually, this is a custom job but more and more there are retailers that are offering pieces like this (at least in the US). Anthropologie is definitely one as proven by the photos above! I really love the chair on the fair left. The pattern and colors are so beautiful. If you like this idea but strictly stick to neutrals the middle chair is perfect for you. Then the chair on the right is a secret two-fabric chair because the arms are the second fabric! Very sweet for a traditional style home.

Incoming Trend…Thin or Stacked Sofa Cushions

Ok. So this is one I am keeping my eye on. It seems as though it is very popular in Europe but could be become more international veeery soon! When I was in Paris with my dad, the sofa I slept on in his apartment rental had a sofa with two different thin cushions stacked on top of each other like the ones I’m about to show you. It looked so beautiful and chic and was surprisingly comfortable. The owners chose two different fabrics for the two cushions – a golden velvet and an oatmeal linen (and are potentially my inspiration for my bedroom:))

Those think cushions are what I’m talking about! I love that there are a few ways to design them. You can choose to have both sides of the cushion contrast the frame fabric, use the same fabric as the frame, or just choose one side to be a different color.

via berengere leroy

Here you can see how they can be stacked. This example is A LOT of them but I think that’s because it’s a product shot for this brand and not the norm. I really wish I had snapped a picture of the ones I slept on because there were just two.

via caravane

If you really love this idea I’m sure you could get one made or search for one on the Internet. Again, I feel this trend coming stateside. It’s just a feeling but keep your eye out:)

Thanks for reading and hope it was fun! Maybe even a little inspiring? Let me know if you feel the same about these trends and have a great rest of your day.

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Design by Zoe Feldman Design | Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg

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5 months ago

Ah! I’ve had my eye on that contrast piping interior design sofa for awhile now! Anyone here have it? Good or bad experiences with interior define?

5 months ago
Reply to  Haley

I recently ordered the sleeper version of it and its on its way to me. I tried it in the store before I ordered and I found it incredibly comfy! I am sad to say however that the contrast piping (not the regular one, just the contrast) is only available in velvet fabrics – I went with a different fabric so was very bummed about not being able to get the contrast piping!

5 months ago
Reply to  Haley

Interior Define pretty famously had a MASSIVE meltdown after the start of the pandemic that left a lot of people without the expensive furniture they’d ordered and no refund. Supposedly they have a new owner as of January and are “re-launching” to fix the problems, but hard to say how things are now. I would be very hesitant to buy from them until I saw more evidence that they’ve fixed their supply chain/order fulfillment issues.

That being said, I bought a sectional from ID in Nov 2020, and once we got through the VERY long lead time (it arrived in May/June ’21), it’s been a terrific addition to our home. Very comfy, hardy, and stylish. We got one of the performance fabrics and it’s held up very well, despite our insistence on eating most meals on the couch plus two kitties. I just deep-cleaned it for the first time which was gross, but it looks brand new now.

5 months ago

Current feeling very on trend because last summer I bought an apricot colored velvet chair that has white piping and I got an ottoman for it that has fringe! Want to get my sofa reupholstered and would love to put fringe on that too, but I think that is too much!

5 months ago

the fringe looks like a GREAT cat toy. 😂

5 months ago

I love the fringe SO much – but unfortunately, so would our cats 🙁

5 months ago
Reply to  Liza

I have a fringe ottoman and my pandemic kitten loves hiding under it and attacking me and my other cat. Super fun- highly recommend.

5 months ago

Could be the coffee but I found this post so inspiring it was actually energizing. I think that’s what I love about the design world, it’s like watching the constant evolution a gorgeous and ever-changing creature. Thanks for so beautifully highlighting these latest bits of beauty.

5 months ago

Ehhh I don’t know about these – the thin cushions are really giving cheap futon vibes, and people with bullion fringe clearly don’t own cats haha. I like the contrast piping but you really need structured pieces to make it work, otherwise it looks wavy and sloppy (like the last pic of the cream sofa). Quality definitely counts here!

5 months ago
Reply to  Kat

I have the fringe plus cats and my younger cat just likes using it as a hunting blind (to hunt me and my other cat)! Highly recommend!

🥰 Rusty
5 months ago

Fabric is everythinggggg!!!
Gotta say, though, I didn’t think contrast piping or ‘stacked’ cushions ever went out of style. 😏
They’re classic.
Such a great variety of inspiring photos.😊

Cici Haus
5 months ago

My former colleague and I bonded over interior design. I’m pretty on trend with what the “design world” is doing vs when “mass market” catches up, but she was a trend PREDICTOR! I remember she did this bold lime contrast trim on black & white “tiger stripe” stools in like 2017 and I thought she was crazy. They could have topped this post!

5 months ago

As a sewist and fabric enthusiast/collector fabric posts are my favorite. I’ve been a fan of contrast piping for many years and I’ve sewn it on cushions that I’ve made but I don’t enjoy sewing traditional round piping or cording. Recently I’ve been seeing flat piping more, which is similar to the photo of the white sofa with black accent. Flat piping looks more current than than round piping, and is also easier to sew. I’d like to experiment with it for some home decor. I like the look of bullion fringe in certain applications, like Emily’s green chaise, I miss that. More chances to use more patterns: I’m down for the mixing of patterns and textures in upholstery! I have a pair of vintage chairs that need recovering and I’d definitely choose to go with multiple prints over just one. I’ve seen thin French cushions/mattresses, covered in linen particularly, and I’ve wanted to find a good place to try it out: layering them on the alcove bed in the old house we recently moved into would be a perfect spot for it, thanks for the idea!

5 months ago
Reply to  Addie

multiple prints are great as they cover a multitude of sins, upholstery-wise. I also like to wear multiple prints for the same reason

5 months ago
Reply to  Addie

Yes to the flat piping being easier to sew. I’m vacillating on which to do on a project I’m planning. In my head I keep seeing round piping, but the sewist in me wants to go the easy route. And long term, I’d probably prefer the flat piping anyway.

5 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne

Flat piping is underrated and I predict we’ll see an increase in it’s popularity here soon!

5 months ago

Love this trend and all the examples/visuals! I love this blog and understand how money is made to support it, but I am disappointed to see a link to Interior Define products. As someone who lost over $1,400 (which is a lot to me and my family) because of their constant lying (“your product is coming, just delayed a month” was told to me for months), bankruptcy, and refusal to refund or send me my order has really turned me off to the company, regardless of new ownership. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of others with stories just like mine who Interior Define stole from. I hope hearing the customer’s side of the story makes you reconsider linking/encouraging your readers to purchase products from Interior Define.

5 months ago

Mmk I love the thin stacked cushions. They feel very casual and formal at the same time? We are planning to build this spring and I am looking for new living room furniture… however I’m thinking I might just build my own sectional because I can’t seem to find the perfect one. Thanks for the ideas, off to draw up some more couch plans!

5 months ago

Love this post! Beautiful ideas and thanks for linking things in a variety of price points. I think I like the thin cushion situation, but it’s kind of giving “princess and the pea”…

5 months ago

The Meriwether line of upholstered furniture (sofa, chair, sectional) at Anthropologie is the “thin stacked cushion”. I find it sort of elevated Euro whimsy (I’m getting less “futon,” more “Princess and the Pea”). I like it. 🙂

5 months ago

The sofas with the fabric blocking? All I can think of is the Mad About You sofa (dating myself!). Looks a little too shabby chic, methinks.

5 months ago

What about shearling? I’m considering chair but it is pricey. I would feel better about the investment if it were timeless.

5 months ago

My aunt had exactly the combination in the first photo in the living room in the mid-70s and early 80s: dark brown velvet with piping, saffron yellow / cream / brown shag rug, plaid vaguely scottish pillows, and mock-expressionist art. It literally feels like my 5-year old self could jump from the photo!!! May be this is why I like it so much?

5 months ago

Ooo! I love this! I’m planning on making extra long lumbar pillows with contrast piping. I love Emily’s long lumbar pillows on her sofas, and went on a search, but couldn’t find the right size and fabric combination for my living room, so I’ve decided I’ll make them. I think I have extra fabric in my sewing room from other abandoned projects, and pillows are such a simple sewing project.

I’m also planning on doing a multi fabric sofa cover. My cats scratched up a sofa, then scratched the custom slipcover, so I’m going to use various fabrics to replace the damaged parts of the slipcover. It just feels so much more economical and less wasteful than replacing the whole thing, which I also considered.

As far as the other trends, I love the stacked cushions, too. They seem like another easy home sewing project. I may add that to my list for some fireside bench cushions I want to replace.

Thanks for the research and fun photos!

5 months ago

Hi, I can try to make a similar pillow to the one made in Belgium that you love.
All I’d have to do is find the correct fabric.

Also, where do you buy the long, fabric cushions from?

Stephanie Mitts
5 months ago

Curious if anyone knows the source of the mustard/walnut ottoman in the first image? Obsessed – it’s perfect!

5 months ago

It’s custom by Zoe Feldman Design: “This custom ottoman serves as a place to kick up your feet and houses trays that can be used for serving and extra storage.”