Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snow Days and Tips for Tufted Tuffets–Sharing Designer Secrets

The sun is finally shining in the Charlotte area and it’s been a good tidy-up kind of day with the recent surprise of three days of wintry weather.  (Throw in a few rumbles from an earthquake, in nearby South Carolina, and then warming up to spring-like temps and North Carolina sounds like a fickle decision-maker, right?)

2014-02-11 14.39.09

(This was the first dusting on the rhododendron.  Day 1 was fun!  And then cabin fever ensued.) 

If you’ve had your fill of snow and winter weather, you know keeping the house tidy is a bit of an uphill battle, with all of the in-and-out-of-the-door activities.  I’m all about an effective shortcut!

As an interior designer, I hear more and more about furniture maintenance and the desire to keep everything simple.  This understatement usually means, “I’m busy and don’t have time to fluff and tuck, in between deep cleanings.”  Since many of my clients have active professional and social lives, I totally grasp that. 

Tufted furniture can often be ill-perceived as higher maintenance because of all of the buttons and folds.  Maybe it just looks a little more “fru-fru”.  From experience, I’ll tell you that the need to fluff and adjust drops to the bottom of the list and tufted pieces hold their shape, beautifully, for a much longer period of time.  If you wait to get to the bottom of the post, I’ll share my simple secret for keeping away the dust bunnies.  In fact, I just used it today on my tufted, leather cocktail ottoman!

Here are some great pieces to consider, if you’re in the market for some comfortable and easy seating.


Pearson’s Tufted Perching Bench will absolutely fool you as far as the comfort it provides.  It hits the lumbar area of the back in just the right spot.  Great for an entry, a bench at the foot of a bed, or in just about any place you need compact seating.  I love my personal, Pearson upholstery and have placed it in many a project.

Distinctive Chesterfields offers a gorgeous line of these tufted beauties and my friend, Ruth Olbrych, is their very knowledgeable US sales manager.  I’m so hoping one of my clients will want to indulge in one of these beauties, made in the UK.  So appropriate given the origin of this design!  Here is the link to their US site:  Be sure to tell Ruth I said “hello”.  She’s a real delight and can get swatches right out to you.  So many stunning options are available.

Tufted pieces don’t have to be stuffy, either.  While I’m a huge fan of Downton Abbey, my lifestyle is a mix of refined and refinished.  A bit of playfulness makes for a more interesting space, don’t you think?

(Image Via My Chesterfield Sofa)


A fresh-in-green tufted settee from Urban Outfitters.  I like pairing this type of seating at dining tables to encourage continued conversations.


Hancock and Moore is the crème de la crème of upholstery makers.  The Alden Bench is so graceful with all of the folds and tucks, placed along the curve.  It takes skill to do this!

Oh, and now for my “secret” tip . . . .

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That’s right – canned air – aka – a keyboard duster!  So simple but it works.  Put the tube on the end and blast away at those crumbs, dusty bunnies, or whatever has made a home in the tufts.  The fuzzies come right out and you won’t have to worry about losing a button to an overly zealous vacuum nozzle.  I use mine all over the house to get into tight spaces and crevices.  I hope and pray the advent of the touch screens won’t make this become a dinosaur. 

Mmmm.  I think I just gave these folks some product longevity, don’t you?  It’s just my generous nature.

All my best! – Wanda

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