custom built furniture

What are the pros and cons of buying custom furniture?

Want to design your next piece of furniture, but aren’t sure if it’s right for you? Designing your own couch is the equivalent of going to Build-A-Bear as a child (or adult – we won’t judge). Read below as we uncover the pros and cons to buying custom furniture, as well as answer some of your top questions about the process.

Pros

Cons

Now that you have a good idea of the pros and cons of buying custom furniture, let’s go over some of our clients top questions they have when thinking about designing custom furniture.

What Types of Custom Furniture Can I Design?

The answer to this question really depends on how much you are willing to spend on custom furniture. Anything can be custom – for a price! For this article, let’s focus on more ‘mainstream’ custom furniture. The most common types of custom furniture are sofa’s, sectionals, and beds

These categories of furniture allow you to choose what size, shape, fabric you want plus you can add in decorative accents like nail heads or piping if you wish! 

Custom Sofa
Photo: Ellerston Showhome by Pacesetter Homes
Custom Sectional
Photo: Cypress Showhome by Pacesetter Homes
Custom Bed
Photo: Calypso Showhome by Pacesetter Homes

How Much Does Custom Furniture Cost?

The answer to this question is… it depends! When you are looking at designing your own couch or bed, there are a ton of different options to choose from, all of which can effect the cost quite dramatically. 

The prices shown here are based on standard sizes and a base fabric selection. 

What Types of Things Can I Custom?

Pretty much anything and everything! Below are the top 3 items our customers and designers have added to their custom furniture in the past. 

custom furniture

The Fabric

This goes without saying really. Probably one of the top advantages of designing your own furniture is that you can pick exactly what color and material you want it to be. There are literally hundreds of options from neutral tones of white, beige and grey to brighter and bolder shades of pink, purple and blue. 

Don’t forget about the material as well. Have kids or animals? Choose a material that will be durable and long lasting. Don’t have kids or animals? Why not opt for something more luxurious like leather or velvet. 

The Dimensions

No matter the type of custom furniture you are purchasing, you can always make it fit into any space you have. 

Let’s use a sectional sofa for example. When it comes to building a custom sectional, you choose each ‘section’ of the couch, of which there are many. Think of it like building a puzzle. Choose a left arm section, add 2 middle sections plus a corner, maybe another single section and then pop a chaise on the end. Boom – instant Netflix and chill spot. 

custom furniture

The Finishing Details

Ok so you’ve found the perfect style. You’ve chosen the fabric best suited to your lifestyle. It will fit into your space like a glove. But, there is just something not quite right still… 

Buttons! Add a row of simple buttons to the back of the sofa, and now it’s perfect. 

If buttons aren’t your thing how about adding horizontal or vertical channels, or maybe some subtle tufting or piping or even change the color of the legs! 

Can I Return Custom Furniture?

Unfortunately, the answer to this will typically be no. It does depend on the store you’ve purchased from however, like most custom products, it has been specifically designed to suite you. This is why it’s important to ensure the selections you’ve made for your custom piece can transition with you throughout the different phases of your life. Most importantly though – triple measure the space before purchasing! 

How Can I Get Started Designing My Custom Furniture?

Most stores that sell custom furniture will allow you to build, price and purchase it online, however for this type of purchase it’s always best to meet with a designer. 

By meeting with a designer or consultant, they will be able to best select & layout the piece of furniture to your space. They will also have fabric swatches on hand, allowing you to touch and feel the fabric and see the colors in person. 

Most furniture stores will have a design consultation, allowing you to book an appointment with a designer to go over your options! 

custom sofas edmonton custom sofas edmonton
types of window coverings

Window Coverings Simplified: All About the Different Types of Shades & Drapery

Window Coverings are an item that every home needs. When it comes to choosing the right type for your home there are many different styles available, each with their own pro’s and con’s. 

To help you better understand the differences between each type of window shade and drapery options, our team at designQ has put together a simplified guide to tell you what you really need to know about each type. 

Roller Shades

Simple & Clean Design. Effortlessly Modern. Roller Shades have a clean, simple design and go well with almost any décor. They are very easy to operate and to clean. Roller Shades come in a variety of different fabric colors, patterns and textures. Click here to view even more information about the roller shade. 

Video Filmed in the Ellerston Showhome by Pacesetter Homes.

Dual Shades

Distinct Design. Beautiful Style. Dual Shades are a unique shade with exceptional light flexibility and easy operation. With alternating vanes of fabric, 1 sheer and 1 solid, the dual shade will add a statement to any room in your home. Available in a multitude of fabric colors & materials. Click here to view even more information about the dual shade. 

Video Filmed in the Calypso Showhome by Pacesetter Homes.

Sunset Shades

Elegant and simple design. Long lasting style. Sunset Shades are a beautiful shade with light flexibility and easy operation. Sunset Shades will offer a soft statement to any room in your home, combining sheer & solid vanes of fabric for a stunning look. Click here to view even more information about the sunset shade. 

Video Filmed in the Cypress Showhome by Pacesetter Homes.

Drapery

Drapery is something that can take a room from nice to wow! Whether you are looking for a simple drapery panel to seamlessly coordinate with your décor, or a custom drapery panel to make an impact, there are many different options available. When adding drapery panels to your home, there are quite a few components to think about. In this video we’ve broken that down for you to make it simple and easy to have a custom drapery look in your home. Click here to view even more information about our custom drapery program.

Video filmed in the Sansa Showhome by Sterling Homes and the Cypress & Ellerston Showhomes by Pacesetter Homes.

While there are a few other types of window coverings available, these are typically the most common, and the most affordable. To learn more about other types of window coverings available, please reach out to us

pacesetter homes secretariat showhome

How to Improve the Resale Value of Your Home

When buying a new home, the last thing on your mind is selling it! But it’s still a good idea to consider how the items you add to your home now will effect the resale value of it later. So how do you improve the resale value of your home? We asked top Edmonton Real Estate agent, Ron Dickson – Senior Vice President of Sales for Sotheby’s Realty, and here is what he had to say. 

Q: What is the perceived value to a home buyer if the home has professionally selected and installed design features, such as blinds, drapery or feature walls?

Savvy home buyers have a high level of expectation. Comparing the value of having these features as opposed to not having them could be the difference if perhaps the potential buyer was leaning one way or the other.  Any opportunity to invest in a “showhome” feel is always money well spent.

Most buyers in today’s busy lifestyle are looking to eliminate decisions from their everyday life. In other words , if you can invest in “on trend” design elements and features, you are protecting your investment. Buyers want to see it as though it was featured in a magazine , and within a certain range , are definitely willing to pay for it.  The key to protecting your asset is to keep it current and on trend. Window treatments and feature walls are a cost effective way to keep your property “in the Game”. 

Q: Would having wall features (not selected by the new buyer) already installed in the home hinder the resale value of a home?

Today’s busy buyer doesn’t necessarily want to pick out features. The smart home owners leave that decision making process to the professional designers. Especially in a home 5yrs or older. Trends and design elements change so rapidly that buyers and consumers can barley keep up. It is in my experience that the consumer appreciates these things completed and decided in advance. 

Q: For those looking to rent a home, how would having designer features in a rental property be beneficial?

As like everything in the consumer world , the end user desires the best return on their money. In the example of investors appealing to a potential tenant , this is a highly competitive pool to draw from. All of the above mentioned features and design elements are exactly what a discerning renter insists upon. Good tenants are hard to find , but they are out there. 

Some people choose to rent vs owning for various reasons. Nonetheless of what that reason may be , they are willing to pay top dollar for personal preference and high quality properties. 

Q: So – will adding window coverings, wall features or other designer elements to your home increase the homes resale value?

To attract the most amount of money as either a homeowner who wishes to sell , a buyer who wishes to protect their future asset or an investor who wishes to command top rents , all of the design elements mentioned here including window treatments, feature walls etc , are all very crucial and more so when done by an expert interior design professional. It all adds up to greater net dollars in your pocket in each scenario. 

About Ron Dickson

A REALTORS® in Edmonton for over 20 years, Ron is regarded by his peers both locally and nationally, as a pioneer in marketing and sales in the real estate industry. He continues to think bigger, always innovating and improving in order to achieve better results for his clients. The results speak for themselves.

Ron is passionate about real estate and is a passionate Edmontonian. When not working, Ron spends his time with his 5 children and 3 grandchildren. 

In the company, Ron is the thought leader, the collaborator and the head of our builder division.  Ron was instrumental in bringing the team and brand together in Edmonton and uniting each in a spirit of innovation and client-centric collaboration. 

rdickson@sothebysrealty.ca

To learn more about designer selected features that you can add to your home, check out our other blogs below. 

blinds components

The 4 main components to a blind or shade

While there are a few different styles of blinds or shades, they all share 4 basic components. In each of those components, there are many variations you can choose, but the base function is the same. 

Curious as to what the 4 most popular styles are? Click here to read our blog!

The Cassette

Alternate Names: Valance or Header.

Purpose: To conceal the “roll” of fabric, or material.

Styles: Each style of blind or shade will have different cassette options available, but a few of the more common ones are:

  • Compact Cassette – This is a pretty standard style and size of cassette. Not to large, not to small — just right!
  • Large Cassette –  A bit larger than a compact cassette, this option will add a more modern feel to your windows
  • Square Cassette – This is the next size up, and adds a bit more definition.
  • Grande Cassette – Go big or go home, right? This cassette will add a bold statement to your decor.
  • Decorative Valance – A decorative valance is only available with a faux wood or wood blind. 
  • Opera Cassette – This cassette is only available when you add an “Opera” shade. 

Finishes: The finish option varies by cassette style, but you can select either a mirage finish, which is a smooth metal material in a coordinating color or you can get it fabric wrapped

blinds components
blinds components
blinds components
blinds components

The Bottom Rail

Alternate Names: Hem bar

Purpose: It is how the bottom edge is finished, and keeps the fabric weighted down. 

Styles: Each style of blind will offer different bottom rail options. 

  • Open – This style of hem bar is made with a piece of tubing clamped onto the bottom of the shade, and finished in a coordinating color.
  • Closed –  The fabric of the shade is wrapped around the aluminum weight, and offers a low profile. It is often the most common hem bar chosen. 
  • Trapezoid Rail – This is available only on faux woods and wood blinds. It comes in a coordinating color to the slat color chosen.
blinds components
blinds components
blinds components
blinds components

The Operating System

Purpose: How you open and close the blind or shade.

Styles: Each style of blind or shade will have different operating system options available, but a few of the more common ones are:

  • Plastic Chain – The plastic chain is standard on most styles, and comes in a coordinating color to the material color selected. 
  • Cord Loop –  A cord loop offers a bit more of a quieter opening then a plastic chain. It is only available in white, and only on certain styles of shades.
  • Cordless – If you have children, cordless is an excellent option to add as it removes any hanging cords, which can potentially be a hazard for small kids. 
  • Motorization – Feeling a bit fancier? Then you need to add in a motorization option to control your shades at the click of a button. 
  • Cord Tilt with Tassels – This option is only available on a faux wood or wood blinds. It has the same function as a plastic chain, and comes in a coordinating color. 
blind components
blind components
blind components
blind components

The Material

The material of a blind or shade really depends on which style you select.

Faux Woods are made from a blend of resin & wood, and offer many different colors. 

Wood blinds are made from bass wood, and also offer many colors. 

Roller Shades, Dual Shades, and the like have a wide variety of fabric colors, textures and opacities to choose from. 

best quality couches

The Secret To The Best Quality Couches

The secret to the best quality couches can be found under the fabric! Ensuring your new couch has been created with the right quality materials is crucial if you are looking to invest in a long lasting sofa.

Curious as to what those materials are? Watch the below video as I talk about the most durable framing material, which foam is the most resilient and what type of suspension provides the best shock absorption.  

If you want to learn more about each of the items than what is covered in the video, check out our detailed blog posts on each topic: The Power of a Good Frame , It’s All in the Foam, and Springs & Suspension. Once you’ve got those covered, why not read about the best sofa fabrics for kids, pets & everything in between. Then you will be well prepared to make the investment in your relaxation and comfort. 

Bonus Secret!

What I mentioned in the video are the best quality materials to watch for in finding the best quality couches. But there is one more thing that all of us at designQ Shop also think adds into the quality factor – and that is that our sofas and upholstered goods (chairs, ottomans, sectionals, etc) are all made in Canada! That has to add in some quality points, yes? We think so! 

Click here to read more about one of the custom upholstery manufacturers we use – Van Gogh Designs. They have a massive state of the art manufacturing facility located in South Surrey, British Columbia! Check them out and see for yourself why we love them!

best-sofa-supension

Quality Sofa Construction: Springs & Suspension

Ensuring your new sofa has been created with the right, quality materials is crucial if you are looking for a long lasting sofa. 

However, the frustrating part of shopping for a new sofa is that they all look the same – just with different names and price tags! Often the differentiator is hidden under the fabric in the frame, suspension and foam. 

Below we explore the different types of springs or webbing used in the cushions that are commonly used by furniture manufacturers. Be sure to also check out our blogs on selecting the best fabric for your lifestyle,  what is the best foam for long lasting cushions, and the power of a good frame

What is the Purpose of Suspension?

The springs inside your sofa are used to absorb shock and can provide firmness and elasticity for the seat of the couch. The quality of springs used works together with the quality of the foam and framing. They are like one big team holding you up while you read your favorite book, or have a movie marathon with the family. 

4 Types of Suspension

Pocket Coil Springs

You’ve probably heard this term quite a bit, especially when relating to mattresses. This type of spring tends to hold it’s shape better and support better over time. Generally, pocket springs will last a long time which is perfect for those who value longevity in their sofas. 

Sinuous Springs

Also referred to as “S” springs, this is the most commonly seen suspension system in mid-tier sofas. Made with heavy gauge steel wires bent into a continuous line of vertical S shaped coils. Horizontal metal tie rods reinforce the coils, inhibiting shifting and sagging. Typically a heavier gauge steel is used and a greater number of springs with few spacings provide more comfort.

Webbing

Web suspension is a design that creates a sofa cushion support similar to a hammock. The strips are stretched across the seating frame and tacked into place to provide support for the cushions.

8 Way Hand Tied Springs

This is considered the ultimate choice in high-quality sofa construction. Using a heavy guage steel coil at the base, a craftsman then works with high quality twin to tie each coil spring together, crossed in 8 different directions. This process helps guarantee sturdy support and limits individual sagging of any one spring over the lift of the sofa.

Which Type of Suspension is Best? 

There are 2 clear winners for the best type of suspension to be used for a sofa – Sinuous ‘S’ Springs and 8 Way Hand Tied Springs. The determining factor in deciding between the two is simply cost. 

Because of the labor involved in creating an 8 way hand tied spring, this will significantly raise the cost of the sofa. It will however also extend the longevity of the suspension. 

If you still want to invest in a quality sofa, but maybe don’t want to spend as much as you would with the above springs, then purchasing a sofa with Sinuous Springs is also an excellent choice. The spring construction is solid, and will last many many years. 

sofa-frame-construction

Quality Sofa Construction: The Power of a Good Frame

Ensuring your new sofa has been created with the right, quality materials is crucial if you are looking for a long lasting sofa. After all, if a house is built on a subpar foundation, no matter how pretty it is, it will crumble. 

However, the frustrating part of shopping for a new sofa is that they all look the same – just with different names and price tags! Often the differentiator is hidden under the fabric in the frame, springs and foam. 

Below we explore the different types of framing material and construction methods commonly used by furniture manufacturers. Be sure to also check out our blogs on selecting the best fabric for your lifestyle, the best sofa springs & suspension, and what is the best foam for long lasting cushions

The Material

sofa-frame-construction

Before we get talking about how a sofa frame is built, let’s talk about the materials being used to build that frame. 

A slower growing, denser hardwood such as alder, poplar, maple, teak or walnut are considered more suitable for durable and long lasting furniture. 

Softer woods such as pine or douglas fir are still good, but won’t hold up as well as a harder wood species will. 

Some manufactures will use fiberboard or particle board in constructing their furniture to keep costs down. The issue with using a material such as this, is that there is basically zero structure or strength meaning it cannot support heavy loads. 

The reason why it is so important to get the wood material right is because you want a wood that will hold the staples, nails, glues and joinery in place. The harder the wood, the better it will grab and hold onto whatever item is holding it together. A softer wood is more prone to movement, and overtime will wear down. 

Kiln Dried Wood

You may see from more high end manufactures that they use kiln dried wood. But what does that mean? 

Kiln drying is a procedure done to remove all moisture in the wood. Moisture can be a big problem with wood, as it will cause the wood to warp or crack. And having a frame that warps or cracks is never good. 

The Construction

How is a sofa made? Well like any other structure really. It’s made by joining pieces of wood together. Therefore the sturdiness of the joints play a huge factor on if the furniture piece will get wobbly. Below we have high lighted a few of the more common joint types you may find in sofa construction. 

Solid Joint Types:

  • Mortise & Tenon Joint – This is considered the strongest type of joinery. It is mostly used in table construction to adhere the legs to the top for a solid surface. One piece of wood has a hole, and the other is cut to fit precisely into that hole. 
  • Dovetail Joint – This type of joint is not only strong, but also looks great too. It is commonly used in drawers for cabinets. 
  • Box Joint – This joint is made by cutting a set of matching rectangular cuts into 2 pieces of wood, which are then glued together. It is often used for boxes or chests because of it’s decorative look. 

Not So Solid Joint Types:

  • Butt Joint – This is the simplest type of joinery, but also the weakest. It joins 2 pieces of wood by merely butting them together and then attached using glue or with a nail or screw. 
  • Dowel Joint – A dowel joint is similar to the butt joint, except dowels are used to secure the pieces together. A dowel is a small wooden cylinder that gets inserted into a small round hole drilled into 2 pieces of wood. It’s not as sturdy, and will more likely loosen over time, however it is an acceptable joinery method.
mortise-tenon-joint
Mortise & Tenon Joint
dovetail-joints
Dovetail Joint

Additional Reinforcements:

To create an even stronger frame for a sofa, most manufacturers will use extra reinforcement. You may see terms such as Corner Block Reinforced, or just Reinforced Joinery. 

When there is a corner, adding an extra piece of wood that is placed at an angle and screwed into place will help ensure the piece of furniture is stable for years to come. 

Additionally an extra layer of support may be added with glue, screws or staples. 

Remember These 3 Things When Buying a New Sofa

In summary, when you are searching for a new sofa keep in mind it’s what underneath the fabric that counts the most. Typically a lower price tag means lower quality materials have been used, which will result in a shorter lifespan of the item. 

Remember these 3 things:

  1. What type of wood was used in the construction? Hardwood = longer lifespan and greater return on investment.
    Softer wood or particle board = shorter lifespan, but easy on the wallet. 
  2. Has the wood been kiln dried? This is an important step in the manufacturing process as it dries out the wood, which will prevent warping & cracking. 
  3. What type of joinery & reinforcement has been used? Look for a joint that has been cut with precision, and essentially slotted together (almost like intertwined fingers) and then corner blocked. Stay away from a simple butt joint. 
sofa-foam-cushions

Quality Sofa Construction: It’s All in the Foam

In this blog we will be exploring what type of foam is best for your sofa cushions. After all, isn’t the point of a sofa to be able to sit comfortably on it for years to come?! 

When shopping for a sofa, there are a few things you should look for before making your purchase. The 3 biggest factors in determining if your sofa will be long lasting is the frame material & construction, the springs and the cushion foam density. Additionally, selecting the fabric that is right for your lifestyle can play a huge part as well. If you haven’t already read our blog on the types of fabric, click here to check it out!

best-foams-for-sofas

What does density mean?

When looking at the material specifications of any new sofa, they will generally tell you the foam density in a ‘pound per cubic foot’ measurement, or pcf for short. 

But what does that even mean? 

Density is simply a measurement of weight per unit of volume. In the case of foam it is measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF). In other words, the density of foam is expressed by measuring the weight of a single cubic foot of foam material. 

Foams with a higher density will generally feel more firm, and can withstand more pressure. Foams with a lower density will be softer but not as durable. 

Therefore, for a longer lasting and more durable cushions you should go with a sofa that is made with a higher pounds per cubic foot measurement. 

There are 5 main types of foam or fills typically used in sofa construction.:

Standard Polyurethane
High Density Foam
Lux Foam
High Resilience Foam
Down & Feather

Keep reading for details on each of these foams or fills, and to find out which ones are considered the worst, and the best for long lasting sofas. 

Standard Polyurethane

Typically the pound per cubic foot of a standard polyurethane foam is 1.2 pcf. Sofa cushions made with this foam will not be very comfortable, or last as long as the other foams. It will last for about 1-2 years before you start to see deterioration and sink areas in your cushions. Additionally, the return rate to it’s original form is very slow. 

High Density Foam

High Density Foam is the most common type of foam used for furniture. It has a 1.9 pcf rating, but will still provide support and comfort just to a lesser degree than other foams. A high density foam will generally last around 4 years, but will get softer over time. The return rate to it’s original form is medium and it will offer a more consistent level or support and comfort than a standard polyurethane foam. 

Lux Foam

With a 2.2 pcf rating, a cushion with lux foam with provide a much firmer feel and will last around 6 years. This foam has a quick return rate to it’s original form, is durable and able to support various pressures. 

High Resiliance Foam

Made from a high grade open cell foam, a high resilience foam ranges from 2.5 to 3.0 pcf. This foam has a high responsiveness rate, and a quick return rate to it’s original form. Even though it is very springy, it still offers sturdy support and will last between 8 – 10 years. This type of foam is used in high quality sofa construction, and is the best foam type if you are looking for a long lasting investment. 

Down & Feather Fill

Even though it’s not technically a foam, most high end sofas have the option of adding down or feather fill cushions. These are a good option when combined with an inner foam core. Adding down or feather will make for a more comfortable cushion, however if combined with polyester fibers this could create lumps over time due to the fibers clumping together. 

Dacron Wrapped Foam

Some sofa manufacturers will add an additional Dacron wrap to their foam. A Dacron wrap is a polyester fiber that is used to prevent the fabric from creeping or slipping. Dacron will also help make the cushion look puffy and feel softer. 

In conclusion, typically the best foam to use for sofa cushions will have a pound per cubic foot (pcf) rating of between 2.0 to 2.5. The name of high density foam or high resilience foam can sometimes be interchangeable so we find it’s best to just look at the pcf number to determine the quality of foam used! 

At designQ, our sofa manufacturers use between a 2.1 to 2.75 pcf foam, depending on the style. Additionally, they will also do a Dacron wrap to help prevent slipping of fabric and to help the cushion maintain it’s shape! 

Happy Sofa Shopping!

best-sofa-fabrics

Best Sofa Fabrics For Kids, Pets & Everything in Between

Did you know that when it comes to selecting upholstery for your new sofa, chair or sectional there are more things to think about beyond “What colour should I get”?  Questions such as “What are the best sofa fabrics for kids and pets” or “What is the most durable upholstery for long term use” are certainly in the top list of questions.  

Having additional choices can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming, yet exciting! Read below as our resident fabric expert breaks down the other things you need to think about when investing in your custom upholstery piece.

Choices, Choices, Choices!

So many every day purchases we make come with additional choices:

  • Do you want fries with that?
  • What size do you want?
  • Which colour speaks to you?

From your simple fast-food order to your new car, there seem to be an endless amount of options to choose from to customize your purchase – and purchasing upholstered furniture for your home is no different!

However most people aren’t aware of the seemingly simple decisions you make when customizing your new sofa (or even the fact that you can customize a sofa!). These decisions are often times overlooked and they can have a lasting impact on the long-term performance of your new upholstered furniture. 



Wait a minute, performance of my furniture!?
What does that mean and how do I make the right choice?

Don’t worry, it isn’t as daunting as it may sound. One of the key aspects when selecting your new furniture piece is selecting the right upholstery fabric. There is no secret formula, it all comes down to selecting the right fabric for you and your lifestyle.

Based on price and performance, there are many different grades of fabric. The higher the grade, the more expensive the fabric. However, the highest grade does not necessarily mean that it will be the best fit for you.

So how do you pick then!? There are some key questions to start with:

  • What fabric do I like the look and feel of?
  • What is the best sofa fabric for kids and pets? How durable and stain repellent do you want it to be?
  • What room is the upholstered piece meant for, and how often will it be used?

What fabric do I like the look and feel of?

When selecting a fabric ask yourself these 2 questions:

  1. What room is this piece going into?
  2. What colour, texture or pattern do I envision in the space?

Typically, but not always, the softer the feel and more luxurious the look the more expensive a fabric can be. Natural fibers (such as velvet, silk, wool and linen) have an inherent beauty to them and they often cost more money to manufacture due to the availability of the natural resource and the delicacy of working with certain fibers. Even though natural fibers can cost more, they can also in some circumstances break down faster over time because they are a natural fiber. These fibers can be more susceptible to sun damage and abrasion than a synthetic fiber.

Synthetic fibers are man-made and for upholstery fabrics are most often polyester. Although synthetic fibers are more easily manufactured, are more durable in most fabric constructions and are more cost effective they don’t always look and feel as nice as a natural fiber.

As you move higher in the fabric grades, you will begin to notice the presence of more natural fibers or fabrics with some natural fiber content (for example, 35% linen, 65% polyester). The best way to make your initial selection on upholstery fabrics is to narrow down the look and feel you like.

What is the best sofa fabric for kids and pets? 

When looking to see how durable a fabric is, check out the ‘Double Rub Count’ of the fabric. Essentially, this just means how many times can you sit on a piece of fabric before it starts to wear down? The higher the rubs, the more durable it will be. But how many ‘double rubs’ are considered acceptable?

As previously mentioned, synthetic fibers often are more inherently durable than natural fibers. They will have a higher abrasion rating than natural fibers. There is a misperception in the industry that an upholstery fabric must have a double rub count of 100,000 to be recommended. This is not the case.  Industry associations agree that for residential use a minimum of 15,000 double rubs is recommended. In simplified terms, you could sit on a sofa 15,000 times before the fabric would start to wear down. When you look at many of the lower grade, 100% polyester items you will typically be over 50,000 double rubs. You will typically notice a lower double rub count on a fabric that is a 100% natural fiber, like linen. It is rare that a furniture manufacturer would offer an upholstery fabric that is below 15,000 double rubs so do not be discouraged by this number!

Many furniture manufacturers also offer a stain repellent or performance finish option in their higher graded fabrics. These stain repellent options not only ensure stains are easily cleaned but they often increase the durability of the fabric as well! Gone are the days of Teflon spraying your upholstery with harsh chemicals. Today’s performance finishes are applied prior to manufacturing the furniture piece and are typically baked in to seal the fabric. Imagine every fiber in the fabric coated in it’s own piece of plastic wrap. This helps stains pool on the surface for easy clean up and adds an extra coating of protection against everyday wear. The addition of the performance finish moves the fabric up to a higher grade.

What room is the upholstered piece meant for, and how often will it be used?

Now that you have narrowed down your fabric choice based on look, feel and basic performance needs let’s consider where the furniture item will go, who will be using it and how often.

If you love the look and feel of a 100% linen upholstery fabric and it is for a formal dining chair that will only be used a couple of times a year then it could be a perfect choice for you. If you like that same fabric but you want it on a white sofa in your living room and you have 3 small children with constant sticky fingers and a few animals with long nails that shed a lot, it probably isn’t the right choice.

The less durability and stain performance you require, then the more options you have. The more heavily used furniture requires more durable higher performance fabric. If you can find the look and feel in a lower grade upholstery fabric and you do not require high performance or stain repellency then go for it! Often there will be a similar fabric available without the performance finish so you need to determine whether the additional finish is worth the investment based on how much you will be using the furniture piece and how hard the use will be.

Anything else I should know?

There are other things you could consider as well based on what is important to you. 

Does the material have any recycled fibers, is it suitable for outdoor use, if it is going in a very sunny location does it have a high UV rating?

Hopefully, we haven’t scared you! Once you consider the look you want and the lifestyle needs you have to consider you will be able to make the right choice for you. As always, our expert Retail Designers are available for a free consultation to help you make the right decision for your home and your lifestyle!

If you have any questions on selecting fabric for your new furniture don’t hesitate to comment below or send us an email

pacesetter homes jensen lakes

4 Most Popular Blind Styles

Did you know there is more than just 1 style of blind to choose from? If you are like most people, when you think of blinds you think of wimpy white plastic slats on a cord…

But there is more than that! Read below to learn about the 3 most popular styles of blinds, and 1 honorable mention too!

Wondering what all the components are on a blind, and what they do? Check out our blog here where we talk about the 4 main components to a blind or shade. 

The Classic | Wood Blinds

Let’s start with a classic. Faux Woods or Wood blinds are an excellent option when you are looking for a simple and timeless style to go with any decor. 

They are available in many different colors, and textures and have a few upgrade options available.

If you don’t want all the cords hanging around you can upgrade to cordless, which not only looks great but is fun too!

Adding privacy slats will remove the rout holes, which makes them easier to clean and lets less light through!

If you don’t want to see any strings or holes, then you can add decorative cloth tapes as well to give your blinds a clean finish. 

The price of faux woods and wood blinds can vary depending on a few factors:

  • The number and size of windows
  • Are splits required
  • Color and texture chosen by you

For a standard home with 7 windows, the average cost to add faux wood blinds will start around $4,500 including install & delivery. 

** Price is approximate, and is subject to change based on each individual home and upgrades chosen by the client **

Faux Wood & Wood blinds are covered under normal use for a period of three (3) years.

The Simplistic | Roller Shades

Roller Shades are both ideal decorative and functional choices to cover your windows. They are simple, yet elegant and don’t take away from the surrounding decor. 

Roller Shades have a wide selection of fabrics, textures and colors that will enhance any room decor. 

Remove the plastic chain and upgrade to a miracle lift system instead. Or if you want to laze about in bed all day, add a motor and just press a button for instant sunlight. 

Unless you don’t want any sunlight – then you can always add a room darkening shade and sleep your day away!

The price of roller shades can vary depending on a few factors:

  • The number and size of windows
  • Fabric chosen by you

Roller shades can be very cost effective. For a standard home with 7 windows, the average cost to add roller shades will start around $3,000 including install & delivery. 

** Price is approximate, and is subject to change based on each individual home and upgrades chosen by the client **

Roller Shades are covered under normal use for a period of five (5) years.

The Unique | Dual Shades

Dual Shades will bring some personality to your room. They are a unique shade that offers dual light filtering options.

Dual Shades have a wide selection of fabrics, textures and colors.

Dual Shades are just cool without having to add anything! They offer 2 vanes of fabric – one solid and one sheer. This gives you the option to let some light in, or no light at all! 

But if you want to up the cool factor even more, you can always upgrade to a miracle lift system to remove the plastic chain or add the much loved motorization option. 

If you want even more light filtering, add on a room darkening shade to the toddlers room and enjoy sleeping in during the summer. 

The price of dual shades can vary depending on a few factors:

  • The number and size of windows
  • Fabric chosen by you

Dual shades are about mid range for pricing. For a standard home with 7 windows, the average cost to add dual shades will start around $3,500 including install & delivery. 

** Price is approximate, and is subject to change based on each individual home and upgrades chosen by the client **

Dual Shades are covered under normal use for a period of five (5) years.

The Conventional | Cellular Shades

Although not as popular today, cellular shades still offer some great benefits. They do have a more traditional styling, but they offer the best light filtering options. 

You can choose a standard cellular style, or a “Top Down Bottom Up” style, which offers the best light flexibility.

Cellular Shades are unique in that you there are essentially 2 types of a cellular shade.

You can choose the standard up/down shade either with a cord or chain to open, or you can go cordless with the miracle lift system.

But if you really want the ultimate in light filtering control, you can choose the “Top Down/Bottom Up” style, which allows you to open the shade from the bottom and the top. 

Motorization is available as well. 

The price of cellular shades can vary depending on a few factors:

  • The number and size of windows
  • Style of cellular

For a standard home with 7 windows, the average cost to add a traditional cellular shade will start around $3,200 including install & delivery. 

** Price is approximate, and is subject to change based on each individual home and upgrades chosen by the client **

Cellular Shades are covered under normal use for a period of five (5) years.

There are of course many more styles to choose from, but those are the top 4 ones our clients and designers choose! 

If you would like a quote on any of the above style, or would like to learn more just shoot us an email! We would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Want to book an design consultation for your home? Click here to select a date that works best for you. 

In the meantime… check out some inspiration photos below of these most popular blind styles!