[tracery trendspotting] tufting

Have you noticed a lot of tufting going on lately?  We sure have.  It seems all the design blogs we read are flush with tufted pieces of furniture.  For those unfamiliar with the term, tufting refers to an upholstery technique where a button is pulled tight into a batted surface, creating an impression around the button.  A series of buttons applied in this manner creates a “tufted” surface.

[photo by Colleen Duffley]

Doug recently designed a custom-made tufted headboard for a house in Mountain Brook, Alabama.  Covered in a slubby white linen, the tufted surface of the headboard is a textural contrast to the smooth linen coverlet and buffed venetian-plaster walls, all in the same tone of greyish white.  We had this piece custom fabricated, inspired by an image from a page ripped from an old issue of Southern Accents that our client had in her inspiration file when we began the project. 

[photo by Tria Giovan, via Southern Accents]

Doug took the concept of the inspiration image and raised the height of the headboard to balance the height of the vaulted ceilings in the room.  You can’t tell from the picture because of the bed pillows, but our upholstery shop worked with the specific dimensions of the mattress our client had purchased to ensure that the last line of button-tufting fell just above the top of the mattress.  Now that’s custom!

Love this look and want it for your own home?  You don’t have to go custom to get button tufted style…here some of our favorite pieces that sport this classic look:

Barbara Sofa, $2678, Four Hands available through Tracery

We love the old school style of the piece, and the shiny nailhead trim that runs down the front of the arms.  The two cushion seat and button tufted back and sides are a fresh take on classic Chesterfield Sofa style.

Cole Coffee Table Ottoman, $1015, Aidan Gray available through Tracery

We love using ottomans as coffee tables because they create such a great place to literally put your feet up and relax!  Everytime we put one in a house with kids, they inevitably end up laying in the center of the piece as soon as it’s carried in the house!  The solid lower shelf on this piece creates a great place to stash magazines and games while keeping clutter out of sight.  The classic turned legs are accented with a row of nailhead trim.

1642 Chair, from $1020, Lee Industries through Tracery

Paige and Doug  just placed this chair, upholstered in crisp white sailcloth, in a little girl’s room in Birmingham.  The small stature of this piece (28″ w. x 36″ d. x 34″ d.) makes it a great bedroom piece and the all-over tufting and turned legs with casters add a classic touch.

Barcelona Chair, from $4523, Knoll available through Design Within Reach

Originally designed by legendary architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the German Pavilion at the 1929 International Exhibition in Barcelona, this piece is one of the hallmarks of classic contemporary design.  The linear arrangement of the button tufting creates a much more structured and crisp appearance than the diamond tufting found in more decorative examples (see the Lee chair above for contrast).  We love it in classic and dressy black, or clean and fresh white leather.

Jefferson King Bed, $2067, Four Hands available through Tracery

Want to recreate the spirit of the custom-designed bed we designed that’s pictured above?  This piece features a tufted white linen backdrop that’s accented with squared off wings which wrap the end of the bed.  Upholstered rails and nailhead trim add style to this budget-friendly bed.  (Available in Queen size too!)

7 thoughts on “[tracery trendspotting] tufting

  1. Really like the cole coffee table ottoman. You mention kids but I have a greyhound who likes to lounge on large coffee tables /ottomans if she can sneak on


  2. I gotta say that I like just about anything tufted. Lately I’m noticing tufting more too and wasn’t sure if it was my affinity for it, the current rise in popularity of it or both. Probably both.

    I will have to be careful or one day I will end up with a house full of tufted furniture. Chairs, sofas, headboards, ottomans…


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